Choosing the right premises is a key business decision. You want premises that help you operate effectively without excessive costs. At the same time, you want to avoid being tied to premises that might not suit you in the future.
Different options suit different practitioners. Working from home is a good option if all you need is one treatment room. You can also rent premises or buy a property outright.
Decide whether you could work from home
If you have the choice, working from home may be a much better option than renting or buying business premises. It's a common choice for people who are starting up in private practice.
However, working from home may not be an option if it significantly changes the use of the building, or affects your local area, for example if you have lots of visitors. Also, if you rent your home, your licence or lease may carry restrictions on using it for business purposes.
Decide whether you provide a mobile service
Many newcomers to private practice start their practice by providing a mobile physiotherapy service. This avoids the need for a clinic and keeps costs down to a minimum.
The benefits of providing a mobile service are:
- It's cheap to set up, you don't need to purchase much equipment.
- Many patients will enjoy the convenience of having their treatment at home.
- Your charges will be at least the cost of a clinic session and probably more to cover your travel expenses.
Decide if you could rent a room
Many physiotherapists start their practice from a room in a therapy centre, gym, or even a serviced office.
This is often a way to reduce costs as many places that rent rooms are very flexible. You should be able to find rooms available on a half day or even hourly rate. This means you don't have to take on the expense of renting a room full time.
Renting a room also saves you paying any business rates or utility charges. It allows you to expand your practice as your patient list grows.
Many physiotherapists are able to reduce the risk of starting a new practice even further by negotiating with their landlord a profit share of each treatment. This means the therapist will only have to pay for the room during the time it is in use.
Decide if you should open a therapy clinic
Many physiotherapists would like to open their own therapy clinic, in a premises solely dedicated for the practice of physiotherapy. This allows the therapist much more flexibility and makes expanding their business a lot easier. The downsides to running their own practice that it often takes a lot of capital to start and the running costs are high.
If you are thinking of opening your own practice you should make sure you have a robust business plan.
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