Clinical skills fact sheets
Monday May 23, 2022

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There are some important considerations when deciding what type of clinic room you want and how to get the best one for your specific needs. This factsheet shares some of the issues therapists come across when finding and promoting their clinic room.

1.         How to find a clinic

The 1st step

The most important step of finding a clinic is to complete your business plan first. Before you should start even looking at clinics you need to know what you are looking to achieve in terms of profit, customer base, type of customers, etc. Otherwise you will end up building your business around the first clinic room you find, which may quickly lead to problems.

Looking with your feet up

The Internet can be a good starting point to see what clinics are available and in an area suitable for you. Aside from the obvious Google search the following links can be useful.

www.therapyroomstorent.co.uk

http://www.nealsyardremedies.com/careers#tabs-information-6

http://www.naturopathy-uk.com/resources/resources-room-hire/

http://www.gumtree.com/alternative-therapy-services/uk/therapy+rooms+to+rent

Being proactive

Although it can be very useful getting out there and speaking to people such as other therapists or local groups, you may need to be more imaginative. Consider linking to any other health care practitioner or any vacant room that has a local footfall. Always be prepared to demonstrate how your service could compliment their service.

Ideas for local clinics:

Pharmacies – This may surprise you but is likely to be much more common in the future. All pharmacies have a clinic room and, due to recent changes affecting revenue from prescriptions, are looking for additional revenue streams. Plus of course a lot of sick people go there!

Health stores – These often have a spare room, which is (or could be) used for consultations. If you develop a good relationship with the store, or even work there, you could get a lot of referrals.

Osteopaths – This is often a good place to find a clinic with an existing client base, which also offers additional revenue to the osteopath. Of course any established therapist or consultant offers an opportunity.

Other options – Any room is an asset by which the owner can make money from you renting it. If it is suitable for a consultation and you can attract people to it, consider it. Be it an office space, a gym, rehabilitation centre, hair or beauty salon, a church hall, or youth club. If there is a lack of purpose built clinic rooms in your area, use your imagination.

 

2.         Types of clinics

Working from home

Working from home can save you a lot of ongoing costs, saves on travel and you are in complete control in terms of flexibility and quality.

Alternatively there could be expensive initial costs such as a desk, chairs, cabinet, telephone etc. You have to do all the roles such as receptionist, secretary, tea maker etc.

Important to note is that you need to ensure the space is clean and tidy, which is not always practical if you have young children or pets.

You also need to consider personal safety, are you prepared to allow strangers in your home, and what would you do if a security situation arose.

Probably most critically when you are first setting up, there is no opportunity to network face-to-face with colleagues and no existing clinic customers.

This is more suitable if you have an existing client base and a good reputation locally.

Multi-discipline clinic

A clinic offering a multitude of therapies and is established in the community is often the best solution when starting out. They already have a network of potential clients for you to access. They are also in a position to do much of the hard work for you such as marketing, handling bookings, and taking payments.

 

3.         Getting clients from your clinic

Some useful ideas to get clients for your clinic include:

Colleague consultations – If your colleagues are aware of what you offer by giving them a consultation, then they are more likely to refer you. This is best through a reciprocal arrangement where you swap consultations.

Leaflets & posters – Probably obvious but you need to leave information about your service in as many places where potential clients can find it.

Newsletters and mail outs – Make sure you add yourself to any newsletter or mail out. If the clinic does not do this, then you could set it up for them.

Open days/evenings – This type of event creates great PR and is a great way to advertise yourself and to meet potential clients.

Talks – Providing a talk to the local community gets you noticed, whilst allowing you to present the benefits of your therapy. You can also hand out leaflets and collect a database to send out further information. You also get to understand the needs of the local community.

 

4.         Pricing

There are normally 2 ways in which clinics charge. One way is to charge on a percentage rate from each consultation (30-40% is quite normal). This means that if you charge £50 for a consultation and the clinic take 30% you pay £15 to the clinic.

The second way is to charge you a flat rate per hour, per half day or per day. This can be cheaper than a percentage rate but has the disadvantage that if you have no client, or they cancel, you still pay. There may also be less flexibility, as you are likely to have a set time period each week.

Option 1 is often preferable if you are starting out and do not have a client base and option 2 if you have an established client base. Both rates are usually negotiable (see below) and only one factor in your decision making process.

How to negotiate terms

Everything is negotiable. Even if the price is fixed. There is more than just money you can offer a clinic and there are more ways in which you can build profits for the clinic than just clinic rent. Also it is worth appreciating that the clinic can provide more benefits to you than just a clinic room.

Flexible price

(It should always be assumed that the rental price can be flexible and go with some ideas as to how you can make money for the clinic to safe rent)

What else can you bring to the clinic to lower the price?

  • Can you add a service to the clinic such as writing a newsletter
  • Can you bring in an audience or client base through your contacts?

Inflexible price

(The clinic tell you that the price is fixed and this is what everyone else pays)

What else can the clinic do to support you build your client base?

  • Advertise your services
  • Allow you to put up posters
  • Provide promotional days

If the clinic is not flexible and is not interested in going out of their way to promote you, you should consider if the clinic is best for your needs. This should be a 2 way relationship where both help each other for the benefit of each other.

 

5.         Other considerations

Working opportunities at the clinic

There are many benefits of working at the clinic as well as providing a useful income whilst building up a client base. This could be in the form of a receptionist or on the shop floor if the clinic is part of a health store. The following benefits include:

  • You get to know everyone else who works there which is a valuable networking opportunity. This may even result with them recommending you to clients.
  • You meet the regular clients who may wish to use your services.
  • You get to appreciate the dynamics of the clinic in ways a stranger never could.

Legal aspects

You are responsible for your client’s safety and the legal aspects of your clinic. You should check the health and safety certificate and relevant insurances of the clinic you are working in, even if this is at home. You should also check and ensure individual safety implications within your clinic room, such as electrical equipment and accessibility.  

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