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  • Writer's pictureKristin Laffrey

Creating a Sustainable Business Model: Your Profitable Doula Business Starts Here

Updated: Sep 4, 2023

By Kristin Laffrey, business coach for women leading impact in fertility, birth, postpartum, motherhood, parenting and matrescence.

Create a sustainable business model: Your profitable doula business starts here

A mistake I see so many doulas make is not creating a business model for their business. Instead I see them jumping straight into packaging their offers, putting them on their website and then trying to get doula clients without actually knowing if their business is set up for long-term sustainability.

The role of your business model is to outline how your business will be established for both profitability and sustainability by outlining what services you offer, how much you charge, and then how many hours you are required to work to meet your financial goals.

Given that the work of a doula is working in-person with clients, it is very easy to burn out and overwork if you don’t have clarity around your pricing strategy and the hours you desire to work.

So if you are starting your business as a postpartum doula or a birth doula, building your business model will support you to have clarity around your pricing to ensure you are building your business in a way that is both profitable and sustainable. As your business grows or you desire to make more income within your business and increase your financial goals, your business model will identify opportunities to do so in a way that is sustainable.

Why having a business model is essential for your business:

In breaking down your business model, it allows you to:

  1. Determine how much you can make through the number of doula clients you can take and how much you are charging for your birth support packages and/or postpartum support packages

  2. It identifies any gaps in your pricing that doesn’t allow you to reach your goals. For example, if you are a postpartum doula charging $2,000 for your packages and you have a target of making $5,000 each month yet you only have capacity for 2 clients, it identifies a shift required within your business model to either add additional services or income streams to your offers to create the additional $1,000 of income or it means you have to increase the prices of your packages.

  3. It can identify any potential risks associated with overworking, burning out or taking on too many clients. When you have a clear business model, it helps you see how many hours you are required to work with the number of clients you are looking to take on. You can then determine whether this works for you and your lifestyle. This will ensure your business is sustainable long-term.

How to build your business model?

Breaking down your business model starts with the following:

  1. Identify what packages you want to offer (list all of your packages out)

  2. Write down what pricing you currently offer for each type of service or plan to offer

  3. Calculate the total income you expect based on how many packages you are looking to sell for each

  4. Identify how many hours of work are required for each package and how many overhead hours are required to maintain your business (e.g. admin, marketing)

  5. Ensure the total number of weekly hours work for you and your lifestyle

  6. Ensure the total expected income aligns with your personal financial goals.

Taking the time to build your business model gives you the opportunity to make strategic decisions within your doula business about your packages and pricing.

It can identify opportunities where you may want to add in additional types of services or income streams to meet your growing financial goals without exceeding the amount of hours you have to work in your business each week.

This is why many of my doula clients lean into offering digital resources, group workshops, group programs and online self-paced programs that increase their income without needing to just work in a 1:1 capacity with their clients. However this firstly takes recognising where your business is right now, what your business model looks like at this point in time and then making strategic decisions to meet your financial goals and create work/life balance for yourself.

By doing so, you are positioning yourself and your business for long-term profitability and sustainability because your business model ensures you are reaching your financial goals but in a way that works for you and your family.

So take the time to create your business model now so that you can make informed decisions within your doula business to build your business and serve your clients in a way that works for you.


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