Preparing a business plan
Applicants must submit a business plan when applying for a new passenger transportation licence or when applying to transfer a licence. The Passenger Transportation Board (Board) reviews business plans to understand how a business proposes to run and operate a passenger transportation service.
Writing your business plan
Your business plan demonstrates to the Board that you are capable of providing a passenger transportation service.
Business plan template
The amount of detail in your business plan will depend on the size and location of your business. If you use a business plan template, you must change it to meet your circumstances.
If you make general statements in a business plan, you must back them up with real data. For example, if you say, “people want a better taxi service,” provide the Board evidence or proof to support your statement.
What makes a good business plan?
A good business plan:
- Clearly describes the proposed transportation service. Assumptions are reasonable and explained
- Describes the target market for passengers and identifies key competitors
- Provides information on other passenger transportation services in your proposed area as well as information on accessible services
- Contains information, including the financial statements, that is consistent with the other material in the application submission
- Includes information on the background and skills of key staff
Business plans and confidentiality
The Board does not usually release business plans. However, they are not confidential and the Board can disclose some or all of a business plan.
The Board is required to publish notice of “the fact and nature” of an application. The Board may get some of this information from a business plan.
The Board may have to release information if it is required to do so by legislation, the court system or due to a criminal investigation. For example, a person may ask for access to business plan information under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. The Board would then review the information in the plan to determine what must be released.
Business plan updates
If you are applying to change your licence or add vehicles to your fleet, you must submit an updated business plan with your application. The updated business plan focuses on the changes you are applying for and how they will affect your business and operations.
A detailed business plan update helps the Board understand what changes you are seeking, how they will affect your operations and why the changes are necessary.
Consider these questions when preparing your updated business plan:
Proposed changes and rationale
- What changes are you proposing?
- Why do you want to make these changes?
- How did you decide how many vehicles you require? (if you are asking for more vehicles)
Organizational structure changes
- Have there been any significant changes to your organization since your last application (e.g. new directors, management, financial arrangements, etc.)?
- Do you anticipate significant changes to your business because of the changes you are seeking?
Market and services
- How will your proposed changes affect your services?
- If you are applying for additional vehicles, what are your plans for hiring, training and developing drivers?
- Will you be purchasing any specialty vehicles? If so, what types and why?
- Will you be serving a new market? If so, what research have you done about the needs of this market? How will you ensure that your service meets the needs of this market, especially if it includes persons with disabilities?
- If this is a new market, what are the main risks and challenges that your company faces in the marketplace?
Business partnerships alliances
- Do you have any agreements or alliances with other transportation or non-transportation companies that will increase your ridership?
- Does your company provide any services that do not involve passenger transportation?
- Have you provided:
- Cash flow projections?
- Balance sheets or net worth statements?
- Income statements?
- Have you explained your assumptions and calculations?
- Have you separated start-up costs from ongoing costs?
- If you require additional funds to implement the changes, how will you obtain these funds? What is their source?
Sample business plan template
Consider these questions in developing your business plan outline. You can add other information that you think is relevant.
- Summarizes key points in your business plan
- How is your business set up? (e.g. sole proprietorship, partnership or corporation)
- Who are the key individuals responsible for the success of your company? What is the role of each person in relation to the business? What experience does each person have that relates to the business?
- What is your transportation service? Where will you operate? How many vehicles will you have? How will you ensure that you maintain care and control of the vehicles?
- What are your plans for hiring, training and developing drivers? Do you have a driver training manual? Do you have any specific requirements that drivers must meet? Do you require drivers to have a criminal record check? Do you review driving history?
- How will you provide service? How do passengers arrange transportation with you? Do you use a dispatch service? What type of service is it? On what days of the week, and between what hours, will service be provided?
- Will you be providing fully accessible services? (e.g. wheelchair accessible taxis, ramps, etc.)What research have you done regarding the needs of this market? How will you ensure that your service meets their needs? What staff training will you offer? What equipment will you purchase?
Target market and local conditions
- Where do most of your passengers live? What is the population of this area? What are the population trends? Are there any relevant studies or economic or community plans relating to the area?
- What passenger transportation services are available in the area? Is there public transportation? How similar or different is your service from other services in the area? What advantages does your service offer to passengers compared to competitors? If your application is approved, what impact do you think your service would have on competing licensees?
- What are the main risks and challenges that your company faces in the marketplace?
- How will passengers know you are available to provide a passenger transportation service? How will you promote and advertise?
Business partnerships alliances
- Do you have any agreements or alliances with other transportation or non-transportation companies that will increase your ridership? If yes, explain these.
- Does your company provide any services that do not involve passenger transportation? If yes, explain these.
- Have you provided cash flow projections? Balance sheets? Income statements? Have you explained your assumptions and calculations? Have you separated start-up costs from ongoing costs?