Think you don’t need a business plan? Think again! Many coaches think they don’t need one because they’re not going to borrow money from a bank. But the secret is, a good business plan keeps your coaching business focused and thriving.
From keeping clients happy to handling your day to day coaching tasks, your business plan is the key to surviving any economic climate and outlasting your competition.
Still not convinced? Keep reading, I’ll show you how a boring document that most coaches never look at again can be your saving grace during the ups and downs of entrepreneurship. Inside this blog post you’ll learn:
✔️ How to get the most out of your coaching business plan.
✔️ 5 expert tips to keep you from making common business planning mistakes.
✔️My recommended free resources to help you write a money-making business plan.
Why every coach needs a business plan
A lot of people start coaching businesses without having any idea what they are doing. Since coaching is not regulated, many people hear that coaching is profitable and drive right in and call themselves coaches.
You should know that I’m not a coaching snob. I really like the fact that anyone can become a coach in their field of expertise. However, the truth is that you are much more likely to be successful if you have a business plan.
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It doesn’t have to be a financial plan. Even if you have no intention of applying for funding, a coaching business plan forces you to do your due diligence. Here’s why I think it’s important to have one:
#1 To show that your coaching business is possible
You may think your coaching program will appeal to your specific audience, but you have to research to find out if it’s needed. By doing your homework, you’ll avoid starting a coaching business that’s destined to fail.
Keep in mind that just because your offer is good, doesn’t mean it is. You’re not your market even if you think you are. Do your research, make sure your offer will actually work, and then, and only then, start working on it.
#2 To know your competition in your coaching niche
The cool thing about discovering other coaches, is that competition proves your idea is a good one. If there are no competitors, then this might not be a good thing. It’s hard to be the first in a new coaching niche. In fact, it can be expensive.
Competition research can help you avoid mistakes, find your audience, and find a market gap you can fill.
#3 To better understand your coaching clients
When you prepare your coaching business plan, you’ll have to figure out not only who your ideal coaching client is, but where they are, what they need, and how you can best communicate with them about their problems.
If you really know who your coaching clients are, you can create more effective marketing and advertising as well as create better solutions for them. Study your customers throughout their buying journey to find out who they really are and how they make their decisions.
#4 To create a revenue model for your coaching business
Most women who get into coaching do it to help others, follow their passion, and make the world a better place. That’s why we started this business, to support that mission. But… business has to be profitable too, so creating a business plan will help you determine if your idea will earn enough money for you to live on and decide on the type of accounting program you need to utilize.
The majority of small coaching businesses are pretty easy to set up, but you need to keep track legally so you don’t pay more in taxes and fees than you need to. You’ll have to figure out how to collect the coaching fees, what happens after you collect them, and follow all the rules and regulations that are specific to the type of business entity you choose.
#5 To measure your coaching business success and reduce your risk
When you write everything down, from how you’ll conduct your bookkeeping to how you’ll process sign-up coaching clients, it’s much easier to figure out if success is possible. Setting everything up beforehand will definitely reduce your risk. When you see how everything works, from getting leads to converting them to coaching clients, you can eliminate potential problems before they start.
#6 To develop a road map for operations
When you create your full coaching business plan, you’ll also create a step by step process to follow for running your business. Let’s say you want to start a weight loss coaching business. You’ll need a process for assessing clients, creating diet plans, tracking client progress, and marketing procedures. A detailed plan needs to be prepared for everything that needs to be done.
#7 To reorganize or pivot in the middle of a crisis
We have all learned the importance of crisis planning. The world faced a global pandemic in 2020 that changed the way we all conduct business, and sometimes a business plan can also help you get through a crisis. If you write your coaching business plan right, you’ll know your break-even point, how much you need and so on. All of this information will help you figure out what to do if business slows due to outside factors like health or political turmoil.
#8 To develop and document your coaching marketing strategy
Your business plan covers everything you need to do to actually serve your coaching clients, as well as what you’ll need to do to get the word out.That’s why your marketing section is a vital part of your business plan that will help ensure your success. The big picture strategies brainstormed in that section will keep you on task with your marketing goals as you develop campaigns, implement initiatives, and hire help.
#9 To forecast coaching-related business needs
During the process of preparing your coaching business plan, you’ll need to create a list of resources you’ll need: staff, money, software, equipment, etc. Then you’ll know exactly what you need and how much it’ll cost you. Even if you jot down things you can’t afford right now, you can figure compromises until you are able to afford them.
#10 To highlight new coaching opportunities
As you are creating your coaching business plan and going through each of the steps and areas of the business plan, the brainstorming process will give you ideas for more products and services aligned with what you’re planning to offer. These new opportunities can help you grow your coaching business bigger and better than you may have thought to start with.
#11 To organize your daily tasks
This business plan is robust enough to help you plan the day so you can get things done. Make sure your business plan includes due dates, deadlines, and other information so you can use it to develop action plans and set up your daily agenda.
Coaching the Coach: Expert Advice + More Resources
Thank you for reading this far! Are you ready to get started on your coaching business plan? Check out these pro tips, templates, and resources to get you on the right track.
5 Pro Tips for Writing Your Coaching Business Plan
1 – Know your purpose. Before you write your business plan, remember your why and understand what you’re doing. This is so important because once you start googling other coaches, comparison and imposter syndrome will probably show up. Don’t let them distract you from your mission! Check out “5 Steps to Defining the Why Behind Your Coaching Business” by Cass.
2 – Do it yourself. You don’t have to hire someone to write your coaching business plan. I actually encourage you to do it yourself to help with clarity and vision, and you don’t need fancy software either. You can use free tools like Google Docs or grab our business planning template from our free coaches resource library.
3 – There is no rush. It’s funny how everyone wants to go fast when the successful ones are the ones who plan and are consistent long term. Don’t rush the creation of your business plan. Be present in the moment and enjoy the process.
4 – Keep it short and sweet. You don’t need a long, complicated business plan unless you are applying for a loan. Those 300-page documents with all these charts? Yeah, don’t do that. Instead, create a short, sweet, and powerful coaching business plan.
5 – Test your offers. After you’ve completed your business plan, test your offers with real future coaching clients and request some honest feedback. This is a crucial step before you start building a signature coaching services, programs, and products.
Free templates from our resource library
Inside our comprehensive resource library we have everything you need to start and build your coaching business – and it’s yours free, including:
- Mini Coaching Business Plan: A guided workbook to help you create a short, sweet, but powerful mini coaching business plan.
- Marketing Research Workbook : A step by step workbook to help you through the essential parts of market research for your coaching business.
- Legally Launch it Checklist: A simple master checklist to guide you through the steps needed to legally launch your coaching business.
Get the templates for free here: https://lovelyimpact.com/free-resource-library-for-coaches
More blogs to read:
This blog is wealth of information! You can read more about business planning by Cass and me here:
- How to Create a Simple Business Plan for Your Coaching Business
- How to Create a Vision for Your Coaching Business
- 5 Steps to Defining the Why Behind Your Coaching Business
Below are some books I’ve read and recommend to help you on your business planning journey:
- Business Plan Template And Example: How To Write A Business Plan: Business Planning Made Simple by Alex Genadinik
- Mind Your Business: A Workbook to Grow Your Creative Passion Into a Full-time Gig by Ilana Griffo
- The Business Book Of Coaching: Your Ultimate Guide to a 7-Figure Coaching Business by Ajit Nawalkha