Setting the location of your business premises will be a pressing issue when embarking on a new career in private practice. It may be that your training institute will offer the possibility of renting rooms on an ad-hoc basis. This can often be the easiest and most cost effective way of securing consulting room space in the early stages of building your practice. Lets face it: the reality of private practice is that you will need to gradually develop your client base. Do you really, therefore, need the pressure of having to pay for an expensive office lease for your sole use? In time this is something you could possibly work towards, with the option of subletting, when you have a more viable client base to migrate. But in the early stages of building up your practice it might be better to not have to worry about expensive overheads.
Issues worth considering when choosing a premises:
Is it important to you to have a familiar network around you?
Having ex tutors, previous supervisors and students from your training course based at the same venue might be comforting in that you are surrounded by people who are part of a familiar community and who might be willing to refer new clients to you. However, it might also prove to be a suffocating environment given the prevalence of dual roles.
There is no right or wrong with such decisions. It is important to base yourself at a business location where you will feel comfortable and where you can concentrate on the client work without too much distraction.
Do you need to make block bookings or is there a pay as you go system?
When you start out in private practice it might take time to fill a room for a block session as your clients may want to come at different times of the day and week. The commitment of paying for a block session could be pressurising. Paying for a room when you need it could be the better option in the early days when building up your client base. This, of course, needs to be balanced with the advantages of maintaining the same venue location for each session as ad-hoc bookings may mean that you will be potentially allocated a different room each time.
The reality of private practice means that client enquiries need to be addressed speedily such is the competition in the field. You need to be able to get back to them very soon with confirmation of room bookings. It would be advisable to check with the location how quickly they can confirm your bookings. Do they, for instance, have an online reservation system? If not, will there be someone to speak to on the telephone to confirm your bookings?
These issues will be discussed at a CPD training event in London on 4 March. An early bird discount has been extended to the end of February. Why not pop along? See the attached flyer for more details.