Creating a business plan.

A business plan is a crucial tool for any business owner. It can help you get started, keep you on track, and make decisions as your business grows. We have the expertise and resources to help walk you through it.

The basics of a business plan and how to get started.

Watch this video to learn how answering five key questions can help you start your business plan. Turn your answers into a winning blueprint that you can use to build your business, access funding, and more.

What is a business plan?

A business plan is a living document that defines your goals, and how you will achieve them. It covers all major aspects of your business, including your financial plan, operations plan, marketing plan, and more. A business plan has 2 main purposes: it’s both your roadmap and your pitch.

Your business plan is your roadmap

Your business plan establishes goals that will guide your decisions as your business grows. You can return to it and update it to ensure that your choices align with your strategy and goals.

Your business plan is your pitch

Your business plan is also for the benefit of others. It tells the story of your company to help potential investors and lenders understand how you intend to use their funds. It should persuade them that you are well-prepared and should demonstrate to them that you have the experience and commitment to develop a detailed plan as well as the communication skills to write and present it.

Your business plan is invaluable, no matter how new or established your business. Use your business plan to:

  • Guide your business activities
  • Get financing or investors
  • Plan for future growth
  • Identify your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats
  • Track your performance
  • Plan your exit or succession from your business

When should I create a business plan?

Start as early as possible. Your final plan might be quite different from the first draft—your business plan will change and grow as you learn. To avoid being caught off guard later, make sure you’ve researched and planned for all the important aspects of starting a business.

A business plan does not have to be a massive document when you first start out. To begin, create a simple one-page plan. This will assist you in organizing your thoughts before creating a full plan. Throughout the year, Business Link hosts several workshops that can assist you in developing a one-page business plan. Attend one of our “Bring Your Business Idea to Life” or “Business Model Canvas” workshops to learn how to do so. Visit our events page to find out when and where the next workshop will be. Our interactive Business Plan Builder is also a great resource to help you get started.

How do I build a complete business plan?

Our FREE interactive Business Plan Builder makes writing a business plan easier. This online tool helps you write a full business plan and make updates and changes easily. It includes samples and short help videos throughout. In addition, our team of in-house experts can help you research, plan, and review your business plan. Contact us today!

Additional business planning supports for Indigenous or immigrant entrepreneurs.

Indigenous Business Planning Workbook
A workbook designed for our clients in Indigenous communities, but a great resource for any entrepreneur wishing to create a business plan. It provides vast information on evaluating your idea, analyzing your competition, and developing an operational plan.

Business Planning Guidebook for immigrant entrepreneurs
This guidebook provides immigrant entrepreneurs with the basic steps of business planning in Alberta. You can use this guidebook to complete a business and marketing plan. Although this guidebook gives you what you need to start as an Alberta business owner, it does not have all the details. Each business will have unique characteristics. You will need to adapt what you learn in this guidebook to your specific circumstances.

Explore resources for other business functions.

There are some tasks that almost every small business owner needs to complete before they get off the ground. These pages will educate you on some of those essentials to help get you on your way.

Financing Your Business

Licenses, Permits & Regulations

Finding & Hiring Employees

Still not sure where to start? Connect with us for free one-on-one business advice.

Our team of in-house small business experts can help you navigate the process of starting and running a business with free one-on-one advice.

We can help you:

  • Understand and navigate the startup process including regulations and licensing
  • Explore strategies to be successful in starting or running your business
  • Learn about your financing options, marketing and sales strategies, HR, and more
  • Find the most relevant resources and supports in the business community