What To Expect When You Search For Your Practice Location!
When you decide it is time to select your first office, relocate from an existing site or start a second practice location, here’s what to expect in that process:
What part of Town?
If you’re opening a new practice, think about who you want to serve and locate an office near that demographic of individuals. Full-mouth reconstruction? Consider a higher income demographic. High-volume insurance practice? Consider a low-income demographic are, Orthodontics? Look for a younger family demographic. Periodontist? Find an easy access, high visibility site for referrals.
What type of building?
More and more dentists are selecting retail strip centers or neighborhood shopping centers for their office. These locations tend to have good traffic exposure and visibility, but storefront offices typically only have windows at the storefront. Other practices tend to gravitate to an office building or medical building settings. They have a more traditional business layout and more exposure to windows for natural light. Professional office parks and medical office buildings are popular selections. Finding the practice can be more of a challenge for patients in these environments.
What type of layout?
Look carefully at the “bay-depth” of the space you are considering. In retail centers, the bay depth (distance from front of the space to the back of the space) can be significant. These type of buildings are designed more for retail use than medical use. Office or Professional buildings typically have shallower bay depths, because the office spaces are built around a common corridor and restrooms.
Consider the same 2,220 square foot space in two different buildings: (a) a retail center with a 80-foot bay depth; and (b) a professional or medical office building with a 30-foot bay depth. In the retail center, the practice is laid out as a 27.5’ x 80’ box – almost three times as deep as it is wide – with windows generally only on one side, minimal natural light makes it past the reception area. In professional or medical building with 30-foot bay depth, the practice will be laid out as a 73’ x 30’ box with windows likely along the 73’ dimension – making natural light visible throughout the space.
Who is the Landlord?
Try to select a building that is well-maintained with a property management representative readily available. An older, well-maintained facility can be much easier to work in than a building with an out-of-town owner and no local representative. Your relationship to the property will be greatly impacted by the property representative.