Location, location, location. We’ve heard it before. When it comes to owning a business, it’s all about your location. The same is true for dental practices too.
To properly evaluate whether a potential office space is in the right location, I’ve included a list of eight factors for you to consider from my book DentalEase: The Essential Guide to Building the Stress-Free and Profitable Dental Practice of Your Dreams.
One of the most critical factors to evaluate when choosing a location is making sure your dental office is easy to find. Will your practice be easy to see from the street? Will patients be able to read your signs? Making it easy for your patients to find your location is the first step to ensuring your patients have a good experience before they even step foot in the door.
Parking remains one of the most important aspects to consider when opening a new practice. Whether it’s parking in a designated parking lot or on the street, make sure there are enough parking spots for your patients throughout the day. Your landlord will likely assure you there is more than enough parking but do your due diligence and ask other businesses in the area.
If the location you’re considering isn’t ideal, you will likely have to spend additional money on marketing. Consider whether this is a trade-off you’re willing to make and how much it will cost you. In many cases it’s often cheaper to pay for a better location than rely on expensive marketing campaigns to compensate for a poor or hidden location.
As part of your site inspection, make sure you also consider signage allowances for your practice. Signage will help patients find your office and attract people who may be looking for a new dentist in their neighborhood.
Before deciding to set up shop, make sure there aren’t too many dentists already in the area. According to the American Dental Association, a good ‘dentist to population’ ratio is one dentist for every 1,500 patients. When considering your competition, consider whether your competitors are actually your competition or whether you offer different services.
One of the most important factors to evaluate is the patient base, or the demographics in the area and how those fit with your ideal patients. Demographics is an essential factor to consider because it will determine the type of patients you attract.
For example, if you set up shop in a wealthier neighborhood, chances are you will attract patients covered by private insurance plans. The same thing goes if you open a practice in a new area, you will likely attract young families.
When you are considering a location, take a moment to research and find out if there are other professional businesses in the area. Setting up a dental practice close to other businesses is a great way to help your practice grow because it makes it easier for your patients to schedule an appointment. This includes appointments before nearby offices open for business for the day, so make sure you open early.
When considering pratice locations, step back and ask yourself if there is anything special about the location or the area that will help your practice succeed. This could be something like a school across the street if you are an orthodontist.
Consider looking for stores that attract your type of clientele. Are there businesses in the area that your patients are likely to use for their services? You want to ensure the local population will suit your type of practice. Opening a practice near a popular service or location will increase your visibility and help your dental practice grow.
While your practice’s orientation might be the least of your concerns, renting or owning a practice with operatories that face north is the most desirable. North facing operatories will ensure plenty of light, which has been proven to improve patients’ moods and overall experience.
To learn more about what to consider when choosing a location for your dental practice
make sure to download the first chapter of my book DentalEase: The Essential Guide to Building the Stress-Free and Profitable Dental Practice of Your Dreams.
The first chapter is free to download and will give you even more insight into how to create a your dream dental practice.