Let's examine 3 reasons why selecting the perfect office location is vital!
First Reason: Office in line with Ideal Client
We have been told that finding an ideal client/niche is very important to establishing the type of business that will sustain us. A key factor in actually "attracting" that "ideal" client is making sure your office is located in an area that can attract that ideal client! For example, say your ideal clients or niche/specialty consists of providing counseling services to adolescents/teens suffering from bullying. It may prove fruitful to have your office located near middle/high schools. This would make it easier for your clients to get to your office, as well as provide you with opportunities to network and market to school officials about your services. Close proximity is a key factor in why clients choose a particular mental health provider.
Second Reason: Insurance
If you desire to establish an insurance-based practice/business, your office location can make the difference between getting credentialed or not. If your business location happens to be in an area that is already saturated with other mental health providers, the likelihood of you becoming accepted dwindles drastically. Do some research of the area where you'd like to have your office and discover how many providers are in that zip code that accept insurance. If you really love that area, want to accept insurance, and recognize that there are a plethora of providers in that area, be aware that this may hinder your ability to become paneled with insurance companies. There'd have to be a compelling reason why they would accept your application for credentialing. Which leads me to the last reason.
You did it! You found your ideal location, the landlord is great, and there are lots of other mental health professionals nearby! This is great for networking purposes, however, as much as this is not talked about, there is a "competition" of sorts brewing. Liking your area for your office is great, but from a business standpoint, how will your business/practice stand out from all the other businesses/practices in the area? This goes back to Marketing, knowing your niche/specialty, and being able to convey your message to potential clients. As you select your location, keep in mind what you will need to do in order to ensure that your business is viable and sustainable.
I have heard some horror stories from consultees/mental health entrepreneurs who have gotten into a lease with a landlord that turned out to become a disaster...from hidden fees, to being locked out of their office without notice...leaving the mental health entrepreneur at the mercy of their landlord. Please don't let this happen to you!
Did you know that you can use a realtor to help in your search for your office? Yes, you can, and it will not cost you a thing. Why use a realtor? Let me give you a few short questions and see if you will need a realtor.
Do you know the difference between MG, NNN, and G?
Do you know how to negotiate lease terms?
Do you have time to tour potential office spaces?
Do you know which area of town would be best for you?
If you are not familiar with any of these terms or do not know the answers, then a realtor may prove useful. A realtor can help with all of the above questions and more. Since time is money, and since realtors are no cost to you, save yourself time and money by hiring a qualified realtor who can help you in your search for that perfect office.
I recommend Swift Lease (if you are in the Houston area). This in NOT an affiliate referral, I am just familiar with their services and highly recommend them.
Don't go this alone! There's help out there and finding that ideal location can mean the difference between operating a successful/sustainable business or operating a business that does not provide financial freedom.