3 Apps to Help You Write a Business Plan

first_img This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience. Enroll Now for Free Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Now February 4, 2013center_img If you have a killer idea for a startup, but lack the time, resources and budget to develop a business plan, a business plan-generating app can help you get your plan on paper and, ideally, off the ground.A number of apps simplify the often tedious, complicated process of crafting a thorough bank- and investor-ready business plan. You provide the information, they organize it into a plan, and hopefully soon you’ll be in business.Here’s a look at three apps that can help get your business plan rolling:1. Enloop. This is an all-in-one web app that walks users through every step of creating a traditional business plan. Here’s how it works: Based on the data you enter into the app, Enloop automatically generates sales, profit and loss, cash flow and balance sheet projections for you, complete with explanatory graphs and other compelling visual elements. Enloop also provides standard, yet customizable business plan text for each section of your plan, including portions focused on key company information and financial data.Enloop’s Free & Easy option includes a single custom business plan packaged in a clean, professionally formatted PDF file that you can download, print and share. More fully featured paid versions range from $9.95 a month to $39.95 a month and allow you to make multiple business plans. Enloop is only web-based and not yet available for mobile devices.Related: Reworking Your Business Plan? Consider These Tips2. StratPad. Alex Glassey, who designed this iPad-only app, describes it as “a strategic-planning app that helps entrepreneurs with the thinking and decision-making process.” StratPad can be a smart choice for people who are writing their first-ever business plan. It is packed with several free how-to tools for beginners, including a 58-page business strategy tutorial, view-on-demand training videos, email-based customer service, and more.A free basic StratPad edition is available for students. Paid, one-time fee plans range from $9.99 to $54.99. The more you pay, the more advanced business plan options you get. The easy-to-use app guides users through a series of simple questions and prompts. Your answers are used to develop a summary business plan, complete with revenue projections and full-color graphs and charts.3. Business Plan Premier. This $7.99 iPad app does double-duty for users who are eager to have their business plan backed fast. Not only does Business Plan Premier help you organize and write your business plan at an extremely detailed level, it also enables you to present your finished plan to more than 3,000 high net worth potential investors, who are also members of investment research firm Ben Stein & Accredited Members Inc.Business Plan Premier leads you through writing your prospective company’s vision and mission statements, product descriptions and marketing plans. You can also use it to complete competitive and SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis, outline your management scheme, identify your startup expenses, define your target market and more depending on your needs.Your completed business plan is exported as a Microsoft Word document that you can edit, print, email or upload to Dropbox. Business Plan Lite is the free (but much less functional) version of the app.Related: Reverse-Engineering Your Business Plan: Success Starts With the End min readlast_img read more

10 Ways to Get Free WiFi Wherever You Go

first_imgDecember 18, 2015 5 min read Problem Solvers with Jason Feifer Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Back in 2011 the U.N. declared Internet access a human right, yet whenever you leave the house or office, it’s hit or miss if you will have access to Wi-Fi.I blog a lot and really can’t work without Wi-Fi. Does anyone else relate? I struggle working at places that have slow Wi-Fi. My business can’t operate without fast, reliable Wi-Fi.I have learned a few ways over the years how to get access to Wi-Fi wherever I go. Here are 10 ways to get Wi-Fi any time, anywhere in the world.1. Just ask.One of the easiest ways to snag some free Wi-Fi is just to simply ask someone. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been at a business and simply asked an employee for the Wi-Fi password and be given it, even where they don’t publicly announce that they have Wi-Fi.If a business doesn’t have Wi-Fi, or refuses to give you the password, ask a stranger. Yes. That actually works sometimes. Believe it or not, people aren’t always that stingy with their Wi-Fi.If all else fails, you can do a little planning and ask people online. For example, you can identify the airports that offer free Wi-Fi by visiting this Foursquare page or login into your Facebook account to access free Wi-Fi.2. Become hot spot savvy.Becoming more hot spot savvy means knowing the places that provide truly free and reliable Wi-Fi. These include bus and train stations, museums and community spaces like libraries, city plazas and parks. I’ve even noticed public areas around hospitals and court houses also have free Wi-Fi.As you know, your phone will scan for open or unsecured Wi-Fi networks. Check that when you’re out and about. You may learn that places like your gym or favorite bookstore offer free Wi-Fi.Related: In-Flight Wi-Fi Might Soon Be Less of a Joke3. Know which businesses offer free WiFi.Knowing which businesses which offer free Wi-Fi will save you a lot of time whenever you’re out and about. Best of all? There are a lot of national chains that offer free Wi-Fi. These include:StarbucksMcDonald’sPanera BreadBarnes & NobleTargetDunkin DonutsBuffalo Wild WingsApple StoreMarriott HotelsStaples and Office DepotBest BuyWhole FoodsYou can also download the free Wi-Fi Pro app for either Android or iOS. It includes a database of 200 million Wi-Fi hotspots.4. Use your cable company.This may not be technically free, but if you’re already paying for a cable or Internet subscription from companies like Xfinity, you’re plan may include access to Wi-Fi hotspots. Just login at your cable/Internet provider account and you’ll be connected to Wi-Fi.Believe it not, cable companies are teaming up so that you can access Wi-Fi from a competitor! Sometimes you’ll notice this new inclination to help you immediately access an opposing competitor’s Wi-Fi right away. For example, I’ve been in Dunkin Donuts that ask for an Xfinity account to get online. If you’re not sure if this is a part of your plan contact customer service or visit Cable Wi-Fi.5. Do a little MAC spoofing.The main drawback with free Wi-Fi is that you’re only allowed to use it for a certain amount of time. You can change that by spoofing the MAC address of your mobile device. This may be used mainly by those who aren’t afraid of getting a little technical.This process will vary depending on your operating system, but here’s a guide for iOS and another for Android.6. Join a community.Instabridge is an online community where crowd-sourced Wi-Fi connections and passwords have been compiled into one convenient location. Besides free locations, users also include passwords for secured locations. The free app can be downloaded at Google Play or the App Store.Related: This Unassuming Kitchen Tool Blocks Wi-Fi So You Can Take Back Mealtime7. Find hidden networks.Apps including Instabridge and Wefi find networks that are aren’t commonly known. Wefi even has a free app for your phone. However, there are a couple of other common places that have secretive networks. For example, most electronic stores provide Wi-Fi because they need to display products. If you’re at the airport, venture closer to premium lounges.8. Join loyalty programs.Joining a loyalty program comes with a number of perks, often including free Wi-Fi. Many hotels, including Hilton, Marriott and Kimpton, include free Wi-Fi in their loyalty programs. Because travelers are expecting free Wi-Fi, it’s likely more businesses will reward their frequent customers with free Wi-Fi.9. Coupons and promotions.If you’re not a frequent traveler, you can still take advantage of free Wi-Fi offers from hotels by visiting sites like RetailMeNot to find businesses like Gogo and Hyundai that are running a promotion or issuing a coupon for free Wi-Fi.10. Make your phone a hot spot.When all else fails, you can turn your phone into a Wi-Fi hotspot through the common technique called tethering. You use your smartphone’s 3G or 4G as a Wi-Fi signal for your laptop or tablet. Here are instructions for Android and iOS.You can also download tethering apps including PdaNet+ or FoxFi. Here’s to never going without Wi-Fi ever again in our lives!Related: Telecommuters Rejoice: This iOS App Finds and Reviews Wi-Fi Cafes Near You Hear from business owners and CEOs who went through a crippling business problem and came out the other side bigger and stronger. 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