How to Create a Business Plan for Your Nutrition Business - Lesli Bitel Coaching

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How to Create a Business Plan for Your Nutrition Business

How to Create a Business Plan for Your Nutrition Business

Wondering how to create a business plan for your nutrition business?

Starting your own online nutrition business can be a very profitable and rewarding experience, and having a solid business plan in place can catapult your success!

In this article, you’ll get all the necessary steps and tips to help you create the business plan that will help you excel in the online nutrition space. 

So let’s get started!

Creating a business plan is essential for any business, especially for online businesses. This document will serve as a roadmap for your business, outlining your goals, strategies, and how you plan on achieving them. 

Without a business plan, making your business successful can be more challenging. You’ll save yourself a ton of time and avoid unnecessary struggles that business owners face when they “wing it” without a clear plan. Studies show that a plan can help your business grow 30% faster! That’s hugely significant!

The good news is that this doesn’t have to be complicated. Whether you’re brand new to your business and this is your first business launch, or you have a well-established private practice, it’s always a good idea to have a strategy and a plan to make it a reality.

What is a Business Plan?

Let’s start with the basics. A business plan is a formal document that outlines the goals and objectives of your business. It should include your target market, marketing strategies, tactics, and financial projections.

For a health-related business, the section on your target market (also known as a niche, ideal client, or ideal client avatar). It’s crucial to nail your niche beforehand because you need to be very clear about your ideal clients and their needs or problems with which your business can help them. Doing so will help you be more effective with your marketing efforts.  

For example, if you are a nutritionist who specializes in helping people with diabetes, your target market would be people struggling with managing their blood sugar and other symptoms such as stubborn weight, fatigue, and food cravings. To craft your message, you need to be clear on the challenges and problems you help solve and the results and outcomes you can help people with diabetes to achieve in your work. 

The beauty of having a business plan is that you’ll have a living document serving as a roadmap for the strategies and tactics you plan to implement in any given year. Everything is all in one place versus sticky notes everywhere! And you can refer to it repeatedly throughout the year to ensure that you’re on track. 

Your business plan will also answer questions like “Do I need business cards?” or “should I hire someone to help with social media posts?”. Be sure to list each marketing tactic and your implementation plan.

Why You Need a Business Plan for Your Nutrition Business

There are many reasons why you need a business plan as a nutrition professional, but here are some of the most important are:

  • It helps you set realistic goals and objectives
  • It helps you map out a path to achieve those goals
  • Holds you accountable for reaching those goals
  • It serves as a reference point for making future decisions about your business

What should you include in your business plan?

Creating a business plan may seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. Again, your business plan is a living document that you’ll update throughout the year as your practice grows and changes. So don’t hesitate to revise and update it frequently. The worst thing to do is to spend lots of hours writing your business plan and then leaving it to collect virtual dust.

There are a few other key components that you’ll want to include in your business plan: 

Executive Summary

The executive summary is the first section of your business plan and should be a brief overview of your entire business. Ideally, it would include your mission statement, an outline of your products, programs, or services, pricing, your target market, and your sales and marketing strategies. I recommend including incremental financial projections and your plan to hit these numbers. 

Business or Company Description

The business or company description section should provide more detail about your nutrition business, including your business name, history, company structure, why you want to help your ideal clients, and other relevant information.

Products and Services

This section should describe your free downloads, products, coaching programs, or services. If you have online courses or group programs, include those too. Include pricing information and unique features or benefits that make your product or service stand out from the competition.

Market Analysis & Market Research

In this section, you’ll need to research your target market and explain who your ideal customer is. Consider creating an “ideal” customer avatar to help zero in on who you want to target in the business in granular detail—research where your ideal customer hangs out and where they spend time online. Also, I recommend you do a competitive analysis and consider how you can differentiate yourself in the marketplace. Spending time analyzing and clarifying the market landscape will help you understand the most effective marketing strategies, how you can reach your target market, and options for revenue streams in your practice.

I also recommend including a SWOT Analysis in this section of your business plan. The SWOT tool gives you an overview of your business proposition by zeroing in on the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats and helps you assess your business’s viability. 

Sales and Marketing Strategies

Now it’s time to start thinking about how you will sell your products or services. Your sales and marketing strategy is your plan for reaching, engaging, and converting target prospects into profitable customers. This section in the business plan guides marketing and sales in your daily activities, helping you clarify shared objectives and how to achieve them. 

I recommend mapping out your sales funnels in this section so you are crystal clear on how you will find your ideal clients (or how they will find you!) and how you will nurture them into becoming paying clients. 

I also suggest that you prioritize a handful of more comprehensive strategies (in the SMART goal format) and list about 5-6 specific time-bound tactics that will ensure you’re a success in achieving your goals.

Financial Projections

Nailing down your financial projections is one of the most critical sections of your business plan because it will show you whether or not your business is financially viable as is or if you need to do some tweaking. If you’ve been in business for a while, you’ll want data from your income statement, balance sheet, and cash flow statement in this section of your business plan. 

If you’re brand new in your practice, you likely don’t have this information yet – and that’s okay! 

The most important thing is that calculate exactly how many clients or sales you need to achieve your financial goals. If you’ve got multiple revenue streams, you’ll want to forecast the number of sales from each category required to achieve your goals. Set realistic goals and have a system to track your progress throughout the year. Tracking your progress allows you to course correct with different tactics to help you get back on track. 

Appendix

The appendix is where you’ll include any additional information that might be relevant to your business plan but doesn’t fit into any of the other sections. For example, you might include mock-ups of your logo, brand colors, pertinent marketing materials, etc. 

A Lean Business Plan vs. A Traditional Business Plan

There are two different types of business plans: a lean business plan and a traditional business plan.

A lean business plan is a shorter, simpler version of a traditional business plan. It’s less formal and is easy to complete in just a few hours. A lean business plan is perfect for businesses that are just starting or businesses that don’t need to attract investors or lenders.

A traditional business plan is a more detailed document that can be several hundred pages long. It’s often used to attract investors or lenders and should be updated regularly. A simple plan is more than sufficient for most health practice owners! 

Think Thin!

So which type of business plan should you create? If you’re not sure, start with a lean business plan. You can expand it into a traditional business plan later if necessary.

This blog post will focus on creating a lean business plan as most nutrition and health professionals I work with are bootstrapping their online businesses without help from investors or lenders.

nutritionist or dietitian making a business plan with notebook and cell phone

How to Create a Nutrition Business Plan – Tips and Tricks to Get You Started

Now that you know what to include in your business plan, it’s time to start creating one. Here are a few tips to help you get started:

Do your research

Before you start writing your nutrition business plan, it’s essential to do your research. You can read articles (like this one!) and learn all you can about your ideal client. I also recommend talking to other entrepreneurs in your area of interest and potential clients to get a deeper understanding of what it takes to be successful. 

You might consider attending workshops, getting some initial support from SBA (small business association), or enrolling in online courses in areas where you need extra help.  

The more information you have, the better prepared you’ll be to write your business plan. My suggestion is to try not to overthink things! Sit down, give yourself two to three hours, and do as much as possible in that time frame. Do not be a perfectionist! Perfectionism will not serve you!  

Keep it simple

There’s no need to make your business plan overly complicated – and to make it easier, I’ve included a free business plan template that you can download below. The main thing is to include the essential information and make sure it’s easy to understand and clear about your business goals. A sustainable practice doesn’t need to be overly complicated!

Be realistic

It’s essential to be realistic when setting goals and objectives for your business. If your plans are unattainable, it will only set you up for disappointment. Launching every product, coaching program, service, and free PDF you want to create simultaneously is almost impossible. Your nutrition business plan helps you create realistic goals and deadlines to achieve them. 

Get feedback

Once you’ve written your business plan, getting feedback from people you trust, like family, friends, coaches, or people in your professional network is a good idea. They may be able to offer helpful insights or catch errors you might have missed.

Revise as needed

Remember, your business plan is a living document you’ll regularly update, especially as your business grows and changes. So don’t hesitate to revise as needed.

What to Do After You Build Your Business Plan?

After you’ve created your business plan, it’s crucial to implement it. Here are a few tips on how to do that:

Set up a meeting with your team

If you have a team of people working with you on your nutrition business, set up a meeting to review your business plan and ensure everyone is on the same page.

If you don’t have a team yet, instead of a meeting, you may want to meet with a trusted mentor or coach to get feedback and bounce ideas off. 

Another alternative is to spend some time journaling or brainstorming on your own about your business plan and what you need to do to make it a reality.

Create a budget

Once you know what your marketing and advertising strategies will cost, create a budget for your nutrition business. A budget will help ensure you don’t overspend and end up in debt.

Your budget must allow for marketing, advertising, overhead, and profit. A good rule of thumb is to start with a marketing budget of 5-10% of your gross sales.

Start promoting your nutrition business

Now that you have a plan, it’s time to start promoting your nutrition business. The promotion process could include creating a website, setting up social media accounts, and starting a blog.

Regarding promotion, social media, video marketing, and email marketing are two of the most effective (and affordable!) ways to reach your target market and generate leads

Measure your progress

As you start working on your nutrition business, measuring your progress is essential. As a reminder, revisiting and measuring your progress will help you determine what’s working and what isn’t so you can make necessary adjustments along the way.

You may want to track website traffic, social media engagement, and sales revenue. You can use several different tools to track these metrics, like Google Analytics, spreadsheets, QuickBooks, and others.

Stay flexible

Remember, your business plan is a guideline, not a set of rules. So don’t be afraid to make changes as needed. The most important thing is to keep moving forward and growing your nutrition business. Remember, your business changes over time, and so should your business plan.

nutritionist and coach looking at a business plan

How often should you review and update your business plan?

You should review and update your business plan once a quarter, once a year, or whenever there are significant changes in your business. When reviewing your business plan, being honest with yourself is crucial. 

Look at your goals and objectives and see if you’ve achieved them. If not, why not? And if you have, what can you do to keep the momentum going?

Here are some suggestions for your quarterly or annual business plan review: 

  • Did you launch an online course?
  • Promote a free webinar?
  • Did you offer coaching or consulting in a 1:1 setting?
  • Did you offer coaching or consulting in a group setting?
  • What products did you launch?
  • What products or services do you plan to launch over the next quarter or year?
  • How close did you stick to your business plan? 
  • What goals did you meet?
  • Where did you fall short when it comes to the goals for your company?
  • What do I need to do to manage my time more effectively?
  • Is it time to grow my team? How else can I get help?
  • What can you do differently over the next quarter or year?
  • What changes do you need to make your business plan more achievable?
  • Are there new market trends in health & nutrition worthy of my focus? 
  • Would investing in an online course or coaching program help you reach your goals faster?
  • What do you want your nutrition business to look like in the next review?

If you find that you’re not making progress on your goals, it may be time to make some changes. Perhaps you need to revisit your marketing strategy, or maybe you need to invest in a coaching program or mastermind. Whatever the case, don’t be afraid to change your nutrition business plan. 

The important thing is that you’re always moving forward and progressing towards your goals!

Conclusion: Why having a business plan is critical to success

As you can see, having a business plan is essential to the success of your nutrition business. It will help you organize your thoughts, set goals and objectives, and measure your progress.

With a solid marketing plan for your nutrition business, a clear vision of your scope of practice, and a specific period for achieving your goals (or revising your plan), you’re going to find that your business venture is much more successful. You’ll have many happy clients who shout you out daily on social media!

So take the time to create a business plan to set you up for success. And don’t forget to review and update it regularly. By taking a strategic approach to your nutrition business, you’ll be well on your way to achieving your goals.

Get Your Free Business Plan Template!

Because I want to do everything I can to help your business be wildly successful, I’ve created a free business plan template you can download and use to build your business plan. Click the button below to download.

A Template Makes Creating Your Business Plan Easy!

Download your Business Plan Template for Health Professionals below!

Click HERE to Get Your Free Business Plan Template

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