Is there a free software available to help my clients create a professional business plan?
I would like to able to recommend a free software to my clients who need to create a professional business plan. Is there a free version you can recommend?
I am in the favor of Walter "Never consider software to create business plan". But yes you can use software like 'Live Plan' for basic idea. I would like to suggest you to explore the blog of FATbit Technologies, where you can find many topic related online business model, plan and strategy.
Everything is paid Sir, if you go for a free you will get the same with very very limited features.
You can try at this:-
If it is for investment from
Vc work on that pitch deck and forget the bp.
There are templates and explanations through the Small Business Administration. Every major city and county has a Small Business office to help. They're often associated with one of the community colleges.
Check out StratPad at www.stratpad.com. StratPad is a cloud-based business plan business plan application, meaning that you don't need to download any software to your computer. The free version will allow anyone to create a single business plan. The software is very easy to use, and is focused on getting users to think about their business strategy, what makes their product or service unique, and how they will defend their uniqueness against competitors. The application is supported with a slew of short, easy to understand videos (most under 5 minutes) that help to explain various business concepts, such as strategy, cash flow, financial statements, etc.
I'm not familiar with free business plan software. Although I'm sure it's out there. I am familiar with business plan templates in PDF and MS Word compatible editors. Some Suggestions:
1. Write a one-page business plan with your companies mission, objectives, and approach.
(Use a business planner app for the following.)
2. Writing out the necessary steps to build the actual business.
3. Calculate the cost of services, licenses, certification and registration, setting up shop, etc.
4. Consider the cost of a marketing plan including website, memberships, article syndication and PR.
5. Detail the business process from the time you open the shop to closing. Consider the daily, weekly, monthly and quarterly process, as well as seasonal processes.
6. Now create a more concise and detailed day-to-day business process.
7. Now create a more detailed business plan.
8. Create your financials and executive summary
To help you with the business plan and building process you should consider investing in a Business Planner. That said, try the less expensive business planner web app such as Fimark's Winning Business Plans at http://businessplans.fimark.net/business_plan_organizer.html. It includes many of the resources needed to plan and build a business from the ground up including access to a complete business plan archive.
Yes, there are free versions on the web for virtually anything you need to create in regards to business, contracts, plans, accounting, etc...
For a first draft using these free versions are well worth it. As the business grows and a team of executives are hired and assembled a more professional look and feel may be desired but then again that will also depend on the skill set and talent of the team you hire around you.
Some very good free version for business plans I like are these two. Both are free and customization and easy to use.
Check the SBA and score websites.
Even as a business coach, I utilize Business Plan Pro and free online formats. The key to a good business plan is to have an outline of the various points in the document, which is not rocket science, does not vary much from one type of business to another, and can be found for free. The key is how well the various elements are addressed -- not any type of fancy pre-written document or format.
My last theoretical point is that I distinguish between a business plan and a strategic plan. A business plan is for external eyes (e.g. for potential capital providers, etc.) and a strategic plan is more of an internal document, intended to be used by the business owner or leader, and the key constituents of the business; I sometimes call this the road map, particularly for business owners who struggle with having too much to do. Only with a well thought-out strategic plan (business road map) will one determine what the right things to do are and when to do them. The format I use there comes from the original Verne Harnish "One Page Strategic Plan" concept.
I never recommend using a software solution to write a business plan. Your plan is for you and is for your unique situation. Using Business Plan Pro or similar software makes it their solution not yours. In any case, you need to write it yourself.
Get help writing it. As Rosanna said, the US SBA is a great resource. SCORE will help of free up to a pint. The Small Business Development Center (SBDC) is generally an academic institution and will give you an academic solution, which is not always the best.If you are a veteran there are free resources to walk you through the process. The Veterans Business Resource Center (VBOC) for your area is one. My center (www.nevbrc.org) is another. All are free of charge.