We all know that a place can impact how we feel but often times we underestimate that influence. According to the book Sacred Spaces by Denise Linn “you cannot separate the purpose of your livelihood from the space you occupy to fulfill it”.
In other words your space expresses concretely how you feel about your work, yourself and your clients. Trust me, in all the years of consulting I have walked into more than a few spaces that either impressed or horrified me by their message.
I have just moved into new offices. For me the process of choosing a new location became an opportunity for self-discovery and business plan updates. The logistical considerations when choosing the new location were the basic:
Overall impression/maintenance of the building
Physical access for all my clients
Exposure to my target market for potential clients
In addition, I needed to consider what the new digs will impact the direction of my practice? I decided that it was time to invest in a bigger space with more flexibility. I wanted to offer more value to the client experience and additional services. I want my place to not only be a source of therapy but also restoration and replenishment. My wish list included:
A treatment room that could fit my electric table plus a portable one, so I can offer partner massages.
Room to set up a steam tent on a pulley system.
Separate space for storage/office so that I can keep my other rooms clutter free.
A reception area that allowed me to set up a hospitality station (with healthy refreshments), an aromatherapy blending station, and a small retail area.
Rooms that could be flexible enough to accommodate intimate spa parties.
I settled on a three room office suite in an established office tower that’s traditional, safe, and quiet. When you walk into my space it is filled with traditional furniture, comfortable chairs, flowers and hot herbal teas. Every design decision from the front door to the refreshment station, speaks of my desire for the space to be comfortable and welcoming. What it clearly says is that my clients are actually much more like cherished guests than income revenue. And funny enough, that is how I feel.
Whether you are moving or not, the need to evaluate your space periodically is vital. The process is pretty straight forward; the signs are gathered by using all of your senses including how you feel. Just be still and imagine that you are a stranger entering this office for the first time. Does the room say that you care? Does it match how you want your client to feel when they are with you? Do you feel passionate and purposeful?
My clients have responded as I had hoped, expressing how much they love the new space; remarking on the overall feel and helping me with individual choices. I’m loving this next phase of my practice and I am confident that my clients will too. It was an involved process for me and my clients but it was time well spent.