What the Business Media experts say…
Editors Review Business Plan Software
Small Business Computing for Dummies
“Starting a new business venture can be a lot of fun. It can also be awfully scary especially when you realize how much you don’t know. After all, did anyone ever teach you how to do things like write a business plan that will really grab the attention of potential investors? Sure, you’ve got a great idea, but unless you know how to communicate that idea effectively it could be pretty difficult to get someone to believe in you enough so that they’ll be willing to lend a hand. That’s where a great program like BizPlan Builder really shines. Quite simply, it’s the best way that I know to create a business plan that will get you the investors that you need to be successful.
– Brian Underdahl, Author, Small Business Computing for Dummies
“We love your software.
It’s the best.
For years, we’ve been telling our readers to buy it!
– Rieva Lesonsky, Editorial Director, Entrepreneur Magazine
“Planning is that which many entrepreneurs like least to do as they feel it is confining and subjects them to the rigidity of a fixed projections. Unfortunately, it is the lack of disciplined planning which is responsible for the failure of many projects which might otherwise have succeeded. The Jian BizPlan Builder is an excellent product and I have found it useful.
– Arthur Lipper III, Former Chairman & Editor-In-Chief
“Very easy to learn and use…
I’ve seen no other business plan package that comes close to what this one can do.
Overall Rating: A+”
– Joe Miller, Editor’s Choice Magazine
“JIAN’s focus on business planning is tighter and more concise than many of its competitors, with a strong dose of sales and marketing insights that help the plan serve as a working document rather than just a financial tool.
BizPlan Builder uses a series of Word documents and Excel spreadsheets built around five types of business plans — Concept, Service, Retail, Product and Internet. Each of the five types of plan is divided into relevant sections for that type of business. Within each segment, the writer is challenged by a series of questions that provide both a means to cover the essentials, then provided with samples of writing styles. This approach — using a smaller number of flexible plans rather than hundreds of sample plans — reduces clutter and makes the program easier to navigate.
The financial statements are built in one of three levels — basic, intermediate and comprehensive. The basic level provides a quick snapshot of the financial health of the company. The Intermediate provides linked financial statements favored by investors. The comprehensive level presents management information, including the cash flow forecasting system and bottom-up or top-down scenario building. The Intermediate and comprehensive levels offer a quick-fill section for assumptions in order to set up financial statements and “what-if?” scenarios.
New to the financial section are several crucial worksheets. A revised Ratio Analysis shows success indicators & trends. The Valuation model includes formulas using the Harvard Method, First Chicago (a common VC formula), Discounted Future Cashflow, and Weighted Average of all four. The “Investor Deal Development & Analysis” sheet enables planning for several rounds of financing plus an IPO. Finally, the “Equity/Ownership Give-Up” previews the deal and shows the owner’s value with investment.
Version 10 for 2006 has been extensively overhauled, with the inclusion of multi-user capabilities, online tools for collaboration and the ability to add documents from other sources into the finished plan. There are also a new Use of Funds Summary and a unique “investor scratch pad” that allows potential investors to play their own “what-if?” scenarios with the financial data. Biz Plan Builder remains a very popular planning tool based on and interview/knowledge base platform. Its popularity since 1986 is based both on its successful use in a diverse range of industries and for its simple but effective presentation options for the completed plan.
– Dave McClure, Accounting Today
“Biz Plan Builder is a high-value, comprehensive business planning solution that is made better by a continuous process of listening to customers and revising the software to reflect changing moods and needs among financial advisors, funding sources and entrepreneurs. Its proven track record in securing financing and its strong support among small businesses make it one of the strongest planning packages on the market today.
– Dave McClure, Accounting Today
“I don’t often see credible hype-type literature, but in this case, I am a believer.
You owe it to yourself and your company to own and use BizPlan Builder!
– Leon Wortman, Contributing Editor, Business Marketing
“JIAN’s BizPlan Builder 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… BizPlan Builder also offers a better collection of financial tables, ratios, and projections than any competitor.
– PC World (comparing leading business plan software
George Mason University
“Having gone through all of the competitive products for business planning and marketing planning, I chose yours. For several years running now, our students have won the governor’s award for the best business plans in Virginia. I recommend regularly to all of the marketing professors in Virginia to use the combination of JIAN products.
– Malcolm Novins PhD, Professor, George Mason University, Alexandria, VA
Black Business Listings
“Most business planning software promises more than they can deliver. BizPlan Builder, by JIAN is a rare bird because it under promises and over delivers. This affordable product makes the whole process of creating a well-thought-out plan way easier and in a fraction of the time it would normally take. Over the years it has matured into a complete solution. The comprehensive set of features, tools, and resource materials far out distances the competition. ‘★★★★★'”
– Tony Fleming, Technical Editor, Black Business Listings, Oakland, CA
“Biz Plan Builder is a software package from Jian Tools for Sales, Inc. that facilitates the writing of a business plan. Its depth and breadth places it as a leader of business plan writing tools, and we find it both easy to use as well as rich in features. It offers a number of business plan outlines, depending on the type of business. However, for each section of the outline, it not only explains what that section entails, but actually offers sample Microsoft Word text templates which can form the basis of writing any business plan, and thus expedites the business plan writing process. Likewise, Biz Plan Builder sports various levels of in-depth and integrated financial models, using linked Excel spreadsheets, which the user can employ directly or tailor. Its financial charts, projections, ratio analyses, valuation projections, and other financial modules are robust and comprehensive. A complementary handbook on business planning is available as well. We recommend that Biz Plan Builder be considered by anyone seeking a comprehensive and sophisticated business planning tool that is yet easy to use.
– Venture Success
Planet IT Review: Getting Your Project Organized With BizPlan Builder
“BizPlan Builder doesn’t do the thinking for you when you write a business plan.
But it does almost everything else.
by Esther Schindler
Need to write a business plan? Jian Inc.’s BizPlan Builder is software that helps business-plan authors organize all the necessary documents in one place. The new release of this software, costs just $100 and is well worth the modest investment. It’s not that BizPlan Builder does anything all that astonishing. It doesn’t come up with persuasive arguments or evaluate the wisdom of your business model. Rather, the software helps you organize all the necessary documents in one place. BizPlan’s Microsoft Office spreadsheet and word-processing document templates are managed in a what’s essentially an integrated business-plan development environment. BizPlan’s interactive “interviews” prompt you to fill in the blanks with everything from corporate information and stock allocation to cash flow projections, market expectations, and company mission. Into which, of course, I dutifully typed, “To dominate the industry,” just like every other wannabe.
Nobody says that this software will make you smart; you’ll just have a complete business plan with no gaps and with no questions unanswered. That’s not a bad thing. For a lot of corporate projects, it’s more important to be comprehensive and rigorous than to provide scintillating prose. Plus, Jian already created the necessary spreadsheets and calculations, so you don’t have to reinvent that particular wheel or suffer the indignities of forgetting an important component. Because all the documents are linked, when you inevitably make changes, you won’t have to retype (or, worse, forget to retype). In this latest release, Jian has increased its online resources, such as a referral network of business experts, to help you become as smart and compelling as possible. The software also includes several worthwhile tools including a due diligence checklist, stock option tracking, and GAAP-compliant financial statements — all the documents that an investor or CIO expects to see, and many of which you’d have to invent on your own. BizPlan is easy enough to use that you can give it to a “marketing type” without fear. After you answer its initial interview questions, BizPlan creates the related documents in a logical tree structure (grouping together product strategy or financial projections, for example). Then, you “fill in the boxes” with your details, using individual interview processes for each document or spreadsheet.
BizPlan makes suggestions along the way. For instance, when you need to enter the customer’s ROI, BizPlan points out that common answers include faster inventory turnover or lower warranty costs. At times, the fill-in-the-blank process feels like the old kids’ game of Mad-Lib, but it did help me swiftly re-create a business plan that once got the attention (though not the money) of investors. The feature set is deeper than it initially appears. I wish I’d had such a supportive tool back then. The Windows 9x/NT/2000 application doesn’t get in your way and, happily, you can use its templates with Windows 3.x and Macintosh systems, even if the “environment” isn’t available. The printed manual is about business planning rather than where to click (though the online help does an adequate job on that score). I hadn’t expected to learn from a software manual that most businesses devote 8% of their advertising budget to trade shows, but it’s nice to know.
The Best-Laid Plans
Naturally, you can always edit the business plan that BizPlan Builder creates and use its documents simply as a starting point. You’ll probably want to do so for more-adventurous projects, as the resulting plan does sound a bit canned. That’s really BizPlan Builder’s major weakness: no matter how good a job they do, a just-add-water solution will never be able to communicate your own spirit and passion. Yet BizPlan Builder may help you get your head screwed on straight, and that’s the hardest — and most important — part of the project. According to Bill Teags, CEO of xPackage.com, a startup that was recently accepted into the Arizona Venture Capital Conference, “BizPlan Builder helps you qualify your numbers so that you can stand up to the scrutiny of venture capitalists.” And that’s the whole point, isn’t it?
Whether you’re trying to convince the CEO to sponsor a corporate Web development project, you’re appealing to venture capitalists to fund your startup company, or you’re attempting to prepare for business possibilities, a business plan is the one must-have weapon for your arsenal. Even if you can pull together a successful business plan from an assortment of spreadsheets, word-processing documents and (optionally) eyes of newt, a copy of BizPlan Builder is worth your time.
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Writes a professional business plan for your organization quickly and efficiently. BizPlanBuilder’s organized system of sample business plan templates in Microsoft® Word, flexible Excel financial models, PowerPoint presentation template can be downloaded as a Windows app, or you can subscribe to the collaborative Win / Mac version online. It’s the fastest and easiest way of turning your ideas into an investment-grade business plan and a successful business. BizPlanBuilder has been vetted with banks, SBA lenders, angel investors, and venture capitalists worldwide with more financing successes than any other app of its kind!Click to learn more about the BizPlanBuilder