Using a Business Plan for Coaching Institute Framework

When it comes to writing a business plan, it can be difficult to know where to start and for that reason, a framework of some common and useful business plan for coaching institute sections can make the process of writing a business plan easier. 

Using a Business Plan for Coaching Institute Framework

The following framework is a recommended structure of the business plan for coaching institutes. However, coaches are free to adopt any structure they find suitable for their institutes, provided that it contains the basic elements that should exist in any business plan.

A Business Plan for Coaching Institute Framework

 1.  Executive Summary

This is the first thing most people will read and it’s your chance to make a good first impression. Your aim is to hook people in so they want to find out more about your coaching institute. This section should be short and snappy, giving a brief overview of what your business does, where you are at the moment, where you want to go and how you will get there. 

2.  The Organization

This is where you introduce the key facts about your coaching institute – the name, contact details, legal status, start date, structure and a few sentences to describe your business idea, your product or service and the aims of the institute. It can be helpful to include a section about the background of the organization, its aims and key details like number of years of operating, annual turnover, number of staff, and management structure.

3.  People 

This section should highlight the key people that will be involved in making your coaching institute a success. This may include staff, volunteers and board members. You should consider including:

  • A brief description of the roles and responsibilities of each manager
  • An organizational structure chart to show the relationships between people
  • A summary of the skills, experience and knowledge of everyone involved
  • Any training plans you have

More detailed information can be included as an appendix if necessary, including job descriptions and CVs. 

4.  The Market

In this section, you should summarize what you have learned from your market research and analysis and then describe how you will apply this learning in your own marketing and sales efforts. It can be helpful to arrange this in two subsections as follows: 

Market Analysis 

  • Who will buy your products or services?
  • Why they will buy from you (your unique selling point)
  • Trends in your market that you have identified from research
  • Levels and types of competition in your market
  • Results of any market testing you have done

Marketing Strategy 

You should describe the key elements of your marketing strategy (i.e. how you will respond to the analysis above), including: 

  • Your routes to market (e.g. how will you sell your products or services, including e-commerce options)
  • Pricing
  • Promotional mix
  • Client care policy
  • Client feedback
  • Who will be involved in marketing?
  • How much have you budgeted for marketing?

5.  Business Development 

This section is where you should summarize what you’ve learned about what you need to do to maximize the chances of your coaching institute succeeding. 

You should identify:

  • Key issues in the external business environment that may affect you
  • Key issues in relation to your internal strengths and weaknesses
  • Key issues which affect the industry you operate in
  • The main critical success factors you have identified and your strategies to address these

Much of the information from this section will come from the analyses you carried out during the exploration stage, including your SWOT (Strength, Weakness, Opportunity, and Threat) and PEST (Political, Economic, Social, and Technological) analyses and any feasibility study you completed. Rather than including all of that information in this section, you may prefer to summarize the key points and then include the more detailed documents as appendices.  

6.  Operations

This section is where you provide details of all the ‘nuts and bolts’ of your coaching institute. The type of information you need to include here will obviously depend on your business but your aim should be to give anyone reading the business plan enough information to make an informed assessment of how well you have planned your operations. It should also act as a useful reference point for your Board and staff. 

Areas to think about include: premises, equipment, production methods, suppliers, and working arrangements with external parties like professional and legal advisors, funders and investors, and coaching certification networks.

7.  Finance

The financial section of your business plan is, in many ways, the most important one. However, you will need to think carefully about how much financial information you share with different audiences as there may be commercially or personally sensitive information included in your financial forecasts (e.g. your supplier discounts or staff salaries). 

You may want to provide a summarized version of your financial model, making more details available on request. It can be useful to organize your financial information in three subsections:


As a minimum, you should include a forecast budget for at least 3 years, showing: 

  • Sales 
  • Non-commercial income (grants, subsidies, and donations)
  • Expenditure
  • Profit or loss

You should also detail the assumptions that your budget forecasts are based on (e.g. inflation, sales targets, wages and salary levels).

You should also produce a cashflow forecast that estimates when money will flow in and out of the business. This will help you to identify any potential problems in terms of paying suppliers, meeting staff costs etc.

It can also be useful to show that you have considered different scenarios e.g. ‘worst case’, ‘best case’, ‘most likely’ and plan your budget accordingly.

This helps to show how sensitive your organization is to different factors and to demonstrate that you have considered how you would address the ‘worst case’ scenario. 

Investment and funding

Here you should summarize the level of any external investment required and identify methods and options for raising this finance. It is useful to include details of any assets you can offer as security, as well as any track record you have of managing external investment in the past.

8.  Appendices

There are several areas where you may want to provide additional details in an appendix. They include:

  • References, testimonials and letters of support
  • Quotations for equipment
  • Professional advisors’ reports
  • Previous years’ accounts if you have them  

Final Thoughts

Bear in mind that one business plan may not be appropriate for several audiences, so consider having different versions for different people e.g. you may have a more comprehensive business plan for coaching institute for internal management purposes and a shorter version for investors or bankers. It can often be useful to have a look at other people’s business plans to pick up ideas about format and structure, or even just to notice where other people have gone wrong! Lastly, you should also think about using photos and other visual images to help break up the text of your business plan, particularly if you have photos of your coaching institute ‘in action’.

Would you like an endless stream of new coaching clients? Simply click the image to the right and email and I’ll send you free videos with step-by-step blueprints for generating a massive income from high paying coaching clients.

Jeannie Cotter
Writer, Coaches Training Blog community


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