The 3 Ultimate Free Business Plan Software

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Free business plan software options

Non-software options for business plan creation, final thoughts, related reading.

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A new business generally needs two things. First, it needs a reason to exist. What are you going to bring to the marketplace that no one else is providing or how are you going to provide an existing product in a “better” fashion? Second, you’re going to need some cash. Even if you’re just going to be making websites in your bedroom, you’ll need some money for internet access, food, and some software or hosting.


These two problems can both be addressed through a solid business plan.

A business plan tells you – and anyone you decide to share it with – what your core function is. It helps you focus in on the things that you do best and it gives you metrics to determine what your success looks like. I say, “It gives you,” but really it’s just a template for managing your own thoughts.

In the same way that a blueprint is the physical manifestation of a building plan, a business plan is the physical manifestation of your business goals. Could you build a house without drawing up a blueprint? Sure. Is it a super good idea that we’re all about to adopt? Not even close.

In addition to putting your own thoughts on paper and making the organization process more structured, a good business plan is also your pitch. When you go into the bank, you’re going in with a clear message about what you do, who buys it, and how much you’re expecting them to spend with you over time.

The forecasting and economic consolidation that happens in your business plan makes talking to the bank – or VC or neighbor or rich uncle – that much easier.

To help you pull a plan together, there are – of course – plenty of software solutions. These range from the simple to the complex. You can opt for a solution that basically just lays the material you create out or one that helps you with every step of the process.

Today, we’ll look a few free business plan software options to help get you started. I’ll also give you a few non-software solutions, just in case you want to get your hands a bit dirty.

This article looks at three free business plan software options. See the full list of free business plan software solutions here .

Note: Your hands may not get dirty, except in a metaphorical sense. Much depends on the type of pen you employ.

1. StratPad

StratPad is a cloud-based business plan software solution. There are a few different versions, depending on how many business plans you want to make, but for one plan, you can get a free account. As an additional little bonus, if you happen to teach business at a high school or university, StratCloud has a free version of its Unlimited offering. Interested in products with similar features? These StratPad alternatives could be what you are looking for.

That little bonus points to what StratCoud is really all about. The company provides workshops, videos, and educational blogs for entrepreneurs. It makes the bulk of its revenue not through subscriptions, but through the introductions it provides via StratPad Connect.

There, business coaches, accountants, and other professionals can connect with new businesses. Those leads generate a small fee from the professional, paid to StratPad. You’re not paying, so you’re the product – but it’s a pretty tame version of the old adage.

StratPad comes with follow along instructions and ends up generating a very clean and classic looking business plan. I like the layout of the system and I’m apparently not the only one. StratPad claims over 100,000 businesses are currently using its service.

Enloop is another free option for those seeking a single business plan. The company attempts to bring a little bit of credibility with its offering by scoring your business plan. Once it’s been scored, bankers or investors can look to see how well you did.

The score encompasses some basics like cash flow and growth. It updates as you update the document, so you can see what metrics are having the biggest – in Enloop’s mind – impact on your business’s viability. Sharing the actual score is only available to paid users.

Enloop also makes it easy to collaborate on plans, and the free version of the service gives you one additional user. You’ll be able to forecast up to 36 months out for financials, and all of it can be dropped into a PDF. Want to find software solutions with comparable features? These Enloop alternatives are a good place to start.

3. Plan Cruncher

This is my wildcard entry into the mix. Plan Cruncher isn’t really a business plan software. Instead, it takes the information you give it and generates a sort of elevator pitch/cover letter for your business plan.

When you’ve input all the details, you’ll end up with a one-page overview of the business, including what you’re going to do, who’s involved in the project, where you are in the funding process, and what you’re looking for next.

I like this for two reasons. First, it’s kinda fun. The final product is covered in these little logos that Plan Cruncher has come up with, so you get a nice visual view of the business. Second, it makes you summarize the whole thing. You’ll be entering details in 140 character boxes and chopping your offering down into small consumable chunks. This is a great way to determine what the core parts of your business really are.

Plan Cruncher has just the one version. It’s free and you end up with a nice PDF when it’s all said and done. That being said, it is 100 percent focused on tech startups looking for cash from investors. If you roll into the bank with this thing, it better be because you’re the founder of Plan Cruncher and you brought it along to demonstrate what the service does. No banker is going to care about this.

Software doesn’t always have to be the solution. I mean, sure, you’ll need some software to make any business plan, but we’re talking about Microsoft Office style programs. These resources are excellent alternatives to software.

The Small Business Administration (SBA)

The SBA wants you to succeed in business and it’s got a whole host of resources to help you generate your own business plan on its website. One of the things you’ll miss out on by using software is a solid education.

By building your own plan, you’ll be forced to learn how the whole thing works, what investors are looking for, and what all the terms means. You’ll be forecasting and analyzing before you know it. The SBA has a great set of instructions on how to get up to speed before you head down to your bank.

Speaking of which…

Your bank [Wells Fargo as an example]

Many major banks have free business planning tools to help you get started. On the Wells Fargo site, for instance, you can learn about how business plans work, use some tools to bring the whole thing together, and even do some competitive analysis.

As a major benefit, you’ll be working with the company that you’re going to be asking for money, right out of the gates. If you don’t like your bank’s offering, you can always find another bank that has better tools. Most of them are available without an account.

The SCORE network

Another SBA shout out. The SCORE network hooks successful business folk up with the next crop of winners. You can reach out to knowledgeable, local, mentors who can help you craft a business plan. These people are there to help and to make business better.

That means 1) there’s not a cost associated with reaching out and 2) they’re not going to do your homework. If you show up with all your research and a good start, a mentor can help you put some finishing touches on or send you in search of more details. If you show up with nothing, expect to get nothing in return.

That’s probably a little unfair. I’m sure you can get help finding your way if you haven’t kicked things off yet. Just don’t expect to drop off your bank records and walk out with a plan that they’ve drawn up for you.

The Business Model Canvas (BMC)

We’ll end on another quirky one. The BMC was developed by Swiss business consultant Alexander Osterwalder. The BMC breaks a business into nine basic building blocks and then has you fill out all those blocks. The result is a sort of brainstorm of business planning that fits on a single page.

This is a popular framework for lean start-ups, as you can present the entirety of the plan in a single slide – with more detail than Plan Cruncher provides. If that sounds intriguing,  check out Alexander Cowan’s overview of the BMC for more details on how it actually works.

A business plan can help you understand and champion the growth of your business. Thinking through your business’s core functions and challenges can give you a better understanding of where you should be spending your time.

You’ll also be in a better position to get the funding you need, when you need it. Business planning may be the least exciting part of starting your business, but it’s one of the most important. If you’ve got any other tools or software options that you’ve used and loved, let me know in the comments.

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About the Author

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Andrew Marder

Andrew Marder is a former Capterra analyst.

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You've been dreaming of starting your own business. You've started with some concrete steps, and you're ready to put your proposal together. But how do you start, and how do you know when you have the right information?

How to get it done

Create a business plan with templates in Word:

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Start with a template

Download these templates from the Office Templates site to create your plan:

Fill in your Business plan .

Analyze your market with the Business market analysis template .

Detail your financials in a Financial plan .

Divide up the work and track deliverables with this Business plan checklist .

Wrap up with this Business startup checklist .

Need a little help?

Learn how to:

Start a document from a template .

Apply themes to change your plan's look.

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The #1 Free Business Plan Software

Plansnack Business Plan Template Screenshot

Business Plan Software

Business Plan Software

Trusted By Over 30 Million Users & Leading Brands

Why edrawmax to make your business plan, write and design custom business plans for free with easy-to-customize templates..

Strategic planning: A business plan software helps plan a business's long-term strategy for growth and expansion.

Finances distribution: You need finance and capital to start and run a business; a business plan allows you to allocate the financial resources in the right place.

Marketing strategy: Marketing is the key to running a successful business. A business plan enables you to follow a definite course to grab funds, shares, and customers.

for every need

Creating business plans is a breeze

Professionally designed templates: EdrawMax offers users pre-designed business plan templates that require customization.

Handy canvas and symbols: The canvas is easy to handle, and symbols are dragged and dropped to the page; there is no need to follow unnecessary steps.

Eye-catchy brand colors: A business plan has a background theme and a business logo that reflects your brand image. EdrawMax provides a custom brand color palette to choose a custom color among all the color shades.

create with EdrawMax

Share your Business Strategy

Share group folder: A group folder allows you to share a folder having files with your team members. You can add or remove any member from the folder.

Multiple export options: A business plan is shared with partners, employees, and stakeholders in different file formats. EdrawMax provides multiple formats like PDF, JPG, XLSX, PPTX, DOCX, HTML, SVG, VSDX, and PNG.

Send on social media: Share your Business Plan on different social media platforms and enable yourself to deliver all your business information to the relevant teams.


Deliver an engaging presentation

Accuracy checker: A business plan shout not have any mistakes and discrepancies because it is forwarded to officials. EdrawMax provides you with a spell-checker tool to achieve a mistake-free plan.

Find and review data: EdrawMax has a full-text search tool to compare your data and text across the document.

Detailed elaboration: Press the F5 key to enable full-screen mode. It will help you explain each point in detail and with more clarity.


More Features Of Business Plan Software

I make all the diagrams and maps using EdrawMax comprehensive tools and symbols, and these help me illustrate all my ideas and plans. I use connecting tools and drag and drop the symbols to the canvas. The export options have made my work a lot easier, and I can also export all my file into Visio format without any inconveniences.

I love how it is so easy to use and handle. The customer service is helpful, and I am learning new things to do with it. It has essential features like a spell-checker, community comment tool, team management.

The data import and export feature is so easy to do in EdrawMax. I can add my own saved data to the maps and diagrams, plus I can draw the required symbols if I don't find ones in the library. Using EdrawMax in multiple systems has made me work more efficiently.

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Starting a Business | Buyer's Guide

23 Best Free Business Software Solutions

Published October 16, 2020

Published Oct 16, 2020

Blake Stockton

WRITTEN BY: Blake Stockton

This article is part of a larger series on Starting a Business .

Free business software helps your company save money and become efficient. You can use free business tools to do accounting, accept payments, and pay employees. To evaluate and rank this kind of software, we analyzed features, overall quality, online user reviews, and our personal experience with the tools. Below is our list of 23 of the best free business software solutions available.

1. Wave: Free Accounting Software

Screenshot of Wave Dashboard

Wave has an easy to use dashboard that allows you to manage sales, accounting, banking, and payroll from one account.

Wave is an accounting, invoicing, and receipt tracking software for small businesses. We rank it as one of the best free accounting software available. Its free plan includes bank and credit card connections, unlimited income and expense tracking, and unlimited receipt scanning with Android and iOS apps.

Wave’s invoices have professional templates you can customize based on your business needs. The accounting software is cloud-based, so you can access it on any device with internet access.

With its free software, Wave is missing payroll abilities. For an additional monthly cost, you can do employee tasks like manage vacation time, calculate benefits, and pay your employees. Overall, Wave’s online user reviews indicate that users enjoy the software’s overall ease of use. User complaints center around tech issues and poor customer service.

2. Square: Free Point-Of-Sale Software for Small Retailers

Square magstripe reader for Android

The Square magstripe reader is available for both Android and Apple phones and tablets.

Square is a free point-of-sale (POS) software . A point-of-sale records and processes payments from customers. Overall, we consider Square the overall best free POS software .

When you sign up for a Square account, you receive a free magstripe reader. Included with the Square software are analytics and reporting, inventory management, and a basic customer relationship management (CRM) system. Additionally, you get a free Square online store that syncs your in-store and online inventory, so you know exactly how much product you have in stock.

The costs of Square come when you process a payment. For every swipe, Square charges 2.75%. So for every $100 paid from customers, you have $97.25 deposited in your bank account. The 2.75% rate is competitive with other payment processors.

Visit Square

3. Zoom: Free Video Conferencing Software

Screenshot of Zoom App on Mobile

Zoom is a cloud-based platform for video and audio conferencing, chat, and webinars. Its free accounts provide unlimited one-on-one meetings and group video conferences limited to 40 minutes and 100 participants. All video calls are fully secured with SSL and AES 256-bit encryption.

A unique feature of Zoom is its active speaker view, which is a dynamic technology that shifts the video feed to the current speaker. With this, you don’t need active video management.

Zoom’s free version is missing reporting features. So, you can’t see how many meetings are being held in your organization or how many people are attending.

If you’re a consultant or coach doing one-on-one meetings, the free version of Zoom is all you need to have successful video calls. During video meetings, you can teach and show examples by sharing your computer screen. You can also record your screen for the client to listen to or watch at a later date. Additionally, during the meeting, you can send links from Zoom’s chat feature.

4. Google Docs: Free Document and File Storage

Screenshot of Google Docs Personal and Business

Google Docs allows users to edit a document at the same time from two different computers and locations.

Google Docs is part of a suite of free cloud-based tools provided by Google. With Google Docs, you can create word processing documents and share them with team members. The team members can edit the documents at the same time.

All the writing and edits are saved in real time. Google Docs is a great free alternative to Microsoft Word. A downside of the free version of Google Doc is its storage is capped at 15GB.

Many business owners struggle with figuring out how to share documents, photos, and videos with co-workers or remote workers. Something unique about Google Docs is the ability to upload photos, images, and documents and share a link with whoever needs to download them. This saves time because you don’t have to share the photos or documents from a physical device like a USB flash drive. Additionally, your business documents, photos, and videos will never get lost or misplaced because they are stored in the cloud.

Visit Google Docs

5. Zoho CRM: Free Customer Relationship Management Software

Screenshot of Zoho Crm Marketing Attribution

Zoho CRM’s marketing attribution dashboard

A customer relationship management (CRM) system helps businesses and sales teams manage customer relationships. Zoho CRM is the most comprehensive free CRM solution on the market. We consider Zoho CRM to be the best free CRM available.

One of its top free features is its marketing automation, which other free CRMs typically charge for. Along with 10 email marketing templates and email marketing authentication tools, Zoho CRM includes a website visitor tracking system that tracks leads as they go through your sales pipeline.

Visit Zoho CRM

6. Homebase: Free Employee Scheduling Software

Screenshot of Homebase Mobile App

The Homebase mobile app allows employees to see their upcoming shifts and schedule shifts in advance.

Homebase is a software that helps you manage appointments or shift scheduling. It is one of our top-rated free employee scheduling software .

The free version of Homebase is for one location and an unlimited number of employees. It includes features like scheduling, time sheets, a time clock, reporting, and the mobile app. Restaurants, hair salons, retail stores, spas, and massage businesses all benefit from a scheduling software.

What the free version is missing is SMS messaging and mobile GPS clock-in. If you need to send reminders to customers about their upcoming appointments, you have to pay an additional cost. If you have off-site employees and want to use the GPS clock-in to confirm their locations, you need to pay an additional cost as well.

Visit Homebase

7. Freshdesk: Free Customer Support Software

Screenshot of Freshdesk Dashboard

Freshdesk gives you the ability to track customer support tickets with an analytics dashboard.

Freshdesk is a customer support (help desk) software that helps organize support request tickets in order of receipt and ticket communication with customers. This is helpful for businesses that have a product or service that customers may need assistance with.

Many business owners use a support ticket software if they find email to be too complicated to manage their customer support. A con to Freshdesk’s free version is the inability to automate tickets using time and event-based triggers.

The Freshdesk software also helps you create a “knowledge base” to display on your website. A knowledge base is similar to an in-depth frequently asked questions (FAQs) section on a website. Customers use the knowledge base to answer their own questions and resolve their issues. Additionally, if you’re communicating with the customer through email, you can link to your article, answering the customer’s question without having to type out the full answer.

Visit Freshdesk

8. Mailchimp: Free Email Marketing Software

Screenshot of Mailchimp Dashboard

The Mailchimp dashboard provides easy to read analytics on recent analytics and overall email list growth.

Mailchimp is a web-based email marketing software. You need an email marketing software, in addition to using an email provider like Gmail, so you can send an email out to hundreds or thousands of customers at once.

Additionally, you can use Mailchimp to tag customers based on certain behaviors, like purchasing, and to send emails to targeted customer lists. This is helpful when you want to send a specific message to a group of customers.

For example, if you operate a residential maintenance business, you can tag customers by certain services they received, like gutter cleaning, pressure washing, landscaping, and snow shoveling. Once you tag customers according to their previous service, you can send a targeted email reminding them they can receive the service again. As a general marketing rule, the more targeted an email is, the more likely a recipient will open and respond to it.

There are a few downsides to Mailchimp’s free email marketing plan. You won’t be able to use custom branding on the emails. You also cannot A/B test different subject lines in the same email campaign; this determines which subject lines receive a higher open rate. Additionally, you don’t get access to all email templates.

Visit Mailchimp

9. Free Payroll Software

Screenshot of Payroll4Free Features for Under 25 Employees or Contractors

These features are all free if you have under 25 employees or contractors. is a completely free payroll software—we rated it as the best free payroll software available for under 25 employees. The program’s free features include pack check calculations, form preparation, and reports on earnings. also includes QuickBooks integration.

What the software is missing is that it doesn’t file your taxes or provide year-end W-2s or 1099s. Overall, the reviews for are positive. However, there have been complaints regarding its slow customer service for free users of the software.


10. Canva: Free Graphic Design Software

Screenshot of Canva Dashboard

Canva has dozens of photo editing tools like cropping photos to get the perfect image for your business’s marketing.

Canva is a free tool that helps you design graphic images such as logos, posters, flyers, and social media photos. Many small business owners use Canva to design social media images. Canva has preset sizes for social media images like the Facebook banner and YouTube thumbnail.

One great part of Canva is its free educational tools. You can enroll in its free online design school to watch tutorials on applying color palettes, creating animated GIFs, and designing Instagram Highlights.

Canva’s free version is missing some features like downloadable designs with transparent backgrounds. With paid versions, you receive access to over 400,000 free photos, templates, and illustrations; you can also use branding features with the ability to upload custom fonts and color palettes.

Visit Canva

11. Sumo: Free Website Tools to Automate Growth

Screenshot of Sumo for Desktop and Mobile

Sumo provides free tools to grow your email list like a customizable pop-up to collect emails, which is optimized for both computer and mobile.

Sumo provides a suite of free tools that help you turn your website visitors into customers. All tools come with free options that can be upgraded for additional customization, features, and analytics. One of Sumo’s appealing aspects is that it’s no cost to integrate its tools with platforms like WordPress, Shopify, BigCommerce, and Magento.

One of the most popular tools from Sumo is List Builder, which is a pop-up that uses smart technology. The technology tracks when website visitors are most likely to enter their email address and shows the form at that time. Another popular tool Sumo created is the Welcome Mat, which is a pop-up that fits the entire screen after a page is loaded. This is a great way to direct a website visitor’s attention to a discount or freebie.

12. Hootsuite: Free Social Media Management

Screenshot of Hootsuite Providing a Content Calendar

Hootsuite provides a content calendar so you can visually and easily see what type of social media content will be posted.

Hootsuite is a social media management platform that lets you plan social media content in advance of posting. Manage posts and interact with comments from social media accounts like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Hootsuite’s free plan is limited to one user, three social media profiles, and 30 scheduled posts. However, that is plenty of in-advance content for the average small business. Once you see results, you can upgrade to the professional plan with unlimited scheduling.

Something unique about Hootsuite is its mobile app. If you’re away from your computer, you can still schedule social media posts in advance through your phone. You can also reply to comments on any social platform and assign inbound messages to team members.

Visit Hootsuite

13. Free Website and Blog Builder

Screenshot of WordPress Free Website Builder has dozens of free website templates for you to choose from. is a free website builder and content management system. This is different from, which is a more complicated (and robust) website platform. is a great free option for a small business on a budget.

If you start with the website builder, you can eventually transition your content to With its free option, offers 3GB of storage, which is more than enough for the average small business.

Free hosting (space on a server where your website information is stored) is included with The only required cost is purchasing a domain name, which is the www.(yourcompanyname).com or your web address, and this is around $12 a year. Additionally, you can choose to create a blog instead of a business website. A blog organizes content in chronological order, whereas a website has more flexibility but is less organized.


14. Trustpilot: Free Tool to Get Online Reviews

Screenshot of Reviews on Trustpilot

Get a profile page from Trust Pilot that showcases your business’s online reviews in one place.

Trustpilot’s free version comes feature-rich to help you obtain and share online reviews from customers. You will be notified of every new review that comes through Trustpilot’s review link. If there is a negative review, you have the ability to respond.

Every month, you can send up to 100 verified invitations for customer reviews, which means customers are asked for documentation proving they bought your product or service.

Integrate product reviews on ecommerce websites such as Shopify, WooCommerce, and BigCommerce. Additionally, you can embed Trustpilot’s review form on your website and direct customers to visit your website to leave a review.

There are sharing features included in Trustpilot’s free software plan. Once your business gets a positive review, share it to Facebook, Google My Business, LinkedIn, or Twitter directly from the Trustpilot dashboard.

Visit Trustpilot

15. Nav: Free Business Credit Reports

Screenshot of Nav Business Credit Score

Nav has an easy to read dashboard for reviewing your business’s credit score.

Nav provides free personal and business credit reports. Business credit can affect whether you qualify for loans and leases, get favorable terms from suppliers, or win bids on government contracts. You can establish business credit by opening a business bank account and getting a D-U-N-S Number with Dun & Bradstreet. You can also build business credit by using its credit cards and working with vendors that report payments.

In addition to the credit reports, Nav provides free fraud monitoring with 24/7 alerts. You also have access to a one-on-one consultation with a lending specialist. Nav provides this consultation, because once you know your business credit and build it up, you can eventually purchase one of Nav’s business lending products like a loan, line of credit, or invoice financing.

What you can get in Nav’s paid version is $1 million in identity theft insurance protection.

16. Trello: Free Visual Project Management Software

Screenshot of Trello Boards

Trello allows you to create project management cards containing information like to-dos, attached documents, labels, and messages.

Trello is a Kanban-style project management solution, which focuses on balance of work load. You can use it to organize several aspects of your business such as clients, projects, and to-do lists. We consider Trello as one of the best free project management software available.

You’re able to add due dates to Trello’s individual cards to keep on top of deadlines. The software can be used on web, mobile, and desktop.

Online user reviews for Trello are generally positive. Users say they like the user-friendly and intuitive interface. They also enjoy features like the card activity history, and third-party app integrations like Slack and Jira.

Negative user reviews centered around the software being too simple for more complicated project management and difficulties with finding a specific card on the activity board.

Visit Trello

17. Evernote: Free Note Taking and Organizing App

Screenshot of Evernote Individual Project

Evernote provides note taking templates for business related tasks.

Evernote is an app that allows you to record and organize notes, files, photos, and voice memos. It’s cloud-based, which means it can be accessed on any device. A unique feature that Evernote has is that it integrates with the Google and Siri digital assistant, so you can record notes by voice and without having to open the app. Additionally, once you record a note in Evernote, you can send it to employees even if they don’t have the app.

Visit Evernote

18. Hunter: Free Email Address Finder

Screenshot of Hunter Search Results

Hunter provides email addresses in an easy to read pop-up screen.

Hunter is a software that searches for emails listed on a particular website. This tool saves you time by not searching the website looking for available email addresses, which are sometimes hidden. When searching for emails, you can filter by the type of email, for example, “contact@…”

Additionally, you can search by a person’s name, which can be a huge time saver if thousands of emails are available on the company’s website. Hunter’s features benefit anyone in public relations or business development who needs to get in contact with a specific person.

Something unique Hunter provides is the most common email structure the company uses. This helps you accurately guess an email address that isn’t publicly available. For example, Hunter will say “{first}” to indicate most emails at this company are simply the person’s first name. When Hunter does provide an email address, it indicates if the email is verified with a green check badge so that you can email the recipient with confidence.

Visit Hunter

19. AND.CO: Free Proposal & Invoice Software

Screenshot of And.Co App for Mobile and Desktop

AND.CO has a desktop and mobile version so you can track time worked from your phone.

AND.CO is an invoicing, proposal, and expense tracking software. In its free pricing plan, you are able to add one active client and only use AND.CO’s standard contracts. If you’re a startup or new to contracts, this is a great opportunity to learn more about important sections and clauses in business contract agreements.

There are several other tools you can take advantage of with AND.CO’s free plan. You can create invoices for your client and receive payments at a competitive payment processing rate in addition to managing and organizing your projects with its task management software.

If you’re working for a client by the hour, you can use AND.CO to track your time and easily send invoices for the time your work was recorded. Something missing with AND.CO’s free plan is the ability to edit contracts.

Visit AND.CO

20. JotForm: Free Online Forms

Screenshot of JotForm New Customer Registration Form

JotForm has dozens of pre-made business related templates to use, like New Customer Registration.

JotForm is an online form builder that can generate leads, collect payments, and distribute surveys. The forms are fully customizable to fit your brand, so you can add colors and your logo.

Additionally, you can use JotForm as a way to collect payments from clients. It integrates with over 30 payment processors. JotForm also integrates with online apps, like Mailchimp, Salesforce, and Google Drive, so you can automatically import information collected from the forms.

Online user reviews for JotForm are generally positive. Customers say that the form builder is easy to use and that they enjoy using the premade forms. Other customers like that they didn’t have to learn code to create the forms and are happy with the ability to add as many form conditions as they want. Complaints for JotForm were about how the collected information was unorganized and the low quality of PDF-based forms.

Visit JotForm

21. Mailtrack: Free Email Tracking for Gmail

Screenshot of Mailtrack Last Opened Emails on Laptop

Mailtrack has an easy to use dashboard interface that tells you what emails were opened or unopened.

Mailtrack is a free software that integrates with Gmail. It tells you when an email was opened by a recipient and how many times it was opened. You can enable real-time notifications that tell you the moment that an email was opened. Mailtrack’s free option allows for unlimited email tracking.

If you are doing a lot of networking and pitching through email, Mailtrack is indispensable. Many business owners believe that a potential customer or client is not interested in their product or service because they did not receive an email response. Before a business owner makes that assumption, they need to know if the email was ever opened. Mailtrack gives you the ability to know that firsthand for free.

Visit Mailtrack

22. SurveyMonkey: Free Online Surveys

Screenshot of SurveyMonkey Mobile App

Survey Monkey comes mobile friendly.

Before rolling out a new product, service, or feature, it’s common for businesses to survey their customers. SurveyMonkey provides free online surveys that you can customize and send to customers. Its free plan is limited to 10 questions or elements per survey and is limited to 100 responses. This is still a great option for a startup to get feedback from early customers on their experience using its products or services.

Surveys on SurveyMonkey come fully customizable. You can also choose from the templated surveys like customer satisfaction, event surveys, job satisfaction, and employee engagement.

SurveyMonkey has a mix of positive and negative user reviews. There have been complaints about the limited features with the free software. Other users enjoy the robust mobile app and numerous integrations it has with other software applications.

Visit Survey Monkey

23. Evite: Free Online Invitation Software

Screenshot of Evite Custom Invitation

Evite allows you to customize the content of your e-invitation like Title, Type, Host, Time, and Description.

Evite is software that provides free online invitations and helps manage the guest list. There are pre-designed e-invitations that are customizable for occasions like networking events, retirements and farewells, fundraisers, real estate open house, and general meetings. Evite also has a mobile app available for both Apple and Android. You can use the app to create and manage your event.

With Evite, you can also encourage event attendees to take photos and upload them to the event’s private feed. This is a great way to gather social media content for future use. Evite has a unique feature that allows you to encourage event invitees to contribute to a crowdfunding campaign with a link in the e-invitation. This is an excellent option if you need to raise capital before opening your business.

Visit Evite

Bottom Line

Free business software is a great way to save money and be more productive in your business. If you’re starting a business , then the above free business tools are a low-risk test as you figure out the best systems and software for you. If you like them, keep them and possibly expand their features with a paid version. If you don’t like them, stop using the software with no-added costs to your business.

About the Author

Blake Stockton

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Blake Stockton

Blake Stockton is a staff writer at Fit Small Business focusing on how to start brick-and-mortar and online businesses. He is a frequent guest lecturer at several undergraduate business and MBA classes at University of North Florida . Prior to joining Fit Small Business, Blake consulted with over 700 small biz owners and assisted with starting and growing their businesses.

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Home > Business > Business Startup

  • 5 Best Business Plan Software and Tools in 2023 for Your Small Business

4.5 out of 5 stars

Data as of 3 /13/23 . Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

Chloe Goodshore

We are committed to sharing unbiased reviews. Some of the links on our site are from our partners who compensate us. Read our editorial guidelines and advertising disclosure .

A business plan can do a lot for your business. It can help you secure investors or other funding. It can give your company direction. It can keep your finances healthy. But, if we’re being honest, it can also be a pain to write.

Luckily, you don’t have to start from scratch or go it alone. Business plan software and services can help you craft a professional business plan, like our top choice LivePlan , which provides templates, guidance, and more.

You’ve got quite a few choices for business plan help, so we’re here to help you narrow things down. Let’s talk about the best business plan tools out there.

  • LivePlan : Best overall
  • BizPlanBuilder : Most user-friendly
  • Wise Business Plans : Best professional service
  • Business Sorter : Best for internal plans
  • : Most extra features
  • Honorable mentions

Business plan software 101

The takeaway, business plan software faq, compare the best business plan software.

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LivePlan: Best overall business plan software

Data as of 3 /13/23 . Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change. *With annual billing

LivePlan has been our favorite business plan software for a while now, despite the stiff competition.

There’s a lot to like about LivePlan. It has pretty much all the features you could want from your business plan software. LivePlan gives you step-by-step instructions for writing your plan, helps you create financial reports, lets you compare your business’s actual financials to your plan’s goals, and much more. And if you ever need inspiration, it includes hundreds of sample business plans that can guide your writing.

LivePlan software pricing

But the best part? You get all that (and more) at a very competitive price. (You can choose from annual, six-month, or monthly billing.) While LivePlan isn’t quite the cheapest business plan builder out there, it’s not too far off either. And if comes with a 60-day money back guarantee. So there’s no risk in trying LivePlan out for yourself.

With a great balance of features and cost, LivePlan offers the best business plan solution for most businesses.

BizPlanBuilder: Most user-friendly

Need something easy to use? BizPlanBuilder fits the bill.

BizPlanBuilder doesn’t have a flashy, modern user interface―but it does have a very clear, intuitive one. You’ll be able to see your plan’s overall structure at a glance, so you can quickly navigate from your title page to your market trend section to that paragraph on your core values. And as you write, you’ll use a text editor that looks a whole lot like the word processing programs you’re already familiar with.

BizPlanBuilder software pricing

Data effective 3/13/23. At publishing time, amounts, rates, and requirements are current but are subject to change. Offers may not be available in all areas.

BizPlanBuilder also offers lots of helpful guidance for actually writing your plan. It gives you pre-written text, in which you just have to fill in relevant details. It offers explanations for what information you need to include in each section of your plan and way. It even gives you helpful tips from experts, so you’ll have all the information you need to plan like a pro.

So if you want planning software with almost no learning curve, you’ll like BizPlanBuilder.

Wise Business Plans: Best professional service

  • Custom quote

Unlike all the other companies on this list, Wise Business Plans doesn’t offer software. Instead, it offers professional business plan writing services―meaning someone does all the hard work for you.

Now, you might think that sounds expensive―and you’re probably right (you have to request a custom quote for your plan). But there’s a lot to be said for expertise, and Wise Business Plans has plenty of that. Your business plan will get written by an experienced writer (with an MBA, no less). They’ll get information from you, do their own research, and then write your plan. You get one free revision, and you can always pay for more.  

Wise Business Plans service pricing

Your end result will be a polished, entirely original business plan. (You can even get printed copies.) And best of all, you won’t have to spend your precious time working on the plan yourself. Wise Business Plans takes care of all the hard parts, and makes your business look good while doing it. Sounds like a service worth paying for, right?

Put simply, if you want the most professional business plan possible, we recommend using Wise Business Plans’s writing service.

Business Sorter: Best for internal plans

Many businesses need plans to show to people outside the company (to get financing, for example). But what if you just need a plan for internal use? In that case, we suggest Business Sorter.

Business Sorter uses a unique card-based method to help you craft the perfect business plan. (You can watch a demo video to see how it works.) You’ll plan some of the usual things, like finances and marketing. But Business Sorter also lets you make plans for specific teams and team members. It also emphasizes more internal matters, like operations, that might get overlooked in a business plan for outsiders.

Business Sorter software pricing

After you’ve made your business plan, Business Sorter also helps you stay accountable to it. You can create tasks, give them deadlines, and assign them to team members―giving you basic project management tools to make sure your business plans become business actions. (Oh, and did we mention that Business Sorter has the lowest starting prices of any software on this list?)

It all adds up to a business plan software that works great for internal planning.

GoSmallBiz: Most extra features

Want to get way more than just business planning software? Then you probably want GoSmallBiz.

See, GoSmallBiz offers business plan software as part of its service―but it’s just one part of a much bigger whole. You also get everything from discounts on legal services to a website builder to a CRM (customer relationship manager) to business document templates. And more. In other words, you get just about everything you need to get your startup off the ground.

GoSmallBiz software pricing

Don’t worry though―you still get all the business planning help you need. GoSmallBiz gives you business plan templates, step-by-step instructions, and the ability to create financial projections. And if you get stuck, GoSmallBiz will put you in touch with experts who can offer advice.

If you want business planning and much, much more, give GoSmallBiz a try.

  • PlanGuru : Best financial forecasting
  • EnLoop : Cheapest tool for startups

We recommend the software above for most business planning needs. Some businesses, though, might be interested in these more specialized planning software.

Honorable mention software pricing

Planguru: best financial forecasting features.

Plan Guru

PlanGuru is pretty pricey compared to our other picks, but you might find its forecasting features worth paying for. It has more forecasting methods than other software (over 20) plus it lets you forecast up to 10 years.

EnLoop: Cheapest tool for startups

enloop logo

EnLoop doesn’t have our favorite features or interface, but it does have really, really low pricing plus a seven-day free trial. It's the most affordable software for startup business planning and still provides all the essential features like financial analysis, team collaboration, charting, and more.

Data as of 3 /13/23 . Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change. * With annual billing

Several of our previous favorite planning software, including BusinessPlanPro and StratPad, seem to have gone out of business.

A business plan is a written, living document that tells the story of your business and what you plan to do with it. It serves as the source of truth for you—the business owner—as well as potential partners, employees, and investors, but it also serves as a roadmap of what you want your business to be.

Why you need a business plan

While some small-business owners don’t see the point of creating a formal business plan, it can have some concrete benefits for your business. For example, one 2016 study found that business owners with written plans are more successful than those that don’t. 1

Still too vague? Then let’s get specific.

If you ever seek business funding (from, say, banks, angel investors , or venture capitalists ), you’ll have to prove that your business deserves the money you want. A formal business plan―complete with financial data and projections―gives you a professional document you can use to make your case. (In fact, most potential investors will expect you to have a business plan ready.)

Even if you’re not seeking funding right now, a business plan can help your business. A formal plan can guide your business’s direction and decision making. It can keep your business accountable (by, for example, seeing if your business meets the financial projections you included). And a formal plan offers a great way to make sure your team stays on the same page.

What to include in your business plan

Not all business plans are created equal. To make a really useful business plan, you’ll want to include a number of elements:

  • Basic information about your business
  • Your products/services
  • Market and industry analysis
  • What makes your business competitive
  • Strategies and upcoming plans
  • Your team (and your team’s background)
  • Current financial status
  • Financial and market projections
  • Executive summary

Of course, you can include more or fewer elements―whatever makes sense for your business. Just make sure your business plan is comprehensive (but not overwhelming).

How business plan software can help

With so many elements to include, business plan creation can take a while. Business plan software tries to speed things up.

Most business plan software will include prompts for each section. In some cases, you can just fill in your business’s specific information, and the software will write the text for you. In other cases, the software will give you specific guidance and examples, helping you write the text yourself.

Plus, business plan software can help you stay organized. You’ll usually get intuitive menus that let you quickly flip through sections. So rather than endlessly scrolling through a long document in a word processor, you can quickly find your way around your plan. Some software even lets you drag and drop sections to reorganize your plan.

Sounds way easier than just staring at a blank page and trying to start from scratch, right?

Choosing business plan software

To find the right business plan builder for your business, you’ll want to compare features. For example, would you rather write your own text, getting prompts and advice from your software? Or would you rather go with a fill-in-the-blank method?

Likewise, think about the elements you need. If your plan will have a heavy focus on finances, you’ll want to choose business plan software with robust financial projection features. If you care more about market and competitor analysis, look for software that can help with that research.

You may also want to find business plan software that integrates with your business accounting software . Some plan builders will import data from Xero, QuickBooks, etc. to quickly generate your financial data and projections.

And of course, you’ll want to compare prices. After all, you always want to end up with software that fits your business budget.

The right business plan software can make your life easier. With LivePlan ’s wide breadth of features and online learning tools, you can’t go wrong. Plus, BizPlanBuilder 's one-time pricing makes it easy to invest while Business Sorter has a low starting cost. And if you're business is looking to grow, GoSmallBiz and Wise Business Plans will scale with you.

But of course, different companies have different needs. So shop around until you find the software that’s best for you and your business.

Now that you've got a business plan, take a look at our checklist for starting a small business.  It can help you make sure you have everything else you need to get your startup off to a good start!

Related content

  • 7 Steps to Build a Successful Project Management Sales Plan
  • Best Project Management Software and Tools in 2023
  • 4 Cost Management Techniques for Small Businesses

Creating a business plan can take anywhere from a couple hours to several weeks. Your timeline will depend on things like the elements you choose to include, whether you use software or hire a writing service, and how much research goes into your plan.

That said, much of the business plan software out there brags that it can help you create a fairly detailed plan in a few hours. So if you’re going the software route, that can help you set your expectations.

If you want to get the most out of your business plan, you should update it on a regular basis―at least annually. That way, you can continually refer to it to inform your company’s strategies and direction.  

At the very least, you should update your business plan before you start looking for a new round of funding (whether that’s with investors or lenders).

Thanks to business plan software, you can easily write your own business plan rather than pay someone to do it for you. And in most cases, software will cost you less than a professional business plan service.

There are some times you might want to go with a service though. If time is tight, you might find that it’s worth the cost of a service. Or if you’ve got big investor meetings on the horizon, you might want the expertise and polish that a professional service can offer.

Ultimately, you’ll have to decide for yourself whether business plan software or a business plan service will work better for your company.


We ranked business plan software and tools based on features, pricing and plans, and connections to project management and other services. The value of each plan and service, along with what it offers, was a big consideration in our rankings, and we looked to see if what was offered was useful to small businesses or just extra. The final thing we looked at was the ease of use of the software to see if it's too complex for small businesses.

At, our research is meant to offer general product and service recommendations. We don't guarantee that our suggestions will work best for each individual or business, so consider your unique needs when choosing products and services.

Sources 1. Harvard Business Review, “ Research: Writing a Business Plan Makes Your Startup More Likely to Succeed .” Accessed March 13, 2023.


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The best free project management software

These are the 8 best options for free task management software that will get the job done—and then some..

Hero image with the logos of the best free project management software

Everyone has a different way of managing projects. Some people like to use their inbox to keep track of tasks. Others prefer to visualize work on a Kanban board or in a calendar view, while some even prefer the old pen and paper system.

That's fine on an individual level, but when you collaborate on projects as a team, you need a flexible and capable project management tool that works for everyone. And with so many teams still working remotely, there's an even more pressing need for a task management app that can help track projects, collaborate, and keep everyone in the loop.

As a freelance writer, I've worked inside tons of different project management setups across my clients—I've seen how each app approaches the standard features, the potential of great, streamlined collaboration, and the consequences of poor project management.

The 8 best free project management tools

Trello for visually managing projects

Asana for teams

ClickUp for customized task views

Wrike for spreadsheet-like features

ActiveCollab for freelancers and small agency teams

Airtable for building a customized project management app

GoodDay for multiple project management methodologies

Jira for developers

What makes the best free project management tool?

How we evaluate and test apps.

All of our best apps roundups are written by humans who've spent much of their careers using, testing, and writing about software. We spend dozens of hours researching and testing apps, using each app as it's intended to be used and evaluating it against the criteria we set for the category. We're never paid for placement in our articles from any app or for links to any site—we value the trust readers put in us to offer authentic evaluations of the categories and apps we review. For more details on our process, read the full rundown of how we select apps to feature on the Zapier blog .

To narrow down the list of the best free project management online tools, I looked for apps that met the following criteria:

Free for unlimited projects. All the project tracking software I chose lets you manage an unlimited number of projects for free (and include at least 10 users for free).

Hosted. There are a lot of great, free, self-hosted project management applications, but they take longer to set up and manage. I was looking at task management software that's hosted by the companies that provide the tools. If you're interested in free, self-hosted project management software, I'd recommend checking out Taiga , Lavagna , and Redmine .

Collaboration and sharing features. The free project management apps included here make it quick and easy to add team members to your project management setup and control user types and permissions.

Flexibility. The best project managers are flexible enough to handle multiple teams, project types, and organization styles, so I looked for apps that support a number of different views and project management methodologies .

Integrations. A great project tracker should fit seamlessly into the rest of your stack, so I've only included apps that integrate with other popular software like email and Slack, calendars, document storage, and more.

After filtering for those criteria, I ran each remaining contender through a similar testing protocol that included:

Going through the signup process and any onboarding provided

Creating a new project and choosing a primary methodology (Kanban, Scrum, Gantt, etc.) or view (list, table, calendar, etc.) for it

Creating a number of new tasks and adding various details, like due dates, links and attachments, user assignments, and more

Toggling between view options and testing out any additional methodologies offered

Inviting new users and setting permissions

Toggling between team-wide and individual views

Testing out any unique features like time tracking or client views

After running each app through that workflow, I landed on the top eight free online project manager tools you see below.

Note: I selected tools that offer web apps (though many offer synchronized web, mobile, and desktop apps). If it's not important to you that your project planner is accessible online, you may also want to consider ProjectLibre and GanttProject in addition to the apps listed below. Both of these tools are powerful desktop-only apps that are designed to be alternatives to Microsoft Project.

Need more features and have a bit more flexibility in your budget? Check out our recommendations for the best project management software for small business .

Best free project management software for visually managing projects

Trello (Web, macOS, Windows, iOS, Android)

Trello, our pick for the best free project management software for visually managing projects

Trello pros:

Super customizable boards with unlimited Power-Ups

Most visual UI of any of the apps I tested

Tons of templates to get you started

Trello cons:

Free users are limited to Kanban

User/team management features require an upgrade

Trello is simple project management software that gives you a way to organize your projects with Kanban boards. And with a generous free plan that allows for 10 boards and unlimited users, it's a tool that anyone can use. Freelancers can use Trello to plan their assignments on a personal board, and teams can use Trello to build a complete project workflow with visibility at every stage.

Start by creating a new board from scratch or choosing a template from dozens of options across marketing, sales, design, team management, and more. Add a handful of lists for your tasks (each list is a column), and customize those lists with the steps in your workflow (e.g., to-do, doing, and done) or as separate parts of your project (e.g., development, design, and distribution). Next, add your tasks as visual cards in each column—with labels, due dates, members, checklists, images, attachments, and comments to keep everything in one place.

As you start completing tasks, simply drag the cards to the appropriate list. You can keep track of all comments and tasks that mention you—or that you're watching—from the activity menu.

For more features, Trello's Power-Up options (now unlimited even on the free plan) let you view tasks on a calendar, add voting options on tasks, fade away old tasks automatically, and much more. And you can make Trello boards for everything —personal and work tasks alike—to get your work done in a way that best fits your needs.

For even more flexibility, use Trello's Zapier integrations to connect Trello with your favorite apps, like Gmail and Slack. Or check out these 6 ways to automate Trello .

Create Trello cards from new Typeform responses

Typeform logo

Create new Trello cards from new Google Calendar events

Google Calendar logo

Trello price: The free plan includes unlimited cards and members, 10 boards per workspace, unlimited Power-Ups, and 250 automated commands each month; upgrade for $5/user/month (billed annually) to the Standard plan that includes unlimited boards, custom fields, advanced checklists, up to 1,000 automated commands per month, and more.

Want to use Trello as a team? Learn how Trello uses Trello for its own project management needs. Want to use it as a personal to-do list? Here's how to use Trello for GTD .

Best free project management software for teams

Asana (Web, iOS, Android)

Asana, our pick for the best free project management software for teams

Asana pros:

Flexible with project management methodologies between projects and users

Great, focused My Tasks view

To-do list style made better with team features

Asana cons:

Most expensive upgrade on this list

Your to-do list isn't bad—you just need a few more features to manage your team projects. Asana offers just that. It's a project management tool that lets you break projects down into sections and sub-lists, along with dashboards to see how much of the project has been completed already. You'll add, rearrange, and complete tasks the same way you would in a to-do list app, but with the collaboration and organization features you need to work as a team.

For your personal tasks—or the things at work that don't fit into a precise project—you can make extra lists in Asana that are only shared with specific people. Your own assigned tasks will also show up in your My Tasks view for a quick way to see the things you need to take care of.

Whether you're working solo or with a team, you can automate Asana with Asana's Zapier integrations , letting you connect project information to other apps. Try one of the workflows below, or get inspiration from these automations from real users .

Create Google Calendar events from new Asana tasks

Asana logo

Create Asana tasks from new Google Forms responses

Google Forms logo

Asana price: The free Basic plan includes unlimited projects, tasks, and storage; up to 15 users; and list, board, and calendar views. Upgrade for $10.99/user/month (billed annually) to the Premium plan that includes project timelines, custom fields, task dependencies, and more.

Learn more about how to use Asana for GTD and how to take advantage of Asana's hidden features . Or see how ClickUp and Asana stack up in our comparison of ClickUp vs. Asana .

Best free project management software for customized task views

ClickUp (Web, iOS, Android)

ClickUp, our pick for the best free project management software for customized task views

ClickUp pros:

11 different task views and 4 page views to choose from

Super generous free plan

ClickUp cons:

More involved set-up process

Potential for some lag during testing

Most project management apps let you choose from only a handful of task views, like a list, calendar, or Kanban view. Additional views, especially Gantt charts, are usually a premium feature. ClickUp is different.

It's a simple and free project management app that lets you choose from 11 different task views, including Gantt charts and mind maps. There are also four different page views: Chat (which displays conversations alongside your tasks), Doc (which lets you create docs, wikis, and knowledge bases), Embed (to add apps and websites next to your tasks), and Form (to add a form next to your tasks to gather, organize, and collect data).

ClickUp's dashboards are just as customizable, letting you choose from more than 20 different widgets, so you can only highlight the most important project information.

There's a lot to parse when you're first getting started with ClickUp. The onboarding process won't be as simple as Trello, for example, but the extra customization is worth it—especially when it's completely free. Plus, the company has done a great job with guided in-app onboarding to get you started.

With ClickUp's Zapier integrations , you can connect ClickUp with your favorite apps. Try one of the automations below, or read about why ClickUp users love Zapier .

Create Google Calendar events from new ClickUp tasks

ClickUp logo

Add starred Gmail emails as tasks in ClickUp [Business Gmail Accounts Only]

Gmail logo

ClickUp price: The free plan includes unlimited tasks and users, up to 100MB of storage, and up to 100 uses of Gantt charts, mind maps, dashboards, and timeline views. Upgrade to the Unlimited plan for $5/user/month for unlimited list, board, calendar, and Gantt views, unlimited dashboards, and guests and permissions.

Tip: If you're a HubSpot user, you can create new tickets from ClickUp, and then use contact or customer information to launch personalized marketing campaigns.

Best free project management software for freelancers and small agency teams

ActiveCollab (Web, Windows, macOS, iOS, Android)

ActiveCollab, our pick for the best free project management software for freelancers and small agency teams

ActiveCollab pros:

Built-in features for time tracking, billing, and expenses

Capable user permissions

ActiveCollab cons:

Less flexible for use cases beyond client management

Free plan and Plus plans limited to 3 users

If you're looking to manage client projects and other details like invoicing and time tracking in one place, ActiveCollab is a great option.

Built for agencies and freelancers, the app includes thoughtful details to streamline client management. You can estimate and track time for each task, set the task as billable (or not), and manage expenses right from the task details screen.

Even the free plan includes capable user permissions that make it easy to let clients into your process without exposing anything you don't want to. Simply check the Hidden from clients box to hide any task from client users, or add the Client+ add-on to enable a more collaborative user role for more hands-on clients. Select Workload from the left-hand menu to manage assignments and team bandwidth, and click on Reports to get a pulse on client invoices and payments, projects and tasks across the team, and track time and expenses.

With ActiveCollab, you can quickly create and send professional-looking estimates and invoices and integrate with your payment processing or accounting software to streamline billing. You can also connect ActiveCollab with Zapier to automate task creation, notifications and updates, and more.

Create tasks in Active Collab from new labeled Gmail emails [Business Gmail Accounts Only]

Active Collab logo

Post new comments from Active Collab to Slack

Slack logo

ActiveCollab price: The free plan includes unlimited projects and tasks for up to 3 members, with task dependencies, and list and Kanban views. Upgrade to the Plus plan for $9.50/month (for 3 members) to add Gantt and calendar views, project templates and recurring tasks, and more.

Looking for more apps to simplify your administrative tasks as a freelancer? Here are our recommendations for the best time tracking apps and the best accounting apps for freelancers .

Best free project management software for spreadsheet-like features

Wrike (Web, Windows, Mac, iOS, Android)

Wrike, our pick for the best free project management software for spreadsheet-like features

Wrike pros:

Spreadsheet-esque UI

Best-in-class project tracking features

Wrike cons:

More limited free plan than most

Less customizable

If it were up to you, would you manage your projects in a spreadsheet? If so, you might like Wrike . Wrike offers the same flexibility of a spreadsheet—with columns for every bit of info you want to track about tasks. (If you like spreadsheets but need even more customization, head down to our review of Airtable.)

Wrike lets your team update the status of tasks at various intervals—in-progress, on hold, canceled, or completed. Additionally, you can set the status of projects to green, yellow, red, on hold, or canceled, making it easy to create your weekly project status reports.

While you can do a lot with Wrike's free plan, its best features—including time tracking, Gantt charts, and custom dashboards—do require a premium plan. If you're running a small operation now but planning to scale in the future, Wrike grows alongside you, giving you all of the tools you need to run both a single small project and many concurrent large ones.

If you're interested in the free plan, Wrike's Zapier integrations can help you do more with the project management app, like automatically creating tasks in Wrike from other tools.

Share tasks in Wrike via Slack messages

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Create Wrike tasks from Trello cards

Wrike price: The free plan includes unlimited projects for unlimited users; upgrade for $9.80/user/month (billed annually) to the Professional plan that includes Gantt charts, shareable dashboards, and more.

Best free project management software for building a customized app

Airtable (Web, iOS, Android)

Airtable, our pick for the best free project management software for building a customized app

Airtable pros:

The most customizable app on this list

Lots of templates to help with initial setup

Airtable cons:

More involved setup process

Less familiar interface than most

If you've tried other project management software and haven't found the one , Airtable will let you build it. The app is ready out-of-the-box with a default view similar to a spreadsheet, and it suggests a handful of templated projects based on your team within the company. You can start from one of the suggested templates, browse the rest, or build your own project (called a "base") from scratch.

But the real power of Airtable happens when you customize it . It will take some upfront effort to tailor Airtable to be exactly what you need—but if you're willing to spend the time, the sky's the limit. You can customize everything from the methodology and view type to column headers, field types, data validation, and more.

Head over to the Marketplace to choose from over 80 apps that help you integrate, analyze, and enrich your projects, or build your own custom apps. Airtable also integrates with Zapier , so you can do things like automatically track important information in Airtable, get notifications for activity in your Airtable base, and more .

Create detailed events in Google Calendar from new Airtable records in views

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Add new Typeform entries to Airtable as records

Airtable price: The free plan includes unlimited bases, up to 5 users, 1,200 records per base, and five view options, including grid, calendar, and Kanban; upgrade for $10/user/month to the Plus plan for 5,000 records per base, 5GB of attachments, 3 extensions per base, and more.

Best free project management app for working with multiple methodologies

GoodDay (Web)

GoodDay, our pick for the best free project management app for working with multiple methodologies

GoodDay pros:

Focused My Work view to track your own stuff

Modules to add on time tracking, client portals, and more

GoodDay cons:

Limited integrations available

Advanced views require an upgrade

GoodDay is flexible enough to satisfy a team with diverse project management needs. The app supports a number of methodologies and views, including Gantt, Agile, Scrum, Kanban, and waterfall. All are available to use on the free plan, making it the most generous and flexible free plan we tested.

Every project you create can take a different approach, and you can add additional views of the project at any time. Beyond those views, each project has a Summary tab with an overview of tasks, events, users, and burn down. I also love the My Work view, which rolls up work, tasks, calendar, and individual projects assigned to you.

When you first set up your GoodDay account, you can choose from a number of different modules, like time tracking, client portals, and billing to make the app do even more for you. For example, the Clients & Customer Portal module includes an extra project type called client projects, while the HR module includes a custom Vacations calendar view.

Take's free plan to another level with its Zapier integration , so you can connect it to the other apps you use most.

GoodDay price: The free plan includes unlimited projects and tasks, custom workflows, and up to 15 users; upgrade to the Professional plan for $4/user/month for advanced views (like Gantt), up to 250 users, a customer portal, user roles customizations, and more.

Best free project management software for Agile software development teams

Jira (Web, iOS, Android)

Jira, our pick for the best free project management software for Agile software development teams

Purpose-built for developers and engineers

Prominent issue tracker

Over 1,000 integrations

Limited free plan

Not flexible for use across diverse teams

While the app also offers a Kanban view, Jira is built for Scrum and Agile workflows. When you first sign up, the onboarding flow asks a few questions about your team's projects, level of experience with different methodologies, and deadlines—then it recommends a methodology and project template for you.

For Scrum projects, you'll add epics to the Roadmap page. Then you can add issues to your backlog individually, filling in details and assigning them to sprints. Project tracking happens on a Scrum board, the homepage for each project—you can customize column headers and edit task details and status.

Jira's catering to developers and engineering teams doesn't stop there: the app also integrates with other development tools like GitHub, GitLab, Sentry, and Jenkins to make quick work of updating and tracking your backlog. And while you can't control user access on the free plan, it does include up to 10 users, so it's ideal for self-contained or smaller dev teams.

You can get more out of the free plan by using Jira's Zapier integrations to automatically create new issues in Jira based on Slack messages or GitHub issues. Try these Zaps and check out more ways to automate Jira .

Create Jira Software Cloud issues from new messages posted to a Slack channel

Jira Software Cloud logo

Generate Jira Software issues from new GitHub issues

GitHub logo

Jira price: The free plan includes unlimited projects on one site, up to 10 users, and both Scrum and Kanban boards; upgrade to the Standard plan for $7.50/user/month for more granular user permissions, 250 GB of file storage, and more.

See how Trello and Jira stack up in our app comparison, or take a look at Asana vs. Jira .

What's the best free project planning software?

Honestly, online project management tools are a dime a dozen. And a lot of them will advertise "free" plans that aren't really free—meaning you can't actually manage all your projects without upgrading. The best free task management software will let you do what you need to do without spending a dime. And, as your needs change, they'll support you with more robust features at higher tiers.

The good news: free project planning software So you can test your options, see what you like (and what you don't), and then decide. Here are more tips on how to choose online project management software .

Originally published in May 2017 by Matthew Guay, this post has had contributions from Jessica Greene, Maria Myre, and Emily Esposito. The most recent update was in September 2022.

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Kiera Abbamonte

Kiera’s a content writer who helps SaaS and eCommerce companies connect with customers and reach new audiences. Located in Boston, MA, she loves cinnamon coffee and a good baseball game. Catch up with her on Twitter @Kieraabbamonte.

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A business plan template is a document designed to help streamline your ability to write a business plan. It handles the structure and organization so that you can focus on filling in the blanks and defining the key aspects of your business.

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There are a few key features that make this business template more functional and effective than your average template.

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What is included in this business plan template?

This template includes definitions, guidance, and examples for every business plan component needed to start, fund, and grow your business. After downloading the full template, you'll receive instructions for how to fill out each of the following sections.

Executive summary:  The brief summary of your business plan that introduces everyone to your business, the problem you solve, and what you're asking from your readers. It's the first chapter of your business plan and the last thing you write once you have the details from your full plan.

Problem & solution: More than a simple description of your products and services - here you define the problem you're solving and the value you provide. It's also your chance to showcase any initial traction that shows you're on the right track.

Market analysis and target market: A detailed assessment of the market you intend to enter, including the size and value of the market, potential customer segments, and their buying patterns.

Competition: Show that you know who your competitors are, what advantages you have, and how you're positioning your business to be competitive.

Marketing & sales: Describe how you'll reach and sell to potential customers with a detailed sales plan and chosen marketing channels.

Operations: What makes your business run? Outline the day-to-day workflows, and what still needs to be set up for your business to deliver a product or service.

Milestones & metrics: Set goals for your business that include the dates and people responsible to accomplish them. This is what you'll use to manage responsibilities, track growth, and execute your larger strategy.

Company overview and team: Provide a brief rundown of the legal and structural components of your company including your history, current team, and gaps you need to fill.

Financial plan: Create well-structured and accurate financial statements to help you pitch to investors, land funding, and achieve long-term success. All without the help of a financial advisor or a degree in accounting.

Appendix: While not required, this last section of your business plan is a great place to drop in additional documents that support and strengthen the rest of your plan.

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Using a business plan template can make writing a business plan easier. Additionally, if you focus on just getting your information down quickly, with the expectation that you'll revisit and revise your plan, you can speed up and simplify the process .

What are the 5 elements of a business plan?

While there are more than five sections of a business plan, you can group the key elements of a plan into the executive summary, business opportunity, execution, company overview, and financial plan. Thinking of the plan in this way can help you break up the writing process and make tackling each strategic component a separate and focused task.

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5 Best Business Plan Software in 2022

Sally Lauckner

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When you’re starting a business, developing a strong business plan will be one of the first steps you take. Your business plan will cover everything from a detailed explanation of your products or services and pricing model to at least three years of financial projections—plus much more. Therefore, whether you’re not sure how to get started or you’re just looking to make the process easier, you may want to turn to business plan software for help.

In this guide, we'll break down five of the best business plan software options—discussing their pros, cons, features, pricing, and more—so you have all the information you need to decide which solution is right for your small business.

The 5 best business plan software options

The right business plan software will make the process of writing your business plan much simpler. Like many business software solutions, however, there are a number of different business plan software options out there—each of which has a unique set of features, user experience, and price.

This being said, if you're looking for a place to start your search for the best business plan software, you can explore the five top options below:

1. LivePlan

Best overall business plan software.

If you want template-rich, modern-feeling business plan software, then LivePlan may be the right pick for you. LivePlan excels with their user interface, which feels updated and slick, and also offers intuitive, easy-to-use features and options.

Their step-by-step instruction will help you kick things off from the beginning, and you can take advantage of their online learning center to continue to gain business skills.

Affordable plans, including pay-as-you-go option

No long-term contracts or cancellation fee; 60-day money-back guarantee

Modern, intuitive interface; cloud-based, can be used on Mac, PC, as well as tablets

Ability to create unlimited plans in one account; over 500 customizable templates

Variety of business resources including video tutorials, step-by-step instruction, and general customer support

Limited integration options

Challenging to enter your own financial modeling projections

Can be difficult to learn

Ability to create an unlimited number of business plans on one account

More than 500 business plan templates spanning various industries

Integration with Xero and QuickBooks Online

Real-time tracking of financial data with accounting integrations

Ability to export your business plan to Word or PDF

Expert advice and step-by-step instruction included

Performance dashboards for tracking against budgets and sales goals

Ability to create and export a one-page pitch executive summary

Annual plan: $15 per month, billed every 12 months

Six-month plan: $18 per month, billed every six months

Pay-as-you-go plan: $20 per month, billed once every month

2. GoSmallBiz

Best for multiple business management tools in one platform.

Next on our list of the best business plan software options is GoSmallBiz, which is much more than just a business plan software. With GoSmallBiz, you have access to business continuity planning software with features that cover creating a roadmap, working through business and legal forms, building a website, and more.

In this way, GoSmallBiz is great for startups or newer businesses looking to access multiple business management tools through one platform.

Unlimited business consultation and extensive library of online resources

Multiple business tools in one software

Website consultation analysis and business assessment

Industry-specific business plan templates with emphasis on financial projections and statements

Expensive monthly cost compared to alternatives

Limited business plan features

Entire business plan can only be exported to Microsoft Word

Outdated interface

Industry-specific business plan templates with step-by-step building wizard

Ability to create financial statements and projections

Free website hosting and website builder

Customer relationship manager with integration with MailChimp

Digital marketing dashboard with social media and Google Analytics integrations

HR document builder

Corporate minutes writer

Business documents library

Business courses library

Unlimited business consultation

$39 per month, no contracts, free cancellation

Best for simple, fast business plan creation.

If you're looking for free business plan software, Enloop will be one of your closest options—they offer an all-inclusive seven-day free trial, no credit card required. Additionally, unlike some of the other options on our list, Enloop is strictly dedicated to business plan creation, including automated text writing, financial forecast comparisons, and a real-time performance score that tracks your progress.

This being said, if you'd prefer the most straightforward, fast, and simple way to write your business plan, Enloop will be a platform worth considering.

Simple and straightforward software, solely dedicated to business plan creation

Seven-day free trial

Automatic text generation available to streamline the writing process

Affordable plans with annual discount option

Limited additional educational resources

Only one template option

No integration options

Ability to create three business plans with customizable text, images, tables, charts, and over 100 currency symbols and formats

Includes automatic text generation for each plan section that you can then customize

Automatically generated financial statements

Includes financial performance comparison analysis (using three ratios with Detailed plan and 16 with Performance plan)

Real-time performance score to track your progress

Ability to invite users to edit (two with Detailed plan, five with Performance plan)

Pass/fail report and certificate to help you identify issues with your plan

Free plan: Seven-day free trial with no credit card required

Detailed plan: $19.95 per month or $11 per month, paid annually

Performance plan: $39.95 per month, or $24 per month, paid annually

Best for startups looking to acquire funding or find investors.

Part of the suite, Bizplan gets top marks for their user interface—it’s intuitive, easy to use, and modern. You’ll work with a step-by-step business plan builder to get exactly what you’d like from your business plan. It may remind you of a modern website builder, since it has drag-and-drop tools to build templates.

Moreover, for one subscription fee, you have access to all of the tools in the network, including self-guided courses, how-to guides, masterclass videos, and more. All in all, with a direct connection to Fundable, Bizplan is a top business plan software option for startups looking to acquire funding and find investors.

Subscription gives you access to all tools

Lifetime access subscription option

User-friendly drag-and-drop business plan builder

Excellent educational resources

Connection to Fundable great for businesses looking for capital

No free trial

No templates based on industry

No mobile access

Drag-and-drop templates for business plan building

Financial command center to track all business financials in one place

Unlimited account collaborators

Ability to share business plan online with investors

Online resources including self-guided courses, masterclass videos, how-to guides, mentorship access

Unlimited software use for Fundable, Launchrock, and

Monthly plan: $29 per month

Annual plan: $20.75 per month, billed at $249 per year

Lifetime access: $349 one-time fee

5. PlanGuru

Best for financial planning and budgeting.

Finally, for some of the strongest financial features among business plan software options, including budgeting and forecasting, you might check out PlanGuru. Whereas the other solutions we've reviewed were first and foremost focused on writing a business plan, PlanGuru is dedicated to business financial planning —providing the tools you need to create budgets, financial forecasts, reports, and more.

Therefore, if you need a software solution that can streamline the financial piece of your business planning processes, PlanGuru will certainly have the most to offer.

Extensive financial tools and detailed forecasting, budgeting, and reporting capabilities

Substantial library of resources

Cloud-based and desktop options

14-day free trial and 30-day money-back guarantee

Expensive, especially for additional users

Only focuses on the financial aspect of business planning; no templates or tools for basic business plan writing

Difficult to use without prior financial knowledge

Cloud-based version of software, as well as locally installed Windows version (desktop version has a few more features)

Works with QuickBooks Online, Xero, and Excel

Budgeting and forecasting for up to 10 years

Over 20 standard forecasting methods

Formula builder to create custom methods

Ratios and KPIs

Dashboard and reporting tools

Help guides, video tutorials, knowledgebase, and live U.S.-based customer support

14-day free trial

$99 per month (additional users $29 per month)

$899 per year (additional users $299 per year)

What to look for in business plan software

Ultimately, it's up to you to decide, which, if any, of the best business plan software solutions on our list is right for your business.

So, if you're trying to figure out how to choose between the various options out there, it might be helpful to compare your top choices based on the following criteria:

Features: As we've seen different business plan software solutions offer different features. You'll want to look carefully at the feature list of any software and determine what features are most important for your business needs. Do you need an extensive library of templates with detailed customization? Would you prefer software that includes an online learning center for business skills? Are you looking for a solution that combines business plan writing with other tasks? It may be useful to list out your ideal feature set, so you can compare individual software plans to that list.

Price: Although you might be able to find some free business plan software options (or at the very least, free trials), in most cases, you'll need to pay a subscription fee to access the platform you choose. Therefore, you'll want to think about what your budget is for this business tool and what type of software is most cost-effective for your needs.

User experience: User experience can vary widely among different business plan software options. You’ll find some programs that are newer or have been recently updated. Others might have the kind of interfaces that felt new years ago but are now pretty out of date—and, subsequently, make them a little harder to use. The right user experience for your needs is genuinely a matter of opinion and comfort—nevertheless, it's worth testing thoroughly testing out a platform to ensure that it can truly work for you before investing in a monthly or annual subscription.

The bottom line

There's no doubt that properly crafting your business plan is important for the future growth and success of your small business. Luckily, the right business plan software should make the process much simpler.

This being said, whether you opt for one of the best business plan software options listed here, or another platform entirely, you'll want to take the time to compare multiple solutions and ensure you choose the one that's right for your business.

As we mentioned, it can be helpful to think about the features you're looking for, your budget, and your user-experience preferences ahead of time—that way, you'll have a set of criteria in mind as you explore different solutions.

Ultimately, perhaps the best thing you can do to find the right software is to actually test out the platforms themselves—either by using a free trial or a money-back guarantee.

This article originally appeared on JustBusiness, a subsidiary of NerdWallet.

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  • Sample Plans

Paid vs free Business Plan Software?

Business Plan Template

Free Business Plan Template

  • Vinay Kevadia

business planning software free download

There are tons of free business plan software out there.

Sooner or later there will always be a cost for “Free Stuff” – Will Leamon

Let’s go with the free business plan software if it answers all these questions:

Does it Perfectly Guide Your Journey in Writing a Business Plan?

writing-a-business-plan - a free business plan software

The free business planning tool will give you direction and means to create a business plan , but if you’re new to the business world, it might be a disadvantage not to have your business plan devised or reviewed by a small business expert.

The first step in formulating your plan is brainstorming how you’ll approach each component of your business. To get started you need perfectly written industry-standard  business plan templates .

A business plan template must be a perfect framework around your business idea, which should help you to keep moving step by step.

Instead of a generic business plan template by your free resource, Why not have a specific business plan template that matches your business idea? As yourself.

How about the Security and Availability of Your Free Business Plan Software?

How confidential is your idea for your business? Most entrepreneurs are worried about not being stolen their idea or business plan

Idea theft is an ongoing concern for many of these business owners.

When you are using the free cloud-based business planning software, don’t forget to check their availability, Otherwise what would happen is, You are going to start pitching your investors and you won’t be able to access your business plan temporarily.

Do You Have a Very Short Time Span?

short-time-span : write business plan

Learning curve: When you are a beginner in business planning, You might have to spend a long time learning how to put things in your boxes.

Try and Catch: would never recommend the try and catch method when you have a short deadline.

When Excel is not your stuff: You don’t have to be an accountant to project your financials , Is your software providing automated financial projections ?

Do you know how to write a one-page business plan? Try canvas modeling .

How Professional Are You?


Is your free business plan software providing a professional experience?

Does it have a good-looking theme? that impress investors to look at how serious you are.

Your professional commitment to writing a business plan is a sign of how serious are you about your dreams and idea to build a successful venture.

Looking for professional business plan software, Get 15 days of the money-back guarantee .

What Do You Want to Achieve With Your Business Plan?

Secure Funding: Accurate Financial projections are the most important aspect when you are going to pitch the investors and banks. It must be projected in a standard format so you don’t have to face question bombarding from your investors.

Strategic Planning: It won’t finish with your first draft, Planning means continuous change. How easy it is to change your business plan with your free business plan software?

Ideation: Brainstorming is an essential part of building business plans, Test your idea with a  business model canvas , Share it with your colleagues, and get feedback.

Do your free business plan tools answer all the above questions? I would be happy for you to have great stuff because one also said:

I’ll do anything for free stuff – Sandra Bullock

Now get back to the point, freebies might work fine in some conditions, however, it’s not the weapon of professional, serious, and growth-oriented professionals.

Take your time, think about it! And decide what would make you a successful entrepreneur.

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About the Author

Vinay                                                        Kevadiya

Vinay Kevadiya

Vinay Kevadiya is the founder and CEO of Upmetrics, the #1 business planning software. His ultimate goal with Upmetrics is to revolutionize how entrepreneurs create, manage, and execute their business plans. He enjoys sharing his insights on business planning and other relevant topics through his articles and blog posts. Read more

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