Small business owners and startup founders know how difficult it can be to translate big ideas onto paper. Especially if those papers are being presented to investors. Business plans are still standard fare when it comes to securing funding. Business plans are kind of like resumes or babysitting – they sound easy in theory but usually end up with tears and stiff drinks.
Hope is not lost
A small team of serial entrepreneurs from Carnegie Mellon University combined their specialties in law, engineering, and management and came up with BusinessPlanToday, a totally badass business plan builder. This well-rounded group has developed a system that covers business plans from every angle, and walks users through all of the necessary steps so they can be sure all of their bases are covered.
BusinessPlanToday.com uses a straightforward interface, and centers around a user-friendly dashboard so all of the user’s company information is organized in one space.
Information is organized into 3 main categories:
- Financial statements
- Visuals and charts
- Chapters or the narratives that back up and give context to the data above
Translating ideas into something investors can understand.
After plugging in data, users are provided tools and guidelines that help with the written components. Each section of the written component is laid out for the user including:
- The cover page
- Executive summary
- Company and finances
- Products and services
- Sales and marketing
- Strategy and implementation planning
- Financial planning
In addition to being laid out for users, these sections come with instructions and examples so people can get a solid sense of what to do at each step. They have found a way of taking the guesswork out of building a quality business plan, so users can pursue investors with confidence.
Not just about the numbers
Probably the most surprising feature of BusinessPlanToday is that it doesn’t just stop after organizing a bunch of spreadsheets (though that task should in no way be downplayed – doing that on your own is rough). The team behind the business planning software seems to really get why people are using their service in the first place. They proactively help users get their ideas onto paper, and then breakdown viable funding options available to them.
Their Quick Start Guide could have easily been an afterthought for another product development team, but these guys seem to take it seriously. This human touch helps put the work being done into context and really shows where the company’s values are at. The guide covers how to get started with developing a plan and things you should consider along the way. It also provides concrete steps that should be taken to achieve your end goal.
The platform provides support for existing businesses too. Users can define their starting balances, earnings, and recent capital. BusinessPlanToday also has practical analytics that can generate reports on things like liquidity, profitability, and debt ratios.
You can try BusinessPlanToday for free for 14 days. Monthly plans start at $19 for the basics, and cost up to $59 for all the bells and whistles. Going beyond the basic reach of the majority of business planning software, BusinessPlanToday provides support and insight that can empower entrepreneurs to turn great ideas into successful business ventures. Writing and customizing a business plan has never been easier.