In the business boom of the late 1990s, software for preparing business plans was itself a big business. With plenty of venture capital available, a good-looking boilerplate plan could mean the difference between a company being founded or an idea foundering for lack of financial support.Then the bottom fell out of the venture capital market, and business plan software languished, though the need for business plans for obtaining credit kept this application from vanishing completely.

These days, there seems to be some interest once again in financing new businesses, but even more important, there is a growing awareness that a solid plan is necessary for the growth of an existing business.

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