6 Tips for Writing Your Coaching Business Plan (With Templates)
You're getting into the coaching business because you know your stuff. But of course, expertise is only part of the equation. You need the right business structure and plan to back you up, as well.
In other words, you need a business plan for your coaching business. Ideally, that plan includes the structure of your coaching company, an overview of your audience, a plan for your website and coaching content, and an outline of how you'll market and sell your coaching services. These six tips can help you write your business coaching plan.
Why Do I Need a Business Coaching Plan?
As the founder of BPlans, Tim Berry, shares in a survey he did of thousands of business plan pro users, "Simply put, those who finished their business plans were about twice as likely to successfully grow their business, get investment, or land a loan than those who didn’t. You can see the numbers on the chart."
He breaks down the numbers behind the chart as follows:
A business plan for your online coaching business has two purposes: external and internal.
Externally, it's crucial for any stakeholders in your business. For example, if you're looking for investors in your business, they'll need to know you have a specific coaching business model and plan for how you'll grow your business to get their investment back. Anyone you want to serve in a leadership or board oversight role will probably want to know the same thing.
Internally, your business coaching plan is an important benchmark and guide post for all major decisions, from adding staff to building community. Use it to make sure that every strategic and budget decision you make aligns with your broader goal, context, and audience to stay on track and avoid getting sidetracked.
Coaching business plan templates any business can use
Rather than starting your document from scratch, consider using a coaching business plan template. This ensures that all the basic elements are included, and in the right format for your audience.
Some free coaching business plan templates include:
- Life Coach Business Plan Template from BusinessPlanTemplate.com
- Health Coaching Business Plan Template from MindBodyOnline.com
- Health Coaching Business Plan Template from EverythingHealthCoach.com
- General Coaching Business Plan Template from GrowThink.com
- General Coaching Business Plan Template from EverCoach.com
You can use a general coaching business plan template, or one specific to your niche. For example, health coaching business plans may need more nuanced information about the industry and working with a health coaching business plan template can ensure that some of this information is already included in the template.
How Do You Structure A Coaching Company?
Before you start writing your plan, it's crucial to understand the best possible structure to outline in the business plan for your coaching business. This is where you define your niche, and how you plan to serve your clients in the best possible way.
When working within Profi, you can build and operationalize any number of business structures:
- Use the Profi Team plan to support teams of 2+ unlimited centralized B2B or B2C coaches in the same department and company, or servicing your client's team or company under the same business model.
- Use our Corporate plan to curate a marketplace of coaches doing specialized work in a centralized B2B or B2C structure, as our client Innovation Experts has done. Or use our Corporate plan to manage an entire coaching organization, including 2+ coaches and multiple teams of coaches, all managed on a custom, white-labelled domain working across your client's departments, teams, or companies.
- Use our Network plan for anywhere from two to hundreds of independent coaches, trainers or consultants who buy subscribe to your platform (powered behind the scenes by Profi) and use it independently in their coaching businesses, as our client Ikigai Consulting has done.
The truth is that there is no single best coaching business structure because it all depends on your niche, abilities, and target audience. That said, at least a basic idea of how you want to build that structure can help with every tip mentioned below.
How do you structure a business plan for online coaching?
Business plans for online coaching should be structured differently than any other business coaching plans. However, some of the information included when specifically looking to write your business plan for online coaching might be unique, like focusing your industry analysis exclusively on virtual competitors.
Tip #1: Start With the Background
The first full section of your business plan should include all the basics an internal or external stakeholder might want to know about you. That includes:
- A name and a short description of your company
- Your company's mission, vision, and values
- Your value proposition—a one-sentence summary of why your clients should want to engage your services
- A short description of the coaching niche you serve
- An outline of the business structure for your company
- Any other background that stakeholders might find valuable.
No judgment or opinion needed in this section. Keep it straightforward and to the point to make sure any reader walks away with a clear idea of what they can expect from your coaching business.
Tip #2: Include an Industry Analysis
Next, it's time to start looking outward. What's the context in which your coaching business exists? Most business plans for coaching businesses include a comprehensive industry analysis that includes some of the key direct and indirect competitors within your coaching niche.
Direct competitors are other coaching businesses offering the same services as you to the same audience. Indirect competitors are alternatives your potential clients might have to hiring a business coach, like self-service learning solutions or internal training.
When listing competitors, include their exact value propositions and price. The more detail included here, the more specifically you can set your own coaching services apart when looking to sell yourself.
Tip #3: Outline Your Target Customer
Any business coaching plan needs to include a clear outline of who your business is trying to reach. An in-depth audience profile, using templates like a buyer persona or ideal customer profile, can solve two goals in your business plan at the same time.
First, it ensures that any stakeholder reading your coaching business plan can get a better understanding of your core focus. Second, it can help you answer a few important questions about how to create content, build your website, and market your coaching business.
Tip #4: Create Your Marketing Plan
Next, it's time to build your marketing and promotional outreach efforts. This section of your coaching business plan should answer the following questions:
- What should be included in your coaching website? Your website should clearly highlight your expertise to build credibility, include thought leadership content, outline your services, and make it easy to demo your services or sign up for a session.
- How do you create content for coaching? Define where you'll post content and use examples of good coaching content as inspiration for your own content marketing strategy.
- How do you market your coaching business? Outline the promotional channels you'll use that align with your audience profile, your core messaging, and any branding information you have.
Together, these three components can help you self yourself as a coach, building on the audience definition and industry analysis to stand out and grow your customer base.
Tip #5: Define Your Operations and Financial Plan
Your operations plan includes a clear outline of the daily operations that will help your business succeed. This is your chance to outline how you'll implement your business model. Include information like daily responsibilities for core staff, how clients can book sessions and what happens once they book, how you'll collect payments, and the coaching software that can help you streamline those operations.
Your financial plan can either be part of your operations or its own section. It should include your income statement, cash-flow statement, and balance sheet. Clearly outline your fixed and variable costs, and what revenue you'll need to cover them and be profitable.
Tip #6: Write the Executive Summary
It might be counterintuitive to end with what, in most business coaching plan templates, will be the first section of the plan. But it pays to leave the executive summary for last, after you've filled in all the details in the other sections.
For the executive summary of the business plan for online coaching, include 1-2 sentences covering the gist of each section. Keep the whole thing to a single page if possible. That way, you can make sure that even if someone only reads the first page of the business plan, they'll still come away with the core of everything they need to know.
Of course, the business plan is only the beginning of a successful coaching business. You'll also need to execute all the strategies outlined within it—the operational piece of it all. That's where Profi comes in.
Profi is a platform that's as simple as it is powerful, helping you streamline all of the operational processes that come with running a successful coaching business. Book a Demo with one of our Product Coaches today to learn how you can successfully execute your business plan by organizing coach bookings with your ideal customers, recording and sharing sessions, managing your team, co-hosting services, courses and programs, and simplifying your billing.
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