Article Crucial tips to help you write up your business plan as a life coach 0 2022 Life coaching https://www.lifecoachhub.com/img/uploads/articles/thumbs/1166_1691506018.jpg Running your coaching business life coaching Lifecoachhub Pty Ltd LifeCoachHub
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How To Write a Business Plan for Life Coaches (With Free PDF Template)

 

“You should not ever start a Monday without clarity about what must happen by Friday.”  ~ Brendon Burchard, High-Performance Coach

You should not ever start a Monday without clarity about what must happen by Friday.” ~ Brendon Burchard, High-Performance Coach

Benjamin Franklin said it in more direct terms:

“If you fail to plan, you’re planning to fail.”

Life coaches are passionate about helping people improve various aspects of their lives, yet many of us lack the skills required to run the coaching business. I have attended numerous coaching workshops where running the actual coaching business remains one of the recurring concerns of coaches. As a result, many coaches struggle to grow sustainable coaching businesses.

Since you’re here, you must be interested in how to write a business plan for life coaches, and I'll show you how, so that you avoid the obstacles which threaten the success of many life coaching practices.

Sit back and enjoy the read because you’ll get good value from this post.

But first, what is a business plan for life coaches?

A business plan for life coaches is a comprehensive compilation of plans for your coaching practice. It is a presentation of your vision, mission, objectives, and short and long-term strategies for your business. 

A life coaching business plan also illustrates the steps to reach the goals the coach aspires to. If the primary plan fails to deliver anticipated results, you could act on the contingency plan.

Why Do I Need a Business Plan?

You're probably thinking ”My coaching business is small. As long as I can keep the books in order, I'll be ok. Why do I need a business plan?

Some businesses have found success without business plans, but those with plans found success faster.

One thing is sure, though. If you don’t create a business plan and systems begin to fail within your business, you’re likely to lose it all by winging it.

Before writing a life coaching business plan, it is imperative to understand the scope of your business, the services to be rendered, and to communicate what the business entails to others. If you know your business and the solutions you want to provide, you’ll sign up your ideal clients easier, create better products and services, and scale your business quicker. 

Furthermore, if you intend to get a loan to fund your business start-up, I strongly advise you to write a comprehensive business plan. Lenders and investors may decide to provide funding based on your projections.

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What Are The Types of Business Plans?

There are two primary business plan categories: traditional business plans and lean start-up business plans. Traditional business plans are lengthy, detailed, and more common. In this post, we will focus on the traditional business plan.

A lean start-up business plan is a quick summary of all your business ideas and often covers only one page. It is usually presented in the form of illustrations, such as charts, graphs, and tables, for easy perusal. In addition, lean business plans are easier to amend because of their brief nature.

Neither business plan is superior to the other. In deciding which to use, you’ll have to examine your business needs first. Whichever one you choose to go with, what matters is ensuring your business plan is concise, easy to understand, and fact-based. 

What Do You Do Before Writing a Business Plan for Life Coaches?

The answer? RESEARCH.

You would hear from business coaches about the importance of research to assess possible strengths and opportunities as well as weaknesses and threats (SWOT) before embarking on a business venture, and they would be right. 

Life coaching SWOT analysis

Your coaching business may be similar to another. However, it would still require its SWOT analysis to identify what sets your coaching products and services apart from others, create strategies for business growth, and avoid hassles later down the line.

I recommend that the outcome of your research addresses and answers the following questions:

  • What type of coaching practice do I want? Your coaching practice is a business, so you should run it as one. Therefore, setting up a legal structure for your company is essential. It is also crucial to pinpoint the right coaching style for your new business to make planning smoother.
  • What is my niche? Knowing my target niche clarifies the path I’d follow toward business success. It also sets the stage for determining my business and marketing strategy. 
  • What solutions am I offering? The products and services you offer should solve your ideal client's problems. That’s the only surefire way to get new clients and build a solid portfolio.
  • What steps must I follow to grow the business?  Your research must help determine the steps you’d take to expand your life coaching practice.
  • Is my coaching business client-focused? It’s common to have a business plan focusing on the owner and what it plans to accomplish. However, it is better to create a business plan focusing more on the client and the benefits they would be getting. Your clients become return clients who cost less to keep, spend more and market your business better on your behalf.
  • How will I finance my coaching business? If, like many others, you’re starting your business with limited funds, you’d have to clearly state how you intend to finance your business, especially during the early stages until it begins to profit. 

Ok, so we’ve done our research, and we’ve been able to detect what we can excel at, where we thought wrong, and areas we can improve upon based on our initial guesses. We can now decide if we can proceed with the business or return to the drawing board.

If we’re ready to roll, it’s time to write our business plan.

Life Coach Business Plan Template

If you’re just starting, you could make a simple business plan using the template below. Then, as time goes by, you could expand each section to make it more robust. This template outlines every vital aspect of your coaching business. 

  1. Executive Summary
    1. Vision
    2. Mission statement
    3. Overview of business
  2. Company Description
    1. Business contact information
    2. Target market
    3. Coaching niche
    4. Unique selling point
  3. Goals and Objectives
    1. Short-term and Long-term goals
    2.  Strategic objectives
    3. Tactical plans
  4. Products and Services
    1. Products and services you offer 
    2. Product differentiation
    3.  Benefits to your clients
  5. Market Analysis
    1. SWOT analysis
    2. Target market valuation
    3. Market trends
    4. Profile of competitors
    5. Competitive advantage      
  6. Marketing and Sales Strategy
    1. Pricing model
    2. Marketing Strategy
    3. Marketing platforms
    4. Advertising and promotion
    5. Sales strategy
    6. Distribution channels
  7. Operations
    1. Organizational charts
    2. Staffing
    3. Training and development
    4. Procurement
    5. General operations
  8. Financial Analysis and Projections
    1. Source of funding
    2. Key assumptions
    3. Profit and loss accounts
    4. Balance sheet
    5. Cashflow projections
  9. Appendix

With this template, you can remain focused on building your business rather than chasing every shiny object you see or hear about, as is the case with entrepreneurs without proper business plans.

Business plan for life coaches: a checklist

Now, let’s take each section at a time.

How To Write a Life Coach Business Plan (Step-By-Step)

1.      Executive Summary

Think of the executive summary as a way of introducing your business to a potential client, lender, or the general public. Therefore, it should include what you do as a business, how you do it, who you do it for, and what value you provide. You should try to keep your executive summary concise at one to two pages maximum. 

It may be easier for you to write the executive summary after completing other sections because you would have highlighted notable points throughout the plan.

2.      Company description

As the section already states, I would describe my coaching business in detail and include the following:

  • My registered business name
  • Address and contact information
  • Legal business structure
  • Executives or directors (if any)
  • My coaching niche 
  • Who my target market is
  • My unique selling point

I would also be sure to point out what sets my coaching business apart from the competition and how my company maximizes its opportunities.

3.      Goals and Objectives

What are your business goals? 

This section will state my short-term and long-term goals and the tactical steps my coaching business will take to reach those goals. For instance, if I plan to make X amount in annual revenue by a specified year, I would provide a realistic, research-based breakdown of how I’d reach that goal.

By providing a breakdown of how I’d accomplish my goals, I’d also be generating trust and confidence in the minds of potential investors or lenders about my business if I intend to seek funding.

4.      Products and Services

In this section, you’ll describe your business's products or services to your target market. These would not be limited to coaching packages, coaching subscriptions, masterclasses, courses, books, etc.

Give a detailed description of each product or service you will offer. Explain how your goods and services are different from or better than your competitors’ offers on the market, and don’t forget to include your pricing model. You would also clearly state the benefits your target market gains by using your products and services.

5.      Market Analysis

Here, you would analyze the coaching industry in which you plan to do business during your research phase before writing the business plan. A comprehensive analysis of the industry would provide valuable information such as:

a.         Results from SWOT analysis

b.         Target market valuation

c.         Market trends

d.         Profile of your competitors

e.         Competitive advantage for your coaching business

f.          Benefits your clients stand to gain

Explain in-depth what prompted your decision to set up your coaching business within that sector and what your competitors are doing. You should also explain how you can improve upon what they aren’t doing well enough to enhance your bottom line but, more importantly, deliver value to your clients.

6.      Marketing and Sales Strategy

Having a fantastic product that creates admirable transformations in clients is one thing. It’s another thing to publicize enough to reach those clients. Your marketing and sales strategy is supposed to convince your clients that your products will provide the solutions they seek.

First, you´ll develop a marketing budget to meet your spending needs. You’d also write a detailed plan for marketing and advertising your products and services to your target market. Which channels would you use?

  • E-mail marketing
  • Search Engine Optimization
  • Social media marketing
  • Search Engine Marketing
  • Television
  • Radio
  • Print materials
  • Events
  • Networking,  e.t.c.

Earlier, I mentioned the importance of having repeat clients because they are some of the best and cheapest marketing tools for your business, so it is crucial to know how to sell your coaching services. In this section, you’ll explain your strategy for turning your clients into repeat clients and building customer loyalty. Be sure also to include your sales strategies. For example, which sales distribution channels will you use?

  • Direct sales
  • Sales representatives
  • E-commerce channels

7.      Operations

In this section, I will discuss the day-to-day running of my coaching business. I will explain how I’d operate the business through employees, freelance workers, and business partnerships. I would include an organizational chart to illustrate the internal structure of my coaching business and how employees would contribute to the growth and success of the company.

I’d discuss in detail how I plan to staff my company and what salaries or wages I would pay my staff. I’d then enumerate the freelance workers I may hire, their roles, and their remuneration. I would then discuss my plans for staff and training development.

Finally, I’d give a clear plan for other general operations like procurement of materials and equipment required for the start-up of my coaching business. Such equipment may include video conferencing equipment, software, and personal computers. I would also note essential information about all suppliers and vendors with whom I work.

8.      Financial analysis and projections

As a new coaching business, I don’t expect you to be able to pluck out figures from past performance. However, I hope you would have done your research based on the coaching niche you plan to set up shop in. 

When you’ve done this, you should make financial plans and projections for a five-year periodhttps://costhack.com/business-plan-cost to begin with. Five-year plans give you enough room to meet and exceed SMART goals. You may refresh any goals you don’t meet in your five-year plan, if need be, and insert them into the following timeline until you achieve them.

It is important to note that this is the section every lender and investor is particularly interested in, so you must take extra care to be factual in your illustrations and realistic in your projections. If you’re seeking start-up funding, this is where you state it. Explain how you’ll use the investment and communicate the expected returns.

Don’t blow up figures to entice them because what you’d do is leave a wrong impression because they’d probably see through it. Instead, make your projections align with what your competitors are also achieving, and if you surpass those goals, great.

For an existing coaching business, you’ll want to include: 

  • Financial statements
  • Balance sheet
  • Profit margins

I’ll advise you to speak to an accountant who will guide you better in putting all the required information together.

9.      Appendix

The appendix is where you put in any other necessary information that may not have fit anywhere else in the different sections of the business plan. These may be documents such as: 

1.    Certifications

2.    Your resume 

3.    Resumes of key team members

4.    Licenses

5.    Contracts

6.    Marketing materials e.t.c.

7.    Market research report

With the above guide, you’d have a well-written yet concise report to keep you on track and direct your business toward success.

Knowing what your competition is doing gives you insight into exploiting areas they may be neglecting, thereby giving you a competitive advantage.

You may wonder how long it’ll take to write a business plan. Ideally, it shouldn’t take more than a few months to complete the research and write the business plan. However, if you take longer than a few months may disrupt other vital activities in the start-up process.

Can I Hire Someone To Write My Life Coach Business Plan?

Ok, I get it. Life can get hectic. You’re being pulled from every angle and can’t find the time to write your business plan.

Fortunately, you can hire a professional business plan writer or consulting firm to provide the service. Professional business plan writers cost from $2,000 to upward of $20,000 to write a business plan for a small to medium size business. If hiring a writer instead of a firm, verify all credentials and portfolios to ensure they meet your needs.

If you decide to hire a consulting firm, it’ll cost you more. However, the upside is the breadth of expertise they offer. Other factors that may affect the plan's cost are the length, turn-around time, editing, review, and any additional support service.

I would advise putting together as much information as you can on your own before approaching a professional because you would have a better idea about how the plan is woven together. A professional would then develop a foolproof plan, especially one that captures investments if you’re seeking start-up funding. 

Common Business Plan Mistakes Life Coaches Must Avoid

Although I’ve mentioned some mistakes to avoid, I figured it was best to state them clearly. If you make mistakes while developing a business plan, they could jeopardize your business. Some of these mistakes to avoid are:

Inadequate research: Avoiding research or doing insufficient research before writing your business plan is a dangerous mistake you don’t want to make. If you still go ahead to write the plan, you may not identify all the risks involved. As a result, your coaching business plan may be based on non-factual information and lead to inaccurate projections, which you may never meet.

Overestimating your financial projections: Avoid padding up figures in your business plan to impress lenders and investors. Lenders and investors are experts and analyze financial information for a living, so injecting false estimates into your plan may make you lose those opportunities altogether.

Ignoring the competition: Knowing what your competition is doing gives you insight into exploiting areas they may be neglecting, thereby giving you a competitive advantage.

Not setting a target niche: This is a common mistake. Many new life coaches attempt to get any and every client and end up losing focus. Without setting a target niche, your business will have no direction. 

When your business has no direction, you can’t establish workable goals. In other words, you’d be everywhere and nowhere simultaneously. As a result, your business will not be operating optimally and may remain stagnant after a little while.

Ignoring future trends: Times change and economies evolve. Imagine you started your coaching business pre-internet and remained stuck in paper-based marketing after the arrival of the internet, social media, and email marketing. 

What do you think would happen?

That’s right. Your business won’t be able to keep up and will fold up in no time.

Creating unrealistic goals: This is also a mistake many people make. If you create unrealistic goals, there won’t be measurable targets to track your progress, and soon enough, you’ll stop taking action.

Establishing a rigid plan: A business plan that isn’t flexible enough to accommodate changes can also negatively impact the business. No life coach can predict the future of their business. There’ll be ups and downs. A flexible plan gives room for unforeseen changes without disrupting the long-term goal.

Download your free life coachng business plan template

Ok ready to get started? Download a free business plan template here.

Download a free life coaching business plan template


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