LivePlan is a small business helping other small businesses. It’s a leading business planning software with performance tracking. The company also owns two websites providing free resources, bplans.com and mplans.com. These sites help the small business community with free business planning articles, financial tools, sample business plans, and more.
The LivePlan software can help you plan, fund, and build your business from scratch or grow your existing business. It has recently been recognized as the top budgeting software on Capterra, GetApp, and Software Advice.
Our LivePlan review will guide you through the brand’s features and solutions so that you can understand the software’s specifics, how it works, and what it can provide for your business.
Features and Solutions
LivePlan’s purpose is twofold—it works well for starting a business and expanding the one you already own. There are four steps to building a successful startup and making better decisions for your existing business. If you’re starting a business, you should follow these steps:
- Lay the foundation with a LivePlan business plan
- Draft your blueprint—the initial financial forecast
- Review your data in the evaluation phase
- Refine the plan by using your insights
If you’re running a business, you should:
- Analyze your business model
- Build cash forecasts
- Track your performance
- Update your business strategy with what you’ve learned in the evaluation phase
Let’s dive into LivePlan’s features to explain how all this works.
In this LivePlan review, we’ll talk about business planning with liveplan.com first. If you’re starting a small business, it’s best to take advantage of an easy-to-use platform like LivePlan to create a professional plan that’ll be the foundation of your business. LivePlan’s plans are suitable for all industries, including:
- Automotive, travel, and transportation
- Medical and healthcare
- Children and education
- Pets and animal shelter
- Computers and internet
- Various professional services
When comparing LivePlan vs. Growthink, we noticed that both companies underline the importance of the one-page plan. However, Growthink has a template containing seven items explained in detail, while LivePlan has an example and a demo on its One-Page Plan page.
An appealing one-page pitch helps your business stand out. Here’s how you should create it:
- Describe your business in one sentence
- Present the problem and your solution
- Add the Funding Needed field
- The Sales and Marketing section consists of a short sales channel explanation and a list of marketing activities
- Remember to include financial projections and important milestones
- Add your team and key roles, and finally, partners and resources
Once completed, you can export it to PowerPoint and share it via email or your social media.
Looking at Enloop vs. LivePlan, we’ve come across a Capterra comparison of the two. Although both companies offer business plan templates, LivePlan has many more features, including a valuable Step-by-Step Wizard.
The Step-by-Step Guidance tool simplifies the whole planning process, which is the whole point of the business plan software. This feature includes simple instructions and examples of other business plans, making adding and editing plan sections super easy.
500+ Sample Plans
Comparing LivePlan vs. Business Plan Pro, both brands used to offer over 500 inspiring sample plans. However, Business Plan Pro is no longer available for purchase as of 2022.
LivePlan’s samples are real business plan examples applicable to any industry, from real estate and restaurants to consulting and online stores. By using a sample plan, you will:
- Create an enticing plan without starting from scratch
- Save time
- Ensure your numbers are right
The sample plan library contains free business plan samples from over 100 industries, and there’s a comprehensive example of more than 30 pages that you can read before making your own.
If you’re looking for a LivePlan alternative with a free financial automation tool, you can find it through a quick web search. However, it likely won’t be as detailed as LivePlan’s Automatic Financials feature, which eliminates the need for spreadsheets and prior business experience with its drag and drop interface.
The tool is suitable for any business and includes essential forecasting options and details such as:
- Subscription revenue
- Individual product sales
- Hourly rates
- Various expenses
- Automatic charts and graphs
We’ve compared Bizplan vs. LivePlan regarding Lender-Ready Themes. It looks like Bizplan doesn’t offer this feature. Conversely, LivePlan helps your presentation stand out with professionally designed themes. It offers 10 different styles. With those, you can impress lenders, investors, and business partners by telling your story visually, with illustrations, instead of presenting a plain document.
Financial Performance Tracking
The brand’s Financial Dashboard simplifies tracking your financials by providing a set of tools allowing you to:
- See your progress in real-time
- Reach your goals faster
- Build visual reports and summaries without using spreadsheets
- Import your existing accounting data
- Create and edit forecasts
- Compare your results to LivePlan competitors
The Dashboard can be automatically connected to QuickBooks and Xero, eliminating the need to waste time on coding and customization.
LivePlan provides solutions to various businesses, including:
- Entrepreneurs and small businesses
- Public accountants
- Incubators and accelerators
Ease of Use
LivePlan is built to prepare you for success, regardless of your business and accounting knowledge level. We’ve already mentioned the Step-by-Step Guidance feature in our LivePlan review. This tool ensures you won’t get stuck, even if you’ve never made a business plan before.
The Guidance instructions are easy to understand and follow. Plus, the illustrative demos show what you can expect from various LivePlan features. Some users have said LivePlan has saved them a bunch of time, and writing a plan on their own would have been much harder.
LivePlan offers two plans—Standard and Premium. The Standard plan is a great option for users who need to create a professional business plan. It costs $20 per month. The Premium package costs $40 per month and is suitable for businesses that need additional tools.
Let’s compare the two. The Standard package consists of the following features:
- Step-by-Step Instructions
- Automatic Financial Statements
- Full Financial Forecast
- One-Page Pitch Builder
- 500+ Sample Plans
LivePlan doesn’t offer a free trial, but you’re covered with a 35-day money-back guarantee for both plans. The Premium plan has the following additional features:
- Industry Benchmark Data
- Forecast Scenarios
- Performance Dashboards
- Milestone Planner
- Syncs with Xero & QuickBooks
You can upgrade, downgrade, or cancel your plan anytime. If you need to pause your account, you can do so for a low monthly fee. You can get a 25% LivePlan discount if you decide to pay annually. LivePlan accepts PayPal, Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and Discover credit cards.
LivePlan’s 35-day money-back guarantee warrants a 100% refund within 35 days if you’re not satisfied with the product. A credit card is required to get started with a plan, and you’ll get charged, but there are no contracts or hidden fees. The cancellation process is simple. All you need to do is contact customer support via email, phone, or app.
LivePlan reviews show the majority of users usually give it five stars across various platforms. ShopperApproved gave it 4.8 based on almost 1,500 customer ratings. On Capterra, it’s rated 4.5. Many people’s ratings are featured on LivePlan’s Reviews page, which you can access by hovering over the Customers menu in the site’s header.
Most users are happy with both the software and the LivePlan customer service. They praise the user interface, functionality, and built-in tools. People with non-finance backgrounds are impressed with the software’s ease of use and ability to structure a long-term plan. Many customers have found the support staff professional and helpful. Some have stated the support is outstanding.
On the other hand, a small number of users have complained about the process of writing a business plan. They state it’s overwhelming—they might have had better luck with one of the simpler LivePlan alternatives.
Overall, people rank LivePlan as a top-notch business planning software. They love the valuable tools it provides and state that it’s worth it. Some are especially excited about it, as it’s helped them create an awesome pitch and get approved. Customers also like the simplicity of financial projections at LivePlan.
We haven’t found many user reviews on Trustpilot at this time, but based on the majority of ratings, people typically have a great experience using LivePlan.
LivePlan Pros and Cons
- Suitable for every industry
- Great for startups and companies aiming to grow
- Helpful guidance for first-timers
- A wide variety of sample plans and templates
- 35-day money-back guarantee
- No free trial
- May be hard for people to navigate certain sections
Value for Money—Final Verdict
LivePlan’s software helps you build a comprehensive business plan, provides valuable insights, and simplifies budgeting. It can also help with maintaining an already existing business.
Based on our evaluation, the user ratings, and the LivePlan reviews we’ve found online, it looks like it’s worth it for all types of small businesses and entrepreneurs. It provides the necessary tools to not only lay the groundwork for a complete business plan, but also edit, reassess, and refine it according to the automated financial forecast. Since the failure rate for small businesses is quite high, LivePlan can prove to be very useful.
The strategy and assessment stages are simple and beneficial for anyone, even people with non-finance backgrounds. Therefore, LivePlan makes business planning easy by providing easy-to-use resources and tools.