a community of practitioners
To those of you that work alone, what do you do when your with a client? Do you lock your office door? Do you ever feel like it would be dangerous to work alone with a client? Do you work alone with first time clients?
Id like to rent some office space down the road to open my massage studio but I'm worried about potential safety issues. I wont have a receptionist so it would be just me and the client by appointment only.
I work alone most days. I do not lock the treatment room door, but I lock the front office door because I don't want a random person to walk in while I am in session and vandalize the space or worst. I lock the door AFTER I have gone over my policy form with the client and have gotten a good sense of who they are. I have also trained Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and boxing for a number of years and that helps me feel safe also. Doesn't hurt to take a women's self defense class to help with confidence in being alone in the city.
Hope this helps,
If the office space is in a building with other businesses, it doesn't hurt to go around and introduce yourself to the other people who work there. Even if they're not public sort of businesses but just an office suite or something, just go knock on all their doors and say hi to whoever is there, just say you wanted to introduce yourself to the others in the building as a new neighbor.
Sometimes this is suggested as a way for massage therapists to try and meet new potential clients but in this particular case I think it's best to just do it as a friendly introduction, so the neighbors don't brush it off as someone trying to solicit business.
If you know people in the building and talk to them every now and then, you're not alone if there's ever an emergency situation (this could be anything, not just danger from a client).
I've had a personal office since September and I had the same concerns-especially since I'm a small female and unable to protect myself. It's just me without a receptionist. But things have been great! I do a thorough intake with each client, making sure they give me their phone number and address, I let them know that I will be locking the front door and posting a sign that says "Massage in Session until X:00, please call and leave a message or return when the massage has ended. Thank You!" This let's everyone know 1. I'm in the office 2. so is someone else 3. you can call or return at X time 4. if it's past that time-there may be a problem. What's the chance of someone harming you if you have all their information, their vehicle is outside & they're half naked on the table? You have the upper hand in the situation. You can reach the door before they can have the chance to sit up. I was scared to branch out on my own but I haven't had a single issue with safety since doing so.
Check the fire codes for your building. There may be some restrictions on locking a door from the inside that does not have a panic bar for emergency exit.
I don't work alone with a new male client, unless he is a referral from a trusted client. When I get a new male client from the internet, I always schedule him during a time when a friend can sit in the front of the office during the new client's first visit.
Go to an army/navy store, get a can of mace to keep near by! Have someone train you to use it! You more than likely will not ever have to use it, but it will give you a sense of well being, knowing that you have the means to defend yourself should the need ever arise.