Should you get an office for your coaching practice? Yes, uhm no!
Over the years I have trained many coaches, a question I often get “should I get an office for a starting coaching practice?” It’s a good question, as an office can be a substantial recurring charge for a practice that still needs to build its client base.
Over the past years, I have coached from different locations: (shared) office space, Regus-office, clients homes, clients offices, park, beach, hotel rooms, training room, meeting spaces, coffee houses, lunch rooms, once I even coached a celebrity in her mother’s bedroom. Are these the most convenient and most professional places to coach? Probably not. Not having a coaching office, and a lot of flexibility is something I can afford as not a week goes by that I have to turn down a new client. I realize for most starting coaches this is not the same for them.
In some locations there are companies that rent out office space by the hour, or a segment of time each month. Be careful with selecting those, the environment needs to be suitable for coaching (bare impersonal office environments.)And chances are, you are sooner to leave the impression that you clearly don’t really have an office. In which case, you are better off meeting the client in another location.
There are however shared office spaces that specifically cater to therapists, a google search may serve you well. They are not going to be the big corporate style offices, by brand names such as Regus. Often privately owned, to specifically cater to talk-change workers.
One thing I don’t do is coaching inside my own home. I don’t want clients and the sometimes deeply emotional work I do inside my own environment. Though I can easily use my home office for coaching, I am reluctant to do so, as I live clearly in a residential area and clients are required to walk through my hallway and up the stair where the bedrooms are. And this is my personal space, work and living needs to have a clear separation. It would defeat the purpose of having an office to make an impression. And help the client into a state in where they feel they can be coached by a guide, and not a friend.
In the month of December a series of articles will be posted about using or selecting a coaching office. As well as tips for coaching at a clients home or office.
Next week part two “Coaching, an office or not?