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Business Plan

Before you start developing your business plan, you should have completed some in-depth market research and conducted a feasibility study that assesses your idea at the organizational, business and social level.

Below we have described the components of a business plan and provided you with worksheets for each. You can also download TEF's template for writing the business plan; this template must be used by applicants to TEF's Business Plan Competition.

Components of a Business Plan

Organizational Structure

The ownership, legal structure, management and systems your enterprise will have.

Market Research/Feasibility Assessment

The results of your feasibility study, showing both the primary and secondary research you have conducted into your idea and including a detailed competitor analysis. Click here for more information and worksheets on market research.

Marketing Plan

A marketing plan covers the “4Ps” of marketing: product, price, promotion and place. You can download the following tools to help you develop the marketing plan for your product or service.

Business Operations Plan

The operations plan shows in detail how you will provide your products and services and how much it will cost you to provide them.

Human Development Plan

If you are starting an employment-focussed enterprise, this is a crucial part of your business plan. Show how you will ensure participants are appropriately trained, accommodated, paid and connected to the mainstream labour market.

Risk Assessment

Review the organizational, business and social risks, and explain how you will address them. How will failure affect your parent organization and your participants?

Financial Plan

Your financial plan is your budget. It includes a sales forecast, cash flow forecast and 3-year budget. It is based on your marketing plan, operations plan and human development plan.

Registration and Taxes

A social enterprise in Ontario must be registered in the same way as a small business, and is also subject to the rules for HST. More on taxes.

Licensing and Legislation

Social enterprises must also comply with any federal, provincial and municipal regulations that apply to the business they are operating. More on regulations.

Executive Summary

Summarize your research, marketing, operations and financial plans in two pages or less. Put this section at the beginning of your business plan.



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