We are very excited to shine a spotlight on one of our amazing teachers, Sally Teall as she shares her experience of setting up her own premises to support parents and babies.
“When I began my baby massage business 7 years ago, I had to find a place to practise, my house wasn’t great for this due to limited space and our 4 huge dogs! So after some research I found the Church Hall in our town, Midsomer Norton has a fab carpeted side room. I practised baby massage their for a couple of years, but as often happens I collected more and more props, items, blankets, cushions and sensory toys. My car boot was permanently full. I then attained qualifications in toddler yoga, baby reflex and baby yoga and tripled my equipment, the set up became huge and I was also travelling to more local halls to practise.
My classes became very full and I decided it was definitely time to consider finding my own permanent residence for what had become a whole spare room-in my house and a car boot! full of equipment.
My local town has a very small shopping centre and I decided on a unit on the top floor of the shopping centre.
The top floor is on a level with the carpark so perfect for parents, also there is a ‘waiting area’, as the shopping centre is under cover and there are no restrictions on me having chairs and seating outside of my unit.
The first things I realised when deciding to take the unit on, was how much ‘business rates’ would effect me. Luckily after a lot of phone calls to my local council it was decided I was exempt. I think if I had to pay business rates, the fees I charged parents, would have had to have changed considerably, meaning I may not have kept many of my present clients. I then had to consider, heating, electric, water, refuse collection, insurance, phone bills, internet and association fees (to manage the communal building area).
I had great fun decorating, and putting up my new signs and was ‘so ready’ for my first day. I held some free sessions over my opening weekend to encourage more people and was also able to offer a messy play class due to the fact I now had the space to be able to do it.
I am very proud of my room and have recently began opening on some days as a full sensory drop in session. 🙂
Some things to watch out for –
*Business rates – check before you buy or rent -Business rates are mainly decided by rental income but also on shop window size of you are on a high street. (Smaller shop frontage with a long shop depth) may be less business rates than a (wide shop window with a small depth)
*Ensure you have checked what fees might be if you have any kind of communal area in the building you have chosen.
*If you are in a communal building be aware not everyone may have the standards you have, and you will not have very much influence over noise etc.
*If you rent ensure you have a full contract and to get it checked by a solicitor.
*Consider just taking a 2 year rental agreement, so you can see how it works for you.
*Check if you need to apply for a change of use (depending on what you practise).
Once set up have fun and enjoy, I have never looked back, and all my classes both new classes and old are full since making this decision”
You can find more details of Sally’s teaching practice here