Vic and Rachel Puri, co-founders of BrooklynWorks at 159, are embarking on a new coworking adventure.
Being no strangers to the coworking industry, Vic and Rachel know how serviced workspaces can change the lives and businesses of people. And they are setting out to cater to an underserved market: that of independent medical practitioners.
“I come from a family of medical professionals,” Rachel said via a phone interview, “and this led me to eventually pursue a career in mental health and later become a registered nurse. Being part of the industry, over the years, gave me a unique inside look at some of the challenges that independent practitioners face in our current economy.”
“If you are a psychiatrist, acupuncturist, dietician, or any other type of independent practitioner and want to be successful, then you also have to be business savvy. This means knowing about office management, lease negotiation, taxes, marketing, etc.”
“We wanted to combine our collective experience and provide a new kind of service-oriented space. We realized this was a highly underserved market,” Vic added. “There’s really not much available for independent practitioners out there, let alone the services to help them run their business.”
Catering to such a specific niche is no easy task, and the Puris are aware of this.
“There are certain issues that we will have to cater to,” Vic commented. “Privacy for both our members and their respective clients, HIPAA Compliance, medical billing, insurance, etc.” The space itself will also need to adhere to certain standards, like soundproofed rooms, enough natural light, and a design and layout that allows for all the necessary medical equipment to fit and be readily accessible.
Rachel and Vic have been planning this medical and wellness focused coworking space for some time now. “We really took our time. We started hunting for commercial space last spring; it took 9 months to finally nail the space we wanted.”
The space will offer private and shared offices, and WellnessWorks will offer part-time and full-time memberships. Yet the true added value for their target market will be through the services they will offer. “We will be offering medical billing, verification of payment, bookings, insurance services; all through partners that are HIPAA Compliant.”
WellnessWorks is hoping to attract licensed psychologists, licensed clinical social workers, acupuncturists, chiropractors, nutritionists and massage therapists, among others. Because of this, their layout and design has to be nimble enough so that they can easily shift and adapt to the market’s demand.
The space is set to open October 1st, although tours will be available during the month of September. And although medical niche coworking spaces are starting to sprout up in different locations, Vic and Rachel are unworried about competition.
“There are a lot of folks that are skirting around what we are doing, but no one has yet put all the pieces together like we have: the space, the specialized services, the seamless online booking system. This will be our secret sauce, it’s something that hasn’t been done before.”
Besides, Rachel and Vic are all too familiar with the struggles, so they know where their members might need the most support.
“Our motto is: You run your practice, we take care of the rest.”
“You see,” said Rachel, “when an acupuncturist or psychologist or any other medical practitioner goes to school, they don’t necessarily take business classes. That’s just not their bread and butter, making people feel better is. Luckily for them, we have the space, the tools, and the know-how to take care of all of that.”
As coworking continues to ‘grow-up’, we’re bound to see more niche specific endeavors like this one.