A Strategic Plan Should Be Your First Step with Coaching Clients

by | Jan 1, 2021 | Business Coach Training

Every coaching engagement should begin with a strategic plan.


Because a strategic plan clarifies the mission, vision, and values of the team as well as long and short range goals.  This allows you to ensure that everyone is on the same page—and to help you and your clients mutually define what success in your coaching engagement looks like.

It also gives you an opportunity to collect a larger upfront coaching fee.

Here’s how I do it.

When I land a coaching client, I collect the first month’s fee, plus an additional month’s fee for what I call “team day”—when we gather the key team members to create the strategic plan together. This adds value for the business and unifies the team behind the plan, which helps ensure that your coaching efforts will be successful.

Then, I introduce my clients to the one-page strategic plan. This tool, developed by Verne Harnish of Growth Institute, is a powerful way to help businesses find strategic alignment.

During the team day, we work to fill it out in full, and to get buy-in from all the critical team members.

Let’s walk through it together.

Download your own copy of the 1PSP at Growth Institute.

Get the Big Picture

The first thing you do in the strategic planning process is to take the time to step back from the business and survey the landscape. Therefore, your clients will complete a SWOT analysis and name their key reputation and process drivers. This allows them to get some space from the day-to-day pressures of the business and see things from a 20,000-foot view.

Then, have them articulate their core values and beliefs. It really helps them think through why they do what they do, to find a reason for being that goes even deeper than profits.

It really helps them think through why they do what they do, to find a reason for being that goes even deeper than profits.

Finally, they need to name their Big Hairy Audacious Goal. By this, I mean a massive crazy-wild objective that a company can really aspire to for years. And I’m talking Big: a dream, a vision, your clients’ equivalent of sending the first man to the moon—something that can rally people and inspire mass change.

Build the Structure

Once they’ve named the big picture for which they’re striving, it’s time to operationalize it.

Here, we break things into 3-5 year targets, annual goals, and quarterly actions. These should be in service of the BHAG and bring the organization closer and closer to achieving it.

The quarterly actions are where the rubber meets the road: these are the actual tasks that need to be accomplished day-in and day-out. During the team day, it should be crystal clear who is responsible for which quarterly actions, so that you can hold everyone accountable to the strategic objectives.

Coach from the 1PSP

Finally, a strategic plan is only as good as its implementation! During every coaching session, review the 1PSP and get updates on the quarterly actions; hold your clients accountable to the goals they set with it.

Every quarter, bring the team back together for a 2-4 hour session to report back on their progress and to set objectives for the coming quarter.

If you do this right, you’ll find that you and your clients will be able see their progress over time. This will lead to stronger businesses, more satisfied clients, and long-term success for you and your clients.

For more great strategies like this, check out our FREE ebook, Secrets of a Business Coaching Rock Star.

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