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Lamaze classes and instructors help expecting parents prepare for the birthing process. Additionally, lamaze classes will discuss the first few months of care, following the birth of the child.
Who is this business right for?
Although the logical choice for a lamaze instructor might be a person with a medical background, such as nurse, physical therapist, or medical trainer/teacher, there are persons from all walks of life thriving in this profession. Often, people experiencing their own pregnancies decide to learn more, become fascinated with helping others prepare, or find a passion in the child birthing and childcare fields. Ultimately, the best candidate is a person who enjoys teaching and talking to others, is detailed in their work, and desires to give the highest quality care and advice possible to new and expecting parents.
What happens during a typical day at a lamaze classes business?
Lamaze classes may be individual, high intensity one-offs, in which expecting parents are given lots of information over a few hours and are instructed on how to continue practicing techniques on their own. Or, the classes will stretch over many classes, in which techniques and information are introduced slowly, with more hands-on instruction. For both types, lamaze instructors are addressing class participants, discussing fears and misconceptions, and offering advice about how to proceed with your precious cargo. Day to day activities focus on preparing for these classes, re-stocking class instructional materials, scheduling future classes and enrolling new class members. Advertising and marketing the business and networking with related medical services and professionals will also figure into the day to day activities.
What is the target market?
Your target market is expecting parents, both moms and dads. Especially first time parents, as they will be the most nervous and looking for proper guidance.
How does a lamaze classes business make money?
Lamaze class businesses make their money through the registration fees paid by the class participants.
What is the growth potential for a lamaze classes business?
Traditionally, lamaze classes have been fairly popular, although some expecting parents have opted for a hospital and delivery doctor to be the primary caregivers. In more recent years, there has been a decided uptick in the number of lamaze instructors, midwives, and doulas entering neonatal workforce. Many parents are looking to be more aware of the childbirth process, want to explore alternative childbirth methods, or want to give birth in their own home. Accordingly, there is an expanding market for qualified and experienced lamaze coaches. And, don’t forget, babies are being born at a steadily increasing rate.
What are some skills and experiences that will help you build a successful lamaze classes business?
First and foremost, you have to become an expert in your field. Childbirth is a serious undertaking, with so many questions and concerns constantly arising. Expecting parents want to seek advice from highly qualified and experienced professionals. Your level of expertise and knowledge will directly correlate to your class loads. In addition to the lamaze instructions, you should have a background in medicine, either through practice or training, pertaining to patient care. You should also have some managerial or small business experience, as you are more than likely opening a small business without the assistance of a larger medical entity. Comfort in talking to patient/clients is also a bonus, as you will need to be able to speak clearly, with authority, yet also calmly and without elevating a patient’s levels of anxiety and trepidation about their approaching big day.
What are the costs involved in opening a lamaze classes business?
Much of your initial costs will be tied to the training and certifications you will need to secure prior to opening for business. Certification and training classes can run anywhere from $300-1500 each, depending on the levels of instruction and the certifications being sought. If you also choose to intern or apprentice with an experienced instructor, you may need to budget for the income you won’t make, until you’re out on your own.
Other costs will include:
- Business license and insurance
- Rental fees for a classroom space
- Teaching aides, such as anatomy models, videos and pamphlets, birthing balls and related birthing tools, and other pieces of equipment, furniture, or electronics you deem necessary for teaching your classes.
What are the steps to start a lamaze classes business?
Once you're ready to start your lamaze classes business, follow these steps to ensure that your business is legally compliant and avoid wasting time and money as your business grows:
- Plan your business. A clear plan is essential for success as an entrepreneur. A few important topics to consider are your initial costs, your target market, and how long it will take you to break even.
- Form a legal entity. Establishing a legal business entity prevents you from being personally liable if your lamaze classes business is sued.
- Register for taxes. You will need to register for a variety of state and federal taxes before you can open for business.
- Open a business bank account. A dedicated checking account for your lamaze classes business keeps your finances organized and makes your business appear more professional to your customers.
- Set up business accounting. Recording your various expenses and sources of income is critical to understanding the financial performance of your business. Keeping accurate and detailed accounts also greatly simplifies your annual tax filing.
- Obtain necessary permits and licenses. Failure to acquire necessary permits and licenses can result in hefty fines, or even cause your business to be shut down.
- Get business insurance. Insurance is highly recommended for all business owners. If you hire employees, workers compensation insurance may be a legal requirement in your state.
- Define your brand. Your brand is what your company stands for, as well as how your business is perceived by the public. A strong brand will help your business stand out from competitors.
- Establish a web presence. A business website allows customers to learn more about your company and the products or services you offer. You can also use social media to attract new clients or customers. Save 15% when you create a business website with Weebly.
Select your state below for an in-depth guide on completing each of these steps in your home state.
Where can I find a business mentor?
One of the greatest resources an entrepreneur can have is quality mentorship. As you start planning your business, connect with a free business resource near you to get the help you need.
Having a support network in place to turn to during tough times is a major factor of success for new business owners.
What are some insider tips for jump starting a lamaze classes business?
- Continue to be a student of your practices. Organizations, such as CAPPA or Lamaze International are excellent sources of reference and updated information, pertaining to this field of work.
- Work with an established professional, in order to hone your craft, and as a method for understanding the business of child healthcare and childbirth.
- Don’t set up shop with direct competition, if at all possible. If you intern or work with someone else, you may want to choose someone outside of the area you’re planning on opening your business. At the very least, do your research to determine if your region will handle multiple lamaze class businesses and don’t oversaturate.
- Research small business practices and be a student of the business aspects of your career, as well.
- Network, market, and advertise regularly, in order to partially build your reputation. The rest of your rep will stem from your clients and their experiences in your classes, so be sharp and professional.
How to promote & market a lamaze classes business
As mentioned above, networking with similar and connected industries is critical for spreading the good word about your classes and levels of expertise. Seek out organizations which specialize in childbirth and childcare, and immerse yourself in their social networks. Even social networks not specifically focusing on lamaze practices can be beneficial to your business’ growth. Create a Facebook page and a website, in order to attract more business. If you can partner with a hospital or clinic, link your pages on their webpage and advertise in any flyers or periodicals they produce or have on site.
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How to keep customers coming back
Your reputation and professionalism will be your calling card, especially in a business as personal as lamaze classes. You will, in essence, be creating relationships with the expecting parents attending your classes. Let them know how much they mean to you through your in-class communications, as well as follow up communications after the babies are born. Personability and professionalism are essential to securing returning customers.
How and when to build a team
More than likely, you won’t need much of a team for teaching lamaze classes. Much of the methods being taught are low intensity and will require more comfortable seating and decor, rather than assistants. You may want an additional assistant/accountant/business manager/all purpose helper to join you, as you start to grow in size and popularity.
State & Local Business Licensing Requirements
Certain state permits and licenses may be needed to operate a lamaze classes business. Learn more about licensing requirements in your state by visiting SBA’s reference to state licenses and permits.
Most businesses are required to collect sales tax on the goods or services they provide. To learn more about how sales tax will affect your business, read our article, Sales Tax for Small Businesses.
For information about local licenses and permits:
- Check with your town, city or county clerk’s office
- Get assistance from one of the local associations listed in US Small Business Associations directory of local business resources.
Maintain Personal Asset Protection
Don’t think that just forming an LLC, or any other type of business, will save your personal assets in case of a lawsuit or other matter by itself.
When your personal and business accounts are mixed, your personal assets (your home, car, and other valuables) are at risk in the event your LLC is sued. In business law, this is referred to as piercing your corporate veil.
Two of the simplest steps that will protect your business, and yourself, are to:
Open a business bank account
- This separates your personal assets from your company's assets, which is necessary for personal asset protection.
- It also makes accounting and tax filing easier.
Get a business credit card
- This helps you separate personal and business expenses by putting your business' expenses all in one place.
- It also builds your company's credit history, which can be useful to raise money and investment later on.
Certificate of Occupancy
A lamaze classes business is generally run out of a rented space. Businesses operating out of a physical location typically require a Certificate of Occupancy (CO). A CO confirms that all building codes, zoning laws and government regulations have been met.
- If you plan to lease a location:
- It is generally the landlord’s responsibility to obtain a CO.
- Before leasing, confirm that your landlord has or can obtain a valid CO that is applicable to a lamaze classes business.
- After a major renovation, a new CO often needs to be issued. If your place of business will be renovated before opening, it is recommended to include language in your lease agreement stating that lease payments will not commence until a valid CO is issued.
- If you plan to purchase or build a location:
- You will be responsible for obtaining a valid CO from a local government authority.
- Review all building codes and zoning requirements for your business’ location to ensure your lamaze classes business will be in compliance and able to obtain a CO.
How much can you charge customers?
Lamaze classes can range from $50 to $500, depending on the area in which you’re teaching and the levels of specific instruction you offer. Some lamaze instructors target more wealthy clients for one on one classes and follow-ups, throughout the pregnancy and even into the delivery room. This kind of individualized care is priced by the specific case, although some patients will easily spend thousands of dollars for a pregnancy assistant to be on call.
What are the ongoing expenses for a lamaze classes business?
Overhead is relatively low, once established. You will need to periodically restock your class supplies, pay rent and web hosting fees, if applicable, and budget for travel expenses, in case you travel to see patients or to attend seminars or continuing education classes. The proper insurance for this type of business is critical for ensuring your organization is protected in the event of a loss of liability issue.
How much profit can a lamaze classes business make?
An instructors annual salary will average around $60,000. This will fluctuate, depending on where and who you teach, how many classes you offer, and how many teachers you have on staff.
How can you make your business more profitable?
Expand your fields of teaching to include other aspects of child birth, pediatric health, and child nurturing. As you broaden your teaching practice, you will be able to draw in greater numbers of customers, expand your business, and develop more marketable experience and expertise.