Does the thought of writing a business plan make you cringe? Documenting your vision, goals and financial projections can seem daunting at first. But, in order to create a durable business, you must have a strategy, even if that strategy changes down the line. Business plans typically include detailed information that can help reinforce your business’s chances of success, like market analysis, competitive analysis, marketing strategy, operations procedures, and cash flow projections. Basically, a business plan serves as your guide along the path to long-term growth and sustainability.
You may be thinking “I’m already conducting business…why have a business plan?”. There are so many important reasons to have a business plan in place. Business planning:
- Helps you make critical decisions about your financials and overall strategy
- Requires you to ask the difficult questions and do the proper research to make sure you have a viable game plan
- Holds you accountable to your long-term vision
- Helps to communicate your objectives and benchmarks to your team so that everyone is in alignment with your company’s goals
- Assists with securing outside financing in the event you need a loan or decide to approach potential shareholders
With LivePlan, the process of building out your business plan is completely simplified. Here are a few things we absolutely love about LivePlan (and you will too!):
Clear step-by-step instructions from start to finish
Instead of operating from a blank canvas, you get step-by-step guidance through the entire business plan creation process. As you edit each section, you have access to detailed instructions and specific workable examples so you don’t get stuck. If you don’t quite understand what you should be including in any particular section, there’s a ‘Help’ button in the lower right corner. You can type in section headings, keywords, or questions to get some insight to ensure your details are cohesive and make sense. LivePlan holds your hand the whole way.
Over 500 business plan templates to work with
If you’ve never put together a business plan before, how do you know what information to bring to the table? If you truly don’t know where to begin when it comes to creating your business plan, LivePlan offers a library of over 500 complete business plan templates to work from. You can use these plans as a starting point for your own and customize them as you go. Instead of Google-ing ‘business plan templates’ and getting generic results, try LivePlan. The program supplies you with access to a broad range of free, full-length plans so you can get inspired and feel confident moving forward with your own.
Simplified financial forecasts
Not everyone is well equipped with accounting knowledge. LivePlan makes it easy for anyone (yes, anyone) to create financial forecasts and budgets. Graphs and charts are automatically created for you from the information you provide. These visual representations of your financial information are pulled right into the body of your business plan. Pure genius. No need to mess around with creating bar or line graphs in Word or Excel. What’s really awesome is that if you choose to present your business plan to investors or banks, LivePlan includes the necessary financial tables in a format approved by all common funding sources. You get a polished presentation that makes you and your business look good.
You can use LivePlan’s Dashboard to get a detailed look at how your revenue measures up to your projections. This neatly provides you with the information you need to make informed business decisions and grow. What is also super cool is that LivePlan integrates with QuickBooks and Xero. No manual data entry required.
Excellent customer service when you need it
Whether you’re just starting out and need in-depth support, or you’re an experienced business owner, LivePlan’s Help Center includes comprehensive articles to answer all your questions. If you can’t find the help you’re looking for from the Help Center, you can turn to the Customer Advocacy Team by chatting directly with them. They also have a support number to reach them by phone or feel free to email them outside of business hours. No matter what questions you may have, you can be sure you’ll get the assistance you need.
What we love most about LivePlan
When you’re running a business, you always need to anticipate the “what if” scenarios. What if sales are better or worse than expected? What if you need to hire more support staff? What if you paid off that business loan? LivePlan allows you to proactively contemplate these scenarios and get a solid picture of how they would affect your financials. This is our favorite feature because the business landscape is ever-evolving and LivePlan makes it so easy to stay ahead of the game.
LivePlan hosts a slew of spectacular features at an affordable price that small business owners can benefit from. Check out the features and pricing in more detail. If you need assistance with financial forecasting and reports, we’re here to help. Feel free to schedule a consultation or give us a call at (401) 264-1975.