I received a call this afternoon from a guy out in the New England area asking which program works best for raising investment capital. After a fairly long conversation explaining the key differences between the programs I decided to recap them here for your use:
Ultimate Business Planner - Pros:Plug & Play Financial Projections, Comprehensive Narrative Outline, User-friendly Interface, Will help you create a business plan quickly even if you dont have a lot of experience writing one in the past. Cons: Tough to integrate current financial projections into program if you are an existing company, locked cells mean you cant write spreadsheet formulas into the program, simplistic financial program = simplistic financial information reported. Best Use: New companies without complex financial projections - Start-up retail, service, restaurants, etc who are seeking bank financing.
PlanWrite Business - Pros: Again has an easy to use interface, plug and play financial projections, templates for different types of plans, loaded with additional resources. Cons: Not as polished as some of the others, limited functionality for some key areas, only average presentation of finalized plan. Best Use:Another good one for startups seeking bank financing.
Business Plan Pro - Pros: # 1 business plan program in terms of sales, comprehensive program that will work for most companies, advanced financial projection program but not overly technical. Cons:Most startups will only use a small portion of the programs abilities, financial projection inputs integrated into the narrative sections are sometimes confusing. Best Use:Existing companies needing a strategic plan, bank financing or possibly investment capital. Startups can use but it can be like drinking from a fire hose.
BizPlan Builder - Pros: Cool features including multi-user access, pre-formatted outlines for different plan types with starter text, advanced financial projections, excellent features for those looking for private equity. Cons: Dependant on Microsoft Office to run program, Complex and sometimes onerous financial projection templates, time intensive program to use. Best Use: New or existing companies looking for Angel or Venture Capital in need of comprehensive financial projections, investor driven templates and presentation outlines for raising capital.
For more information and complete reviews of these products visit my website.