When you’re a counselor or therapist, finding the ideal office space for private practice can be somewhat challenging, especially since you don’t work standard hours and see clients late into the evening and sometimes on the weekends.
And then there’s the economics of it. According to data from Indeed, an online job search engine, the average annual salary for a licensed professional therapist in Virginia is $59,967. When you add the cost of doing business—office space, licensing, insurance, marketing and advertising, and certifications—it’s no wonder many counselors and therapists share the same office building with other practitioners.
But that doesn’t have to be you. Coworking spaces can provide the perfect solution in more ways than one. Here are five reasons why you should open your private counseling or therapy practice in a coworking space.
Low Overhead. Coworking spaces drastically reduce overhead. They come “all expenses paid” which eliminates shared utility bills, building and renters insurances, janitorial service costs, Internet expenses, and lengthy leases. Most spaces even have conferencing equipment, printers, and fax machines. All you do is pay your monthly membership and off you go.
Less Competition. One major benefits of coworking spaces is the elimination of direct and indirect competition. Chances are you will be the only practitioner on the premises. Less competition means your therapy practice won’t be right next to five or six other therapy practices all offering similar services.
Privacy. Working from a coworking space gives you the privacy of your own office and, depending on your membership plan, the flexibility to schedule the hours that work best for you and your clients. One thing to check with the coworking space you’re considering is whether or not the walls are soundproof. As a therapist, maintaining therapist-patient confidentiality is of utmost importance. Consider testing it for yourself prior to signing a membership agreement so you have a clear idea of what can and can’t be heard through the walls of your potential office.
Open Access. If your membership grants you all-hours access, you can use nights and weekends as times to see patients. This gives you more flexibility and helps your clients who may need afterschool or late appointments.
Networking Opportunities. Potentially being the only therapist in the coworking space allows you to get to know the people around you. Depending on the type of counseling or therapy you do, this can lead to your fellow coworkers using your service or referring your services to their friends and loved ones. It also allows you the change to offer educational opportunities on-site to help those you share space with lead healthier lives since entrepreneurs are notorious for carrying stress.
Now that we’ve covered the benefits to you, here are a few more things to consider that can help you choose the right space.
What to Look for in a Coworking Space
Given that therapists work with people from various socioeconomic backgrounds, you’ll also want to consider the following when looking to for a coworking space:
- It’s Visible. You want the coworking office space to be visible for any major roads or intersections so that your clients can find you. If that’s not possible due to the location, choosing a space near known landmarks or in areas commonly known to people works just as well.
- It’s Accessible to Public Transportation. Since some of your clients may or may not have their own mode of transportation, finding a space close to public transportation can help with current clients in those situations, and new clients seeking a therapist with ease of access.
- It Has a Comfortable Waiting Area. As you know, sometimes appointments go over. Make sure that the coworking space you choose has a comfortable waiting room for your clients who may have to sit tight for a few minutes while you wrap up a previous session.
Coworking spaces are a great option for counselors and therapists. If you’d like to schedule a visit to our space to see if we could be a fit for you, let us know. We’d love to serve you and your clients.