Striking a Gold Vein: Finding the Right Place to Practice
Placement is king when it comes to choosing a practice location. It is one consideration we see so many practitioners getting wrong, often resulting in the success of their practice being less like fireworks and jubilation, alternatively more like a dull plop and anguish. In this article, I will be covering the issues that we see more frequently than not when selecting a site for a potential medical practice.
"Is that a practice?"
If it walks like a duck and talks like a duck, nine times out of ten, it is a duck. Now let me give you the scenario where it walks like a duck, talks like a duck but looks like a cat. Although I am in no way David Attenborough in my biological knowledge, I presume this cat-duck chimera will upset the general duck population. This is no different for medical practices that need to look like a medical practice, lest they not attract any patients. Now you might interject "Hey Benjamin, but my 17th Century castle I've leased will attract clients in droves". It might initially, but a feature only remains exciting for so long for the local populace and from our experience, the patients may perceive your services as being more costly thus deterring them. In conclusion, when selecting potential sites for your practice make sure to select a site that any reasonable person driving by could assume to be a practice and that the practice looks like a financially viable option for those in the locality.
"How do I get to the practice?"
I appreciate that we live in a time where Google Maps is widely used, however, if a potential patient can't get to your practice or finds themselves lost in a suburban labyrinth trying to get to you, they are unlikely to return. I once came across the most beautiful potential practice site; however, I realised that from 3-6 pm when people began to knock off work, the site would have been inaccessible to anyone wishing to see a doctor and would be even more difficult to leave, resulting in a less than pleasant patient experience. Our advice, put yourself in the driver's seat and drive to these potential sites. It would be best if you were asking yourself, is this site easy to get to and is it accessible at all times of the day?
Does it meet standards?
The potential sites viability in terms of legislative standards is an important one that it is often overlooked. Before I get into it, I will not provide any specific advice as each council's bylaws and regulatory body requirements are different. One such council standard that is often overlooked is disability standards. Such mistakes we hear about is the lack of disability ramps or disability access which proves to be a very costly mistake that can lead to fines or even the closure of the practice until the issue is resolved. Our advice is to extensively research this area before fitout or construction begins because a little research upfront means a lot less pain on the back end.
The site composition, its accessibility and if it meets regulatory standards are just some of the considerations that need to be explored before taking the plunge and setting up a practice. In conclusion, we advise all potential practice owners to do thorough research of the potential site, look at the site through an objective lens and most importantly if this all seems like a lot of work, call healthprac to do it for you.