LivePlan, Palo Alto Software’s business planning solution for small business and startups, now includes a predictive business modeling feature.

The new “what if” scenario forecasting feature was created to help small business owners that face cash flow management challenges. According to Palo Alto CEO Sabrina Parsons, this new feature is aimed at accountant users of LivePlan.

LivePlan has also added seven additional metrics to its benchmarking feature. The new benchmarks let users compare productivity metrics such as monthly revenue per employee and monthly net profit per employee, as well as spending metrics like percentage of revenue spent on marketing, to similar businesses within their industry. Small-business owners can create a strategic forecast, explore that forecast with “what if” scenarios, and then see how their financials stack up against industry standards. These new industry benchmark numbers are meant to provide information on whether a business is on track, and if it is not, to show where it might be able to improve.

“One of the best ways a small-business owner, or a strategic advisor, can gain insight into how to grow their business is by developing strategic forecasts which include ‘what if’ scenarios,” said Parsons in a statement. “Combining these financial models with the information LivePlan has on industry benchmarks gives the business owner a great vantage point to see where their business can improve, and where it is doing well … That’s why we created ‘what if’ scenarios: so owners and advisors can prepare for both the best and worst, to ensure the business stays afloat.”


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