By promoting effective business plan affiliate programs, you can help potential entrepreneurs stand the best chance of building a successful business, boost employment figures in local communities and make good commissions in the process.
Without a cohesive business plan, startup founders struggle to access credit, are cut-off from grant schemes and won’t stand a chance at attracting private equity investment from venture capital (VC) firms.
There are two markets for business plans. The first is common in the online business sector or MMO industry and those are the one-page business plans that are often used as lead magnets. These are fine for extremely low-cost startups that don’t require funding.
The second market is the one these business plan affiliate programs focus on and this is for business startups and for established businesses requiring investments from credit firms or private investors.
By pointing entrepreneurs to business planning services, you can make good commissions by helping startups to formalize their business plans and then use them to access funding from banks, credit lenders, and private investors, and put together professional pitch decks to make highly engaging presentations for pitching to VCs.
Some programs are suited to business advisors, coaches and other professional service providers, but there are some paying recurring commissions to anyone who can send qualified leads, which only requires you to have access to a community of entrepreneurs.
Asides from targeting startups directly, business plan affiliate programs can be tied into finance websites and as a lot are cloud-based, they’re also suited to business technology review websites.
Business Plan Affiliate Website Ideas
- Entrepreneur blogs and online magazines with a business startup audience can review the various business plan pieces of software that are available.
- Use business plan affiliate programs and other legal services for startups as sponsors on podcasts.
- Video tutorials are always going to be advantageous to people starting their first business venture who prefer an over-the-shoulder guide to go through the business planning process.
- Target higher budget startups with premium content for email subscribers only discussing preparing pitch decks, interviewing angel investors and successful business owners who have been through the process.
- A tightly focused blog could take each section of a business plan and use that as a category to teach people the various methods to write a business plan. As an example, categories could include business planning, market analysis, legal structure, R & D, marketing plans, and financial and funding.
An Overview of the Business Plan Sector
The amount of funding a startup needs will determine the type of business plan service that’s suitable.
- Software is ideal for those who need a bank loan.
- Consultancy services are more suited to higher levels of investment.
- Businesses planning to develop a product will need market research to prove the viability before going to market.
- To win the backing of private investors, pitch deck templates from presentation software providers can help create presentations for pitching investors.
If you already have an audience, you can browse by sub-categories or scroll through the different affiliate programs to learn how each platform can be tied into your affiliate campaigns.
11 Business Plan Affiliate Programs
- Live Plan
- Go Small Biz
- Bargain Business Plans
- Wise Business Plans
- Grow Think
- Rocket Lawyer
Business Plan Software
1. Live Plan
Live Plan is promoted as the industry leader in business plan software. They’re owned by Palo Alto Software and they’re the same company behind Bplans.com and Business Plan Pro – a software download for developing a business plan that sells for a one-time fee.
Tim Berry is the founder of Palo Alto and he’s big on content marketing. Search “by Tim Berry” on Google with the quotes and you’ll get all the insights you need about the software and his experience in business planning and execution.
The affiliate program is managed by the TUNE affiliate network (formerly HasOffers.com) and they pay 20% commission across all Palo Alto Software, with the exception of Live Plan that pays a flat $20 commission per verified sale. The minimum payment threshold is $100 and payments are made monthly.
A super easy way to promote Palo Alto Software is to do a side by side comparison of Live Plan Vs. Business Plan Pro.
Stratpad is a cloud-based business planning software that’s designed to create business plans based on the input of smaller business owners, or those just starting their journey into entrepreneurship.
The USP here is on getting people to think about their business and feed better input into the software, then the program puts the user’s thoughts into a coherent business plan.
It’s definitely a different approach that’s suited to more smaller businesses requiring less startup capital that could be covered by a mainstream credit provider, rather than startup founders requiring venture capital over multiple rounds of crowdfunding.
The Stratpad affiliate program is managed by the Avangate Network, pays 50% commission and there’s no minimum sales requirements or payment thresholds.
Business Plan Services
3. Go Small Biz
Go Small Biz started as a learning portal for startups and has since grew to include a range of products and services startups need.
Some of the products include the business planning software, a library of legal documents, training manuals for employees, HR documents, a website builder, CRM, email marketing and digital marketing resources as well as business consultancy services that let users ask unlimited questions and get a reply within 2 business days.
The cost: $39 per month.
The target audience for Go Small Biz is micro-enterprises (less than 10 employees), home-based business startups and independent contractors/freelancers.
The business planning software is the entry point to starting a business. All the extras included should make it an easier sell and could convert better than some online business training membership sites.
The Go Small Biz affiliate program pays a 30% recurring commission, uses 120-day cookies and pays monthly by check after you’ve met a minimum payment threshold of $25.
4. Bargain Business Plans
Bargain Business Plan is as the name suggests, cheaper than competitors. It’s suited to startups and established small businesses who need a fixed price for a business plan they can take to the bank or use to apply for funding through the SBA. (U.S. Small Business Administration)
They also provide Visa business plans, franchise business plans and non-profit business plans.
For market research, similar to other providers suited to capital raising, they also use industry reports from IBIS World. Hoover’s, ESRI, First Research, and the U.S. Census.
The affiliate page is misleading because this is not an affiliate program.
It’s a partner program for existing businesses with access to a start-up community. Rather than earning a set commission, you’d be using the outsourcing business model by selling their business plans at a mark-up and outsourcing the business plan writing to their team.
The affiliate page doesn’t provide much details on how partnering with them works. They may let you set your own prices or invoice you with a discount similar to the next program for Infosurv.com’s Prime Contractor Program that lets you keep 10% as your commission.
Business ideas are great but they need market research done before investing in product development. All too often, startup founders fall in love with their idea and go to market with a product before verifying and validating the idea has potential.
Infosurv is a market research company that can be used by startups to get validation of a target market. It’s also beneficial to existing businesses planning to expand their range with a new product offering to their existing customer base.
The Infosurv.com affiliate program has two parts. The lead generation program pays a flat fee of $250 per referral made that leads to a sale.
The other program is their Prime Contractor Program and that’s designed for consultants providing a service to startups or business development coaches.
As a partner, you’d essentially be a reseller and outsourcing the market research to Infosurv.com. Partners can order the services with a 10% reduction and invoice clients at Infosurv’s published rates and keep the 10% difference as commission.
Business Planning Services for Raising Capital
6. Wise Business Plans
The team at Wise Business Plans have a wealth of experience and they’re hands-on rather than providing a software solution for people to string together their own business plans based on their best guess.
The business planning services range from basic to complex and cover a variety of plans including non-profit business plans, franchise business plans and the more complicated visa business plans for people planning to immigrate to the US to start their own business.
A competitive edge for Wise Business Plans is their market research. They subscribe to various commercial databases including IbisWorld, ESRI, Dun and Bradstreet, Hoovers and First Research.
For startup founders needing bullet-proof statistics included in their business plan, these are the databases to use, but they come with a heavy fee. It’s made more affordable through Wise Business Plans as they’re already subscribing.
The Wise Business Plans affiliate program uses 6-month cookies, pays 10% commission on any sale with payments paid to PayPal monthly after meeting the minimum threshold of $50.
7. Grow Think
For ambitious startups and established companies needing a business plan with an emphasis on attracting venture capital, GrowThink.com could be the partner to be aligned with.
Wise Business Plans have a competitive advantage for market research, but Grow Think is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Growthink Capital – an investment banking platform. Their clients (and therefore their network) are loan officers, bankers, angel investors, and venture capitalists.
Growthink.com provides business planning and consultancy services to startups and they can then match them to their investors on growthinkcapital.com.
The Growthink.com affiliate program pays 50% commission on all services and the cookies are set to lifetime so commissions are paid on future orders too.
Prices range from $37 to $697 so there is potential to grow your income as you help more founders grow with their business planning consultancy.
Presentation Software for Pitching Business Ideas
A business plan on its own is enough to satisfy the requirements of lenders. To attract larger sums for seed capital to scale operations, startup founders need to become presenters to pitch to investors.
That’s where Slidebean.com comes into the equation.
It’s an alternative to PowerPoint and Keynote that puts an emphasis on the design aspect for non-designers or without the budget to hire a designer.
A core part of the marketing strategy for Slidebean is their pitch decks. They have a library of pre-designed pitch decks that can be customized by adding charts, icons, graphs, photos, tables, quotes, bullet points and videos to make presentations more engaging.
In addition to promoting presentation software to startup founders, the Slidebean affiliate program also includes the Founders Edition that gives users access to their founders and a monthly call with a business analyst, a proofreading service and design tune-ups as well as a range of discounts on services startups will need.
The Slidebean affiliate program is managed by the Tapfiliate.com network and pays a $30 commission on any plans your referrals buy or $50 for sales of the Slidebean Founders Edition. The minimum payment threshold is $60 with payments made to PayPal upon request.
Visme is another PowerPoint alternative similar to Slidebean and they also have a variety of pitch deck templates that can be customized, icons changed and images added from their library.
There’s also a PowerPoint importer so for those more familiar with PowerPoint, they can make their presentations there, import it to Visme and add in the animated transitions between each slide.
The Visme affiliate program pays a 30% recurring commission, and once approved, you’ll get access to a marketing kit to help with your promotions.
Mind maps can have a strategic use in business planning, especially when you can share with other team members and use them for brain dumps then organize them in a manner that creates a road map for each year.
A mind map can be used as part of a pitch deck presentation but more than that, they can be used to create an engaging road map for a new business.
Processes can be brainstormed, ideas presented visually as well as creating visual representations of a SWOT analysis and mapping out go to market strategies.
As mind maps are dynamic and can be adjusted to suit different business requirements, in particular for annual road mapping of business goals and the journey to meet those goals, there is potential to earn recurring income by showing startup founders how to implement mind maps into their business using the Mindmeister affiliate program.
Each referral earns you a 20% recurring commission and the links have a 30-day cookie window. The minimum payment threshold is $150 with payments made to PayPal upon request.
Legal Services for Business Startups
11. Rocket Lawyer
Rocket Lawyer makes it easy to introduce new clients by offering free business plans that are customized to meet the requirements of local state laws across the US. The business plans are their lead magnet and they’re suited to local startups in the US.
Where the fees come in is with their legal services to get the business up and running. Some of the legal services local startups need are the legal documents, contracts and incorporation services.
There’s also a membership option that gives access to legal advice from an attorney as well as a 30-minute phone session with a lawyer.
The affiliate program is managed on the Linkshare network and uses a 1-day cookie and pays 30% commission on any legal document purchases. The membership pays a 30% recurring commission for as long your referrals remain active on the premium plan.