New Business Planning Products Challenge Investment Doldrums

Palo Alto Software, Inc. releases software for two distinct groups amongst business plan writers

Eugene, Ore. August 6, 2002 - As media and politicians wade into corporate greed, stock market indicators tumble, and venture capital investment falls, Palo Alto Software this month released two new business planning products designed to help entrepreneurs start new businesses and to help existing businesses improve their planning process.

"We've been helping companies plan for more than 18 years now," said Palo Alto Software president Tim Berry, "but lately, with the downturn in stocks, crisis of confidence in business, and investment sources drying up, it seems like we all need business planning more than ever."

Both of the two new software products, BUSINESS PLAN PRO® 2003 and BUSINESS PLAN PRO 2003 PREMIER, will be released this month. The PRO 2003 retails for $99.95 and is available at most office and computer stores and at PREMIER is priced at $299, and can be purchased direct from

For entrepreneurs, Business Plan Pro® 2003 (PRO) provides a wizard-driven interface from start to finish and the largest single collection of sample plans in the industry, more than 400, all of which can be read into the software and used as starting points for new plans. Row-by-row help guides the user through every financial entry and linked spreadsheets with established formulas handles the calculations to create a full set of financial statements. The software will save users hundreds of hours through seamless formatting, built-in research data, and a myriad of distribution options.

The new PREMIER adds a new dimension to the planning process, by including powerful collaboration features and enhanced financial capabilities to meet the power, flexibility and teamwork requirements of the expert planner. In addition to all the features of PRO, PREMIER offers a unique email collaboration feature allowing users the ability to create a plan in a team environment, combine multiple plans into one and save a unique plan outline to coordinate strategies across departments and divisions.

Both new versions work well with different additional software tools used by business to manage change, including an easy import from 2002 and newer QuickBooks® products, to allow plan writers to use their existing information and financial data. QuickBooks is published by Intuit (INTU). Both new versions also export and import to Microsoft Office®, and export to Adobe Acrobat® files as well. However, no additional software is required. Import and export are optional features.

The two new versions respond to market research studies indicating two categories of business planners with distinctly different needs. The first group, the small business owner and entrepreneur, needs to secure financing through a bank or private investor. Time and money are the most limited resources of this group. The second group consists of business planning experts, managers, consultants and experienced entrepreneurs, and this group indicates that their main requirement is the ability to efficiently collaborate in the creation of their business and strategic plans.

Palo Alto Software and another major business software publisher carried out the studies. In response to these findings,

"We have led the way in easing the task of business planning development for entrepreneurs for a number of years. This newest version of BUSINESS PLAN PRO does more than ever to provide the small business owner the perfect tool to get their business plan finished fast and formatted in a way that a banker or investor will respect.", said Tim Berry, president of Palo Alto Software.

Berry, an internationally recognized business planning consultant, went on to say, "The design of the BUSINESS PLAN PRO 2003 line of products is based on an extensive heuristic study and additional market research to find out about the unique needs of business planners. The more experienced planners need flexibility and collaboration to optimize efficiency and PREMIER offers expert planners exactly that."

About Palo Alto Software

Palo Alto Software, founded in 1988, develops, publishes and markets software products for use with personal computers. BUSINESS PLAN PRO is the best-selling business planning software in the U.S. retail market, according to NPD Intelect (formerly PC Data). Palo Alto Software's other products include WEB STRATEGY PRO®, MARKETING PLAN PRO®, CASH PLAN PRO®, and BUSINESS PLAN TOOLKIT® for the Macintosh. Palo Alto Software's product line offers "know how" solutions that have made it the market leader in its category. Palo Alto Software's award-winning site continues to be one of the highest traffic sites in the small business arena, offering numerous business planning resources. Palo Alto Software is a privately-owned corporation based in Eugene, Oregon. More information about Palo Alto Software's products are available on the company website,



Sadie Dressekie
Palo Alto Software, Inc.
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