I haven’t been posting much to the blog lately because on July 31st I closed on my new home. For those that don’t know, like a lot of therapists in the city, I work inside my home. So buying a new home also means moving my practice. And you can be sure that after this experience, I’m hoping to never move again! There’s not a lot of information on the web about the effects of moving your practice, so I thought it important to write this article for those thinking of moving.
There’s a lot of considerations when buying a home, now times those concerns by two if you’re also going to run your business out of your home. It’s always been a dream of mine to own a Victorian house and one came on the market for not much more than the price I sold my condo for. Unlike the picture of the Victorian house on the left, mine is a bit of a fixer and work is scheduled to start on it later this month. One of the difficult choices for me was balancing what worked for me personally with what was practical for my business. The house in it’s current state could be a turn-off to clients or prospective clients; hence why renovations are starting right away.
Things that I put into consideration what moving that you should too are:
1. Don’t go far: If you don’t want to lose your caseload, don’t go far and make sure your new location is still convenient for the majority of your clients. I only moved two miles away and for most of my clients I’m now two miles closer to them. Only one client dropped out due to not wanting to go the new location.
2. Make sure there’s parking: Clients hate it when there’s no where to park. They don’t want to have to worry about where they’re going to park when they go to your appointments. Lucky for me, the new place has plenty of street and off-street parking.
3. Check out the competition: Put your new potential zip code into therapist directories to make sure the area isn’t saturated with therapists. The last thing you want to do is move in and then realize your neighbor is also a therapist trying to build a caseload.
4. Give your clients plenty of notice: Once I knew the closing date for sure, I started letting my clients know I was moving. This gave them a little over a month to prepare them for the transition. It’s also good to let people know well in advance in case they have to cancel their last appointment at the old place. I also gave my clients a handout (again, well in advance) with directions to the new place. Try to make the transition easy on them.
5. Give yourself as much time as you need to get settled: I started seeing clients the day after I moved in. My office is mostly just furniture, so it was completely set up. People have told me I was crazy to start working again so soon but actually I found that seeing clients made the new place feel more like “home” and made me feel more at ease in the new house.