Ask the Experts at COCC — The Value of Business Planning



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 ( 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.


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