I’ll be expanding my bookkeeping business to include tax preparation.
My business coach said I should have a business plan.
What’s the value of a plan, and do I really need one?
A: Congratulations on your business expansion! A business plan is your written roadmap to help achieve your success and communicate with others. It offers three main advantages:
- Helps you set a vision and guides your operations. A well-written business plan is a blueprint for expansion, sales, marketing, and describes what resources and time are needed to reach your goals.
- Provides a way to evaluate progress. Are your decisions guided by your business plan? Is your business performance meeting your expectations? If not, what needs to be revised or changed?
- Helps secure funding. If you need funding or support from lending institutions, investors and venture capitalists, you’ll need an up-to-date business plan.
Most business plans consist of:
- An executive summary that captures your vision, objectives, company description, ownership/tax structure and the market you are serving.
- An evaluation of competition and pricing.
- Details on how you do business, your location, necessary resources and assets.
- Revenue and cost assumptions, budgets and profit analysis, along with a 24-month financial forecast.
Business plans are never “done.” Regularly review the plan. But you don’t have to go it alone. Central Oregon Community College’s Small Business Development Center (cocc.edu/sbdc) offers free, confidential professional business advising and a variety of low-cost courses to help entrepreneurs through the business lifecycle.
About the Expert:
Dave Grotjahn is a business advisor with COCC’s Small Business Development Center. He is a retired senior finance leader from Boeing Commercial Airplanes and has led financial planning and investor relations for various airplane programs. He also supports Habitat for Humanity as a financial mentor, assisting clients in attaining home ownership. Grotjahn will be facilitating “Business Planning Made Easy” through the Small Business Development Center beginning in January of 2024.