A couple of months ago my coach invited me to meet him in his new 'consulting' room.
Up unto then we had met either in coffee shops, hotel lobbies, at his home or even on a walk.
When I walked through the door I was impressed.
Half expecting a rather clinical office with an easy chair thrown in I was surprised by the very comfortable yet professional atmosphere created by the modern furniture, bookshelf of self-development publications, interesting artwork and smell of freshly brewing coffee.
Instantly I felt this was a place to feel relaxed in but one where I could focus on serious business too.
This really got me thinking about the benefits of coaches having their own premises.
I had always shied away from making this move, seeing it as an unnecessary extravagance especially when I see most of my own clients on their own premises or if need be meet them in a hotel.
I also have my own purpose built office at home and occasionally clients come here.
So what are the advantages of having your own coaching room? For one thing it provides neutral territory away from a client's own premises where they can meet you.
If a client wants to talk about sensitive issues then they do not necessarily want to meet you on their home ground.
The other side of this is that if you are operating from home clients do not always feel comfortable entering your private space and may be regarded by some as 'unprofessional.
' And public spaces such as coffee shops and hotel lobbies don't provide that safe space in which to be open with thoughts, feelings and emotions.
The great thing about having a dedicated coaching room is that you can create an ambiance tailored specifically to your clients.
I know when I am coaching that a sofa and comfortable chairs really help to put my clients at ease rather than formal chairs around a table.
And this atmosphere can be enhanced by adding in a library of personal development books and CDs and motivational images and quotes on the wall.
A quiet, neutral ground provides a safe haven for confidentiality, and with a desk and laptop there too you can create a quiet place for yourself to work when you are not coaching.
Of course one key factor you need to consider is the cost.
Depending on where you are based you could end up with huge additional costs which you cannot justify.
So you need to make this decision as part of your overall business strategy.
If you want to attract higher end clients and are prepared to build in your costs with the fees then it is worth considering.
There is no doubt that if you choose the right venue (good location, smart premises, adequate parking etc) you can project an image that will put you way ahead of your competitors.
Depending on where you choose you may be able to raise your own profile and this in extra clients will pay for the additional expense.
So if you are serious about developing a coaching practice then think carefully about the huge benefits that your own coaching room will bring and look at it as an investment rather than an expense.