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For Camille Cassin, Executive Director of the Turning Point Pregnancy Resource Center (TPPRC), dealing with crisis happens every day. Ms. Cassin helps San Diego-area women who are facing an unwanted or unplanned pregnancy. TPPRC’s services include free pregnancy tests and ultrasounds, educational initiatives, community referrals and much more. Turning Point was established in 2000, and has helped thousands of area women since opening.

Ms. Cassin’s leadership techniques at TPPRC offer a case study of how to thrive in the midst of adversity, and we wanted to get an inside look at this unique enterprise. What makes Ms. Cassin and TPPRC tick? How does she handle high pressure on a daily basis? Who is her biggest source of inspiration? Which marketing avenues have showed the greatest ROI? We recently spoke with Ms. Cassin on a host of issues, and her responses provide worthwhile information for any young entrepreneur. Keep reading our entire interview below; for useful advice and much more, Ms. Cassin’s experience shows a non-profit pregnancy clinic offers just as much business and personal insight as the newest tech firm – maybe even more!

1. Who has been your greatest inspiration?camille-picture-copy

The man Christ Jesus is my greatest inspiration and whom I model my life after. The way he lived his life on earth and how he treated people is the model and blueprint for my life.  He inspires and empowers me to conquer my fears, knowing there are no limits to what I can do when I follow his ways.

2. What piece of advice would you give to someone who wants to become an entrepreneur?

Don’t ever give up! Don’t be afraid to try new things, and don’t get discouraged when you fail.  Sometimes your biggest failures are the training ground for your greatest success. Listen more, talk less. Know your strengths and weaknesses, and surround yourself with people who tell you what you need to hear, not what you want to hear. Hire people that have the experience and talents that you don’t have. Practice humility. Being an entrepreneur can be a humbling experience.

3. Where do you see your business in 10 years?

Expanding to a full-service pre-natal community clinic with multiple locations as well as several mobile medical units.  I see the mobile medical units having three different services points: one as a “first responder” (offering early pregnancy testing/ultrasounds for women experiencing a crisis pregnancy) one as solely an STD testing mobile, and one offering limited pre-natal care for impoverished or underserved areas of San Diego County.

4. How do you go about marketing your business?

What has been your most successful form of marketing? A comprehensive digital marketing campaign is how we market to our client base.  Our most successful form of marketing has been an SEO campaign designed to draw clients to our website. Adding text as a communication tool for our clients has been tremendously successful, especially considering our target market age group is 18-26 years old.

5. What have been some of your failures, and what have you learned from them?

Not reading the fine print of a contract thoroughly. We hired a company for digital marketing and one of the service points was to design a website for us. It was not a successful campaign; when we cancelled the contract they wanted thousands of dollars for the design of the website. They owned the design and we owned the content.  Luckily it was a small website and was easily reproduced. However, it taught me to thoroughly read every contract or if it’s language that I don’t understand (like leases for buildings) hire a trusted expert to interpret it for you.

Not taking enough time off. If you don’t be intentional about taking care of yourself physically and emotionally, you will not persevere through the challenges and difficulties of being an entrepreneur.  If you are overtired, that’s when you make mental mistakes.

6. How does your company provide innovation within your industry?

We are a non-profit pregnancy medical clinic (PMC) specializing in reaching women who are facing an unplanned pregnancy. How we provide innovation is:

    • We have a unique service model in our industry. Most non profit PMC’s train Registered Nurses to perform limited first trimester ultrasounds. This not only limits what type of ultrasound you can provide but the RN has to perform multiple medical services: pregnancy testing, health assessments, and the ultrasound. If the patient is in her second trimester, you have a problem. Your medical professional is not trained in that level of sonography.
    • Instead of training RN’s in sonography, we use RDMS (registered diagnostic medical sonographers). We have RN’s on staff, but they perform nursing tasks (health assessment, verifying pregnancy tests, etc.) leaving the RDMS to perform the ultrasounds. We believe this service model lets the medical professionals utilize their skills and training in their area of expertise. This builds a wall of support for our patients, and the patient receives better, more comprehensive medical care.
    • We don’t use volunteers as client advocates. This is common practice in our field particularly because of the financial constraints facing non profit pregnancy centers. We only use staff members that are highly trained to perform our crisis pregnancy counseling sessions. We want to have the best counselors to serve our patients with the highest level of care. We believe there is less turnover with staff and more continuity for our patients.

We hope you enjoyed this informative and revealing Q&A session. To learn more about Camille Cassin’s inspiring story, her bio was recently published on Women in Business & Industry’s website. For additional information on the Turning Point Pregnancy Resource Center, please visit their website or call (858) 397-1970. Thanks for reading our blog!

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