“What business plan software do you recommend?” I get asked that question a lot since I do so much work with small businesses and startups.
The truth is that, unlike in the world of Windows, not many business plan solutions are available. I’ve heard a few whispers about ION FreshStart’s Advanced Business Planning package, but it has very few available online reviews.
In response to current needs and an increased demand for answers, I decided to share with you everything I know about ION FreshStart’s businesses templates package for Mac OS X.
Let’s get on with it already! What’s the holdup?
Well, before we get into the details of ION FreshStart, we would like you to understand the following:
Disclaimer: Neither Bruce Tyson nor any member of his staff has any personal or insider knowledge of ION FreshStart. The firm apparently operates as a sole proprietorship and has made very little information about itself and its products available online.
Additionally, brucetyson.com is not a reseller of ION FreshStart products and has no affiliate relationship with the company. This product review represents the experiences and opinions of brucetyson.com and might not reflect your experience if you chose to do businesses with the firm.
ION FreshStart Advanced Business Planning
As soon as you visit the ION FreshStart website, you’ll see that the brand claims to be “Top Selling Business Plan for Mac.” We have no way to verify this claim and we also have no idea to the firm’s sales volume.
Scroll down the page and you’ll see some cute little round icons that are presumably intended to inspire business confidence. Coupled with the invitation to join “thousands of satisfied customers,” you have the needed confidence to continue. Right?
ION FreshStart promises a 30-day money back satisfaction guarantee that, if honored, should inspire anyone who needs Mac business planning software.
I promise to let you know exactly how this experience goes. If we want our money back and ION FreshStart doesn’t honor their promise, you will be the first to know.
ION FreshStart: Gumroad
“What the heck is Gumroad?” First, it is the payment processor for ION FreshStart. According to Wikipedia,
“Gumroad is a platform that enables creators to sell products directly to consumers.”
The company was created by Sahil Lavingia six years ago and is supposed to make selling as easy as sharing stuff on Facebook. We’ll see.
ION FreshStart: Gumroad
Below, you’ll see a screenshot of how the ION FreshStart “Buy Now” page.
Switching to Chrome…
After a rather difficult experience trying to figure out why the “Pay” button wouldn’t work, I finally got through. Here’s the confirmation screen:
ION FreshStart: Download
Interestingly, a file called ION ABP v6 iWork.zip automatically downloaded to my computer. When I clicked on the “Download” button, a file with a different name (but the same size) downloaded. It was called ION_Advanced_Business_Planning_v6_iWork.zip.
Both zip files contain the same files when unzipped, so it looks like ION FreshStart has a little bit of cleaning up to do.
All the files in this package are dated October 2015, so if you think you’re going to get a bleeding edge product, you should think again. In fact, after almost two years without updating, these files are either perfect or stale.
ION FreshStart: Conclusion
A perusal of the file templates didn’t evoke any “Oh WOW!” moments, but we have, so far, not seen anything glaring to immediately demand a refund. I and my team will explore the files as we get the opportunity and request a refund within 30 days if necessary.
Stay tuned. I’ll let you know.
ION FreshStart has had version six as its current release for almost two years. In that time, no one at the firm has bothered to proofread the material. If ION FreshStart has any customers, we could expect some of them to have already complained about the sloppy spelling and grammar. This product is unprofessional, to say the least.
Spelling and grammar errors in 2 Master Business Plan v6.pages:
- Page 1: “Our headquarters are in Austin, Texas.” << Singular / plural disagreement. This should be “Our headquarters is located.”
- Page 2: “Change the style easily by clicking tablle” << misspelled word, missing period >>
- Page 5:”The Company is in a good position to leverage this opportunity due to [ location / management team / unique product or service ]…” << missing should be “due to its location…” or, if you insist, this could be “due to their location…” or “due to our location…”. >>
- Page 6: “This will be an advantage over many other [ firms / stores / businesses / companies ] who often hire management teams with little to no [ technical / writing / engineering / accounting ] background.” This should read “that” rather than “who.”
ION FreshStart’s businesses templates: Conclusion
I chose to not bore you with every single typo and grammatical error contained in the ION FreshStart package. Also, I’m not going into how the package has an intrinsic and inexplicable illogical workflow. Suffice it to say that I was disappointed by this product and I cannot and will not recommend it to a client.
I decided to take advantage of the 30-day satisfaction guarantee. I sent a well-written and respectful message to firstname.lastname@example.org as instructed on the product’s website. Since I did this on a Saturday, I was not expecting a response until Monday or Tuesday. ION FreshStart pleasantly surprised me by responding in about one hour with a pleasant email message and a refund. Such prompt service spoke well of the brand and places it well above they typical internet seller.
In conclusion, the ION FreshStart website looks great and, on the surface appears to be a fantastic product. After shelling out $39 for an amateurish product, however, I was discouraged. Is there a Mac-based business plan product out there that I can recommend? Probably, but ION FreshStart isn’t it.
Still, after experiencing the fast and friendly response to my refund request, I believe that you can give the product a try for yourself without fear of losing your money.
Bruce Tyson provides business strategy services to small businesses and entrepreneurs. If you need to develop a winning business plan, contact us to get a quote by sending an email to email@example.com.