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8 Newbie Perinatal Business Mistakes

Dr Erin Bowe perinatal business coaching

November 29, 2023

Who doesn’t love to have a sticky beak into what other people struggle with in business?

One of my favourite things about coaching women through setting up a new perinatal business is that we can quickly catch sabotaging. When you’re on your own, you often miss or ignore all the little sneaky things that you’ll do to self-sabotage your success.

Here’s 8 things I see people do in business again and again without fail

1. Massively undercharging

Picking a fee based on a feeling, or worse, comparing with other people and undercutting your colleagues. I also loathe the phrase “charge your worth”. The ONLY way to set fees to is actually look at what your costs are. This includes your time, resources, registrations, insurance and your expertise. 

If, like me, you’ve left Uni or training and realize you have no idea how to set fees then hire a business coach. One session with someone who has YEARS of expereince and data in a relevant business could save you hours of stressing about what to charge. 

2. Blocking your ideal clients from booking and therefore blocking money!

Something like 70% of small businesses lack a clear call to action on their website.

A link to your calendar and multiple ‘book here’ buttons can save you so much time in back and forth communication. 

In 0.05 seconds, most consumers have already decided whether they like a website enough to stay and keep looking. If they can’t figure out what your service or product is, and how to book or pay for it, you’ll likely lose them. 

Sure, it’s lovely to have a personal chat with every potential client. Is it what they want though? 

I’m not suggesting that you don’t talk to people or that you don’t do some screening. However, consider whether you are making it more difficult to book an appointment or access information than is needed?  

3. Not being able to clearly articulate what you are offering

Creative, holistic businesses are wonderful, but if it doesn’t pass the “it’s 3AM and I haven’t slept in weeks, what are you even on about?” test (yes, that’s the official name) I’m probably going to click away. This also goes hand in hand with not thinking about SEO friendly search terms (ie what are people typing into Google? How are they going to find you?)

One of the things I’ll often do in coaching is SHOW you how to workshop all the ways you might be confusing your target client. 

4. Trying to compensate for anxiety and impostor fears by paying for yet another course, qualification or training

I tend to ask the hard questions – are you enrolling in this because it’s what your clients want and search for? Does it have a clear return on investment, OR are you doing this because you think it will make you feel better/look smarter/more expereinced and so on?

I’m not saying you shouldn’t invest in your education, but in the early days you want to be spending your dollars on things that move the needle. Ask yourself – do I need more training or do I need more mindest work about my online presence? 

Would you be better off spending the time writing 5 blog posts, making 5 videos or reaching out to 5 podcasts than spending that time on additional training? 

5. Watering yourself down

Hiding behind a logo and business name instead of showing your face, using your voice and your own name. 

What’s one of the first things people ask when a baby is born? “What the name?”. Your business is no different. It astounds me how many perinatal businesses fail to put a name and a face to their business. 

Stop saying “we” when you mean “I”. Consider why you feel the need to pretend you ahve a team of people behind you? 

You might want to read my post on 6 signs you’re struggling with visibility here and get your name on the list for visibility coaching here.

6. Not prioritising your passive income

It takes work to create a course or recurring revenue product, but it can be so worth it. In this work there’s periods of feast and famine. Having a passive income stream will help you feel less freaked when the calendar isn’t as full. It will also give you something to offer clients who can’t afford your other services or just want to see how you work first. Don’t forget, my course creation is here to help if you needed something self-paced you can work at in between sessions.  

7. Not tracking your time and killing your darlings quickly 

This can be the psychologist who runs 10 minutes over 5x a week (5×10 is basically giving away a session a week for free!) or the doula who doesn’t calculate the full time it takes to prepare clients meals.    

For me, it was Instagram and to some extent my podcasts.

I’ve loved my podcasts. I loved interviewing guests but as anyone who has run a podcast with guests knows, it’s incredibly time consuming. There was no clear pathway as a Psych to monetize the podcast without getting into hot water for promoting things under AHPRA.

8.  Not knowing when to say ‘no thanks’ to unpiad work

In the beginning, yes you want to share things for free and create a body of work you’re proud of. BUT you need to know when to start saying ‘no’ to:

Meeting for coffee to ‘network’ or ‘brain pick’

Doing discovery calls with people who just want free advice or to waste your time

Speaking at events for free. Especially if there’s travel. Hard pass for me these days!

Doing podcast interviews when you could be sleeping! I learned my lesson in this earlier this year when a podcast in Texas booked me then the host got on and said “oh, um who are you? Why did my assistant reach out to you?”

Decide on 1-3 things you want to do for free that feel right and stick with that.

I give away free books for podcasts. I’ll usually say yes to a workshop or summit where the organiser has made it super easy for me. I’m often happy to promote other perinatal businesses of people I know. I give away free coaching and supervision to the people who promote my stuff. 

Is 2024 the year to make strides in your own perinatal business?

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