This study examined the use of entrepreneurship as a tool of social and economic development in the context of the relationship between planning, firm resources (e.g. financial, marketing, organisational and reputational, and store) and performance in retail firms that are serving as social enterprises. Surveys were mailed to small retailers throughout Tasmania, Australia. Responses (n = 384) showed that the presence of marketing and store resources was related to the amount of planning undertaken by these firms, and that as planning levels increased so did performance (as measured by average annual sales turnover). Planning was found to positively mediate the relationship between marketing, organisational and reputational, and store resources and firm performance. In this case, it appears that planning catalyses the deployment of these resources. The results of this study demonstrate how planning contributes to small retail firm performance.