Your executive summary is the first part of your business plan, but you usually write it last because it is a summary of all the important parts.
The point of your executive summary is to get the reader’s attention quickly. Tell them what kind of coaching business you have and how things are going. For example, are you a new business, do you have a coaching business that you want to grow, or do you run more than one coaching business?
Next, give an overview of each part of your plan that follows.
- Briefly describe the coaching business.
- Talk about what kind of coaching business you have.
- Detail your direct competitors. Tell us about your ideal customers.
- Give a quick summary of your marketing plan. Find the important people on your team.
- Give an overview of how you plan to handle your money.
In your business summary, you will explain what kind of coaching business you run.
For example, you might specialize in one of the following kinds of coaching businesses:
- Business coaching: A business coach is a professional who helps business owners define the vision and goals of their businesses.
- A career coach is a professional who helps people reach their professional goals.
- Life coaching: A life coach is an expert in helping people make positive changes in their daily lives, relationships, and careers.
- Performance coaching: A performance coach helps people get better at what they do by using methods similar to those used by sports coaches.
- Wellness coaching: A wellness coach is a professional who helps people build and keep healthy habits.
In the business overview, you need to say what kind of coaching business you will run and give some background on the business.
Include answers to things like:
- When did you start your business, and why?
- What important steps have you taken so far? Milestones could include the number of clients served, the number of cases with positive outcomes, reaching $X in revenue, and so on.
- Your legal stuff Are you set up as an S-Corporation? An LLC? A single-person business? Explain your legal structure here.
In your industry or market analysis, you need to describe the coaching industry as a whole.
Even though this may seem pointless, it has more than one use.
First, learning about the coaching business makes you smarter. It gives you a better idea of the market you are in.
Second, market research can help you make a better marketing plan, especially if you use it to find market trends.
The third reason is to show readers that you know what you’re talking about. You do just that by doing the research and putting it in your plan.
In the industry analysis section of your business plan for coaching, you should answer the following questions:
- How many dollars is the coaching business worth?
- Is the market going down or up?
- Who are your main rivals in the market?
- Who are the main market suppliers?
- What changes are happening in the field?
- How fast is the industry expected to grow in the next 5–10 years?
- How big is the market that matters? That is, how big is your coaching business’s potential market? You can figure out such a number by figuring out how big the market is in the whole country and then applying that number to the population in your area.
In the customer analysis section of your business plan for coaching, you should explain who you serve and/or who you hope to serve.
Individuals, schools, families, and corporations are all examples of customer segments.
As you might guess, the type of coaching business you run will depend a lot on the customer segment(s) you choose. People would respond differently to marketing campaigns than, say, corporations.
Try to figure out who your ideal customers are based on how they look and how they think. In terms of demographics, you should talk about the ages, genders, locations, and levels of income of the people you want to serve.
Psychographic profiles explain what your target customers want and need. The better you can understand and define these needs, the easier it will be to find and keep customers.
In your competitive analysis, you should list your business’s direct and indirect competitors and then focus on the direct ones.
Other coaching businesses are their main rivals.
Indirect competitors are other things that customers can buy besides your product or service that aren’t in direct competition with it. This includes therapists, counselors, and online support groups, as well as other types of self-improvement services. You should also talk about this competition.
Give an overview of each competitor’s business and list their strengths and weaknesses. Unless you’ve worked at one of your competitors’ companies, you won’t know everything about them. But you should be able to find out important facts about them, like
- What kinds of customers do they work with?
- What kind of business do they run?
- How much do they charge (high, low, etc.)?
- What can they do well?
- What do they do wrong?
For the last two questions, try to answer them from the customers’ point of view. And don’t be afraid to ask the customers of your competitors what they like and dislike about them.
The last part of your competitive analysis section is to list the ways you are better than your competitors. As an example:
- Will you make it easier for clients to hire your services?
- Will you offer services that your competition does not?
- Will you treat your customers better?
- Will you price things better?
Think about how you will do better than your competitors and write them down in this part of your plan.
Usually, a marketing plan has four parts: the product, the price, the place, and the promotion. For a business plan about coaching, your marketing strategy should include:
Product: In the product section, you should repeat the type of coaching company that you wrote about in your company overview. Then, explain what products or services you will be selling. For example, do you offer services like performance coaching, executive coaching, coaching for health and wellness, or career coaching?
Price: Write down the prices you’ll be charging and how they compare to those of your competitors. In your plan, the product and price sections are basically where you list the services you offer and how much they cost.
Place: This is where your coaching business is located. Write down where your business is and how the location will affect your success. For example, is your coaching business in a busy shopping area, a business district, a stand-alone office, or only online? Talk about why your site may be the best place for your customers.
Promotions: In the last part of your coaching marketing plan, you’ll write down how you’ll get potential clients to your location (s). Here are some ways you could promote your business:
- Advertise in the local newspapers, radio stations, and/or magazines
- Get in touch with websites
- Put out flyers
- Engage in email marketing
- Place ads on social media sites
- Improve your website’s SEO (search engine optimization) for specific keywords
In the other parts of your business plan, you talked about your goals. In your operations plan, you talk about how you will reach those goals. Your plan for operations should have two separate parts.
Everyday short-term processes include everything you do to run your coaching business, such as answering calls, planning and giving coaching sessions, billing clients and collecting payments, etc.
Long-term goals are the goals you want to reach in the future. These could be the dates when you expect to book your Xth session or when you hope to earn $X. It could also be when you want to expand your coaching business to a new city.
To show that your coaching business has a chance to be successful, you need a strong management team. Showcase the backgrounds of your key players, focusing on the skills and experiences that prove they can help a company grow.
You and/or your team members should have managed coaching businesses before. If so, talk about your experience and skills. But also highlight any experience you think will help your business succeed.
If your team is missing something, you might want to put together an advisory board. A two-to-eight-person advisory board would help your business by giving advice. They would help answer questions and give advice on how to plan. If you need to, look for advisory board members who have worked as coaches or run small businesses before.
Your 5-year financial plan should include a monthly or quarterly breakdown for the first year, then an annual breakdown after that. Your income statement, balance sheet, and cash flow statement are all parts of your financial statements.
A more common name for an income statement is a Profit and Loss statement, or P&L. It shows your income and then takes away your expenses to show if you made a profit.
You need to make assumptions in order to make your income statement. For example, how many clients will you see in a day? Will you work with groups? And will sales grow by 2% or 10% every year? As you might expect, the financial forecasts for your business will be greatly affected by the assumptions you choose. Do as much research as you can to try to make sure your assumptions are true.
The Balance Sheets
Balance sheets list what you own and what you owe. Balance sheets can have a lot of information, but try to boil them down to the most important parts. For example, if you spend $50,000 building up your coaching business, you won’t start making money right away. Instead, it is an asset that you can use to make money for years to come. Also, if someone gives you a check for $50,000, you don’t have to pay it back right away. Instead, you will have to pay that back over time.
Statement of Cash Flow
Your cash flow statement will help you figure out how much money you need to start or grow your business and make sure you never run out of cash. Most business owners and entrepreneurs don’t realize that you can make money but still go bankrupt if you run out of money.
When making your Income Statement and Balance Sheets, make sure to include some of the most important costs of starting or growing a coaching business:
- Costs of utilities, Internet service, and office supplies
- Payroll or wages given to employees Business insurance
- If you are starting a new business, you will also need to pay for legal fees, permits, computer software, and office furniture.