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Singapore offers a diverse number of options for psychotherapists, coaches, and wellness professionals to set up their offices. Whether you are an experienced professional or just starting out with your practice, you’ll be sure to find an office that satisfies your needs and the needs of your clients.
The type of office you use for your practice is one of the biggest decisions you’ll make in this profession. Renting an office and working from a co-working space are two of the most common places to set up shop. Both have appeal for different reasons, but the scales have been tipped in favor of co-working spaces in recent years.
Here are 4 reasons why a flexible co-working space is better than renting an office.
1. You save money on rent
A dedicated office space for your practice is extremely important to maintain a practice as a therapist, coach, or wellness professional. Not only is a physical location important to attract clients, but the office itself must promote a feeling of openness so that clients are comfortable sharing about their issues and anxieties.
But renting dedicated office spaces can be very costly. The average office rental cost in the Singapore CBD is S$10 per square foot. Depending on the size of your practice, your required space may be between 500-1,000 square feet to accommodate reception, a waiting area, kitchen, private client room, and a secure client file area. So rental costs alone could run you between S$5,000-S$10,000 per month.
Flexible co-working spaces are very cost-friendly because many groups share in the costs of operating the facilities. Payment typically follows a drop-in structure or a monthly subscription model. You also save a lot of money with co-working spaces because you only pay for what you use. Unlike a rented office where you must pay a fixed amount, in a co-working space, you only pay for the time you occupy the space.
2. Lower maintenance and overhead costs
When you rent an office for your practice, expect to pay a number of additional fixed and variable costs on top of your rent. These include internet, phone, utilities, insurance, and cleaning. Even if you run your office solo, your maintenance costs (based on current rates) could run you an additional S$300 per month.
Moreover, the bigger your operation and the more employees you have, the more you will end up paying. Offices with up to 10 employees can expect to pay between S$600-S$1,000 per month in maintenance and overhead costs.
And if you want to change up the look and feel of your office, that’s another added expense to you for renovations and purchasing office furniture. Depending on the extent of the changes needed to achieve your desired aesthetic, renovations can cost between S$50-S$100 per square foot.
With flexible co-working spaces, many of the maintenance and overhead costs are shared amongst the users. Things like wi-fi, coffee, utilities, and cleaning are already included as part of your payment. And you don’t have to worry about sourcing and paying vendors and suppliers because a co-working space company takes care of that for you. This means less time dealing with administrative tasks and more time running your practice and helping your clients.
3. Better terms and flexibility
Landlords and commercial lease operators will typically want you to sign long term contracts for renting office space. In Singapore, most office rentals will require a 2-3 year lease term. And depending on the size of the office, these terms can go up to 5-6 years.
This may not always be ideal because it locks you into a specific location for a duration of time, preventing you from adapting to changes that may affect your practice.
What if you are moving to a different region?
What if your practice expands and you require a bigger space?
These types of changes are very common in this industry and being locked into an office space prevents you from reacting to these changes – or at the very least makes it very difficult. Getting out of lease agreements before expiration will either cost you a lot of money or a lot of time and energy if you need to find another therapist to take over your lease.
Co-working spaces have a much more flexible structure. As mentioned earlier, the use of spaces is charged on either a pay-per-use or subscription basis. These types of offices can accommodate practices of many sizes so you can make adjustments as you grow, without the stress of a long-term commitment.
When you rent an office for your practice, you are stuck with that allotted space. This can be inconvenient if you engage in different activities that require bigger spaces such as group sessions or seminars. You either have to split groups up or spend more money booking larger venues. Co-working spaces will often have a variety of different sized rooms, conference centers, and theatres where you can host any of these types of sessions for your practice.
Finally, if you ever plan to move to another region, it is very easy to set up your practice in a new co-working space without losing a beat.
4. More convenience for you and your clients
If you rent an office, your hours of operation may be limited depending on where it is situated. For example, if you rent an office inside of a mall, you are bound by the operating hours of the mall. You won’t be able to book any appointments outside of those hours. This can seriously limit your ability to accommodate clients who are more comfortable meeting at later times.
Most co-working spaces are accessible 24/7 with the use of secure access credentials, surveillance systems in common areas, and automated locking systems. This means that you’ll be able to see clients at all hours of the day. This is a great opportunity for expanding your practice, especially as many busy professionals typically work late into the evening.
When you can provide services that match their busy lifestyle, you’ll be able to grow your practice quickly. Clients will not have to feel stressed about trying to squeeze in a therapy session in their hectic schedule and can come at a time that is best for them. This is great for building rapport and creating an environment for your clients where they feel like you are doing your best to look out for their interests and well-being.
There are many options for therapists, coaches, and wellness professionals looking to set up their offices in Singapore. Flexible co-working spaces are growing in popularity for their cost-effectiveness, flexibility, and convenience. Anyone looking to start, grow, or maintain their practice should seriously consider operating from a co-working space.
Here at A Space Between we offer both drop-in plans and monthly membership subscriptions to our co-working space for therapists, coaches, and wellness professionals.