Location, location, location. It’s one of the most popular phrases surrounding real estate. And for good reason. The location of your clinic will decide your target demographic and your revenue if you don’t. It is always good to plan a few steps ahead in any situation. And finding the right location for your dental practice is no different. There will be many factors that you will have to keep in mind before booking a place to establish your clinic.
Clinics are not like short-term stores. You can’t keep shifting your clinic base since it will negatively affect your practice. Stay in one place as long as you can. It helps you build local relationships and foster customer loyalty. However, if your current location is hindering the growth of your practice, then you should definitely look into shifting. Your location will impact your practice. Therefore, do your due diligence and a lot of research before you finalize a place.
Here are 5 important factors that you should consider while choosing the location of your dental practice:
1. Take visibility and signage into consideration.
There is nothing like having your clinic on the main road instead of somewhere in a lane. Not only does having your store on the main road increase your visibility to the traffic. But it also means that people will have an easier time spotting your store banner or any signage that you have. If you have your clinic somewhere inside a lane. It makes it so much harder to get walk-in appointments since potential customers spot your practice.
Moreover, having signage is a good option. You can display your timings, services you offer and the best way to contact you. Also, if your clinic is on the first floor of a building, you can even provide signs that lead to your door. Some buildings have a clause that you cannot install any signage, and you should clearly discuss this when you are identifying a location. Signage is important to your clinic. It is a way to communicate with your customers before they step into the clinic.
Hence, it becomes important to factor in visibility and signage when you are looking for a location for your dental practice. Additionally, if the visibility of the location is good and signage is allowed, see where you can put up your signage.
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2. Check accessibility of the location of your dental practice:
If you want to make dental healthcare accessible to disabled and elderly people, a clinic on the ground floor or the first floor would be good. Additionally, you can make sure that the entrance to your clinic is close to the parking space or the drop-off point of taxis/buses. You could always provide directions to the elevators if signage is allowed in your building. With just a few steps, you can make your dental clinic accessible to people with disabilities or senior citizens.
3. Consider parking when choosing a location for your dental practice.
Most people with vehicles shortlist places to visit based on parking space availability. And going to the doctor is no different. Parking remains to be one of the most important factors customers used to decide on a place. Your clinic might be close by, with the best treatment in town. But you might lose out on customers if you do not have parking space. People don’t want to have their car towed when they are in the middle of an appointment.
Having a parking space right in front of the clinic would be ideal. However, a parking space two minutes away is far better than having no parking space at all. It does not matter if it is in a parking lot or an area on the streets. The more convenient it is to get to your clinic, the more customers you will gain and keep.
4. Competition can affect how to choose the location of your dental practice.
Before you decide to set up your clinic, make sure you have done enough research into your competition in your area. There is a certain clinic-to-customer ratio that can determine your success or failure. If there are too many customers and not enough dentists. Then you can easily get overwhelmed quickly. Unless you can expand at the rate you are getting patients. Too many dentists and not enough patients will sink the practice.
2,000 to 1 is the saturation point in the dentist-to-population ratio. Therefore, look into how many dentists are already present and what is the population density like in the area you are looking at. Even if there are other different dentists in the area, it does not have to mean that they are competent. Perhaps, your clinic offers different services than the one. In this case, you can work with the same type of clients and establish a referral system. Having complementary services could very well work out in your favor.
5. The location decides the demographic and your customer.
Think of it like this: having a dental office in the suburbs is most likely to get you a demographic of middle-to-upper class customers. A city will get you a mixed demographic of all types, who will have at least senior high education. You might go into establishing a brand marketing identity to bring in your ideal customer. Hence, you must know what the actual demographic of the location is like.
If you are around a school district, you might bring in a lot of children. It’s easier for parents to have a dentist that is close by and they can drop in after school ends. In this case, it would be profitable if you are a pediatric dentist or an orthodontist. If you have a clinic near office spaces, then working adults might walk in. Perfect for endodontists or general dentists.
Again, it’s about location, location, location.
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It will be near impossible to tick all the boxes you had wanted to. There will be a few situations in which you win and some wherein you lose. You need to decide which factors or criteria are important to your clinic, things that you will not compromise on. And a few ones can not have higher weight-age, things that are not as important. Ultimately, it boils down to what you think is best for your clinic.
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