Small Business Publisher promises to help entrepreneurs avoid having their materials professionally designed and printed. While it does its best to help even those with no artistic ability, the program takes some getting used to.
This download does a great job of covering the bases for users who are either ready to jump right in and design (thanks to its three-step startup menu), or those who need a little coaching (thanks to its Help file and two online tutorials). However, the actual design screen will take some exploring no matter how you get started. For example, the design tools change with each template item highlighted. We initially found this confusing, but grew to love its versatility, which made for quick and simple customizations. In general, filling in the templates was intuitive and even fun thanks to the text boxes.
Small Business Planner offers users a wide swath of templates, from brochures to letterheads and business cards, which will do a good job of covering user needs. However, we were surprised that some templates looked very professional (like the letterhead and brochures) while others looked like they were designed on an old word processor (advertisements and fliers). The program also places a watermark on each project until the program is purchased. Still, we found this to be a capable desktop program for people looking to design their own marketing materials.