For a lot of complementary and alternative practitioners the dream is to have your own clinic space with your name spelled out in lights above the door. The reality is that a lot of therapists thrive in multidisciplinary settings where different practitioners rent different room(s). If that’s the route you’re considering, there are certain things you need to look at.
Almost all places will work on one of two systems: charging rent or taking a percentage of your earnings (usually 50/50 or 60/40). The obvious thing to consider when paying set amount of rent is that you are sure you can pay it, come rain or shine. A minimum of six months contingency plan is wise, especially if you’re just starting out or relocating.
If you’re looking at the percentage system, it is very important to find out if they will be adding tax or VAT on top of that. No self respecting therapist should give more than 50/50. So if one place offers you 50/50 clear and another place offers you 60/40 plus VAT, it is important you work out the figures because the latter might actually mean you take home less money.
When renting an individual room space, which is very popular for therapists who want to work from more than one location, you need to also find out what is included. Some places offer towels which is great if you use them in your practice as that can save on your time and energy.
Other things that may not necessarily affect your final decision but is worth asking about is whether there is any storage space, either in the treatment room itself or in the clinic.
Before even searching online and definitely before viewing a place, have a checklist of what you require. It can be very easy for you to forget about something integral because you’re used to seeing it during your treatments. It is not unheard of for acupuncturists excited at starting out and forgetting to ask if the clinic has sharps bins! Some places don’t have that and then it’s up to the practitioner to arrange their own needles removal service. Not the end of the world, but another extra cost to consider.
One of our clients fell in love with a space and decided to rent it only to find out that the treatment couch was not hydraulic but a fold up couch of the portable type which severely hampered her flexibility as a massage therapist. She had to make do until she found another suitable space.
Another client of ours noticed the lack of hydraulic bed when viewing a space and insisted on one before she committed. And the clinic owner obliged.
Remember that the small details are just as important as the actual location and quality of the space. Extra leg work in the beginning helps make your practice work smoothly.