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Why Dedicated Planning Software is Better than Spreadsheets for Strategic Business Planning

Strategic business planning is a crucial aspect of running a successful organisation of any size, as it helps companies set goals, allocate resources, and make informed decisions. Unfortunately, many organisations still rely on error-prone and cumbersome spreadsheets to plan their strategies. For resource-strapped SMBs and startups, while spreadsheets may seem like a quick and easy solution, they can actually do more harm than good. Here are five quick reasons why it's better to use dedicated planning software for strategic business planning.

1. Improved Accuracy and Consistency One of the biggest challenges of using spreadsheets for strategic planning is maintaining accuracy and consistency. Even the smallest errors in a spreadsheet can have significant impacts on the results of a business plan. On the other hand, dedicated planning tools ensures that data is entered and calculated accurately, reducing the risk of errors and inconsistencies.

2. Better Collaboration Another drawback of using spreadsheets for planning is that they can be difficult to collaborate on. With multiple people making changes to the same document, it can be difficult to keep track of who made what changes and when. Most planning software meanwhile, often includes collaboration features that make it easy for multiple people to work on a plan or model simultaneously, with clear version control and audit trails.

3. Enhanced Analytics and Visualisation Spreadsheets are limited in their ability to provide meaningful insights and visualisations. Purpose built planning tools however often includes advanced analytics and visualisation tools that make it easier to understand and analyse data. These tools can help organisations identify trends, make informed decisions, and communicate their plans more effectively.

4. Increased Scalability As organisations grow, the number of variables and factors to consider in their business plans increases. Spreadsheets can quickly become unwieldy and difficult to manage as more data is added. Dedicated planning tools are designed to handle large amounts of data and can scale as organisations grow, ensuring that their planning process remains efficient and effective.

5. Improved Security Finally, security is a major concern when using spreadsheets for strategic planning. Spreadsheets can be easily lost, stolen, or hacked, putting sensitive information at risk. Specialist planning software, on the other hand, often includes robust security features, such as password protection, data encryption, and backups, to ensure that sensitive information is protected.

In conclusion, while spreadsheets may seem like a quick and easy solution for strategic business planning, they are simply not equipped to handle the complex and nuanced requirements of modern organisations. By contrast, strategic planning software like Blox is designed specifically for strategic planning and offers a range of benefits, including improved accuracy, better collaboration, enhanced analytics and visualisation, increased scalability, and improved security. By switching from spreadsheets to dedicated planning software, organisations can streamline their planning processes and make more informed, data-driven decisions.

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