Benchmarking is a way to compare your business across similar businesses as a way to determine where you sit against the average. Benchmarking is a helpful step to take prior to creating a business plan as you are determining your own cost and revenue by being able to compare it to accurate data to similar businesses. It’s also a helpful step to take if you’ve already established your businesses whenever you’re revisiting your business plan. The Government of Canada offers tools that are helpful when you are assessing how your business measures up against competitors, like the Financial Performance Data report you can pull from its website. The Financial Performance Data report was created by Statistics Canada using Revenue Canada tax returns. It contains helpful sections that look at selected revenue and expense items (total revenue, total expenses and net profit/loss), balance sheets, financial ratios, and profitable v. nonprofitable business comparisons. To access the information that fits your needs, you have to “create a report“, or input a revenue range, location and industry which helps narrow the comparison for which you’ll need. Once you’ve established your business plan based on the information you learned, be sure to revisit it annually.