The Next Step-How to set up your own premises to hold mother and baby wellness classes

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”

Sally Teall 

You can find more details of Sally’s teaching practice here

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