Behind every good business, I believe there is a good story. Let me explain some of the recent developments in our business that have brought us to announce a simplified approach to our training fees. But first, the announcement:
A Simplified Price Starts Wednesday, May 22, 2019
With this announcement, the following additional changes will become effective immediately:
- New Beginnings Doula Training:
- A time restraint of two years to complete training will be removed.
- Course extensions will no longer be needed because of the change of policy.
- Monthly invoicing option is discontinued.
- Annual or full course payments are discontinued.
- Scholarship pricing is discontinued (though it may be reconsidered at a future date).
- Childbirth Support Library:
- Annual subscription plan is discontinued.
To read about additional details including how to cancel accounts and the grandfather policy for existing students, please review the full announcement.
Why the Change
In a spirit of sharing business lessons learned, this most recent pricing change has a fundamentally important lesson behind it. You will not learn it at any business school. We’ve been trying for three years to learn this lesson by talking to business coaches, reading business books, talking with small business centers. (I am embarrassed to say how much money we spent on some of these resources.) It finally took stepping away from all the business books and resources out there to realize why our business wasn’t working for us.
The reason why we are in business is not to make money. The reason why we are in business is to make the world a better place. To improve outcomes for childbirth and to provide those who valiantly support birthing families with the training, skills, and resource for them to do what they are already passionate about doing.
This may seem counter-intuitive, but let’s dive a little deeper. There is a prevailing assumption in our current society that says that we can solve any problem if we have enough points or in other words, money. The fundamental issue with this approach is that it ignores one thing that separates us from the computers (a points system calculator) — that is our humanity. It is that part of us that loves and feels and response to the needs of others in an emotional, caring, supportive matter. Humanity cannot be priced!
So then when we look at business, the majority of resources out there are designed to help business owners turn a profit — to make money! “It’s all about the money, honey!” as my grandmother use to say. That all business deals with. By very definition, businesses exist to be “for profit”. That is how their success is measured. That is how their business grows. That is the bottom line in the world of business. If the business doesn’t make money, then you are not in business.
Or are you? What if there was another way of measuring success in a business that doesn’t connect it directly to the financial outcomes of a business?
As I began to consider recently that maybe we are not suppose to be in the for-profit realm of business activities, I began to consider our options. Should we organize as a non-profit or not-for-profit organization? The more that I explored that option, and the government oversight that was connected to it, I realized that this was not the right answer either.
The Social Good Business Model
Back in my college days, I learned about the work of Muhammad Yunus, the founder of Grameen Bank and a movement to make microloans available to impoverished individuals in third-world countries to empower them to work. That was 15 years ago, but it resonated with me back then. It still resonates with me today. We are not in business to make profit, but to make things better! We don’t measure success by financial outcomes. We are still organized as a for-profit business, which means when we make a profit, we can then use that profit to do more good.
But that also means that we didn’t need to raise our prices.
So we’ve adjusted our pricing back to nearly what it was 3 years ago, dropped the time frame, and made it a simple on/off policy with regards to access. We’ve made one simple price for each service, set at a basic monthly rate. This will allow us to put our energy into other more important activities such as curriculum development and improved training resources.
This is only the beginning of being in business for good.