How To Write a Business Plan for a Life Coaching Business + Free Example

Owner of a life coaching business works on writing their business plan.

John Procopio

6 min. read

Updated February 7, 2024

Turn your passion for helping others into a thriving life coaching business.

As a life coach, you have the opportunity to empower others and help them achieve their goals. And with an estimated industry value of over $2 billion, the demand for life coaches has never been higher. 

Yes, the dynamic world of coaching presents an array of opportunities to guide clients through personal and professional growth. But just as you are developing plans for your clients you need to do the same for your business.

Crafting a solid business plan for your coaching practice will help you clarify your vision and objectives, account for certifications and training, and explore how you need to perform financially in order to thrive in an increasingly competitive market. 

In this guide, we’ll walk you through how to create a business plan for a life, performance, or executive coaching business. You can even download a free one-page coaching plan template to fill out as you go.

What is a life coaching business?

A life coaching business provides professional coaching services to help clients achieve their personal and professional goals. Life coaches work with individuals or groups to provide guidance, support, and accountability. There are many types of life coaching, including:

  • Performance coaching: Enhancing specific skills or talents, such as athletes or musicians.
  • Executive coaching: Developing effective leadership skills for executives and business leaders.
  • Relationship coaching: Improving communication, conflict resolution, and relationship dynamics with partners, family, friends, and colleagues.
  • Career coaching: Advancing careers through skills assessment, resume building, networking, and career planning.
  • Life coaching: Taking a holistic approach to improving various areas of life like health, work-life balance, productivity, and personal fulfillment.

Why you should write a business plan for a life or executive coaching business

A solid business plan is crucial for success in your life or executive coaching business. It helps organize your strategies, identify potential obstacles, and invest in certifications and marketing for growth and credibility. By writing a detailed business plan, you can more effectively allocate resources, set achievable goals, and create a roadmap for success.

What’s your biggest business challenge right now?

How to write a life coach business plan

In this guide, we’ll walk you through the key components of a life coaching business plan to help you lay the foundation for a thriving coaching practice. For a walkthrough of how to write the specific sections of a business plan, check out our full guide and supporting articles.

1. Clearly define your offering

To build a successful life coaching business, you must have a precise understanding of your services and how they stand out from the competition. Determine your areas of expertise—whether career, executive, relationship, life, or wellness coaching—and the specific challenges you can help clients navigate. Becoming properly certified and accredited demonstrates your professional competence to clients.

The two top certifying organizations are the International Coach Federation (ICF) and the Coaches Training Institute (CTI). The ICF offers ACC, PCC, and MCC credential levels based on your experience. CTI offers a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach credential. Achieving the right credential for your coaching specialty—such as becoming a Certified Career Coach, Certified Professional Career Coach, or earning a Life Coaching Certification—can maximize your credibility.

With a clear service offering tailored to your target market’s needs and the proper certifications, you will gain the credibility and expertise to help many clients achieve meaningful life changes and reach their full potential. Promote your services boldly by focusing on your areas of specialization, ideal clients, and the specific outcomes you provide.

2. Have specific clients in mind

Speaking of your target market, successful businesses have a clear understanding of their ideal customer and cater to their unique needs.

For example, a life coaching business may target mid-career professionals seeking personal growth or corporate executives looking to enhance their leadership skills. Their needs include developing management skills, thinking strategically, and improving communication. However, you can break this down even further and have market segments such as: 

  • Mid-career professionals looking to change jobs or careers. Their needs include identifying strengths and interests, building a strong resume, developing networking skills, and gaining confidence in interviews.
  • Young adults transitioning from college into the working world. Their needs include determining a career path, gaining skills and experience, finding mentors, and learning professionalism.  
  • Entrepreneurs looking to start a new business. Their needs include business planning, productivity, accountability, motivation, and work-life balance.

3. Create a marketing plan

Developing a strategic marketing plan is vital to building brand awareness and attracting clients to your life coaching business. You’ll need a detailed marketing strategy to maintain a consistent brand identity reflecting your unique coaching style and expertise. 

Strategically choose a few marketing channels, like your website, a targeted social media strategy, and possibly speaking engagements to reach your ideal clients. Run a blog, Substack, or podcast providing actionable advice in your areas of coaching. Submit articles to media outlets your target audience follows and build credibility through these expert placements. 

It’s also important to consider paid media as part of your marketing strategy, such as social media advertising and Google Ads. Monitor your return on ad spend (ROAS) and calculate the lifetime value of a lead to accurately measure the effectiveness of your campaigns. 

With a customized brand and strategic marketing focused on your niche audience’s needs, you will hope to gain visibility, credibility, and quality leads to develop a thriving coaching practice. These are just some of the marketing avenues you may consider exploring.

4. Know your numbers

To build a profitable coaching business you need to understand your financials by monitoring both revenue and expenses closely. Charge what you’re worth based on your experience, certifications, and client outcomes. While gaining momentum, generate extra income through related services. Consider charging for initial consultations to add another revenue stream to your business. 

Here are a few other key things to consider when exploring your numbers:

Track key metrics

Review key metrics monthly, like client retention and profitability. Make adjustments to optimize satisfaction and revenue. Budget for short-term loss but aim for profitability within 6-12 months. Think long-term, progress will take time.

Test your pricing strategy

Explore different pricing models to attract clients with varying budgets. Consider offering packages, retainers, group programs, and online courses, as they provide stability for both you and your clients. 

Keep a close eye on expenses

Assess expenses regularly to minimize waste. Expect costs like marketing, office space (if needed), insurance, and certifications. Budget adequately, reducing expenses will boost profit, and review and refine over time.

Download your free life coaching business plan template

Now, you’re reading to start creating your business plan. To get started, download our free one-page business plan example for a life-coaching business.
For more inspiration, check out our free library of sample plans and templates for service businesses. You can download any of these documents in Word form and get some structure and industry-specific insight for your own plan.

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Content Author: John Procopio

John Procopio