PROS / This program lets you import financials from your accounting program.
CONS / It doesn't have templates, which makes it more difficult to write a business plan.
VERDICT / Ultimate Business Planner helps you quickly determine if your business idea is worth pursuing or if you need to rethink your vision for a more successful venture.
Ultimate Business Planner business plan software is different from other programs we reviewed because it walks you through the financial sections of your plan first. Within a few minutes, you have a clear financial picture whether your business idea is feasible or not. Other business plan writers save this step for last, so you often don't know if your idea is really worth it until after you've written the entire plan. Ultimate Business Planner reverses these steps so you quickly know if you should proceed with your plan, tweak it or scrap it altogether. This is a real time-saving feature.
This business plan software application isn't as easy to navigate as the other 10 business plan programs we reviewed. For example, the transition between tabs and each creation step isn't as smooth. However, it has all the basic document-creation tools you need to write a start-up business plan, including spell check and image importing. It also gives you access to several financial-analysis tools to help you calculate, assess and create charts to show future projections and project budgets. You can import your financial information from QuickBooks, which makes financial statements even easier to include.
This software has sample small business plans you can browse through either for information or inspiration, such as certain points you may want to integrate in your own business plan. You do have to write your plan from scratch since this software doesn't include templates.
Ultimate Business Planner really shines in the area of extra guidance and research resources. Along with the business plan-writing program, you have access to experts to help you fine-tune your plan or locate important statistics, legal advice and potential investors. Its website includes video tutorials, links to important business publications and resources, and helpful business tips for keeping your start-up going strong.
The best part of Ultimate Business Planner's program is the placement of the financial analysis at the beginning of the process. This helps you determine from the beginning whether your business idea will be profitable or if you need to rework it before spending hundreds of hours writing a small business plan. Although this program doesn't have templates you can use and edit, it has a variety of sample plans you can read through to get inspiration for your business venture.