Press Room

10/22/2015

EquityNet Featured In PC Magazine

Below is an article by PC Magazine entitled "The Best Business Planning Software of 2015"

The Best Business Planning Software of 2015
By Esther Schindler, PC Magazine
October 22, 2015

Starting a new entrepreneurial endeavor is always exciting but the hard part is making a business successful. That requires a clear vision and the people and resources to implement it. To acquire those resources, you need a business plan to explain the transformation from your vision into reality. For many people, making an idea come true isn't intimidating. But asking for money, talking about oneself, and explaining your strengths? That's downright terrifying.

People write business plans for two primary reasons: to acquire funding or to document the company's intended direction. That is, you want a bank loan, venture capital (VC) funding, or other help to get your start-up off the ground. Either that or you've had enough debate and a business plan is the most concrete way to get everyone's agreement on "This is what we're doing, right?!"

In both cases, the business owner has to do something scary: Create a structured document with lots of numbers and compelling prose, with the awareness that this pitch is make-or-break for the company's vision. That's a tough job. It's hard to express your product's unique selling points, analyze competitors' strengths and weaknesses, and back up your assertions about why you need this much money. Believe me, I know. In my pre-journalistic life, I wrote two in-depth business plans. One plan taught me that I didn't have what it took to pull off that project and the other plan got my start-up business accepted by a VC conference.

So, when we lack expertise, we should ask for help. Software with "follow the bouncing ball" instructions for business plans can serve the same role as online accounting services because, in each case, you rely on specialists to walk you through the process.

The five online business planning software solutions I examine in this roundup—Enloop, EquityNet, Palo Alto Software LivePlan, StratPad, and the Business Plan Shop—each promise to help you construct a polished business plan, with all of the numbers and narrative you need. All of them certainly do deliver on that promise and none of them are bad choices. However, a few of them provide additional services such as connecting you to funding sources (EquityNet gets a nod here) or comparing your plan to others' plans in your industry (such as what Enloop's performance score does).