Enterprise Development Team Helps Entrepreneurs Plan Ahead

Established businesses and startups benefit from Iowa State's long-term analysis and planning tools

June 26, 2019, 12:58 pm | Brian Tapp

Shaughn and Jerry Roorda.AMES, Iowa – When an entrepreneur or business owner needs a business plan, the Enterprise Development Team at Iowa State University Extension and Outreach has options that can help.

As part of the Farm, Food and Enterprise Development Program, the Enterprise Development Team can help with feasibility studies for startups, or more commonly, help an established business improve and find new ways to advance.

Brian Tapp, business development and finance specialist, leads a team of professionals who assist with feasibility studies, entrepreneurship training, business plan development, and long-term feasibility analysis, which includes three years of financial projections and a formal look at where the business is going.

Tapp has an extensive background in helping entrepreneurs succeed, through his time at Iowa State and prior work at the Iowa Small Business Development Center.

Now that his team is part of FFED, he shares office space with the small farm and food systems teams. He said having the three groups together makes for a more cohesive, connected experience for clients.

“We can really work through the whole process with them, rather than just one part,” Tapp said. “We’re more connected now than we were before.”

In a typical year, the enterprise team will advise 16 to 20 in-depth clients, plus many others, some of whom are referred to other experts at Iowa State, or to off-campus experts such as the SBDC.

“We try to collaborate,” Tapp said, adding that the type of collaboration differs depending on the client and where the business is located.

In the past, clients have included fertilizer companies, feed mills, hotels, biofuel producers, event centers and recreational facilities.

Fees are based on the nature of the project and the type of advising the client seeks. To learn more about what the Enterprise Development Team offers, visit them online via the FFED website. Brian Tapp can be reached at 515-294-4417, or btapp@iastate.edu.


Photo: The Farm, Food and Enterprise Development Program helped Shaughn and Jerry Roorda of In't Veld Meat Market in Pella, Iowa, analyze their business and make a plan for expansion. Photo supplied by the Roordas.


About the Authors: