First impressions matter.
Those first 3 seconds when someone enters a health space are critical.
What do they see?
What do they hear?
What do they smell?
What do they touch?
What do they taste?
The waiting room dictates the first impressions patients will have of your service.
It sets the tone for care.
Your space should be comfortable and clean, but aesthetically pleasing too. Why?
To ensure your patients are at ease as they wait.
This will have a flow-on effect on their experience of your overall service and of your reputation as a professional.
Feeling the pressure now? Decorating a waiting room doesn’t have to be stressful or expensive!
Here are a few of our top tips on how to decorate your waiting room on a budget.
1. Consider your patients
Who are your patients? Who will be in your waiting room space?
A good understanding of the people in your waiting room will assist you in having a maximum decorating impact without wasting the budget.
A waiting room that is designed with parents and children in mind will likely be different from a waiting room for yoga.
For example: If your practice involves children, limit the number of small decorations within the room. Opt for sturdy, comfortable furnishings that will not easily topple over or be broken.
Don’t have a big budget for a toy-filled corner? No problem. Consider providing a simple table with a colouring station.
If you have some budding artists in your client base, ask them if you can use the pictures they create to decorate your waiting room. Frame these in matching, affordable frames (from the dollar store will do) and hang on your waiting room wall in a gallery wall style.
Repeat visitors to your practice will feel welcomed and valued in your waiting room, even before they see you! Children will be proud to point out their special place in your waiting room decoration scheme.
2. Choose a natural colour scheme
Choosing natural colours as a base for your waiting room allows you to have the ability to easily create a calming space. Whites, Creams and Beiges are all great colours that pair well with most accent colours.
Look to nature as a guide.
You may like to include a pop of colour that connects to your brand.
For example, if you have teal in your logo design, a few carefully chosen items in a matching shade can offer a cohesive and comforting environment.
3. Less is More
When it comes to design and budget, less certainly is more.
You don’t need to fill your waiting room with stuff for it to be an effective and welcoming space. Over-filling your waiting room can leave it looking cluttered and unprofessional.
Instead, choose a few ‘hero’ pieces, which will be the feature of your waiting room design. Perhaps an artwork or sculpture, or your logo on the wall. These hero pieces can also tell a visual story about your practice and who you are.
Choosing a hero piece or two will give your space a considered feel and help your wallet out as you’ll save money, avoiding buying unnecessary decor items.
Where to find hero pieces?
Beautiful pieces in your waiting room don’t have to be costly.
When looking for items, try second-hand stores, family members, eBay, even Facebook marketplace.
For new pieces of furniture, mainstream stores such as IKEA and Fantastic Furniture often have a large selection.
When you’re thinking of a hero piece, it can be helpful to shop with another person. Ask for their impression of it, what mood it gives them. Good impressions of hero pieces include feeling calm, safe, happy or motivated when looking at them.
Seems a little vague? If in doubt, choose prints of nature in colour schemes that are calming such as blues and greens. Or in the colour scheme of your branding.
4. Go natural
Use plants, either fake or real, to create a neutral and calming environment for your guests. Studies have shown that waiting rooms with natural elements foster positive feelings in patients.
Are you worried about the cost?
Online plant shopping though Facebook groups or small businesses mean it’s easy to source plants for your waiting room at a fraction of the cost of retail. Some businesses even specialise in ex-real estate staging plants.
Make sure you comply with regulations when it comes to plants inside the consultation room. Often these plants will need to be fake to be compliant with hygiene or skin penetration standards.
Select a few low-maintenance plants to place strategically around your waiting room.
5. Use your senses
Lighting and scent are two areas that are often overlooked when it comes to waiting room design. They are two of the most cost-effective ways to improve your waiting room decorations on a budget.
Have a dark, dingy corner in your waiting room? Visit a second-hand store and find a lamp for a bargain to lighten the area.
Popping on a calming candle or an aroma diffuser can be particularly helpful for decorating the tone in some waiting rooms, such as beauty therapy. Even if candles are unlit, their presence can remind patients that they are in a place of relaxation.
6. Get inspired
Before you begin decorating your waiting room, do some research.
Take note of elements in waiting rooms that you like, and would want to have in your own waiting room. Use Pinterest and Google to look at and become inspired by other waiting rooms.
With a little bit of creative thinking, there’s usually a way to achieve the look you’d like at a fraction of the cost.
Where to source decorations for your patient waiting room?
Are you feeling inspired?
Source decorations from your waiting room by visiting second-hand stores, dollar stores, eBay or affordable department stores such as Kmart. Be clever and consider how you might be able to thrift a cheap item to give it an upgrade.
Found some nice frames but they’re the wrong colour? Spray paint from your local hardware store can work wonders.
If in doubt, remember the principles of patient-focused, simple design when decorating your waiting room.
Since 1810 Macquarie St has dominated as the location of choice for medical specialists in Sydney. Now that’s beginning to change, with George St becoming the location of choice for many health practitioners. Why?
The history of Macquarie St
In 1810, governor Macquarie allocated a plot of land on the newly created Macquarie street for Sydney Hospital. This was the beginning of Macquarie street becoming a hub for those seeking medical attention in Sydney.
At the time, this was the only hospital in the colony. It’s frontage dominated much of Macquarie St. Much of the building remained unoccupied for a time. The hospital was larger than needed for Sydney at that point in history. Wanting to take advantage of the empty floor space, the government and other municipal offices moved into the outer wings of the hospital.
To be near the hospital, Macquarie Street soon became the home to many doctors and other healthcare professionals. It made sense to be close to the hospital and other official buildings for the convenience of their practice.
Understandably, The Royal Australian College of Physicians opened nearby, and the street got the nickname ‘The Harley Street of Sydney’ because of the number of medical practitioners with offices and surgeries on the street.
Macquarie Street established itself as the medical hub of Sydney early on, and it's a title it’s claimed for some time now. But will it hold onto it forever?
It would seem not…
The George Street takeover
George street’s history is long lasting in Sydney. Like Macquarie St, George St was one of the earliest established streets in Sydney city. It’s been the home of many businesses and the main thoroughfare right up to the present day.
In recent years, George Street has seen a surge in medical practitioners setting up their practices on its frontage.
We think there are a few reasons for the shift away from Macquarie st.
Changes in Transport
George Street is one of the most accessible streets in Sydney CBD. Buses, trams, trains and pedestrian walkways mean that when in Sydney, it can feel like all roads lead to George St.
With the government developing a light rail system, George St has become even more accessible to pedestrians and those travelling by public transport from outside the CBD.
When considering where to choose a location, medical practitioners take into consideration the ease of access to their practice. Clients value convenience. George St is home to many other popular shopping destinations. More foot traffic, exposure and therefore, business!
In contrast, when Macquarie St first began establishing itself as a medical hub, it was harder for people to get around. It made sense for all medical services to be located in one area, to assist with patient travel. That’s no longer the case, thank goodness!
Changes in hospital networks
When Sydney was first being established, it made sense for doctors to locate themselves close by to the hospital. They needed to be where the action was, to be a part of the ‘medical scene’ of early Sydney.
Fast forward to 2020, and there is 220 public hospitals and health services for free healthcare in NSW (according to https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/Hospitals/Pages/default.aspx). Doctors and patients no longer need to be gathered on one street. There’s a broader range of choices available, and patients have greater control over the healthcare choices on offer.
This means that patients are willing to visit practices that aren’t located on Macquarie St. Particularly if it’s more convenient for them to do so!
Macquarie St is saturated with healthcare services, surgeries, and clinics. Being right next door to an established business, offering the same benefits as you, can make it hard to stand out.
Competition is fierce, which is why many medical professionals are choosing to lease rooms on George St. With less direct competition in the physical space, businesses can establish their practices more efficiently.
George St is the home to many entrepreneurial professionals.
It seems healthcare practitioners prefer this encouraging environment as opposed to the traditional and fierce competition elsewhere in Sydney CBD.
Are you looking to lease a medical room in Sydney?
Wellshare is a co-working space in the historic Dymock’s building on George St. With a range of rooms to rent, we’re sure we’ve got the room you need.
Our rooms are modern and spacious. Amenities include WIFI, access to break-out rooms, 24/7 access, photocopier, printer and kitchen facilities. We also provide access to networking events and allow you to display advertising material.
Sounds good? Join the other medical professionals making a move to George St. Have the room to grow your practice.
Book a tour today.
Co-working spaces have taken off in Australia, and with good reason.
But co-working spaces designed specifically for health professionals is even better!
Many health practitioners have begun turning to health co-working spaces for a business solution that will grow with their practice.
1. Low Cost
Health co-working spaces are the perfect solution for busy health professionals looking for professional space, at an affordable price.
Save on rent and get access to all the services and amenities your business might need. Don’t stress about fitting out the office, and save money on furnishings too.
Spend that money, and time, on growing your practice instead.
Because of the number of professionals using co-working spaces, they are often rented out at a cheaper rate. The whole group benefits from sharing a space together, rather than needing to spend more money for a place of your own.
2. Premium Location
Help your clients find your service easily.
Health co-working spaces are popping up in centralised, easily accessible locations around Australia.
Patient access is key to your business growth.
Wellshare health co-working space is located in Sydney’s CBD in the historic Dymocks building.
At a location like this, your practice will be in the heart of the city, conveniently located close to public transport.
Set a great work/life balance with the ability to easily travel between work and home.
3. Room to Grow
As your business grows, your needs will change.
By operating from a health co-working space, health practitioners have discovered flexibility as they need it.
It’s easy to scale up your operation and take on more business if your space is able to accommodate the changing needs of your business.
Currently a one-person show? Or are you a team of passionate professionals?
Whatever stage your business is at, find the space that suits your needs. As your business grows, you’ll be able to change up your rental space according to the solution you need.
There is a range of spaces available to suit the needs of health practitioners. Medical rooms for rent or therapy spaces for rent are just a few of the well-equipped rooms you can choose to run your practice from.
Collaboration between health and wellness practitioners is vital.
Working with other professionals in your industry increases your ability to give and receive referrals to/from other health businesses.
Ultimately, working in a multi-disciplinary way improves patient outcomes which in turn leads to greater word of mouth.
Referring to other businesses may counterintuitive at times (shouldn’t you be able to give them all they need?). Still, it adds a tremendous amount for value to your business over the long term.
Clients and other businesses will appreciate the help and assistance of your business, and your reputation will grow as a result. Don’t overlook the importance of networking.
Health practitioners working out of co-working spaces, automatically have access to a broad group of people within their industry. Work alongside other passionate professionals, be inspired, and have a voice in your field.
At Wellshare, we understand the importance of having a strong community of professionals around your business. That’s why we regularly host Networking events and opportunities. Make the most of the space and grow your business, alongside others.
Don’t worry; we won’t force you to attend anything you don’t want to! We value providing you with the opportunity to interact with and be a part of a community, as much, or as little as you wish.
5. Set Your Own Hours
One of the most exciting aspects of working for yourself is the ability to set your own work hours. Get the work/life balance you want.
At Wellshare, you’ll have 24/7 access to your health co-working space so you have the freedom to work in the time that suits you best. Got a deadline coming up? Or need the weekend off?
Put in the extra hours when you need them.
Autonomy is valuable, but we also know some structure is helpful to boost our productivity. When you’re working on your own, it can be an isolating experience. Healthcare professionals appreciate the balance a co-working space provides them between freedom and structure.
Having a dedicated workspace to arrive at will assist with discipline and motivation. Create a routine that best supports your business.
6. Greater Business Exposure.
Health practitioners and other professionals using health co-working spaces have discovered the joy of learning from those they’re working alongside.
Operating out of a health co-working space will bring you into contact with others in the health and wellness industry you otherwise may not have interacted with. These interactions have value in exposing your business to more people.
You never know who may need your service one day, or what you will learn from another person operating from your co-working space. A co-working space is an opportunity to market your business to those in the space, and potentially to their clients too.
Many co-working spaces offer a shared waiting room or areas where prominent marketing can be displayed. This is a great solution for those looking for maximum business exposure, for a fraction of the cost.
7. Increased Job Satisfaction
It’s inspiring to come to a workplace where people are excited to be there. Surround your business with people as passionate about success as you are. A co-working space provides room for your business to have the freedom and meaning you’ve been seeking.
Those in the space are there for the same reasons, sharing the same passion. This type of atmosphere is incredibly motivating and inspiring. Need a boost to your productivity? Join the Australian health practitioners trying health co-working spaces.
For more information about Wellshare please get in contact.
If you’re a healthcare professional you know the challenges of being in this industry. Especially if you’re establishing or growing your practice. With all you have to do and how tired you may feel, sometimes that dreaded thing... networking is the last thing you feel like doing.
If that’s the case, here are a few reasons why it’s so valuable to build a community of healthcare professionals around your practice. Hopefully, this inspires you to become a little more connected with other health practitioners.
Support and Understanding
Being in contact with other healthcare professionals isn’t just valuable for your practice, though that’s often what’s focused on first and foremost. Connecting with those in the health industry can be great for your own personal and professional development.
By connecting with others in the health and wellness industry you will gain access and awareness of development opportunities. Sharpen your knowledge and skills by engaging with other healthcare professionals. Either at formal events such as conferences, or online development groups, or even by catching up for a coffee with a fellow professional in your industry.
These conversations and experiences allow us to share our knowledge and receive in return. Feel supported in times of struggles by hearing stories and helpful advice from others who have been where you are now. Encouragement is important for us all.
Growing your community can inspire you to grow your own practice. See the great things others are doing in the health industry and see if you can learn from their models of care.
You will learn from your community and have the chance to have your voice heard within the healthcare space. This can be as simple as joining a Facebook group or following a healthcare blog.
Grow your Practice.
Building your community is valuable for your business and your clients. For your business, you will often receive referrals for new clients from other healthcare professionals you have connected with.
Getting to know those in your industry helps to establish your practice in people’s minds. You’re not just a name or a service, but a person who they will likely feel more likely to send clients to as a result of knowing you.
Your clients will gain value from this process too as you will be able to refer them on to other healthcare professionals where appropriate. This helps your client, as well as establishing yourself as a knowledgeable and helpful practitioner.
This collaborative effort between healthcare professionals helps to establish a community within the healthcare industry that is able to offer a greater level of care to the patient.
Establishing a community around your healthcare practice is valuable for all involved.
The Wellshare Community
At Wellshare we’re not just a co-working company. Yes, we rent rooms to health and wellness professionals but we do more than that.
At Wellshare we’re a community of dedicated healthcare professionals with a drive to see our fellow practitioners succeed. Our team is made up of healthcare practitioners and entrepreneurs with the experience necessary to offer valuable advice.
By renting one of our spaces you are invited into our community. Have the opportunity to grow your practice alongside other healthcare practitioners and experience the difference a community can make for your business.
If you’re an allied health practitioner looking to attract new clients, you’re in the right place. If not, these tips may still apply to you, so read on!
There are only 3 ways you will be found by patients:
Today we’ll be looking at the way allied health practitioners have harnessed the following marketing tools to get more clients. More clients = more business for you.
1. Have an awesome website
Expectations are high in 2020 when it comes to websites. A well presented, functional website is a must for allied health businesses.
Often, a website is one of the earliest impressions a client will have of your business. It’s a ‘virtual waiting room’ in a sense.
Just as in a physical waiting room, clients look around and form ideas about the business, based on what they see.
It is well understood in website UX design that the way your website looks will influence a potential patient's beliefs about the quality of your service, even more than the actual information presented. What kind of impression are you making with your website?
Give an impression of cohesion, professionalism and welcoming to clients who may be investigating your services online. If your website looks cluttered, dated and is difficult to use, prospective clients may click away.
Hire a website developer, or a UX / UI designer if you have the budget. Websites such as Upwork and Freelancer.com often provide cost-effective solutions.
Some specialise in healthcare and can give you an excellent site that speaks to your patients.
Short on financial resources? Do it yourself!
There are several easy to use website builders such as WordPress, Squarespace and Wix. Using tutorials online, you’ll be surprised what you can achieve. Build a website you can be proud of, and that clients will enjoy visiting.
2. Use Social Media Marketing
Social media allows you to engage with your existing clients and find new ones.
Don’t waste your time doing social media for the sake of it. Have a presence on the platform where your ideal patient spends time.
For some allied health professionals, this can mean Instagram, for others, maybe LinkedIn. Sometimes both. Sometimes neither.
Having a social media marketing strategy enables you to get the word out online about your business. Running targeted ads can be a helpful strategy, allowing you to interact with new clients in a way that is relevant in 2020.
Social media is an easy way to share information your clients may be interested in. Show your business to be one that is useful, by sharing tips and helpful info in your posts. Answer common questions and be as useful as possible.
The principle of reciprocity is very powerful in marketing. If you continuously provide value upfront with no expectation of anything in return, eventually you will be surprised how many people reach out to you when they encounter a health problem.
Try and consider what your clients would like to see in their feed and share accordingly. This is an excellent opportunity to raise awareness of your brand and learn about your clients.
3. Word of mouth
This method is tried and true for a reason. If you’re looking for new clients, look to your existing ones. Ask yourself how you currently incentivise them to refer someone to your service?
For professionals regulated by AHPRA, this may be tricky. But there are still ways that make it easier for them to do so. Do you provide them with spare business cards with your contact detail so they can easily pass on your information to people they know?
For non-AHPRA regulated health professionals, do they get a reward for encouraging clients to refer friends and family to your business?
Social media interacts closely with this point. If you have a strong social media presence, it’s easy for clients to ‘tag’ and direct new clients to your business.
4. Build referral relationships with health professionals
Existing clients aren’t the only ones who can refer new clients to you. Develop a good rapport with the GPs and other health professionals in your area.
When people are looking for an allied health service, they will often ask for a recommendation from health professionals they are already in contact with. This means doctors, pharmacists, and nurses are all critical contacts for you to build a relationship with.
Look for allied health professionals who provide services you don’t. These businesses don’t have to be your competition. Instead, both businesses may benefit from a reciprocal referring relationship.
5. List yourself on directories and referral search engines.
It can be worth considering listing yourself on a range of online directories and referral search engines. As a new business, this can be a great way to get broader exposure.
Keep an eye on the return for your investment, and choose which referral search engines you list on carefully. Opt for those that are established and reputable, such as HealthEngine.
6. Offer to speak to local groups or businesses
Slightly outside of the box, this method works on building your practice and reputation as an ‘expert’ in your field. By speaking at events, to groups or businesses interested, you establish yourself in your field.
Consider what groups may be interested and what information you could present. You may be surprised what opportunities are out there for you. Some groups to consider may be aged care facilities, Probus or Rotary clubs, conferences or networking groups.
Not all speaking opportunities need to happen in person. Developing a webinar, or short online course can be an effective way of sharing your knowledge with interested parties. These can have a boosting effect on both your reputation and your client list!
7. Use effective signage
Many of the methods we’ve focused on so far occur primarily online. However, effective signage is one method of attracting new clients that is often underutilised.
Put yourself in the place of a new client visiting your practice for the first time. Signage can be in the form of brochure handouts or physical signage on a shopfront or reception desk. Is the signage visible and clear? If not, clients may become frustrated or anxious around locating your business.
Likewise, listing your services assists in transparency. A client may be using one service from you and heading elsewhere for another service because they’re unaware you offer both. Have a list of services visible in a prominent position in your business.
The waiting room is often a good place. Ensure the design of signage is easy to read and be considerate of those who may be visually impaired.
LinkedIn is an untapped resource for generating patient referrals.
It’s the social network where practitioners and professionals spend the most time. In today’s post, we’ll be sharing with you how you can best take advantage of this social media.
Get started today and generate more referrals to your business!
How? The answer is more straightforward than you might think.
1. Connect with others in your industry
LinkedIn is an excellent resource for finding other professionals within your industry. On LinkedIn, you have a platform for engaging with others who share your profession.
Send invitations to connect with other professionals. Focus on those who you think your business may align well with. Send a brief, friendly message introducing yourself.
Remember to ask questions and show a genuine interest. People love to share about what they're doing at work - that's the whole reason LinkedIn exists, isn't it?
Don't copy and paste a generic message. Get to know the person and the business you're hoping to create a referral system with. Professionals will be more likely to refer to you if you have built a rapport with them.
2. Engage with others
Like, comment and share the posts shared by businesses and people you have connected with. The support will be appreciated, and likely, returned in kind.
Join groups relating to your industry, and take part in discussions. This allows you to have a voice in the space, and have a discussion with those in your field.
As you take part in the community, intentionally identify those who you would like to get to know better. This may be someone outside of your immediate profession. They may still be able to refer or use your service themselves.
3. Become more visible
As you engage more with others, they will visit your profile. What they see makes an important first impression. Your profile and description must be excellent.
Use a professional headshot, and keep your profile information up to date. Include what you've recently worked on, your services and post regularly to your blog. This is all-important.
Most people do this and have a fairly good profile. But are you content with just 'good?' You don't need to be.
Increase your visibility on LinkedIn by optimising your profile.
What does that mean?
By including keywords in your profile, you are more likely to appear in searches. Come up with 3-4 keywords that best describe what you do.
Include these 3-4 keywords in your headline, summary and job titles.
Use these keywords elsewhere as it comes naturally.
4. Get the LinkedIn app
Business cards can get damaged, lost or forgotten about.
Staying in touch when you meet other healthcare professionals is much easier with LinkedIn. When you meet a practitioner you'd like to refer to you, use the mobile app to connect via LinkedIn.
It's efficient and quick, and there's more chance of you staying in touch.
With a little bit of effort, you can transform your online presence and see the benefits in your business. Get more patient referrals by using LinkedIn.
Sydney is a hub of activity. It’s an exciting place to be! However, if you feel a little unsure about the best way to get to Wellshare and around the CBD in general here’s our top tips.
Public transport is convenient, great for the environment and saves you a lot of money! Never worry about finding a parking space or paying for parking again by switching to public transport.
There is a range of public transport available to make getting around Sydney CBD easy.
For those who require car access Wellshare is located in the beautiful heritage Dymocks building in Sydney CBD. Your two best bets are:
Hilton Hotel Car Park with early bird parking from $20 per day:
QVB Car Park with early bird parking from $26 per day:
All of these above methods can be used alone or in combination to access our healthcare co-working space.
Come visit us today!
Want to know more?
Check out: https://www.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/explore/getting-around/public-transport
I often get asked by health practitioners looking for a medical room for rent about social media marketing and the efficacy of the various platforms for building referral connections with other health colleagues. I believe that LinkedIn is still the best platform for this outcome because of one simple reason:
That is, the ability to drill down and target a specific professional person by virtue of the filtering capabilities on LinkedIn are unmatched by other popular platforms such as Facebook and Instagram.
The only practitioners who you could argue are better off using other platforms would be those who's outcomes are largely visual or those who sell products rather than services. For example, cosmetic doctors, weight loss nutritionists.
For those of you interested in reading about the basics of LinkedIn marketing there is an awesome article by Neil Patel which dives in...
Generally speaking there are 2 chairs in a consult room - one for the practitioner and one for the patient. How hard can it be to place them in a room? And does it really matter where they go? According to researchers in the US, more than you think...
An increasing number of health and beauty professionals are looking for an environment where they can reclaim a sense of autonomy with how they choose to practice their passion. Many also want to develop their own brand rather than existing under the banner of another's brand.
Whereas the obvious choice used to be setting up your own premises, people are realising that the large setup costs, long-term rental arrangements and distractions associated with operating a space rather than practising your core skillset are no longer a viable option.
Wellshare is a co-working space for health and beauty professionals that provides a lower-risk, lower-cost alternative without impacting the autonomy which is desired, especially with regards to their own brand development.
Branding can mean different things to different people. Some people think of a brand as a logo, some think of it as an identity and others see it as a set of services.
But branding isn't any of these things. The reality is that a brand is an emotional experience and a symbol of a single promise you consciously or unconsciously make to your customer. It represents the public perceptions about your service or business. The point of creating a brand is to engrain what makes you unique in the mind of others.
When a loyal customer thinks of your brand, it's tied to a feeling in their mind. There's an association there and your goal is to not only create that association but manage it too. There are many sterile, clinical feeling doctors’ surgeries which hold memories of feeling unwell. When a medical professional thinks about starting their own practice they should consider the design and comfort of a medical centre room to rent from the perspective of the patient.
Everything we smell, see, touch, hear, and do becomes associated with a memory in our mind. Branding is about making sure that when a customer sees your logo, walks into your place of work, or receives an advertisement, this connection in their brain aligns with what makes you unique. This is why choosing a beauty treatment room to rent is so important. It is key that your place of work aligns with associations that create a sense of who you are, what the service you are offering and why they want it.
A co-working space is an excellent alternative for clients looking to build their own brand so if you haven't done so already, take a tour today!