We often get asked for our advice on how RDs should think about choosing an office space in which to open up shop – and while a physical office doesn’t make sense for all dietitians, we understand that it can be a necessity to hold meetings, organize and manage paperwork, and more. However, just like buying a home or renting an apartment, finding the perfect space can be really challenging – increasing rent prices, long-term conditions on a lease, a lack of suitable options – are all reasons that make renting an office space challenging!
So, we’re here to provide a framework to help ya’ll think about when finding an office space (once you’ve decided that it’s the right course of action – once again, for many of you, this may not be necessary right away – telehealth and remote consultations makes this less of a need).
Some guiding principals to consider as you open up an office:
- Location, location, location: Where do you want your office, and what will be convenient for you AND your clients? If your in an urban area, how important is it to be close to public transportation? If you want to be in a suburban location, how willing are your clients to drive out to your office? Does the area around your building have plenty of parking spots? Are you looking at high-traffic areas?
- How big of a space will you actually need: We’ve seen that the sizes of office spaces can very considerably, and will depend on a variety of factors. Make sure you think of the following as you look into office locations:
- How many people work with you in your practice?
- How much space will physical copies of client files take up (if any)?
- Do you want a separate waiting room?
- Are you interested in having a space that can accommodate group nutrition counseling?
- Can you use a co-working space, at least to start? Having a full-time space can be pricey! Especially as you get started, it may make sense to consider sharing, co-leasing, or subletting an office or moving to a lower-rent neighborhood – there are now more options than ever on co-working spaces!
Of course, if a traditional office space isn’t your speed, you can always open a home office (we wrote a blog post about the basics here!) or make the switch to a completely digital practice!