Best Business Plan Software for PC & Mac

business plan software

Starting a new business in 2015? Without a business plan, it’s going to be hard for you to get financing or investors to back your dream. But writing a business plan from scratch can be difficult, particularly for those who have never started a business before. However, the right software can help you develop a business plan. Here are some superior software options for Mac and PC that will make it simple to create a business plan. We’ll also cover some additional resources that can help you polish and perfect your business plan.


1. Quicken Legal Business Pro 2014

business plan software

(Quicken)

Quicken is a trusted name in software that many business owners have been using for years. Quicken Legal Business Pro 2014 comes with over 140 customizable legal contracts and forms. In addition, the software comes packed with the searchable text of six different business ebooks, including How to Write a Business Plan and Deduct It! Lower Your Small Business Tax. This software will help you understand what a business plan is, and how to format one for yourself.

The software also helps you with legal forms, contracts, and other vital business docs. In addition, the interview-style format used to complete documents takes the headaches out of starting a new business. These forms can help you hire independent contractors, prepare minutes for a corporation or LLC, or rent a commercial space. This software pack is good for composing your business plan, as well as for addressing other business issues down the road.

Price: $26 (48 percent off)

Buy it here.


Pros:

  • Combined value of essential business forms equals over $900, according to the company
  • Interview interface helps you fill out forms
  • Inexpensive
  • Contains both reference books and forms
  • Trusted brand name

Cons:

  • Can’t replace a business lawyer
  • Has gotten mixed user reviews
  • Lacks some common business forms you may need
  • Some users have reported unsatisfactory customer service experiences
  • Some find the interface less than user-friendly

Find more Quicken Legal Business Pro 2014 reviews and product information here.


2. Business Plan Pro Complete Version 12

business plan software

(Business Plan Pro)

Business Plan Pro (v. 12) is a bit older. However, it will still be perfectly serviceable for many people who need to create a business plan for their new small business. The software was created with Tim Berry, an expert business planner and best-selling author. You may have read some of his blogs on sites like TimBerry.com, Entrepreneur.com, and Amex Open Forum. This software provides lots of industry info and sample plans to help give you a feel for what a good business plan should look like. An online purchase of Business Plan Pro software comes with a one-year subscription to Inc. magazine. If you are a current subscriber, your subscription will be extended for another year.

Price: $68.60 (31 percent off)

Buy it here.


Pros:

  • Over 9,000 industry profiles included
  • Software checks for spelling and accuracy
  • Export to Word, Excel, or PowerPoint (or create a PDF)
  • Creates an output in the preferred format of bankers and SBA approved lenders
  • Over 500 sample plans

Cons:

  • Older piece of software
  • Expensive given its age
  • Not available for Mac
  • Some sample financials may seem dated
  • Some user reviews state software experience is buggy

Find more Business Plan Pro Complete Version 12 reviews and product information here.


3. Business Plan Pro Premier Version 12

business plan software

(Business Plan Pro)

The upscale sister product to Business Plan Pro Complete, the Premier edition of Business Plan Pro has several additional features. These added features may not be necessary for all businesses, but they do add value to the overall package. The Premier edition has the following features that are unavailable in the Complete edition: the ability to import from Excel, visual cash planning, business valuation analysis, and comparisons between plan and actual financial tools. As with the other Business Plan Pro software featured on this list, you may only be happy with this software if you are using an older version of Windows, such as Windows 7, Windows Vista, or earlier.

Price: $179.53 (10 percent off)

Buy it here.


Pros:

  • Over 9,000 industry profiles included
  • Includes additional features that Complete lacks
  • Export to Word, Excel, or PowerPoint, or import from Quickbooks or Excel
  • Creates an output in the preferred format of bankers and SBA approved lenders
  • Over 500 sample plans

Cons:

  • Older piece of software
  • Expensive
  • Not available for Mac
  • Some sample financials may seem dated
  • Some user reviews state software experience is buggy

Find more Business Plan Pro Premier Version 12 reviews and product information here.


4. LivePlan

business plan software

(LivePlan)

Want a business planning tool that lets you cross-check your plan against your actual progress in the real world? LivePlan is a subscription-based web service that is cloud-based, making it ideal for businesses where the partners aren’t always working out of the same office. LivePlan lets you input your actual sales and expense numbers, allowing you to adjust you business plan to real world sales conditions. Whether you are over your projections, or just shy of meeting them, this tool can help you keep your business plan up-to-date. If you want a business plan to be a living document, and not something you create once and then never reference again, this may be a service that appeals to you. One big plus here is the interface, which seems more fresh and modern than other options on this list.

When you buy this software, you’ll get $10 off your purchase of Norton Security. Here’s more info on that promotion. This promo is good for both downloaded and keyed versions of Norton Security for PC, Mac, or mobile.

Price: $55

Buy it here.


Pros:

  • Available for Mac and PC
  • Accessible online anywhere by multiple collaborators
  • Less expensive than other options out there
  • Plan financials interface with Quickbooks actuals
  • From the same company that makes Business Plan Pro

Cons:

  • Subscription-based
  • Not ideal for those who want to import a plan they’ve already created
  • May be expensive over time, depending on how long you keep your subscription
  • Some users have reported minor formatting issues

Find more LivePlan reviews and product information here.


5. Alternative Business Plan Options

business plan

When we started looking at business plan software, it was really hard to find software that was worth recommending. There are lots of business plan software options out there, but many of them have gotten horrible reviews from consumers. In some cases, you have to pay additional fees to unlock the full potential of the software (which you’ve already paid full price for). Some of the other software options on the market today are outdated, while others offer very little information that you couldn’t get elsewhere on the Internet, for free. If none of the software options out there appeal to you, there are many other resources you can tap.

Two books that can help you develop your first business plan Start at the End: How Companies Can Grow Bigger and Faster by Reversing Their Business Plan and The Secrets to Writing a Successful Business Plan: A Pro Shares a Step-By-Step Guide to Creating a Plan That Gets Results. More into online resources? The U.S. Small Business Administration has a whole section of their site devoted to writing a business plan. Their guide outlines every document that should be included in your business plan, as well as key pieces of information that need to be in each document. For many people, these options are preferable to the software options on the market today.

Heavy, Inc. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by linking to Amazon. Our product recommendations are guided solely by our editors. We have no relationship with manufacturers.