Essential Elements of a Business Plan for a Life Coach

A business plan for a life coach is more of a process than a document. It is akin to a garden: planning is required to start, certain steps are required and constant management and pruning must occur to produce a successful venture.

Essential Elements of a Business Plan for a Life Coach

This article addresses the basic steps as well as the business plan structure and management steps that are required for success.

The Basic Concept of a Business Plan for a Life Coach

The basic concept of a business plan for a life coach is simple:

· A life coach senses a market opportunity.
· To capitalize on this opportunity the coach establishes a business entity.
· The coach has a vision of the company for the future that foresees a healthy, growing, profitable company.
· To reach that future vision, a roadmap is required so the coach can determine progress to achieve the ultimate goal.

One benefit of a business plan is the control function that serves to measure progress against the plan.

The critical feature of any plan is not its complexity but its application. A business plan for a life coach should be the life coach’s bible and should be read and consulted frequently to determine the mid-course adjustments that are always required in the life span of the business.

TIP: Believe that your business plan is your guide to success. The completion of your plan is only the start of the business. Your business plan will act as the guide to success and will constantly change as conditions require. It will never be complete but will always be useful.

Simplicity

Business planning is a universal discipline and there are as many business plans as there are companies. Business plans can vary from simple to overly complex. A classic example of a business plan that was initially simple is the story of Compaq Computer, a multi-billion dollar computer manufacturer that was launched based on a business plan scribbled on the back of a cocktail napkin.

Many companies, however, focus on the trees of the planning process and sometimes overlook the forest of building a business. Often, the business plan becomes one more document for the corporate bookshelf or ends up in some drawer and is not used as it should.

Most effective business planners add only details that are informative and productive but do not distract the business owner and the management team from the core ideas of the plan. Since each plan is a guideline for the coach to grow his or her business, changes can be made as often as required by business conditions. Therefore, excessive detail may become irrelevant in the light of new conditions.

TIP: Start with a bare-bones business plan that can be expanded or enhanced as conditions warrant.

Realism vs. Optimism in the Business Plan

Apart from serving as a roadmap for life coaches, another function of a business plan is to create interest among investors or potential business partners. In achieving this goal, business owners are often challenged by determining the proper level of optimism in their plan. That is, they must create a compelling story to investors or potential partners while maintaining credibility.

Optimism shows investors or potential partners that your life coaching company is confident about the market opportunity, its ability to execute on the opportunity, etc. Over-optimism, however, leads them to believe that the management team does not fully understand the opportunity or the tough road ahead. As such, life coaching business plans must limit over-optimism and show investors or potential partners they are realistic and credible.

Realism, the opposite of over-optimism, should be used in life coaching business plans to portray sobriety and credibility to investors or potential partners. Realism should manifest itself in management team bios that tell the actual accomplishments of managers and coaches, rather than fluff. It should manifest itself in realistic market forecasts and sober assumptions of the business’s growth.

While business plans must excite investors or potential partners so they take action, if they are too optimistic, investors or potential partners will discount their merit. Conversely, if they are too sober, investors or potential partners may not feel they will get an adequate return on their investment.

As such, life coaching business plans should present a compelling, optimistic picture, but continuously refer to hard facts and realistic assumptions to build credibility and genuine excitement.

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Jeannie Cotter
Editor/Writer
Writer, Coaches Training Blog community

The What-Makes-You-Great Business Plan for a Life Coach

A business plan for a life coach is an important component of starting a successful coaching business. A comprehensive business plan can serve as a handy reference guide for starting and operating your coaching practice.

Business Plan for a Life Coach

Business Plan for a Life Coach – olegdudko © 123RF.com

Your Business Plan as a Motivational Tool

One of the things that people often overlook when creating a business plan is that it can be used as a motivational tool. Sure, business plans for a life coach should clarify and identify your goals, both short and long term. It should define your target market, detail promotional plans to reach this market, and also describe outcomes that these potential clients are seeking.

It should also remind you of how great you are and what makes you a great coach.

The What-Makes-You-Great Business Plan for a Life Coach

Your business plan should be motivational and inspirational. It should pick you up when you are down, and remind you of why you entered the coaching profession in the first place. It should give you a kick in the butt when you get frustrated or discouraged.

A business plan for a life coach should tell you how great you are!

This motivational business plan should contain the following:

Values

This should be a complete list of the values that make you a great coach. Everyone should have honesty, ethics, integrity, and competence. But, you should be able to think of others that define you and your coaching. Do you have experience in your niche? Are you involved in your community? Are you optimistic? Are you creative?

Every value, attribute, trait, skill, or ability that makes you a great life coach should be listed. Including an example of each value will help you someday when you look to your business plan for guidance, help, or motivation.

Who Makes You a Great Coach?

This is similar to the section on values, but here you should write a paragraph or two about yourself. This could also be called a “brag section.” This is where you brag about how great you are and how your values and abilities make you a great coach. Most people who write a business plan for a life coach don’t include a section like this, but they should. Why not brag a little; you may need these words of motivation when business slows or a client leaves.

What Will Make You a Better Coach?

This is another section that most experts never include in business plan templates or samples. But, they should! This is where you list ways to makes yourself a better coach. More coaching classes, Attend seminars in specific specialties. Take classes on how to run a business. Improve your listening skills. Improve some coaching skill or learn new coaching tools.
You can periodically look back at this section to see how you are doing. Are you keeping up with your improvement plans? Are you reaching for your own personal goals? No business plan for a life coach should be complete without this section.

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Fred Philips
Business Coach
Writing Team, Coaches Training Blog Community