Move or Makeover – at The Therapy Network
by Sue Pash and Alison Brown
Move or Makeover? What a decision, here Sue Pash tells us how she extended the facilities of her therapy practice and workshop premises, without extending her budget!
I love the location of my treatment room, which already had a lot going for it in terms of ground floor access and good footfall for leaflet marketing, but the drawbacks were it being one treatment room, with no reception or waiting area, and having to close when a treatment was in progress.
When a local beauty salon closed, I was approached about whether I would like to take the premises. Here I would have the opposite problem, a reception area plus three lovely rooms, but all upstairs and in the wrong location. Although the extra space was tempting, higher ongoing overheads for the additional area, and needing a much larger advertising budget, because of the location meant turning it down, but the ‘seeds of change had been sown’.
A colleague (and fellow SNHS graduate) Alison Brown and I had together priced up the cost of taking on the larger premises, and we wondered if it was possible to invest the same amount in the existing treatment room to get the extra treatment space we needed, plus a small reception. We effectively wanted to use the same financial investment to firstly (and most importantly) provide added value to our existing services, without increasing our prices. Secondly, without increasing ongoing overheads, we wanted to increase the potential room rental income by making what we have, more attractive to therapists. This meant providing therapists with better facilities, whilst keeping room rental affordable.
We told our would-be builder what we wanted to achieve, and he then grounded our wish list to what would be realistically possible. Having done that, we decided it was only possible provided we were prepared to put time and effort in ourselves. If we did this, we could achieve most of what we wanted, and could also develop our joint interests in the second treatment room. If we didn’t, then financial disaster loomed.
Having got the plans on paper and done our sums, we decided to go ahead immediately, as two of our room sharing colleagues were shortly going on holiday. We already had an upstairs overflow room arrangement with one of our business neighbours, those of us not on holiday now made full use of as a main clinic. There was a “window of opportunity” of just two weeks for our one builder to get the main works done, and to get at least one treatment room, and the toilet facilities fully operational. During the main work, things moved, new walls went up, and dust generally circulated. My job between my own appointments in the overflow room was to field enquiries at the door, help move rubble, do the cleaning – and make the tea! When the holidaying therapists returned, one treatment room was up and running, and the second room and all the finishing touches have since been completed around the clinic timetable and at weekends.
Alison and I have enjoyed seeing the makeover project through from start to finish, although I admit that at one point I was sat there amongst the rubble and dust wondering what had possessed me to start the project! It was a relief when it all seemed to come together at the end. Sourcing what has had to be fittings to go into small spaces has been a challenge but worthwhile – the rooms look bigger than people expect, and we haven’t had to buy a hammock to house the vacuum cleaner!
There are now two private treatment rooms, each with new hand washing facilities. Considering the space we are working with, the surprising bonus is that the second room also has a Far Infrared Sauna and a shower cubicle, extending our treatment range considerably. A small reception has products and information as well as a seating area for people waiting for their appointments. The whole space is easier to heat, and has better facilities for the therapists. They are also now able to work alongside each other, instead of alone, and they can usually find time somewhere in the day for a cuppa and a chat.
“The new layout also gives more room availability for ‘mentoring’ – and we can add an “extra dimension,” by being able to offer the Schools students (attending workshops) the additional experience of working as part of a small friendly clinic. Seeing how much can be achieved in a very small space is truly amazing”.
I’m glad we didn’t either move premises or take on an additional one – by focusing on enhancing what we had got, instead of worrying about what we hadn’t got, it has paid huge dividends.
Holistic Dowsing Course Writer