What to Look for When Choosing a Practice Location
The location of your dental practice will have an undeniable impact on the success of your practice. Many dentists know they should pick a location that is in an affluent, densely populated area. While this thinking is beneficial, there are a few other factors that impact the success of the dental business.
The real estate data is just one point that needs to be considered. We recommend using four checkpoints to determine the optimal placement for your dental or medical practice:
Real Estate Information
Even though a lot of people are driving by on the freeway, it doesn’t mean you should choose the busiest street for your practice. Real estate considerations should include:
- Office accessibility and traffic flow
- Dominance on the street to ensure you aren’t overshadowed by competition
- Located near other conveniences such as grocery stores and shopping
- Visibility, including traffic exposure and bright signage
Some people would argue that location near office buildings is a good choice because of the convenience for working professionals. While this strategy works in some situations, it is more common for the women to be the decision maker for dental and health care needs. As a result, the providers are usually close to home, not close to work.
Competitors: Other Dental Offices
Finally, how many competitors will be competing for the same patients? The American Dental Association recommends a competition ratio of 1,500 patients for every dentist. You need to look at more than just the ratio of people to providers though. Are there differing population bases that you will be treating? For example, some dental offices might target Medicare patients while other offices prefer working with patients that have private insurance.
Also, look at the services that are provided. Some of the newer offices offer technology that hasn’t been adopted by older practices. You might be able to build your business in a competitive area by providing unique features such as same-day crowns or modern cosmetic dental procedures that aren’t common in the other practices in the area.
You need to identify your ideal patients, then determine the location where these people are living. Looking at the demographics in the area, you can get a clear picture of the residents by evaluating several factors:
- Median age
- Median household income
- Renter- or owner-occupied homes
- Native language
- Average size of the household
- Private insurance in the households
It is common for patients to look for dental and medical providers that are close to home. Locating your office near the ideal patients will give you access to the right people that will help you build your practice.
Density of the Neighborhoods
Now that you’ve identified areas with the ideal demographic, you also need to consider the density of the population. How many housing units per acre, and how many people are living in each home?
Not only should you evaluate the mileage around your proposed office location, but it is also smart to consider drive time. For example, look at the demographics of people within 5 miles and a maximum 15-minute drive time.
Density factors to evaluate include not only the number of people per square mile, but also anticipate population growth, total population, and forecasted housing developing in the area.
Tapping into Professional Expertise
Your expertise is focused on dental health and wellness, which means you should focus on the strengths of your skill set and lean on the experience of a team that offers medical practice business advice. If you are thinking about opening an office, then we are here to help. Contact us at Joseph Rossi & Associates for information about how we can assist.