The Business Plan and Your Free Checklist - Part 1
Building Your Birth Business
I remember so well my first year of shooting births. I was so inspired by the work I was doing. I was blown away by the fact that people wanted to PAY ME to document this incredible journey. I was figuring out how to use my equipment, how to live the on-call life, how to edit. My mind was exploding! Jennifer felt the same! She loved doing this work, and decided she wanted this to be more than just a hobby: she believed it was truly her life's-calling. But the last thing either of us thought about, was how to establish a legal and sustainable business. It went by the way-side simply because we didn't know the steps we needed to take or how to start the process. Jennifer and I would chat over the phone and we slowly realized that we need to get serious and truly establish our businesses. We spent DAYS googling information about LLCs, sole proprietorship's, about websites, about insurance. We would talk and share what we were learning, but it still felt like we were both lost. Over the course of months, we pieced together our businesses. It was long. It was painful. It was ugly. But we somehow did it.
We didn’t know it then, but what Jenn and I both needed was clear, thorough guidance from someone who knew how business (and specifically BIRTH businesses) worked. We needed a resource that took out the confusion and the pain: a step by step process that was easy to follow and implement. Because it was hard enough figuring out how to be on call…we didn’t need the added stress of not having a step-by-step process of establishing our businesses.
We believe that when birth workers are equipped with knowledge specifically tailored to their unique calling, they thrive. That's why we wanted to give you something that has helped us - a Business Plan Checklist and Goal Sheet.
When Jenn and I started Birth Becomes Her, we were able to utilize a step by step process, and WOW...it was such a different process. Within a week, we had a legally established business that was ready to grow and thrive. We now employ several women around the country, and we feel happy and secure that our business is set up the way it's supposed to be! It was such a different process and one that took much less time away from our families.
One thing that made a huge difference for us the second time around was having a Business Plan Checklist, where Jenn and I really considered our philosophy, our vision, our long-term goals, and our target audience. So often birth workers keep it as simple as “I want to serve families and make money” but there is so much more to consider. Each new birth business should invest time in truly discovering what values guide them and what goals drive them. A solid business plan will not only help you make financial decisions about where to invest your time and money, but it will also help you navigate your client interactions and establish a unique presence in your birth community.
One of the first things to consider is your Mission Statement. We talk a lot about this in the Business Plan Checklist that we've included below.
Think about your mission statement: what you want your business to be doing right now. This is where you lay out the practical things: Monet's is 'I want to serve 2-3 families each month in the greater Denver area as a doula and birth photographer.' But so often, we end with our mission statement and lose out on the power of having a strong vision statement.
A Vision Statement is what you want to see happen for your business in the future. A vision statement is where anything is possible. The world’s best entrepreneurs achieve success not because they have a strong mission statement, but rather because they’ve claimed something GREAT in their vision statement. My vision statement looks like this: 'Through my work as a photographer and doula, I want to be seen as an international leader in my profession, serving not only local families but also birth professionals around the world through teaching, mentorship, and training. I want my business to become the gold-standard for other birth professionals in terms of earnings, work/life balance, and influence.' It’s okay to dream big here. It’s okay to set lofty goals. It’s okay to envision something WAY BIGGER than what you’re currently doing. It’s actually more than okay – it’s the key to success.
Even if you've already established your business, it's not too late to revisit your goals and dreams. You may feel like you've thrown your business together piece by piece. We get it. We’ve been there. So we’ve attached a business plan checklist for you to explore. If you are experienced, this is a great checklist to look through and refocus your goals. It's also great to see all that you have achieved in one place and it can help you to dream big. Jenn is working on this as she establishes her new business in a brand new market.
f you are new, feel free to dream big here. Write out everything about your business and then you can refer back to this your business grows. This is where I get excited as an artist, seeing all of my goals and dreams in one place. Writing it all out helped me to see what else I needed to work on, so that when I set the business up, I was able to get it up and running right away.
We will be sending out Birth Business Checklist - Part 2 in email later this week. Sign up below to get on the list!
In the meantime, share the top 3 questions YOU have about establishing your birth business. We are almost ready to launch the toolkit, and we want to make sure we have all your burning questions answered.
Monet and Jenn
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