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Business plan software competitive comparison

Consultants, reviewers, and other entrepreneurs & CEOs compare business plan software…

 

The truth is we developed BizPlanBuilder before anyone developed any kind of business planning software, even Business Plan Pro. It may seem tacky to put a section like this on our site, but the truth (see below) speaks for itself—and we just had to pass along this knowledge.

If you’re betting the next few years of your life on a new or expanding business, starting with the right planning software could make all of the difference in the world.

In general, how does Business Power Tools differentiate itself from all the other products out there?

  1. Business Power Tools has been in business for 25+ years — that means more ongoing development and feedback than any other.
  2. All Business Power Tools software is written enabling you to use your own familiar Word, Excel and PowerPoint software (eliminating import/export issues that cause problems and waste time)
  3. Business Power Tools software is therefore more flexible enabling customization for an exact fit to your business
  4. Business Power Tools multi-user platform enables collaboration over a network, server or the Internet (no emailing files creating conflicting copies)
  5. BizPlanBuilder has a long history of positive reviews, comments, success stories (money raised) than any other program
  6. With Business Power Tools, each product is compatible with an entire suite of business tools — all Business Power Tools products work on the same platform the same way.

Also, you’ll find that BizPlanBuilder adds much more than you might expect from a business planning software package (we include hard won real-life business insights above and beyond what most business planning authors or software programmers bring to their products) — and it even compares very favorably against the much more expensive Business Plan Pro Premiere…

Lies you may want to believe…

  • “Write your business plan in 8 hours” – sounds good, but for the time invested you’ll get further and have a better presentation
  • 500 sample plans – OK for ordinary businesses, but if you’re doing something unique that requires telling a better story, I think you’ll find BizPlanBuilder does it better.

 

SBDC Consultants prefer BizPlanBuilder

sba bannerI have used both Business Plan Pro and BizPlanBuilder in my past management positions. With all the so-called sample plans in Business Plan Pro, it’s easy to think you have the final product. You really don’t — it’s not really that user friendly, especially if you are not comfortable writing the narrative. Instead, with BizPlanBuilder, it’s much easier for me to help a client develop a professional business plan that I don’t have to entirely rewrite.
– Sajata Strong, Area Director, Clark Atlanta University SBDC, School Of Business Administration, Atlanta, GA

The product was recommended to me over Business Plan Pro by the consultant from the Minority Business Development Center in Honolulu, who is assisting me with plan development.
– J Furumura, Honolulu, HI

 

BizPlanBuilder vs. Business Plan Pro…

Users speak out!

Former Business Plan Pro Users Convert to BizPlanBuilder – (Aggregated and consolidated from many emails; all names withheld)

Here’s what they report:

1.  BizPlanBuilder is lot easier to format… I can just pour my own words into what has already been set up.

2.  Business Plan Pro is not as detailed as BizPlanBuilder (PC World concluded the same thing.)

3.  The spreadsheets in BizPlanBuilder are much more thorough and flexible, and cover a wider range of possibilities. (PC World concluded the same thing.)

4.  BizPlanBuilder’s financials all interact together (Business Plan Pro’s are fixed.)

5.  I can modify the financial models in BizPlanBuilder (In Business Plan Pro, I cannot.)

6.  It’s easier to print the BizPlanBuilder financial statements.

7.  BizPlanBuilder is altogether much easier to complete.

8.  BizPlanBuilder allows me to plug in my company’s historical numbers and go forward (Business Plan Pro is like starting from scratch.)

9. Business Plan Pro doesn’t help me calculate the value of my company and the stock give-up. BizPlanBuilder does.

10. While Business Plan Pro may initially impress you with some technical bells and whistles, the end result that I show investors is dramatically superior with BizPlanBuilder from JIAN.

11. I have edited a number of business plans written from software, regardless of Business Plan Pro’s many sample plans (which I had to deconstruct), BizPlanBuilder provides a far superior basis for a business plan. It is by far better written, better structured, and makes much more sense in the final analysis.

 

The antidote to Business Plan Pro

Program is wonderful! I like it much better than the Palo Alto software I have
– Andrew Garstkiewicz, MBA, Quality Engineer, GE Consumer & Industrial

I’m sending you this email to let you know that I think you have an excellent product. I’ve used Business Plan Pro and it doesn’t come close to being as robust as BizPlanBuilder. It used to be frustrating to get my plans looking the way I needed them to look. Thanks again for offering such a thorough and complete software tool. Feel free to quote me on this!
– David Vallejo, President/CEO, LatinsOnline, Monterey Park, CA,

I preferred BizPlanBuilder over Business Plan Pro.
It’s far easier to use, liked that interface better…
It works better with Word & Excel.
It’s more business like
.
Business plan pro seems like it was written by a 5th grader
– R Trube, Detroit, MI

Upgraded from Business Plan Pro to BizPlanBuilder

Another Former Business Plan Pro User Switched to BizPlanBuilder Here is her account: We were going NUTS trying to pull together our business plan and the financials by using Palo Alto’s Business Plan Programs. We spent countless amount of wasted hours trying to make do with their products.

Comparison: BizPlanBuilder – you plugged in the figures in the assumptions and they used it elsewhere on other pages. Key fact: You could see the formula used to reverse engineer documents and make changes. BPPro: You could not tell what was being used where and you could not see the formulas used at all. What information was extracted from where?

BizPlanBuilder was extremely user friendly. Simple to select which forms. Forget the so-called tables & charts. Investors like seeing hard-core figures. Palo Alto forced us to use a certain template on the business plan. It was not until the third page that the product was unveiled. No one wants to read three pages of information without knowing what it is in the first place.

Palo Alto’s email collaboration never worked! We were all using AOL and it is not AOL friendly. Support: Palo Alto’s was nonexistent. Refused to help us — assumed answers.

BizPlanBuilder was unbelievable!! Helped us with issues that were finance related and not their software issue. Went way above & beyond the call of duty.

When we discovered Business Power Tools products, specifically the financial templates, everything became so simple for us. There was NO COMPARISON between the two programs.

BizPlanBuilder’s financial templates allowed us to key in the basic figures and the software plugged it in where ever the figure was needed in other sheets. We could check figures by tracing the formulas. It was fantastic, accurate and easy for a NON-Financial wizard.

BizPlanBuilder used the industry standard sheets — Balance sheet, Budget, Break-even analysis, etc.

You could massage the looks to match whatever the rest of your business plan looks like since it is using Microsoft Excel. I cannot tell you how simple the product is and how supporting the company was when I called for help. – Verron Federation, IDentaSafe, Alpharetta, GA

 

Another former Business Plan Pro user switched to BizPlanBuilder

Here is his account: This may not be as detailed a comparison as you would like since I only spent about two hours actually using the other package before I blew it off.

Quick history: In 2000 my wife and I started a small retail business – Accent Market. My wife is a talented interior decorator and seamstress. Accent Market became the “store front” for her design consulting business. Utilizing BizPlanBuilder we quickly developed our business plan and within a few weeks received start-up funding from a local bank. Two years later we sold the business, for a nice profit, based on the strength of our original business plan and the comparison of our actual results to the results we forecasted in that plan. Recently, I began developing an idea for a new business. I couldn’t locate my original copy of BizPlanBuilder and found myself at my local Comp USA shopping for business plan software. I didn’t find BizPlanBuilder so I purchased Business Plan Pro instead. After two hours of struggling with Business Plan Pro I gave up and called you for relief. (I love the PANIC button on your web site.)

From my brief usage of Business Plan Pro herewith my thoughts: Not intuitive. The mere fact that it comes with a manual that’s a couple of hundred page suggests that you need to read it. The accompanying text “Hurdle: The Book on Business Planning” would undoubtedly be useful if I were writing a paper in B-School, but I don’t have a semester to get this done. BizPlanBuilder is more akin to a Vulcan mind meld. Perhaps in Ver. 11.0 it will be able to read your mind. Plan building process based on proprietary modules. Using “Excel® like” spreadsheets and exporting to Word® isn’t even close to actually using Excel® and Word®. In fact, this was the basis of my giving up on Business Plan Pro. First, it was very frustrating that I couldn’t cut and paste the logo I created in Word®. Also, my business model is a little more complicated than “buy low/sell high”. I had already created a rather complex financial model that I couldn’t import and would never have been able to recreate in the “Excel® like” environment. Their web site suggested that a $200 upgrade to “Premier” would permit me that luxury. (Everything is extra. The basic $99.00 package gives you just enough to get you to buy more.) That’s when I browsed over to your web site. BizPlanBuilder gives you everything you need, and more, for the same C-note. Plus BPP doesn’t have Heidi! I rest my case. Kindest regards, – Gary D. Faulkner, www.MyFavoriteAtm.com

Our company is a computer security software startup. We were asked by an important first customer and a venture fund to submit a project and venture funding proposal and business plan. I have done this with a few different companies over the past few years, and I like BizPlanBuilder better than the financial projection software packages I have tried, because of the unhindered flexibility to export it to an Excel workbook. Once I export it, I attach my own Excel worksheets to the workbook, to build up our own assumptions, then write formulas into the cells of the exported BizPlanBuilder exported ‘Assumptions’ worksheet to suck values in from my various assumptions worksheets. Surprisingly, I don’t know why, I couldn’t get that unrestricted flexibility with your competitors. In fact, I opened the new “Comprehensive” model you sent me, and I am surprised to find that you at Business Power Tools have now built in a bunch of assumptions worksheets just the way I have always done in the past. That’s great.
– Michael Culver, CFO, Aesec Corp, Palo Alto, CA

Professional Software Reviews

pc-world-reviewBizPlanBuilder is our BEST BUY because it cuts through the complexity of developing a plan and helps you produce slick-looking results. Its exhaustive template walks you through the every step from cover letter to appendix, with plenty of samples… BizPlanBuilder also offers a better collection of financial tables, ratios, and projections than any competitor.
– PC World Magazine (Read the entire review here. Their experts also compare BizPlanBuilder favorably against Business Plan Pro)

Read More Reviews Here