It just takes one decision to get started.
I want to help others by creating a service to coach, teach, consult or mentor others in my field of expertise.
Once you make that decision, it’s time to start planning. Why?
Yes, the old adage is true. Supposedly said by Ben Franklin, If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.
Who wants to fail?
Right. So, let’s do the hard stuff first and get this thing finally going.
The following information will help you step-by-step complete a one-page business plan if you want to provide a service to others.
If you want to offer a product to sell instead, go here to complete the specialized business plan for selling a product.
If you want to offer both a product and a service, go here to complete the business plan for both.
One-page Business Plan for Services
I put together this simple, yet thought-provoking business plan to help you get all your ideas in one place.
Now that you have your own copy, let’s fill it out.
The Service: How I Will Coach, Teach, Consult, Mentor, etc.
Nobody said this would be easy. But now is the time to put your ideas down in black and white. Enter your answers in the copy you downloaded to your computer.
- I will provide _____. (easy!)
- I will charge (per hour/per job) (hard! You may have to come back to this one after completing the costs below. Remember, you are in this to make money but you only make money when you have clients. You can charge what you think your time is worth but keep in mind that people hire who they like and those they believe are credible. There is a sweet spot to knowing what to charge for your services.)
- My service is different/unique (Do you know how coaches, teachers, mentors, etc. there are in the world? What makes YOU the one that customers are attracted to and cannot refuse? What spin are you going to put on your services either the service itself or your approach to marketing that will set it apart?
My Customer: Who needs your product?
- Describe: (Who is your ideal customer? And don’t say anyone with a credit card! The better you can describe the person who needs your service, the easier it will be to find them, meet their needs and then offer your solution.)
- The problem/need this solves: (Now that you have defined your ideal customer, clearly identify the need that your service solves. People need a solution to a problem so they buy stuff. Even if you don’t see the connection, try. We want to learn, we want to get better, we have to put beauty in our lives when we are stressed, we all strive to be happy, etc. How can your service solve an issue?)
Selling: List all possible options
- Where I will sell: (Customers don’t show up at your house. What are all the different ways you are going to sell? In person at fairs, festivals, markets, etc.? Indirectly through others? Online course/information product? So many opportunities.)
Money In: Revenue
- I will collect money from customers by (Are you going to run a cash only business or do you need to setup to accept credit cards? A lot will depend on how you answered the last question.)
- Other revenue streams (Do you have any outside monies coming from various sources? Go ahead and list all the ways money is coming in: informational products online, online lessons, eBook, etc.)
Money Out: Costs
Yes, it takes money to make money. Don’t go out and spend money on things you don’t need. There are plenty of people that will take your money to help you get started. Sometimes those people are good and sometimes they aren’t. Be smart about your expenses and how you need to spend money.
- Materials: (List all the materials that you need to provide your service. It doesn’t matter if you already own or are planning to create, write it down.)
- Equipment: (List any equipment that is needed.)
- Web costs (if selling online): (Take the time to research the costs of selling services online. If you are using a store front like ClickBank, make sure you know their rules before using. However, if you choose to have more control over the store, there will be costs associated with a store builder, hosting, designing, payment setup or maintenance, depending on your selection.)
- Advertising/Other: (List the amount that you are willing to spend monthly on advertising. This may be advertising on social media sites, on websites, locally in papers or various other options.)
Income Goal (Revenue minus Costs)
- Monthly (How much do you want to bring in each month? Yes, you can say $500 or $10,000. Write down the amount that it will take to help you reach whatever your goals are. Maybe you just need to bring in a couple of hundred to pay for your happy hours. Maybe you want to replace your salary so you can stop working. Only you know what this number is.)
- I need ___clients a month to meet this. (Taking into consideration how much you are charging minus the costs you have, write down a realistic goal of how many clients you will need to accomplish your monthly goal from the previous question.)
Marketing Strategy: How I will get customers
- I will advertise through (Knowing how much, if any, you are willing to spend on advertising, will help you list where you will advertise. Consider taking out Facebook or Google ads as a possible resource. Also, consider local ads to serve your ideal customer.)
- I will get referrals through (Never underestimate just how valuable your friends and family will be to help you get started. What about work, church or your email contacts? List all possible sources to help you get referrals.)
What Challenges I May Face: Obstacles preventing you from starting/succeeding
- Challenge #1 (What has kept you from getting started or what do you think will get in your way once you do start? Identify any fears, people, resources that worry you. This will prepare you mentally for overcoming the challenge when or even if it ever happens.)
- Challenge #2 (There probably is something else. Identify it here. Once you get started, don’t let anything keep you from going for what you want!)
What I Need to Get Started
- Establish type of business (LLC, S-Corp, etc.) and complete paperwork (meet with a tax professional in your state); My business type will be _________. (This is one of the most important areas to define after deciding that you want to profit from your hobby. It really is worth a trip in to talk to an accountant, tax preparer or someone you trust who is already in business in your state. Each state is different so you want to ensure you start out in the right for you, and legal, way. Protect your personal assets by selecting the business type that will serve you best.)
- Total amount needed: (Write down the amount of cash you need to get started. You may already have purchased a lot of the materials and equipment so you will not need to include this. Starting today, how much do you need?)
- Time I will devote (hours/week): (We all have the same 24/7. How much time are you going to spend building your business? Write it down. Then write it on your calendar.)
- Other Action Steps: (What do you need to do or get in order before you start? Are there any people you need to discuss your plan with? Is there anything that you need to sell to give you the cash you need to get started? What action do you need to take to put this plan in motion?)
It may be time to explore how to accept payment. Check out How to Accept Credit Card Payments in 4 Steps from Fit Small Business.com.
Once you have completed the step-by-step business plan for services, have discussed it with the significant people in your life, you, my friend are ready to begin your journey.
I can’t wait to hear about your success.