Stop dreaming and start planning with a short business plan

July 31, 2017 - Tags: Planning

Writing a business plan is an important step in starting a business. You might think of a business plan as a long, hefty document. Perhaps thinking of all that work discourages you? It shouldn't keep you from starting your business. There are alternatives to traditional business plans.

A business plan can be as short as one page or it can even be something more visual, like a chart. Different business plans serve different purposes but they contain a lot of similar information. What's important is that it contains information essential to a business plan. Keep your plan useful. Useful information could include:

  • A clear vision. What will you do and how will you be different from any competitors. What value proposition does your business offer?
  • A mission. Give an idea of what your business looks like when it's operating. How will your business model look in action?
  • Some goals. These should be measurable achievements, consistent with your mission, bringing you towards your vision.
  • A strategy. This can be both a map to meeting your goals and a place to take stock of your situation. What are your target markets, resources, costs and revenues? How do you reach out to customers and partners? What needs improvement?

Your answers don't have to be long but they should be thought out, and a business plan, long or short, never goes unchanged. It should adapt to the situation.

Shorter business plans can be useful for planning and pitching your business. But, it's not always appropriate. For example, if you're speaking with investors or a loan officer, they may want a traditional business plan as well. They will want more details to ensure you have considered the potential challenges that may arise while starting your business.

Writing a traditional business plan doesn't have to be your first move. You can start with a short plan. It helps you think through the challenges of your business and to see if your ideas will turn a profit. Once you've started your business, your plan can help you stay organized, focused, and it'll help you identify your next moves.


Comments

Posted by Canada.ca on August 23, 2017
Hello Neil.

Thank you for contacting Canada Business. We are a government organization that helps entrepreneurs start or grow their business in Canada.

The following resources will help you get started with your business plan:
Writing your business plan
Sample business plans and templates
Business planning FAQs

You can find business advising, coaching, and mentoring services in your area with the help of our Networking search tool. Small Business BC, the Canada Business Centre in Vancouver, provides business advisory services such as business plan consulting and review. You can contact Small Business BC directly and by phone at 1-604-775-5525.

If you have further questions about starting or growing your business in Canada, please contact us for assistance.
Posted by Neil on August 22, 2017
I am a former U.S. Public Accountant and International Management Consultant. I received Funding, twice, from the Canadian International Development Agency (Private Partnership Branch) for overseas Projects. I am now in Phase Three of that process and want to set up a "Canada Business Development Centre" and "Asia Travel Trade and Investment Centre" in Sri Lanka and in Vancouver. I need some assistance with preparing my Business Plan. I was told that I do not qualify for assistance under the FuturPreneur Program. Thank you!
Posted by Canada.ca on August 22, 2017
Hello Vicki,

Thank you for contacting Canada Business. We are always happy to help you with questions about starting or growing your business in Canada.

You can find out more about business financing matters on our page Sources of private sector financing. Also note that you can use our program search tool to look for financial assistance, as well as other government services, based on your goals,
your industry, and location. You can refine your search by using the left-hand menu, or by modifying the settings at the top of any page.

For more information to help with your start-up and importing activities, consult the following resources:
Starting a business
Business planning
Importing

You may also be interested in our resources on Marketing and sales which can help you promote your products, manage customer relationships, set up for online sales, learn about regulations, and more.

If you have further questions about starting or growing your business in Alberta, or elsewhere in Canada, please contact us for assistance.

Good luck with your new venture!
Posted by Vicki on August 21, 2017
Hello,
I am thinking about starting a business in Central Alberta. It would consist of bulk tea and coffee along with accessories for both for retail sale. I have started to research for my business plan to take to my bank for a small business loan. Does one need to have their own investment to qualify for a small business loan? It would be a sole proprietor business.
Thank you for your time.
Posted by Canada.ca on August 17, 2017
Hello Danny,

Thank you for contacting Canada Business. We are always happy to help you with questions about starting or growing your business in Canada.

You can use our program search tool to look for financial assistance, as well as other government services, based on your goals, your industry, your location, and more. You can refine your search by using the left-hand menu, or the settings at the top of any page.

Our page "Financing your new business" offers a variety of government and non-government financing options that can help you get your business off the ground.

If you have further questions about starting or growing your business in Canada, please contact us for assistance.

Good luck with your new venture!
Posted by Danny on August 17, 2017
Like to get funding for starting a business
Posted by Canada.ca on August 14, 2017
Hi Shauna,

Thank you for contacting Canada Business. We are always happy to help you with questions about starting or growing your business in Canada.

If you're thinking of hiring your first employee, you might want to read our blog article, "Are you ready to take on employees?" to learn the steps you need to take and some of the things you might want to consider before putting the wheels in motion.

It is important to understand your obligations and responsibilities as an employer. These obligations include things like ensuring the health and safety of your employee(s) while they are at work, and following standards when it comes to recruiting and hiring. Learn more on our Hiring employees page and our Employment standards page.

Our page "Employees, payroll, and taxes has information that can help you learn how to deduct Canada Pension Plan contributions, Employment Insurance (EI) premiums and income tax from your employees' pay, and report it to the Canada Revenue Agency.

If you don't already have bonding insurance, you may want to consider it before taking on an employee. A bond is a form of insurance that protects your business against potential losses caused by internal fraud, theft, or incompetence. If any of your employees make a mistake that results in losses for your clients, restitution for damages is paid by your insurance company. Learn more about the different types of bonding insurance, and insurance for your small business in general.

If you have further questions about starting or growing your business in Canada, please contact us for assistance.
Posted by Shauna on August 14, 2017
Hello I have Ben working for about 8 yeas cleaning houses and now I am at the point of needing a helper I will need help to get that started I don't know how to pay them taxes can you help me and to let me know if I need insurance thanks
Posted by Canada.ca on August 14, 2017
Hello Mark,

Thank you for contacting Canada Business. We are always happy to help you with questions about starting or growing your business in Canada.

Our guest blog article, "Get financing for your intellectual property (IP)" offers many suggestions for obtaining financial assistance with new ideas, as well as leveraging your existing IP for a loan. You can use your protected IP to generate funds or obtain credit for other activities within your business. Learn more by visiting the page Financing for your intellectual property.

You can use our program search tool to look for financial assistance, as well as other government services, based on your goals, your industry, your location, and more. You can refine your search by using the left-hand menu, or the settings at the top of any page.

If you have not already done so, you may want to try to fast-track your patent application by joining the Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) program. Once your patent claim has been approved in one participating country, you can request a corresponding claim in another participating country, at no extra cost to you.

You may want to consider working with a licenced IP agent to help guide you through the process of IP protection. You may also want to contact the Canadian Intellectual Property Office if you have specific questions about your payments and fees.

When the time comes, and you are looking for investors, you might find potential Canadian business partners by searching the Canadian Company Capabilities (CCC) database, which includes hundreds of specialized manufacturing, service, and product-specific business directories.

If you have further questions about starting or growing your business in Canada, please contact us for assistance.
Posted by Mark on August 12, 2017
Hello,

I have an invention patented with WIPO in Geneva published in May 2016. Now 148 countries want their application, search, and translation fees before the time limit.
Will the government assist me with some of these fees so I can collect the royalties and spread the idea to the countries which will help me find investors and deals with various companies? I can send a short business plan to show what I will do with money from the royalties to benefit Canada.
Let me know if you want the link to my publication.
Thank you.
Posted by Canada.ca on August 1, 2017
Hello Michael,

Thank you for contacting Canada Business. We are a government organization that helps entrepreneurs start or grow their business in Canada.

You can use the Networking search tool to find business coaching and mentoring services in Ontario. Many of these services are provided at no cost.

You can also use the program search tool to see if there are funding programs that meet your criteria. You may want to refine your search by choosing the type of program. You can also use this tool to find non-financing programs.

You may also be interested in the Sport, Recreation and Community Programs Division web page (http://www.mtc.gov.on.ca/en/sport/sport_index.shtml) offered by the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport. This website addresses recent changes to Amateur Combative Sports' rules in Ontario, as well as information on concussions.

If you haven’t yet done so, be sure to consider market research as it can help you determine the size of your market and the extent of your competition.

For more information on starting and planning a business, you can consult our website section Starting a business.

If you have questions about starting or growing your business in Canada, please contact us for assistance.

Thank you and good luck with your next steps.
Posted by Michael on July 31, 2017
Hello,
For about 2 years now, I dream to open a martial arts club - Teaching Taekwondo. I read about how the start and has created a business idea/plan.
What I need now is a coach/a mentor. I heard that ESDC has a program that offer FREE coaching and consultation. Where do I find this info and how do I get access to this progra.

I live in Rockland Ontario Canada.

Please advise asap
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