Dental Clinic Owners: Your Next Step Towards Growth

For many established dental clinic owners, there will come a time in their journey when they reach capacity at their current clinic and will require a larger facility to enable the continuing growth and profitability of their business. This is a testament to them as having built up a successful, trusted business with an expanding, loyal patient base.  

When this time arrives, there are a range of considerations and decisions to be made to determine how a potential future dental clinic facility may take shape.

In this blog, we’ll explore how established dental clinic owners can take the strategic next steps towards reaching their growth and profitability potential, and how to navigate the decision-making process when upgrading to a larger dental clinic space.

1. Buy or Lease?

Every dentist is on their own unique journey, meaning for established clinic owners, there is no one-size-fits-all approach when taking the next step to a larger or secondary facility. Every clinic owner’s growth goals and financial situations are different and can determine your next move – whether to buy or lease. Consider the pros and cons of each to suit your own personal situation.

Investing in a property

There is nothing quite like calling a place your own. Having full control over the facility and its use, as well as watching your project come to life from start to finish, customising it to your (and your patient’s) unique requirements. The pride of owning a dental clinic facility that reflects you as a professional is something that many dental professionals aspire to achieve.

Buying a property can yield great rewards for progressive and motivated dental clinic owners and provide substantial benefits. The most obvious positive is that rather than paying ongoing rent to a landlord, you are building equity in an asset that you can potentially sell for a profit in the future – as a property or an entire business. Over the time that you are operating from the space, there will potentially be a significant uplift in the value of the building/property. You may be able to access this equity for other future growth plans/investments.

Owning the property allows for additional revenue streams within the facility. An opportunity exists to build extra lettable spaces that can be adapted and utilised by other professionals, further future-proofing your investment. You will also have control over who your tenants are, to better align with your brand and vision.

Leasing a property

When taking the next steps towards a new or larger dental clinic to meet your growing needs, leasing a facility can also be a great, flexible option. Leasing may allow you to establish a clinic in a wider variety of properties/locations that may not be suitable from a town planning perspective if purchasing or building from scratch, while still gaining the benefits of meeting all your needs for your new clinic. Leasing a space also allows the investment of equity into other projects and developments.

In some cases, where ongoing rent is relatively cheap, it just makes sense to lease a property rather than purchase as to avoid the large upfront financial investment that comes with buying and a lack of yield due to low rental rates.

The Toowoomba Implants dental clinic exists within an existing building. The front door is labelled with 'Access Dental'. There are 4 parking places adjacent to the glass front door and the property is bordered with low hedges.

Toowoomba Implants: A new, specialist dental clinic within an existing commercial building.

2. Future Proof Your Growth and Expansion Goals

Whether your strategic next step is to build a new facility from the ground up or rent an existing space, it’s crucial to have foresight and plan for the future state of your business. Think about the potential for growth and expansion and review properties that allow for scalability.

Does the property match your plans in terms of clinic size, is it set up for future growth? Consider the potential for future expansion, as well as the adaptability of the space to accommodate new technologies and services. As successful dental clinic owners know best, the dental industry and technologies are ever-changing, and factoring this into your plans is extremely important.

Create a checklist of all your needs (and your patient’s needs) will allow you to better understand your vision and have clarity on what you require. Ensure that the location can handle increased patient traffic and the addition of new dental professionals or services.

Successful dental clinic owners understand that efficiency is a key element of any successful dental business. Your next dental clinic facility should allow you to focus on what matters most in building a highly efficient business. Patient experience, practice efficiency, and staff satisfaction all play a major role in streamlining operations and ensuring optimal productivity. This is not only key to providing excellent patient care but also essential for maintaining profitability.

The Surfside Dental clinic in Torquay boasts ample car parking options to the front of the building. This new dental clinic design has mostly glass towards the front of the building allowing for natural lighting to fill the reception area.

Surfside Dental: After outgrowing a previous 3 chair dental clinic, this stunning new coastal clinic was designed and built with future growth in mind.

3. Market Research & Demographics

As an established dental professional, you have the advantage of extensive industry knowledge and likely understand on a deeper level the needs of different patient demographics. Utilise these insights to understand the location you require to launch your new clinic successfully.

The best piece of market research you can undertake is to ask your patients. Talk to them about your growth plans and find out how far they would be prepared to travel, what services they require, what are their pain points or potential barriers, and importantly, what matters most to them in a dental clinic.

Are they willing to pay a premium for certain dental services, or are they more price-conscious? Where are your patients living and how are they getting to your clinic? Gaining a greater understanding and not making assumptions will potentially expand your search area into more affordable areas to buy property and allow you to find and create the perfect facility for your patients and your staff.

4. Accessibility and Convenience

Creating a facility that is accessible to all patients, no matter their needs is crucial. When comparing properties to rent or buy, consider; is it easily reachable by car and public transportation? What are the potential parking options available to your patients and does the property allow for off-street parking? Will this property and location allow me to cater to the accessibility needs of everyone? This can be a deciding factor in many patients’ decision-making process.

Understand the potential to elevate your patient experience in your next dental clinic. Learn from factors that may have limited your potential in your previous facilities and remove barriers for a better patient experience.

5. Facility over Visibility

While ‘visibility’ can increase your ability to attract new patients in a new dental clinic, it does not automatically lead to the long-term profitability of a clinic. Building a facility that focuses on an elevated patient experience and staff efficiencies will always prove more valuable than the physical location of a property.

With an already established clinic and patient base, your strategic next move should be primarily focused on providing the right facility for your growth and your patient needs, rather than being located on the most prominent corner in town. This is obviously a bonus if it can be achieved but shouldn’t be a determining factor.

This purposefully designed dental clinic will have two tenancies on separate levels, all on a high profile corner site location.

Specialist Dental Clinic New Build: This purposefully designed dental clinic will have two tenancies on separate levels, all on a high profile corner site location.

6. Consult with Experts

Don’t hesitate to seek advice from industry professionals who have experience in establishing dental clinic businesses in a range of locations. They can provide established dental clinic owners with valuable insights on patient experience, practice efficiency, town planning controls, as well as assisting with design and construction with future growth front of mind.

It is an exciting phase for any dental clinic owner to take the next step and upgrade to a larger facility. Making informed choices is key to scaling your growth and profitability potential, while maintaining a high level of service to all patients. Partnering with experienced industry professionals during this process can lead to a thriving, successful dental clinic that you are proud of for many years to come.

If you are considering taking the next step to a larger dental clinic, talk to an OPTIMA expert today – we are always happy to provide guidance and discuss the next phase in your journey.

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