By Kristin Laffrey, business coach for women leading impact in fertility, birth, postpartum, motherhood, parenting and matrescence.
Are you passionate about supporting women during their pregnancy, birth and postpartum journey? Looking to start your doula business and ready to set your business up for success?
This ultimate guide to creating a successful doula business plan outlines the step-by-step process to preparing your business for growth.
Creating a business plan for your doula business is the starting point for setting your business up for success because it outlines the key considerations for your business that need to be addressed upfront to establish your business with strong foundations. Yet so many doulas don’t invest the time upfront to gain the clarity around the business and therefore it can quickly become overwhelming when trying to grow their business yet not knowing how to do so.
A well-thought-out business plan will support you in gaining clarity around your vision, creating your offers, setting your prices, analysing the market to understand your ideal client, identify opportunities for your business and managing the operations of your business including finances.
If you don’t know where to start then you are absolutely in the right place!
Let’s jump in.
What is the purpose of a business plan?
A business plan can serve many purposes within your business however the key purpose of your business plan is very much centred around clarity and planning of your business.
One of the key things to remember when starting your doula business, and in those early stages, is that there is a key difference between foundations for starting your business and foundations for succeeding within your business. Right now you may have either completed a doula qualification or researched what you need to know to SERVE clients however it’s also important to connect with the foundations and knowledge you require to SUCCEED within your business because it’s important to note that you are not just a doula (serving clients) but also a business owner (running your business) and clarity and planning is an essential part of your role as the founder and business owner.
Your business plan gives you an opportunity as a business owner to look at what your business requires to set your business up for long-term success so that you are building your business to support you in creating profitable and sustainable impact and serve clients for years to come.
Do you need a business plan for your doula business?
If you are still on the fence about whether you need to create a business plan or not for your doula business, here are the key reasons a business plan is crucial:
Clarity of Vision: A business plan helps you clarify and define your business's vision, mission, and values. It forces you to think deeply about why you are becoming a doula and what you want to achieve, both personally and professionally.
Goal Setting: It allows you to set specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) goals for your doula business. These goals serve as benchmarks to track your progress and success.
Market Understanding: A business plan requires thorough market research. This research helps you understand your target audience, competition, and market trends. It allows you to tailor your services and marketing strategies effectively.
Financial Planning: Creating a budget and financial projections are essential components of a business plan. It helps you anticipate expenses, set pricing strategies, and plan for profitability. Financial planning is critical for managing your finances and ensuring the sustainability of your doula business.
Marketing Strategy: Your business plan details your marketing and promotional strategies. It outlines how you'll reach potential clients, build your brand, and establish your online and offline presence.
Operational Guidelines: You'll establish operational guidelines, including how you'll deliver your services, manage client relationships, and handle administrative tasks. This ensures consistency in service delivery and enhances client satisfaction.
Risk Management: A business plan includes a risk analysis that identifies potential challenges and threats to your business. By recognising these risks, you can develop contingency plans and strategies to mitigate them.
The key elements of your Doula Business Plan
So you are ready to create your business plan for your doula business? Let’s dive into what to include. Remember that the whole intention behind your business plan is not just to complete it but rather to feel clear and confident in your business moving forward.
The key elements to a successful business plan:
The executive summary is a crucial component of your business plan. It firstly provides an overview of your doula business, introducing your business idea and providing a background into your doula work. Secondly, it highlights your mission, vision and core values to provide an overview of your business and also the key concepts you will address in your business plan.
Read this article here on creating a sustainable business model for your doula business to know more about building your business model.
The market analysis is an essential part of your business plan because it is where you analyse your target market and your ideal client to understand the market that you are working in. It allows you to identify competitors and look at market trends to be able to make informed decisions around the structure and foundations of your business.
Services and Pricing
What are the services you desire to offer within your doula business? This is your opportunity to connect with your business model to understand how you desire to structure your offers to serve both you and your ideal client. It is also an opportunity to clarify your pricing strategy to ensure you are setting your business up to reach your financial goals whilst also meeting your lifestyle and aligning with your values. Remember that the key for building your business is creating profitability and sustainability and therefore your packages and pricing will substantially impact the longevity of your business.
Marketing and Promotion
Detail the marketing strategies you are going to use to attract and book your ideal clients. In clarifying this you want to ensure you are clear on the pathways you are looking to create to attract your ideal clients whilst being clear on the sales process to ensure you are able to convert clients to move them into your paid packages. Two things that are essential for this are firstly, establishing a clear client journey and secondly, refining your messaging to ensure you are moving your potential clients along your client journey.
For creating your Marketing and Promotion strategies for your doula business be sure you check out these following articles on:
The operational plan is essential in identifying how you are going to run your business on a day-to-day basis. It’s important to look at any doula certifications, licenses that may be required but also important to look at what training and education you require to run your business effectively and grow your business. The goal is not just to start your business but to position your business for success and this is important to connect with what is required to support you in getting there.
If you haven’t yet jumped on the waitlist for the next round of the Mothermind Business Academy, now would be the time to do so. This is a 3 month business academy that is specifically designed to support you in building the foundations and strategies to position your business for long-term growth. The Mothermind has supported doulas to go from booking their very first client to booking months in advance.
Here are just some of the shifts the Mothermind has seen from doulas:
One doula went from booking 2 clients in 6 months to booking 2-3 clients consistently each month to support her part-time hours
Another doula went from booking 1 client per month to booking out her business 6 months in advance
Many other doulas (both birth and postpartum) have clarified their vision, launched new offers, created consistent pathways for attracting clients and build their confidence in selling and marketing their services
If you have completed your doula training and wondering what is next - this is the business academy for you.
The importance of the financial projections within your business plan is to get clear on your budget and ensure you are forecasting expenses within your business. The reality is that starting your business is going to see more of a financial outlay in your business before you start creating consistency in your income however the goal is to focus on investing in the foundations and strategies that are going to support you in creating a consistent flow of income so ensure you are budgeting expenses towards investing in setting your business up from the start.
A risk analysis is important in identifying any potential risks in your business and outlining how you are going to mitigate those risks. Ensure that you give any consideration to the concerns you have in your business.
Writing your doula business plan
Take the opportunity to go through each section and write out your business plan. This is going to ensure you are confidently addressing all the essential components for setting your business up for long-term success.
Focus less on getting the business plan perfect but rather more on what you need to cover in each area and completing the analysis required to ensure you have clarity around building your business for profitability and sustainability.
For any further support in regards to setting your business up for long-term success just over to Instagram, at Kristin Laffrey, and follow along for additional resources and support.