Many holistic entrepreneurs shy away from business planning, feeling that it does not fit with their intuitive, people centered services. Yet there is a balance between business building and caring for clients; and it doesn’t have to be painful.

Frederick, MD, April 18, 2007 – The same gifts of intuition and healing that inspired holistic entrepreneur Allison, to create her own business almost proved to be her downfall. As a natural healer, Allison was prone to under pricing her services, going with the flow, and running her business with her heart only, not her mind. After a shift in perception and the adoption of some simple business tools, today she is a successful businessperson and healer.

Allison has something in common with many holistic service providers, whose professions include massage therapy, acupuncture, alternative health practice, life coach, meditation instructor, energy and spiritual healer, metaphysical storeowner, reflexology, Reiki, and chakra clearing.

“Allison’s method of doing business is common in the clients I coach,” said Anne Kelly, Holistic Business Coach. “She is intuitive, creative and great at her healing skills, yet she needed some practical support to run her business and earn a living. Holistic entrepreneurs are by nature drawn to helping others”, says Kelly. “With a shift in perception most can also earn a good living while doing what they love to do.”

“An entrepreneur comes to me either starting out in business, or wanting to take their existing business to the next level. Often I find that they have little or no business plan in place to support their growth. For holistic entrepreneurs business planning can seem counterintuitive, painful and unnecessary. Quite the contrary, it sets them up to create exactly the business they want.”

Allison for instance had created a great new product, yet had no business or marketing plan to launch the new idea. “The creativity and work ethic was there; but not a detailed plan on how to bring the product to market.” To move entrepreneurs forward Kelly coaches using a detailed plan designed to get their “feet on the ground”. Topics include:

Create a business plan – There are many good templates available; find one and put into writing the vision, mission, marketing plan, clientele, strength and weakness analysis, and financial prospects for the business. If this sounds intimidating, seek support from your local Small Business Development Center, Chamber of Commerce or work with a mentor/coach. As with most new undertakings, getting started is half the battle.

Identify an ideal client – Narrowing in on an ideal client niche makes marketing much easier, and allows the business owner to understand and solve the problems experienced by a specific clientele. Examples of a niche are ‘Yoga for Over-50’ or ‘Holistic care for pets”.

Be ruthless with time – Say yes to work that supports your business plan and places you in front of your ideal clients. Say no to all else. There is a big difference between making progress toward specific goals and just staying busy all day. For each task, ask yourself, ‘Is this bringing me closer to the goals identified in my business plan.’

Develop a marketing funnel – Remember Allison? Her product was great, was did not fit logically into her business. It was a one-hit-wonder rather than part of a funnel that would repeatedly bring her clients. Business improved when Allison created a line of products, from low cost to high cost, each successively building upon the next, solving a specific client need, and funneling ideal clients to Allison’s ultimate, high end products.

Overcome a dislike of marketing – Many service providers have a difficult time selling their services, because they are the product. Find a marketing method which feels authentic and which consistently places you in front of your ideal client. Then practice that method until it becomes second nature. Give yourself permission to avoid marketing which does not feel authentic.

“Business planning and holistic services are absolutely compatible,” says Kelly. “The key is to get started, get support, and use the wonderful gifts holistic entrepreneurs are known for; intuition, creativity and love of service. After all, the best acupuncturist in the world will not be of service if they run themselves out of business.”

Author's Bio: 

Anne Kelly, president, A New Leaf Coaching, is a certified business coach and trainer offering business classes and coaching for holistic entrepreneurs. Kelly writes a free monthly e-zine featuring business tips, articles and resources for holistic entrepreneurs. Visit to subscribe.