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Three Things to Consider When Looking for a Business Support Organisation

Doulas supporting each other in business standing at a desk with a laptop and smiling.

Choosing the right business support organisation can be a pivotal decision in a doula's career, akin to selecting the ideal team for a relay race. Just as the right team ensures that every runner’s strengths are maximised and every baton pass is seamless, the right organisation amplifies your abilities and connects you smoothly with those who need them most. This decision can propel your professional life forward at a pace that wouldn't be possible alone. It's about finding a partner that not only supports you but also pushes you to exceed your limits, ensures your skills are showcased optimally, and helps you stand out in the world of doula services.

This guide is designed to help you evaluate various organisations, each offering different levels of support, visibility, and community engagement. We will highlight three essential factors to consider that can significantly elevate your professional growth, ensure your selection enhances your career trajectory, and guarantee that your choice is a boost to your capabilities, not just a backdrop. With careful consideration and strategic selection, you can ensure that your affiliation with a business support organisation becomes a cornerstone of your success as a doula.

1. Directory Dynamics

Before you commit to any organisation, the directory where your services will be listed deserves a thorough evaluation. This directory is your showcase to potential clients and the main avenue through which they will find you. It's essential to consider both the quantity of listings and the intricacies of the search functionalities offered.

Quantity of Listings: Think of the organisation's directory as the starting line-up in a relay race. A directory bustling with doulas might suggest a popular and well-connected organisation, but it could also signal stiff competition for attention. On the other hand, fewer listings might make it easier for you to stand out and attract direct referrals, much like a standout athlete shines in a smaller team.

Search Functionality: How clients find you in the directory matters significantly. If the directory's search function is limited to a doula's immediate postcode, your visibility is confined to your local area—restrictive if you're willing to travel or serve a broader region. This can be particularly challenging if you live just on the outskirts of a major city, where your postcode might always appear last in the list, putting you at a disadvantage compared to those based centrally. Ideally, you want an organisation that allows flexibility in listings, such as indicating all the postcodes or areas you cover. This broader listing option can dramatically widen your potential client base, ensuring you reach as wide an audience as your services can cater to.

2. Visibility and Marketing Efforts

In the search for clients, being visible is as crucial as being competent. The organisation's marketing efforts can either spotlight or overshadow you.

Advertising and Promotion: Does the organisation leverage Google ads or social media campaigns effectively? Such investments are akin to strategic boosts in a relay race, designed to keep you in the lead. An organisation that skilfully manages its advertising budget ensures that its members are prominently featured, increasing the likelihood of attracting potential clients.

Social Media Influence: The strength of an organisation's social media presence can greatly amplify your promotional efforts. A strong following and active engagement indicates a lively community and a broad reach. Evaluate not just the number of followers but also the quality of interactions—these are indicative of how engaged the organisation is with its audience. Also, the social media prowess of the organisation’s owners can offer insights into their capability to maintain relevance and influence in the doula community.

3. Leadership and Educational Opportunities

The calibre of the organisation's leadership and the quality of educational opportunities provided can be major determinants in your professional development.

Leadership Quality: Just as a skilled coach can bring out the best in athletes, experienced and reputable leaders can elevate the entire organisation. These leaders have navigated the challenges you face and can offer mentorship and guidance that’s both practical and inspiring.

Workshops and Sessions: Consider the educational content included in your membership. Effective workshops and training sessions are like the rigorous practices that prepare athletes for big races. These should cover a range of topics relevant to both your current needs and future growth, such as advanced doula techniques, business management skills, and digital marketing strategies.

Moreover, check if the organisation offers additional perks like exclusive access to industry experts, online forums for professional discussions, or special events. These can provide invaluable networking opportunities and further your learning beyond standard training sessions.

Just as the right team in a relay race can enhance your performance, the right business support organisation can significantly propel your career as a doula. By carefully evaluating the directory dynamics, marketing efforts, and the quality of leadership and educational opportunities, you can choose an organisation that not only matches but also enhances your professional trajectory. This strategic approach will ensure that every step forward is supported, setting you up for a successful and fulfilling career.

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