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Work from Home or Rent a Room???

Tricky one. And a lot of it comes down to personal preference, and also your own logisitics...


For instance. I do both - weird. "Why?" I hear you ask???


Well if I explain a bit more about my own logistics it might make a bit more sense.


And hopefully then you will be a bit more informed to work out what's right for you and your business.


So I live out in the country. Like, farm opposite, no street lights, one neighbour, lots of deer kind of out in the country. You need a car. Challenge One.


That means that when I'm home alone, I am truly home alone. Challenge Two.


Also - my house is quite little small, i.e. the only space I have the potential to see clients in is my conservatory, which, until last summer, was literally a junk room, full of all the crap we no longer needed but couldn't be arsed to get rid of, and a couple of litters of kittens for a while. I'll post of photo below of the hideousness that was that room... (Challenge Three)


[I've spent the last 20 minutes trawling my iPhone in an attempt to find one bad enough and I've failed]


However - this is it once I've cleared it ready to decorate:



Being an ex-interior designer [it never leaves you] I couldn't leave this room as was and invite clients in, it felt all kinds of wrong for me - so I got to work.


I firstly got rid of all the cobwebs. Then painted ALL the bare brickwork. I edged the laminate and I put up solar film on the roof to keep the heat out in the summer as much as possible. I got rid of all the blue!!! Inside and out! (this is was my greatest achievement I have to say!)


Now I have access around the back of my house to the patio doors so clients don't need to ever come into my house (bar on rare occasion when one needs the loo). In these circumstances they have to walk through my dining room to my downstairs toilet, and both of these rooms are anonymised (i.e. I keep them really bloody tidy and there are no photos around).


This suits me just fine. In fact I'm super proud of what I've achieved. It took 8 solid days of really hard labour to get it that way. Then I bought a desk and a set of drawers (as it's also my office) some low level cabinets (for all the crap I didn't know where to put anywhere else) and a couple of chairs, a side table nad a rug. I think I spent £300 on the lot. A bit of styling and I am delighted with the result.


Here it is:


Sorry for all the breathing! ;0D


So that was Challenge 3 ticked of the list with a bit of elbow grease, and I see the majority of my clients here, either in person or online. And it works brilliantly (slightly concerned about the warmth in the Winter but I'll work that out when it becomes a problem!)


Now Challenge 2 is ok for me as my husband also works from home. He's here most of the time. And I feel safe. I feel safe when he's not here actually because I know and trust my clients but if I ever had a new client coming I would make sure it was when my husband was home. If that's not an option for you there are some alternatives:


1/ You could create a buddy system where you and a friend text each other following a session to let the other know you're safe.

2/ Apps exist, like Hollie Guard for example, which is essentially a smartphone app that acts as a personal alarm for exactly this type of situation.

3/ You don't work from home. Which leads me to the next bit...and also back to Challenge One...


Some of my clients don't drive. But want to see me face to face. As a personal preference I prefer to meet my counselling clients f2f so I rent a room in the centre of Tunbridge Wells, on the High Street, close to the station.


I could rent that room by the half day or full day but right now for where I am in my business I choose to pay a little bit more and pay for it by the hour. I'm not tied in to any contracts, I can book the room online and I have visibility for months ahead. Plus I really like my "landlady" and the other tenants. It means I can make it what I need it to be without being tied in right now which is exactly what I want at this stage. I'm almost at the point of renting it for a half day but I haven't made the leap. Yet.


Downsides:


1/ Noise. You cant control when other clients for the other services will start and finish their sessions so you have to put up with a bit of noise - doors opening and closing, voices etc. Everyone's pretty respectful but it's something that you have to think about.


2/ Do you increase your price to cover the room rental or do you accept the dent in your rate??? A personal choice.


3/ Travel to work - this could also be an upside depending on how boundaried you are with being able to close the door on work for the day!


4/ The room will never be exactly the way you want it, and you are ultimately sharing it with other people. You need to remember to carry tissues, maybe water for the client, a bag of creative tools etc with you whenever you go.


Rooms are quite easy to find, a google search may be sufficient but I found mine on UK Therapy Rooms and it was super easy, people were fairly responsive and it was sorted in about 10 day from me starting to look.


So there it is - my whistlestop guide to where you choose to work. And you know what? If you choose one way and it doesn't feel right, you can always change your mind!


Much love, Jill x



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