Home – New Forums Tell me straight… Co-operative Business

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  • #997071
    LunaMarga
    Member
    • Total posts: 45
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    Hello all,
    I am tossing around an idea – I find that many therapists or business owners in the Alternative Health field work from home. As we know, this can limit the scope of the business.

    I have been thinking about leasing a building to house 5 or 6 different therapies/services to create an alternative therapy hub. For example, Reiki, Life Coaching, Meditation, Naturapathy, etc.

    This would allow therapists that cannot afford a commercial lease by themselves to pay part rent and therefore afford to have more exposure and be in a more prominent place.

    My questions are:
    What are your thoughts on this sort of co-operative?
    What is the best way to structure it i.e. is everyone on the lease and responsible for said lease?
    Is it better for me to lease and sub lease (STA) the rooms to others?

    (I am leaning towards all to be on the lease so I am not stuck if others decide to leave)

    Your thoughts would be much appreciated.

    #1210247
    elissa.doxey
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    Having worked with practice owners in the health sector, there are a few issues to look out for that might be relevant to this idea:

    • Co-ops have a distinct structure and directors are to abide by the Co-operatives Act (in Vic it’s overseen by Consumer Affairs Vic)
    • Commercial leases come under various retail tenancy acts (check your state), which allow for longer lease terms which many solo practitioners might not be willing to commit to.
    • From the landlord’s perspective, it’s messier dealing with more than one party on the lease (so co-op or sub-lease would be preferable)
    • It’s difficult organising more than 2 practitioners to sign a lease – due mainly to commitments to other clinics and timing of other leases/rental agreements (I’ve seen a yoga/health studio fall through at the last moment because one practitioner couldn’t/wouldn’t sign on because the lease overlapped with their existing clinic by 2 weeks)

    In the allied health sector, I found that practitioners tend to be wary of any arrangement that isn’t a contract or service agreement/room rental contract. I’m not sure if that’s the case for others, but a co-op will require a good amount of energy to get buy-in from others to get it off the ground. Having said that, it sounds like a no-brainer when you have a bunch of services that can cross-refer & work together.

    Regards,
    Elissa

    #1210248
    Dave Gillen – Former FS Concierge
    Keymaster
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    Hi [USER=55789]@LunaMarga[/USER],

    Luring practitioners out of their homes is going to add an expense to their biz, so there will be some resistance (even with the possibility of more business).

    On the other hand if there were practitioners who are currently already at a premises but paying more rent than they’d like, or in a non-ideal sharing situation, the sell may be much easier. Just a thought about your target market, and the second group should be easy to find and approach.

    Good luck!
    Dave

    #1210249
    Joli
    Participant
    • Total posts: 39
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    I love this concept and have toyed (dreamed) of the idea myself – a space where people can come to receive holistic well-being services. The other bonus is you have a group of like minded people who are there to help and support each other (as apposed to going it alone).

    What might work well is to go into the lease with one other person you trust, who is willing to pay half the rent/bills with you (it’s easier for the landlord dealing with two on a lease than many). Then rent out rooms to other practitioners who sign individual subletting leases (provided the owners and council are happy with this).

    Have this sublease include exit strategies that work well for all involved so you’re not left in the lurch payment wise if someone leaves. Plus clauses for missed payments etc. (just in case), bonds to cover any damages (just in case), as well as a structure for taking payments and making bookings for each practitioner. Make sure each practitioner has their own liability insurance and make sure your insurance covers what you need it to cover.

    If you can, visit a site that has this set up in place and find out how they work their systems and how they managed sub letting contracts.

    #1210250
    Paul – FS Concierge
    Keymaster
    • Total posts: 3,488
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    [USER=36196]@Joli[/USER] – Welcome to Flying Solo!

    Thank you for joining and contributing.

    Cheers

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