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Anyone Care to talk through the 'business' side of things with me?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

I'm starting back to 'work' next winter as a birth doula, and need some help hashing through the details of getting set up as a 'productive business'. I have a contract, but last time I worked as a doula, I wasn't charging, so it needs to be reworked. I'm also going through the research stage of what I want access to (ie first up, changing my cell phone plan, looking into pagers/iphones/texting etc, as right now I use a barely operable phone only.)

 

Anyone care to chat?

post #2 of 8
Hey onetwoten, I would love to chat! I am a Doula and Doula trainer and I love talking business. If youre still interested, let me know
post #3 of 8

When I first started, I modeled my contract off of another doula. It is important to have your services outlined (how many prenatal/postpartum visits, when you join in labor, a statement about not being a medical provider, etc) as well as your fees and fee schedule. Also definitely include a refund policy. Even if you think you won't ever use it, it is important that clients know you are serious about finances and they cannot walk all over you.

 

I had a gmail address and a separate phone number (that I got for free with Google Voice, it dials your regular cell phone too!) with texting that I used for contact. You really don't need anything fancy, and I wouldn't waste money on upgrading until you have a steady client base that needs to get in touch with you often. I did have a website as well, but honestly, people will find you through word of mouth. You don't really need to waste the time/energy building a website, just make a Facebook page or etc., people will find you.

 

If you have any other questions, let me know! Good luck!

post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 

Thanks ladies!! I've gotten a little bit done in the last few weeks, but still have questions. I'll be back in the morning with some of them!

post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 

Ok ladies... so this is what I've got so far for my website (free obviously, I'll upgrade to something nicer once I actually have clients!)

 

http://bellylove.webs.com/

 

This is my FB page: https://www.facebook.com/BellyLoveDoula

 

I've got a copy of my contract on there, and some of the other information. I guess first of all, I'm wondering if there's any suggestions for the pages, and the contract. Is there anything I'm missing, or maybe you would recommend doing differently? 

 

I've decided to switch to an Iphone, with a 1g plan. I talked with the salesperson, and it sounds like this should more than be enough. I think this should take care of my concerns regarding paging/planning/note taking/being generally available. 

 

I'm lost right now with how to advertise/otherwise drum up business! I need tips!

post #6 of 8

Your website looks great! And so does your contract. I think you're off to a great start.

 

As far as marketing, I would attend local LLL meetings, ICAN meetings, birth circles, etc. Meet with midwives around you to introduce yourself and drop off some business cards if you have them. Let them know you are available. I took cards to local stores as well, mostly second hand places that had a lot of baby/maternity things. Anywhere you see a bulletin board, post your info! The library may allow you to leave some cards as well. Find a nice park and some other doulas and host a "Meet the Doulas" night, where parents-to-be can come and meet you all and learn about doulas, or try hosting a talk about doulas at some local stores (baby/maternity, health food, yoga places, etc.). The more you can get your name out there, the more clients will come your way. 

 

I've learned to never pay for advertising, unless it's for a good cause (church newsletter, small town newspaper, etc.). Most of the time, for whatever reason, it doesn't pay off.

 

ETA: You can get business cards for "free" (you pay shipping, which ends up being around $7) through VistaPrint. 

post #7 of 8

This was really helpful to me, I'm glad you posted it, thank you! thumb.gif

post #8 of 8
Yes, thank you for writing this! So much good information. I'm planning on starting doula services soon, and so confused on the business side of things!
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