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New research by Palo Alto Software, a developer and publisher of business planning software for entrepreneurs, found that 93% of MBA students intend to launch online businesses because they perceive a dramatic increase in consumers' confidence in purchasing online. This new-found confidence is also demonstrated by survey findings that 74 per cent of MBA students intend to set up their own business upon graduating this year and 60 per cent of these companies will be internet companies.

Tim Berry, an ex-business consultant to Apple and entrepreneur founder and president of Palo Alto Software advises, "To avoid being burned this time around, start up internet companies should take care to plan and map out every nuance of their business - a business plan gives you greater control over the future of your business as it enables you to review, prioritise and reassess on a regular basis. It also helps you appear more credible to potential investors and make the different between being cash-positive and negative from day to day."

As part of ongoing research into the SME market, Palo Alto Software’s successive surveys over the last decade in the UK and North America have highlighted that survival and profit-making often depend on how well new companies plan their business and execute against that plan, particularly in the early years.

Tim Berry continued, "In fact, research has found that entrepreneurs jumping into business without seeking advice on business planning are six times more likely to require additional funding within 36 months of operating."

Successful business planning has led online entrepreneurs Richard and John Hough, founders of, a junior sports information web site and sports retail business, to significantly reduce the amount of funding they anticipated needing from £800k to under £300k, a more achievable and attractive goal for potential investors. By planning using specialist business planning software Business Plan Pro 2004, the company could view its business beyond the limitations of normal spreadsheets and fully understand and prove its financial projections to dramatic effect.

Richard Hough says, "Business Plan Pro has opened our eyes to business planning and helped us to rework our plan completely. Rather than just putting together a document to try to attract investors we've actually used the program to plan for the future.

We intend tweaking our plan, developing new ones and driving the business forward with it. It's a no-brainer, either struggle for months using spreadsheets and word processors, pay an expensive accountant or a business plan specialist, or buy from the Business Plan Pro software range and save time and money in bucket loads."

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About Palo Alto Software
Palo Alto Software Limited sells, markets, and distributes award-winning business planning software developed by its Oregon, USA-based parent, Palo Alto Software, Inc, founded by president Tim Berry in 1984. Palo Alto Software’s award-winning website continues to be one of the highest traffic sites in the small business arena, offering numerous business planning resources.

For more information, please contact:
Lisa Atherfold/Casey Balkham
Brodeur Worldwide
Tel: +44 (0)207 298 7116/7043

This press release was distributed by ResponseSource Press Release Wire on behalf of Pleon in the following categories: Personal Finance, Business & Finance, for more information visit