More than just a personal guide, an effective business plan will help you prepare and plan for your business.

A properly structured plan can also become the centrepiece of a pitch when looking to acquire a bank loan or venture capital.

While Realise Business advisors can help you with the elements of your business plan there are also some handy new online tools that can help you plan and measure as you grow your business.

Here are our top 5:

Live Planliveplan business plan

LivePlan allows you to quickly turn a great idea into a structured document with ease. Featuring the ‘One-Page Pitch’, LivePlan showcases a beautiful visual format to help bring your vision to life.

The app includes secure document sharing so you can collaborate with and inform other team members, ‘test budgets’ and accurate cash flow forecasts so you know where you stand financially, and a planning process tailor-made for pitching to potential investors, LivePlan covers all bases. Best of all, it’s updatable, so you can alter your plan on the go.

LivePlan retails for $26.19 a month, making it one of the cheaper options on the market.

PlanGuru planguru business plan

If an extensive business plan with all the trimmings if what you’re after, PlanGuru is exactly what you need. Boasting an integrated income statement, balance sheet and cash flow statement, PlanGuru features over 20 powerful forecasting methods, allowing for up to 10 years projection.

With only a few clicks you’ll be able to view your budget against actual reports and build rolling forecasts. A thorough scenario analysis facet, allowing for a better understanding of the financial impact specific events can entail.

While you’ll certainly reap the benefits PlanGuru can provide, it won’t come cheap: $127.06 per month is required to become a user.

OnePlace oneplace business plan

OnePlace showcases the beauty of simplicity. While perhaps not holding all the depth of its predecessors on this list, OnePlace ensures that you receive the most important and relevant information.

Online project management becomes exponentially more organised and efficient with OnePlace’s hierarchical projects, aiding with clear planning and monitoring completion reports. Also included are time tracking, task scheduling and viewable report systems, allowing you to monitor progress at all times.

The emphasis of OnePlace is on communication, however, featuring a Twitter-like feed so all employees are in the loop, a secure file sharing system for easier collaboration, and a product/service discussion section which allows employees to voice their thoughts, storing their opinions neatly for future reference.

OnePlace is middle of the road for pricing, with its most popular monthly plan selling for $62.89.

Enloop enloop business plan

For anybody that just wants to get their business plan across in a clear, concise and easy way, you won’t find anything better than Enloop. Like OnePlace, it has its limitations as to how intricate each of its features run, but it does the necessities much better than most.

Enloop’s main quest is to take the stress out of producing a business plan document, allowing you to focus on actually planning the business. Its fantastic AutoWrite system gives you a jump start of the writing of your plan, generating basic text for each important section. From there, you are able to edit, delete or add text to suit your own specifications.

The program also encompasses the main aspects of every business plan software tool – forecasting and team communication – and does it well. Enloop also includes a chart data projector, a “performance score” system that evaluates how your business plan, and built-in assistance to guide you along if you’re having any trouble.

Best of all, Enloop is cost-effective, with many of its facets available free of charge, while an all access monthly pass just $12.76.

EquityNet equitynet business plan

While the other programs on this list are aimed solely on the piecing together of a business plan, EquityNet takes it a step further and helps you secure investors to support your vision.

You can still optimise your business plan, using patented designs and analysis software to put the finishing touches on your documents. From there, it’s all about the investors. A crowdfunding application, publishing your business profile and plan on EquityNet allows browsing investors to learn more about you. Anybody who’s interested can connect with you quickly and easily to engage in discussions.

Business owners can also source out investors who they think would benefit from backing their idea and pitch to them effectively. EquityNet serves as one of the best networking tools around, and has raised over $200 million funds for business from private investors in the last 12 months alone.

EquityNet is completely free of cost. All you need to do is create an account with the site to start attracting investors.

If you would like to make an appointment with a Realise Business advisor to discuss the aspects of your business plan make an appointment today.