Magazine article Black Enterprise

Pick Your Startup Tools: Find the Right Software for Your New Business

Magazine article Black Enterprise

Pick Your Startup Tools: Find the Right Software for Your New Business

Article excerpt

What's the formula for business success? A killer idea? Good timing? Lots of funding? Maybe. But it also includes preparation. The days are long gone when ideas scribbled on a cocktail napkin were enough to build a startup or take a business to the next level. Today, every company, whether it's a one-man shop or a small firm, needs to plan for the future. How well your startup or small business does has as much to do with your big idea as it does with the tools used to plan and execute your strategy.

"Planning is not the horrible task it has been made out to be," says Tim Berry, CEO of Palo Alto Software. "People have this fear and dread of writing a business plan. The plan is only what you need to help you make your business better. People need to focus on priorities, set the steps, and keep track of progress" he says.

So what should an entrepreneur include in her startup arsenal? Besides a good business plan (see our review of Palo Alto's Business Plan Pro at www.blackenterprise.com/bizplanpro), financial management tools are also a good bet along with a good marketing strategy. Here are a few tools to consider:

Business Plan Pro Standard (www.paloalto.com). The 2006 version adds several key features that can help you develop a killer business plan. These include detailed financial planning and forecasting tools, with more than 9,000 industry profiles and over 500 sample business plans. You get a hefty application: Business Plan Pro tips the scales at over 40MB; if you choose to download the sample business plans that come with it, say bye-bye to another 255MB of disk space. …

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