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Will Your Business Plan Succeed? Enloop Will Tell You

Whether you're starting a new business or expanding your current one, a good business plan is essential. Don't know the first thing about writing one? A Web service called Enloop promises to both build your business plans and forecast your chances for success.

The plan builder walks you through each step of the process, which is divided into sections: Business Idea, Market & Industry, Product & Sales, and so on. As you answer guided questions along the way, Enloop generates a performance score -- a "predictive algorithm that helps forecast the likelihood of success for any business." The higher the score, the better your chances.

Interestingly, you can modify your planning decisions as you go and see how that affects your score. In theory, Enloop will help you craft a business with the best possible chances for success.

The service also offers automated financial forecasts for things like sales, cash flow, and profit & loss, all formatted for easy review by banks and investors.

Currently in beta, Enloop offers only a Basic service plan, which is free. That entitles you to one business plan and PDF downloads of it, both in-progress and completed. In the near future, Enloop will provide Premium and Pro subscriptions that give you more options and ad-free PDFs. (The Basic plan adds an Enloop logo to the footer of each page.) Prices for these plans will start at $9.95 per month.

I'm not sure I see the point of a subscription for something like this, as most startups just need to generate a business plan and be on their way. That said, you could sign up for just a month and then cancel. And 10 bucks for something automated and informative is an outright steal.

Of course, for now, Enloop is free anyway. If you're in the process of developing a new or expanded business, I definitely recommend giving it a try. And if you do, come back here to tell me what you think of the results.

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