If your medical practice has outgrown its current facility, it’s time to consider expanding. Depending on your current setup, this may involve expanding into additional space in your current building, opening a satellite office to support your existing practice or moving to a different facility altogether.
The decision to expand your current practice or embark on a move isn’t just a matter of space. A significant uptick in walk-ins or referrals is a good marker that suggests expansion might be in the cards, but you’ll want to do a detailed strategical analysis before doing so.
Develop a Strategy for Growth Early On
When running a medical practice, you should always examine the demographics of the area in which you operate and the surrounding region. These numbers will tell the story of the market, then you can plan for the future of your practice.
- What is the population density and growth? A growing population means more opportunities for patients.
- What is the over 65 population? These individuals typically need more medical care.
- Look at the patient-service mix of the region. Is there a shortage of services offered in the area?
- What is the payer mix? A large percentage of privately insured residents is good news for your practice.
The goal is to find a market that has an opportunity for healthcare providers to tap into unmet patient demand, which is driven by population growth.
Bringing in New Patients
Once you decide you’re going to expand your medical practice, you’ll need to start planning for how you’ll bring in new patients. Several approaches can help ensure that your appointment book is full from day one.
Talk to local employers. Build relationships with nearby companies. Let them know that you’re accepting new patients and provide them with an outline of your services and expertise.
Get the word out with press releases. Use media releases and local news outlets to drive coverage of the new practice. Both can be a great way to highlight your new facility, your staff and your areas of expertise.
Establish your new web presence. Build a website for your new office or add a new announcement to your current website. Aim to have a website up and running 90 days before your launch, so it has time to be indexed by Google and other search engines.
Take advantage of local listings. Google My Business, Yelp and other listing services are a great way to drive visibility. Consider asking for reviews from existing patients to improve your standing on these sites.
Talk to local hospitals. Understanding the growth plans of local hospitals can help you create an informed growth plan that anticipates future demand and allows you to respond accordingly.
Establish referral partners. Work with other local practices to build a system of referrals that benefits everyone. You’ll develop your reputation within the community while being able to focus on your core services.
Consult with a Market Expert
Before taking the plunge on leasing a new space, speak with a medical real estate expert to gauge your options. The expert team at GZ Realty can help you identify market trends and gaps, along with finding you a property that will continue to meet your practice’s needs as you grow.
Moving or expanding your practice is something that should be undertaken as a result of in-depth research and market consideration, and input from a real estate expert can be invaluable in ensuring that you’ve covered all your bases before signing on the dotted line.