6 Reasons I’m an IC for a Doula Agency
When I first became a doula, I started as an independent contractor with an agency.
I was newly postpartum, and I knew I didn’t have it in me to start a new business AND become proficient in this new trade at the same time.
In the three years since my doula training, I have started my own business while remaining an independent contractor for another doula’s doula agency.
Below are my top 6 reasons.
When I first started as a doula, I knew three people in the local birth community:
- My OB
- The doula that taught my childbirth education class
- And the doula that attended that class with her client
I met several more doulas at my training; however, most of them weren’t local to my area. As a part of an agency, I was able to have colleagues – other professionals that I could draw information and support from.
These women have become my close friends over the last three years and made this work even more enjoyable for me.
2) Money Collection
As an independent contractor, I am guaranteed to be paid – even if the client doesn’t pay the agency!
I never have to have a difficult discussion with a client about my fee or whether or not I would consider reducing it for them.
- I don’t have to try to figure out if my business can support a payment plan.
- I don’t have to confront a client who is refusing to pay an invoice.
I am a soft hearted individual who hates confrontation. I love that when faced with those situations I can pass them along to the agency owner.
Working as part of an agency allows me to draw on the credibility that my agency owner has created over the past 15 years within our local birth community.
Local OB’s and Midwives know who she is, and they know she wouldn’t work with anyone she didn’t trust. No one has ever asked how many births I’ve attended or how long I’ve been a doula. Knowing that I have the respect of my agency owner is good enough for them!
As part of an agency, I have been provided a place to blog regularly which increases my exposure. It is much easier to post 20+ blogs in a month if you have a team of 3-6 people writing them. Improved Search Engine Optimization makes it easier for people to find the agency and therefore to find me!
5) Built-In Back Up
Illness and family emergencies happen – even to the best doulas.
As part of an agency I can rely on the team should I be unable to make it to a scheduled postpartum shift. I have never had to scramble last minute to find a doula and then hope they would care for my client in the same way I do; I’ve never had to leave a client hanging when they were hoping to get some much-needed sleep during my shift.
For labor support, many agencies utilize a shared call system. Each IC is placed on a team. These doulas alternate call during the month so that they each get several days off call during the month. Being on call stresses me out – having 3-4 days off call every week is what helps me maintain my sanity and keeps this work sustainable for me.
Perhaps the biggest benefit I have found as an Independent Contractor is the flexibility.
Over the last three years that I’ve worked as an IC, I’ve had several events that took my attention away from my personal business.
As a solo doula, this might have meant a pause in working with clients and therefore a pause in earning an income. But because the agency was still actively seeking clients I never had to stop working or earning money.