Assessing Your Doula Business for Growth
Three females standing at a board working on their business.

In the first post, we discussed why developing a basic business plan is beneficial for doulas. Before creating an effective plan, the initial step is conducting an honest self-assessment.   

This post will provide guidance on carrying out a SWOT analysis – an important foundational piece. Gaining clarity in these areas will empower your strategic goal setting and planning going forward.

Conducting a SWOT Analysis

 

A SWOT analysis is a useful framework for assessing the internal and external factors that can impact a business. The acronym SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. 

By taking an objective look at your Strengths and Weaknesses, which are internal factors within your control, you gain insight into core competitive advantages as well as areas for improvement. This allows focusing your goals and resources most effectively. 

Considering external Opportunities and Threats, which are outside your control, offers perspective into favorable industry trends or community needs you can target, as well as potential risks to monitor. Staying aware of shifts in your wider operating landscape is strategically important.

For doulas, a SWOT analysis provides a structured way to thoughtfully evaluate crucial practice elements from marketing strategies to operational efficiencies. It serves as a baseline to measure future progress against as plans are implemented.

By dedicating time for thorough SWOT analysis now, you can develop goals later with full clarity of where your business excels and aspects to prioritize strengthening. The insights gained also inform risk management and guide leveraging new opportunities as they arise in the field. 

Here are examples for the categories:

 

Strengths

  • You have 10+ years of experience assisting with home, birth center, and hospital births.
  • Local midwives and clients frequently refer to you as one of the most supportive doulas in the area. 
  • Your strong interpersonal skills allow you to connect deeply with clients.

Weaknesses

  • While experienced as a doula, your comfort level with social media marketing is still developing. 
  • With a busy schedule, you want to ensure quality of care doesn’t slip with high client volume.
  • Your home office space would benefit from reorganizing to have a smoother client workflow.  

Opportunities

  • The community birth center opening new parent classes seems a great chance to promote your services.   
  • Partnering with the OB/GYN practice in town could lead to more referrals from physicians.
  • As doula demand rises, pursuing regular training keeps your skills sharp to meet needs.

Threats

  • Other doulas with savvier digital strategies may be gaining clientele more quickly.
  • Shifts in insurance coverage could economically impact some clients’ ability to hire you.
  • Economic instability may temporarily affect family budgets and potentially service costs.

By using the templates provided, you’ll be able to thoughtfully analyze SWOT areas to highlight strengths, guide goals and track performance over time. Understanding these factors helps you figure out what strategies you might want to focus on to grow your doula business.

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