Writing a Life Coach Business Plan: 6 Tips for Success

We get it. You want to help people. You have been through the wringer, figured out how to master certain things, and want to share what you know with others. You want to change lives, but wait: You need to make money too!

About 25% of coaches succeed in making this a full-time sustainable business. And they do because they are prepared, have a clear plan, and can execute a well-thought-out strategy. 

If you want to make this a business more than a side hustle or Mother Theresa-style mission, you must know how to write a life coach business plan. So let’s go through the essential steps of how it’s done.

But first…

Why You Need a Life Coaching Business Plan

Before jumping into action, let’s consider why creating a coaching business plan is essential. 

You can’t build a business unless you have a clear vision of where to take it and an actionable plan to get there.

When you’re planning a road trip, you first pick a destination. Then, you define the route to get there and research the attractions you might want to see during your trip. And, of course, you factor in the expenses.

Your life coaching business plan should be treated the same way. 

You need a solid plan to navigate your business because it will:

  • Help you to always know your next steps,
  • Keep your work focused and efficient,
  • Guide your strategic decision-making to achieve your business goals,
  • Help you budget better and save money,
  • Make it easier to foresee potential business challenges so you can prepare for them,
  • Make it possible for you to grow your business, and
  • Keep you accountable as a business owner.

So, let’s explore what it takes to pin down a business plan you can rely on.

6 Steps to Writing a Life Coach Business Plan

life coach business plan

1. Define Your Mission

To create a life coaching mission statement for yourself, think about:

  • What type of life coach you’d like to be,
  • Who you are serving,
  • How you want to help them, and
  • Why you are doing it.

This is also known as your 30-second elevator pitch. Here’s an example of a life coaching mission statement:

“I’m a career coach and I help mid-career tech professionals advance in their fields. I provide strategic career planning for my clients to navigate the complexities of the tech sector, capitalize on their strengths, and unlock new opportunities. My mission is to bridge the gap between ambition and achievement, guiding individuals towards fulfilling tech careers.”

2. Define Your Target Market

If you don’t know who your target market is, you will have difficulty finding clients. To find out who your ideal clients are for your coaching business, answer the following questions:

  • Who are they? 
  • What are their needs? 
  • Where do they hang out? 
  • What content are they consuming? 
  • How old are they? 
  • How do they spend their money?
  • What are their pain points?

The best way to find the answers to these questions is to talk to people who may be your ideal customers. Get out there and speak to the people you think could benefit from your service.

Where will you find these ideal customers? Get referrals from your network or look for people you can briefly interview in relevant online communities. You may offer them a small incentive if you want to conduct an in-person or longer interview with them.

Find out what they’re looking for in a life coach. What are their main challenges? How many coaching sessions could they commit to? Do they prefer them in person or online?

Gaining insights into your potential client’s needs before marketing your business will help you build a product that people want. In business lingo, it’s called a product-market fit, i.e., building a product that satisfies market demand. You need this to build a successful life coach business for the long term.

If you want to boost your chances of success when starting, build something people actually want, not what you think they want. Create your coaching packages using evidence from your customer interviews. That way, you can make sure your services answer real-world needs.

3. Create Your Life Coaching Business Tagline

Once you know who your clients are and what they want from your services, it’s time to get creative and think about the messaging you want to put out there about your coaching business.

Your tagline tells people in a short sentence who you are and what you do. It’s an opportunity to tell the world why they should choose you. 

To create an effective tagline:

  • Choose clarity over creativity. This tagline must be clear in telling the client what you do. 
  • Position yourself as an expert, and don’t be shy to be confident in your gifts. 
  • Test your tagline and ask for feedback from others. This is a part of your market research. 

You don’t have to get your tagline perfect from the start; you can always reiterate it as your business and experience grow. A strong tagline will help you position yourself in the market and be an invaluable tool for your marketing efforts.

Here are some ideas for taglines that work well for life coaching services:

  • Getting you unstuck
  • Master your goals
  • Be unapologetically you
  • Small steps reap huge rewards
  • Get more out of life
  • Unlock your potential

4. Make a Financial Plan

To make your coaching business profitable, you’ll need a financial plan and a business model.

How much will you charge clients for a session? Will they need to book you for a set term or buy your coaching packages? How many clients will you need to work with weekly to earn your ideal income? 

Calculate how much time you can spend working with clients and on your business, and then work backward from there. These decisions will help you create a more predictable income and financially sustain your business.

Beyond covering your basic business expenses (including the salary you pay yourself) and paying your taxes, consider how much you’ll invest in growing your business. Having a solid plan for handling and reinvesting the money you make is an essential part of your business plan. 

5. Create a Marketing Strategy

Coaching businesses are highly competitive. However, the right marketing strategies can help you rise above the noise.

To know what you’re working with and gain a competitive advantage, you need to know what else is happening in the market.

Competitive analysis is not reserved for consumer products and tech-based companies. In an industry as massive and lucrative as coaching, competition is everywhere. Often, life coaches compete for the same clients.

To define who you’re competing with, consider these questions:

  • Who are your main competitors? 
  • What are they doing that is working? 
  • Where are they advertising? 
  • How are they attracting new clients?
  • What sets them apart from the rest? 
  • What techniques are they using to close the sale?

And most importantly, how will you do it better?

Think about your unique selling point and ways you can reach clients, for example, through:

  • Creating free resources as lead magnets for your email marketing campaigns.
  • Offering a free webinar or session to get leads and showcase your expertise.
  • Using search engine optimization and a weekly blog post to get the attention of new clients.
  • Making informative and engaging social media content to reach your audience.
  • Creating online courses to attract one-on-one coaching clients.
  • Speaking at in-person or online events and getting media coverage.

However you decide to get your message in front of potential customers, you need to set SMART goals to execute your plan. That means your business goals are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound.

For example, you may have the goal that you want to build an email list so you can start sharing weekly advice. You can’t conjure a list from thin air, so you will need to create a strategy for getting people to sign up for your list.

So your SMART goal could look like this:

“Get the first 100 people to sign up for my email list through Facebook ads in the next month.”

The key to a successful marketing plan is to break it down into digestible action steps. Small tasks carried out step-by-step are much more achievable than one big lofty goal.

6. Commit to a Timeline

Now that your business structure and long-term goals are clear, it’s time to define your next major milestones. You can set these goals every month, quarter, and year, using your business plan as your north star.

Though it’s best to stay consistent with the fundamentals of your business, you can revise your business plan from time to time. As you keep growing it over the years, you’ll be more clear on how you can capture its essence and market it effectively.

Follow This Template to Write Your Life Coach Business Plan

Lastly, we want to make it as easy as possible for you to create a simple coaching business plan and move on to growing your business.

Here’s a handy step-by-step life coach business plan example that you can follow to get started.

1. Business Name and Tagline

Make your business shine and tell people concisely who you are and what you will do for them. If you need some inspiration, you can find some here. 

2. Mission Statement

Your mission may change occasionally, but it should be a constant reminder of why you get up every morning and make life coaching your business. 

3. Executive Summary

Write this last. It should summarize all of the following sections in a paragraph-by-paragraph format. Your entire business will be easily explained and digested in the executive summary. This benefits both you and those you may share your plan with. 

4. Competitive Analysis 

List up to five of your biggest competitors. What are their strengths and weaknesses, and how do you plan to compete? Here’s a great how-to guide on doing a competitive analysis. 

5. SWOT Analysis 

Your competition has holes, and you likely will, too. SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats.

No one can be great at everything, but we all have positive and negative traits. Understanding those and working with them is a big part of running a successful life coaching business.

Tackle this head-on, and you will save yourself a lot of headaches and financial loss. Learn how to do your own SWOT analysis here. 

6. Target Market 

If you don’t know who your customers are, you can’t find them. Be as detailed as possible and paint a clear picture of your client so you can find the ones that need you.

7. Financial Plan

Create a projection of your annual income and define the financial goals you would like to reach. Create a budget, and consider working with a bookkeeper to save on your taxes and grow your savings.

8. Marketing Plan

How are you going to launch your business? Where will you find your clients? What collateral will you need to do so? Lay it out in detail and refer to it often. This part of your plan is a working document that will change as you learn and grow.

FAQs

How Do I Start a Life Coaching Business?

To start a life coaching business, begin by defining your niche, obtaining relevant training or certification, creating a business plan, setting up a professional website, and marketing your services to attract clients.

Is Life Coaching Profitable?

Yes, life coaching can be profitable. In this fast-growing industry, your earning potential depends on your client profile, your level of expertise, and how well you market yourself.

Many successful life coaches earn a substantial income (some well over six figures) by providing valuable services to their clients.

How Much Does It Cost to Start a Life Coaching Business?

It depends on how much you’re willing to invest in your certification, marketing costs, and office space. While each can easily come up to thousands of dollars or more, you can bootstrap your way to life coaching with minimal costs.

It’s possible to set up your business while keeping your expenses low by taking a free certification program first, setting up a home office and running your sessions online, creating your own marketing materials, and using low-cost marketing strategies.

The Hardest Part is Getting Started

Hopefully, this guide has clarified how you can start crafting your master plan for your life coaching business. If you want to dig into more nifty resources, we recommend our free template pack for coaches.

Free Template Pack for Coaches

And if you’re ready to automate your coaching business, Paperbell is here for the job. It’s an all-in-one client management tool that handles your schedule, payments, contracts, and more.

Try Paperbell for free with your first client.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in February 2023 and has since been updated for accuracy.

By Charlene Boutin
Charlene is an email marketing and content strategy coach for small business owners and freelancers. Over the past 5 years, she has helped and coached 50+ small business owners to increase their traffic with blog content and grow their email subscribers.
April 14, 2024

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