I was going to continue talking about referrals in this post but I have big questions about office space! Last week I applied for a few new office spaces in Diamond Bar (right at the edge of LA and Orange Counties) and I thought I’d share a bit of my thought process while I’m in the middle of it all.
I have been in Fullerton ever since I got my license 4.5 years ago. It’s been really great so far. I chose Fullerton because of 2 reasons: (1) It’s close to where many Asian American families (my target population) make their home, and (2) the lease price was surprisingly affordable. It’s a 13×13 carpeted room with large windows taking up one whole wall. I love natural light!
It’s within a suite of 7 rooms occupied by other therapists, and we share a waiting room (with call buttons) and small kitchen. All taxes and utilities are paid, including Wifi, color printer/copier/fax usage, and unlimited paper supply. All for $685, a good value for Southern California.
If everything is so great, why move office spaces?
A couple of reasons. First, my office is getting too small for groups. I run groups for sex addiction and partner betrayal. With all my furniture, I only have room left for 4 group members plus myself. I’d really like to have the ability to host 6-8 members per group.
More importantly, I need to work closer to our daughter’s school. Her grandparents have been amazingly generous with their time and energy, picking her up from school and babysitting her until my wife finishes work at 6pm. There have been times, though, when they’ve been unable to pick her up, forcing us to ask a family friend to pick her up instead. I’d rather not put that responsibility on others if I can help it.
An added bonus of moving my office closer to her school is that if I move it to a specific zone within Diamond Bar, I can enroll her in the Walnut Unified School District, our preferred school district.
And so I have been searching for a bigger office in Diamond Bar, maybe in the 300 – 500 sq foot range, but I’ve been discovering that Diamond Bar does not have many small offices available. Many of their offerings are 1500 sq ft and larger. Thus the big questions: Do I overpay for a larger office? Do I extend my current lease and wait until next summer for more openings? I asked around if anybody would be interested in sharing office space with me in Diamond Bar but got no responses, which is not surprising because Diamond Bar is not a hotspot for therapy!
That leads to other big questions: Is moving to Diamond Bar bad for business? Would my clients drive extra distance to still work with me? Would new clients drive extra distance to start with me? At this point, I really don’t have an option. I am making a decision that prioritizes my family, even if it inconveniences my clients, current and potential. It’s a boundary thing, and it’s good for me to practice what I preach to my clients. We’ll see how things play out!
Earlier I said I applied for a few office spaces. Above is the first one. It’s about 300 sq ft, full service gross, which means everything is paid for except for internet/phone. They are asking $700/month, which is great considering it’s larger than my current space!
The other office I applied for is even better, but more expensive. It’s 490 sq ft, it has free usage of a conference room (which would be great for workshops), a full kitchen (the 1st office does not have a kitchen) and higher security. The list price is $1370/month but they said it’s negotiable. I asked for $900, and I’m guessing the price will land somewhere around $1100 or so. If they somehow accept my $900 bid, I’ll jump on it!
I should be hearing back from both leasing companies soon. I’ll update you on what I hear.
In the meantime, how do you like your office space? Are you thinking of moving your office? What are your big questions?