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Where would you set up your own therapy practice ?

Updated: Aug 9, 2023


Finding premises versus working from home



This is one of our interesting discussions we have during our training days at BH Holistics training academy, where do I set up my business? at home or within premises?


If there is a spare room to set up within your home that you can create specifically for the purpose of therapy work, you have a brilliant opportunity to start your business without to much financial commitment and you can begin to build up your client base, help your balance of work and family commitments and also work in the local community.

If your room has a separate entrance or easy to access without walking through all your other private family areas even better. There also needs to be easy access to a toilet and washing facilities which is all to think about when planning your new exciting venture.

Some of my students have either changed the use of a summer house to a therapy room or built a summerhouse or cabin in their garden which does look amazing and creates a separate area for work away from the home.

As long as the therapy environment you create is calm, helps your client relax, feel safe and comfortable, that you enjoy working in as much as your clients enjoy coming to.


If you do decide to designate an area in your home to establish your practice, you will need to do some research to make the right decisions.


• Check if your house / work insurance will be affected (contact your home insurance)

• Would you have to pay Business rates? (Ask the advice of your local council)

• Are there any local by-laws that might prevent you from using your home as a workplace? (The local council can advise)

• Would you need to obtain permission for change of use? (Local council advise)

• Are you independent enough to enjoy the challenge of working from home?

• Are you disciplined enough to work from home?

• Will your domestic responsibilities impact upon you working from home?

• Will you have suitable lockable storage for records and equipment?

• Is there a suitable area for clients to wait prior to been seen?

• Is there suitable access to your practice area?

• Are there suitable toilet and hand-washing facilities?

• Is there easy access through

• Will you need to take additional health and safety measures (such as installing an alarm)

• Will your treatment area comply with health and safety and fire regulations?

• Will it be easy for clients to find your practice?

• Is there adequate room for your equipment, furniture, storage areas and still space to move around comfortably?

• Do you have a suitable area that can be shut off from the rest of the house?



There are also disadvantages that you should give some thought to when making your decisions.


1) It is much harder to close the door on your business at the end of the working day.

2) Planning restrictions ( it is worth calling into your local planning office and enquiring)

3) Insurance restrictions,(contact your provider)

4) The effects of the Health and Safety at Work Act.

5) The effects of local authority environmental rulings.

6) How it will impact upon your family and all living with you.

7) How it will impact upon your neighbours.

8) You may well become preoccupied with work and find it harder to separate work from your leisure time.


It is worth noting that in some cases, you can offset the use of part of your home against tax, this includes lighting, heating, water and sometimes even local taxes.


Mobile home visiting could be an option ?

To offer home visits can be a good option when setting up, if you are practicing reflexology you may only need a reflexology chair that is a bit like a sun chair, folds up and not to heavy to carry about. For holistic and massage therapies you will probably need a therapy couch which is quite hard to carry and manoeuvre in and out of your car and buildings (so definitely something to think about).

A great business opportunity is the option of offering massage therapies in the workplace, get in touch with some big businesses in your area and offer Indian head , back massage or even Reiki for the day to their staff as a wellbeing day. You can purchase a massage chair for this which is much lighter and easier to carry around than a couch.


Advantages of working mobile and offering home visits.

- No rent or utilities to pay.

- Freedom of when you want to work.

- Can fit hours around your children and home commitments



Disadvantages of working mobile and offering home visits.

- Heavy and awkward equipment to carry around.

- Need to check with your car insurance to use for work.

- There could be a personal safety issue going into a strangers home.

- Setting up a calm and peaceful environment to give a lovely relaxing treatment can be a challenge in someones front room.

- Time can be an issue, setting up and tidying everything away can take longer than you planned and also hard to leave when client is happily chatting with you and doesn't want you to leave.

- Travel time and money for fuel can add up if working far away from home.






Questions to ask yourself:


What size of premises/space will you require to run a professional practice?


What is affordable to you?


What amenities would you like to have available to your clients?


What image do you want to project?

Business like

Professional

Informal

Welcoming

Alternative .


Would you prefer to work alongside other practitioners, or on your own?


Do you like to travel/commute to work, and then physically leave it behind you at the end of your working day?


Could you manage with flexible hours or more office conventional based hours?


Do you want a local client base?


If your clients will be coming to you for sessions, will they need easy access or parking?


Travel time and costs and how that will impact upon your practice?


What communication system will you need? – (Phone, Internet)


Whether you plan to work full or part time?


Possible legal restrictions e.g. planning, change of use, council tax restrictions?




It is also important to inform everyone who may need to know that you are working from home.

• Your house and contents insurers.

• Your mortgage lenders.

• City planners/local council and authorities.

• Your bank manager.

• Your therapy insurers.

• Your landlord if in rental property.

• Friends, family and neighbours.



The reasons why you may decide to choose to work away from home, in separate premises.

1.You may not have enough room at home.

2. You may decide that you want to keep your work and home separate.

3. You may be working with other practitioners and therapists and support each other.

4. You may be working from a business with a client base built up already for a community of therapists.




Options to think about when choosing to work in premises.


-Renting space and time within an existing multi-therapy clinic or practice.

-Share leased property with other practitioners and therapists.

- Renting space in GP surgeries or some hospitals.

-Using community facilities.

- Buying a practice.


Advantages and disadvantages of working in a practice.


Renting in an existing multi-therapy clinic:

-Advantages – Shared overheads and reception assistance.

- Disadvantages – Lack of control over any rent or utility increase and any bad reputation from another therapist may effect your professional reputation too.


Renting a room within a business that is not a therapy business practice.

- Advantage - Control over your pricing, creating your own therapy experience environment for your clients, friendliness of people around you who may also become your clients as your not a competition but will support your work.

- Disadvantage - no professional support from colleagues.


Shared leased property:

- Advantages: More control and colleague support.

- Disadvantages – Falling out with colleagues/partners.


Renting space in GP surgery or hospital:

-Advantages: Lends credibility to your work and GP referrals.

-Disadvantages – Negativity from some medical staff.


Ask yourself some of these questions before making your decision to work away from home.

• Do you need the discipline and routine of going to work?

• Would you consider sharing a therapy room with another therapist – you could maybe work different days or times of the day to keep costs down?

• Would you prefer to work with other people and therapists within a central practice, or find your own space to work on your own?

• Have you found a place already where you would want to work?

• How much could you afford to pay for rent, rates, and any other associated charges?

• Do you want or need the support and security of working with other people?

• How far are you prepared to travel?

• Would there be adequate room for you to store your equipment, records, stocks etc?

• Would there be enough privacy for your clients?

Looking for the right premises

Where to look

• Estate agents.

• Local authorities.

• Local notice boards

• Training and Enterprise councils

• Word of mouth.

• Internet Websites promoting your chosen therapy, facebook sites for local area.

• Looking around your area.


You need to consider the space you need, access to your business and work area, privacy for your clients, the image you wish to project, fixtures and fittings you need and internet access, lighting, heating, water, ventilation, natural light, health and safety , security cost.


There seems lots to think about, but not all of the above will be applicable to you when making a decision, although it is good to know as much as possible before setting up.


It is such an exciting venture starting up your own business and becoming self employed, to have freedom, create your own vibe, live your life the way you want to loving what you do.

Most obstacles can be easily overcome, just keep your head calm and visualise your beautiful therapy business thriving and achieving all your dreams.


I wish you so much amazing good luck and hope you enjoy your new journey with passion and joy.


If you ever want to get in contact, join us on a course or CPD day please get in touch here.




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