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Enloop

Best Business Plan Software for Financial Forecasting

A Business News Daily Review

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There are few things more important in a business plan than having fully fleshed-out financial projections. Explaining how your business will make money is critical to not only showing whether your idea is viable but also whether it is worth investing in. Enloop understands the importance of making your case from a financial standpoint. The cloud-hosted software makes the process of projecting your business idea's financial future simple. It automatically creates financial forecasts and allows you to compare your projections with those in your industry to determine whether you can effectively compete in the marketplace. It's because of this, and more, that Enloop is our choice as the best business plan software for financial projections. 

To understand how we selected our best picks, you can find our methodology, as well as a list of business plan software solutions, on our best picks page 

Editor's note: Do you need help writing your business plan? Fill out the below questionnaire to have our vendor partners contact you about your needs.

 

Enloop offers two service plans that vary in price and included features and tools. Both plans are charged on a month-to-month basis. There is a discount if you commit to the software for a year. If you choose the month-to-month option, you can cancel at any time. Besides the subscription fees, there are no additional costs. Here is a breakdown of each plan. 

  • Month-to-month payment cost: $19.95 per month
  • Annual payment cost: $11 per month; billed annually
  • Financial ratios analyzed: 3
  • Team/shared users: 2 
  • Month-to-month payment cost: $39.95 per month
  • Annual payment cost: $24 per month; billed annually
  • Financial ratios analyzed: 16
  • Team/shared users: 5 

Before you commit to either plan, Enloop offers a seven-day free trial of the performance plan. The trial period gives you full access to the software. No credit card is required to sign up, so there are no concerns that you might forget to cancel and be roped into paying for something you don't need.

Enloop has a number of valuable features and tools to help make the process of creating an impressive and informative business plan an easier and faster one. Here's more about the features we think Enloop users will find most helpful. 

Instead of struggling to come up with the text for your business plan, Enloop's AutoWrite tool can do it for you. AutoWrite, along with the software's TextSync tool, automatically generates basic, customized text for 10 sections of your business plan. The sections it will generate language for are 

  • The business idea
  • Product and sales 
  • Marketing 
  • Management bios 
  • Personnel and payroll 
  • Financial information 
  • Profit and loss forecast 
  • Cash flow forecast 
  • Balance sheet forecast 

Of course, you don't have to use Enloop's generated text; you can replace or supplement sections with your own descriptions and forecasts. 

Enloop provides everything you need to show how you think your business will perform from a financial standpoint. In the financial section of the software, you are asked a series of questions about things like starting cash balance, how long you wait to pay bills, the percentage of customers you'd extend credit to, etc. The software also gathers data on expenses, owner contributions and draws, loans, investors, other income, fixed assets, and other assets. You can also enter projections for revenue and payroll, among other items. 

The software takes all of those data points, converting them into financial reports that become key components of your business plan. Among the key financial reports and ratios the software can produce are

  • Current ratio
  • Percent of profit before taxes/tangible net worth ratio
  • Debt/worth ratio
  • Quick ratio
  • Sales/receivables ratio
  • Day's receivables ratio
  • Cost of sales/inventory ratio
  • Day's inventory ratio
  • Day's payables ratio
  • Sales/working capital ratio
  • Profit before taxes/total assets ratio
  • Sales/net fixed assets ratio
  • Sales/total assets ratio
  • Sales growth ratio
  • Profit before interest and taxes
  • Net profit margin
  • Gross margin
  • Percent depreciation, depletion, amortization/sales ratio
  • Selling general and administrative ratio
  • Advertising expense
  • EBIT/interest ratio
  • Net profit plus depreciation ratio
  • Fixed/worth ratio
  • Debt/worth ratio
  • Total liabilities ratio 

The number of financial reports and ratios that can be analyzed with Enloop was among the most we found during our research of business plan software. Enloop grades each item on a "pass/fail" scale. Ratios are analyzed based on the business's third year of financial projections, since it is typically not until then that a stable financial forecast is reached. 

With Enloop, you can write your business plan based on two different financial forecast models: annual or 36-month. With the annual option, you see an annual financial forecast, but nothing in terms of monthly cash flow projections. The 36-month option is more detailed and requires more data from you in terms of monthly projections of your financials.  With this option, you see profit and loss forecasts, cash flow forecasts and balance sheet forecasts. 

One unique feature Enloop offers that its competitors don't is a business plan score. As you work on your business plan, the software continuously updates your "score." The scoring is designed to give you an idea of how successful your business can be based on the data you have provided. 

Scores range from 0 to 1,000, with anything above 350 considered passing. As you update each section of the plan, your scoring changes. This is a nice touch, as it gives an immediate look at how your plan is faring. It also allows you to test different scenarios to see how changes alter the outlook for your business. 

One major positive with Enloop is how easy it is to use. After you log in, creating your plan is a simple process. Each section has its own tab. When you click on a tab, you start answering the questions. For example, the basic info section has you answer questions on your company's contact information, owner information, past performance and the currency model. The marketing section asks for info on marketing expenses, while the financial sections ask for data on expenses, loans and investors. 

What's nice about the software is that for each section you can click a link that says, "Help with this section." These links give you tips on what exactly this section is looking for. Having this added guidance ensures you are entering the correct information. 

Another benefit of Enloop is that you can work on up to three plans at one time. Many of the other software solutions we considered only allowed you to work on one plan. This is a nice bonus if you want to put together a plan for a business you are already running, as well as potential new businesses you are considering launching. 

Additionally, you can have up to five people contribute to the plan at one time if you are using the Performance plan. Two people can add input on the Detailed plan. The software's ability to accept additional input from outside users for no additional cost is a nice bonus. Some of the software we looked at charged extra to allow multiple people to help develop the plan. 

One downside of Enloop is that reaching their customer support team is not easily done. Unlike some of the other software applications we examined during our research, you can't reach Enloop by phone or live chat. An online form is the only way to contact the company. This could be a problem for someone who wants an immediate answer to their question. 

Another potential negative is that Enloop doesn't offer any predesigned templates. Many of the other software options we researched offered multiple industry-specific templates, which can be helpful for those who have never created a business plan before. 

As we mentioned, you can only contact the Enloop customer support team by an online form. While being able to reach someone directly, via phone or live chat, is preferable in our opinion, it's not necessarily an indicator that a company offers poor support. You just need to be prepared that you might not get an answer to your question as quickly as you may like. 

Enloop's website does a pretty nice job of trying to provide answers to many questions users might have. The website has a nice help section that includes answers to questions on a wide range of topics, from how to get started with the software to billing issues. 

Editor's note: Do you need help writing your business plan? Fill out the below questionnaire to have our vendor partners contact you about your needs.

 

Ready to choose a business plan solution? Here's a breakdown of our complete coverage: