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The more you prepare and plan, the better you can focus on what your new business will need to operate to give it the best chance for success. You need to work out all the details needed to put your idea into operation, and be firmly convinced of your ability to make it work.


  1. Business and Industry Canada  The Government of Canada’s portal of information on business name and structure, how plan a business, financing, taxation, hiring employees, developing a marketing plan, and more.
  2. FedDev Ontario Small Business Services FedDev Ontario provides government information specific to Ontario and offers videos and info, how-to, and business-basics guides. They also have a Business Info Line 1-888-576-4444 that connects you with government services you need to start, run and grow your business.
  3. Business Owner’s Toolkit      This US portal contains many articles, templates and checklists to help you start and run a small business. As this site is American, the government rules and regulations do not apply.
  4. Invest Ottawa Business seminars and advisory services available. Register online and attend in person. 
  5. Topic Guide on Business Planning Prepared by the Business Services Team at the Ottawa Public Library. Browse this list to find books available at the library along online resources available for planning your business.

Writing a Business Plan.

A business plan is a road map to point the way to success.  The time it takes to create the plan will be more than repaid by the insight you gain. In your plan, you can examine the nuts and bolts of running a business.  If you are applying for a bank loan, a financial institution wants to see a sound business plan.

  1. Templates and guides  Futurpreneur's Business Plan Writer is a straightforward template to use. To understand what goes into a business plan, read FedDev Ontario's Business Plan Guide and Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency's Planning for Success Guide. Also check the Australian Open Colleges' How To Write a Business Plan.
  2. Complete business plans from actual businesses in Gale EBooks Business Plans Handbook, a multi-volume set of real business plans by existing companies. Search the plans by keyword, and download to your computer. Login using your Ottawa Public Library membership card and PIN.
  3. Center for Business Planning    The Center links to award-winning business plans from the MOOT CORP®’ Competitions at the University of Texas.
  4. Search free sample plans for a variety of businesses.

If you do not need a formal business plan, here are free tools for planning your business.  

  1. Big Idea Canvas
  2. Business Model Canvas

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