Doula Business Development

The Small Business Basics Online Classroom and Patty Brennan’s two books, The Doula Business Guide and The Doula Business Guide Workbook, were originally developed with birth and postpartum doulas in mind. All of the information is solid and easily applicable for end-of-life doulas, however, you will find that specific examples given relate to the childbearing year. Patty intends to update everything (including new editions of her books) in 2018 to include all types of doula work. The one exception on this page is the Doula Business Development Workshop which has been freshly updated to embrace end-of-life doulas. If you choose to invest in either or both books now, I am happy to provide free access to the new editions in e-book format.

Small Business Basics Online Classroom

doula businessWith Patty Brennan

This eight-part series of online classes is perfect for those who are just starting with self-employment. We will provide you with the information and encouragement needed to launch your new business. Let Patty “doula you” through the process, providing step-by-step guidance for putting all the necessary infrastructure in place so your business can grow. Complete the classes on your own time, at your own pace and review whenever you need to. (Classes are delivered in mp4 video format, along with an e-coursepack of resources available as a PDF download. After purchase, you will be given a link and password for access to the online classroom.)

Business Basics Online ~ Whole Collection


OR start with this free sample class now.

Riding the Self-Employment Rollercoaster
Explore the pros and cons and universal challenges of self-employment.

Business Start-Up Basics

    • What’s in a name?
    • DBAs and LLCs? Simplifying the alphabet soup
    • To partner or not to partner?
    • Variations on business models
    • Bottom line on the paperwork

Money Matters

    • Examining your beliefs about money, scarcity and abundance
    • Setting your fees
    • Get comfortable talking about money
    • Checking accounts, credit cards and insurance reimbursement
    • What about taxes? (bookkeeping basics & tips for staying out of trouble with the IRS)
    • Creating a budget (sorting the needs, requirements and desires)

Get Clients Now!

    • Market, Message & Media (understanding basic marketing principles)
    • Know your customers
    • Create a compelling message (avoid the #1 Biggest Mistake)
    • Diversify your media (from print literature to press releases and more)
    • Cultivating a referral culture in your business (past clients are your best referral source!)
    • Networking basics
    • Measuring your ROI (return on investment)

E-Marketing Basics

    • So, you want to create a website? (how to get started)
    • It’s all about SEO (maximizing your online presence)
    • Building your community (capture that email address!)
    • The value of e-newsletters
    • Engaging on social media

Risk Management for Doulas

    • Limitations of liability insurance
    • Forming a limited liability corporation (LLC)
    • Respect the scope of practice
    • Setting and maintaining professional boundaries
    • Creating effective client contracts
    • Navigating potential risks
    • Red flags and how to respond appropriately

Time Management

    • Overcoming procrastination
    • Revisiting the seven strategies of highly effective people
    • Five successful time-management strategies
    • Make a detailed plan
    • Identify obstacles to success
    • Put your own oxygen mask on first (essentials of self-care).
    • Work-life balance

Cultivating the Entrepreneur Within (FREE)
Bonus class comes with the purchase of one or more classes.

  • Overcoming our shared challenges
  • Shake it up! Getting out of our bubbles …
  • The blessing of accountability

The Doula Business Guide

doula business guide2nd Edition, 2014
By Patty Brennan

The Doula Business Guide is the must have, comprehensive resource for anyone seeking to establish an independent doula business or program. Over 300 pages of inspiration and useful information for launching your dream career and making it pay well. When you invest in this thorough guide, you get Patty’s 35 years of expertise distilled into one go-to resource. Initially written for birth and postpartum doulas, the information easily adapts to end-of-life doula practices or, indeed, any service-oriented small business venture. Now on the required reading lists of several professional doula training and certification organizations.

The Doula Business Guide


The Doula Business Guide E-Book

“I created a website today and that section of your book was wonderful. I had never done it before so the guidance was awesome. I am also working on establishing myself as a business and I was really nervous about how that works but that section of your book was also really great. Thanks again!” — Elizabeth Gillette“AMAZING! I’M THRILLED! I wanted you to know that your book arrived yesterday and I am tremendously impressed. What a fantastic book! I can’t put it down. I keep going from heading to heading, wondering ‘What does she say about this? About that?” and “ooh, that’s good” or “I love that story about Nan Koehler!.’ You’ve done an impressive job and I am happy it is so comprehensive!” — Amy L. Gilliland, Ph.D., CD(DONA), DONA Approved Doula Trainer and Doula Researcher

“I’ve been glued to your book tonight–can’t put it down, even though my bedtime has come and gone long ago. The information you have packed into this book is amazing. You are SO encouraging and hit on so many of the issues that have crossed my mind in considering every aspect of becoming a professional doula–on both the business side of things as well as on the personal. I just wanted to say ‘Thank you.’ This will be read, and re-read and resourced for many years to come.” — Janis Flint, Ravenna, MI

“I just received my copy of The Doula Business Guide yesterday and I am pouring through it. It’s exactly what I was looking for. Thank you for writing such a comprehensive guide.” — Natalia Hals, North Branch, MN

Doula Business Development Workshop

doula business developmentWith Patty Brennan

Join us for a highly interactive one-day workshop focused on taking your business to the next level. Topics include:

  • Becoming an entrepreneur
  • Cultivating abundance
  • Establishing your value
  • Tips for the interview
  • Marketing on a budget ~ How to grow your business
  • Understanding marketing online ~ Websites, e-newsletters, social media and more
  • Networking effectively ~ It’s all about relationships!
  • Setting goals and other implementation strategies
  • Managing your time ~ How to fit it all in

All participants receive a copy of The Doula Business Guide Workbook: Tools to Create a Thriving Business.

2018 Training Schedule & Fees

Doula Business Development Workshop

Fee $195; $175 if paid in full by ERD
Read what past participants in this class have to say ....
“Thanks again for another great workshop! I really appreciate the way you talk about the real-world emotional parts of owning a business and not just focus on the textbook issues of setting things up. I feel a lot more confident about diving in! Your talk about abundance thinking also really struck a chord with me and I woke up feeling very full and grateful this morning.” — Brandy Cameron, Ann Arbor, MI

“Thank you for a great class today! We did a lot of business classes at massage school but I finally feel like I can do this after taking your class.” — Ashleigh Cornell, Livonia, MI

“This workshop was very encouraging! I came in feeling like it is a complicated process and walked out with a clearer idea of something that can be simple and attainable.” — Gillian McClinsey-Powell, Ann Arbor, MI

“Extremely helpful for me because I knew little about business. Patty helped me understand what I need to do to become a successful doula. This class was very motivational.” — Julienne Floetke, Brownstown, MI

The Doula Business Guide Workbook: Tools to Create a Thriving Business

doula business guide workbookBy Patty Brennan, 2016

The notion that heart-centered work and making money are somehow incompatible, is a false dichotomy. You CAN choose a path of service to others AND thrive financially. In fact, it is essential that you do! Our new Workbook is filled with practical, interactive tools that will guide you to succeed, no matter where you are in the process of building your business–just starting out or a few years in. You will find: checklists, step-by-step instructions, tip sheets, worksheets, templates, exercises, questionnaires, strategies, planners, trackers and more. Great complement to The Doula Business Guide.

The Doula Business Guide Workbook


The Doula Business Guide E-Workbook


“I just ordered your workbook and I wanted to say thank you. I am just so grateful that you have published your wisdom about business building and made the process of acquiring entrepreneurial knowledge so simple and streamlined. What I’ve learned from your workshops and books has been immensely helpful in my career, both as a nurse and a doula. I’m proud to say that I’m following my heart and transitioning in a few months to a doula practice.” — Leontine Wallace, Ann Arbor