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Location is key when starting a medical practice

You've decided to open your own medical practice. Like many new endeavors, your chances of success are greater if you do the necessary research, get the professional assistance you need and understand that the process will take some time.

Besides finding the best loan, investing in the necessary equipment and hiring the right people, one of the most important decisions you'll make is finding the right location. That's key for just about any kind of business. However, in the highly competitive health care market, it can make all the difference.

Accessibility is key. When people are dealing with an injury or illness -- or even just dreading a check-up -- they want to go somewhere that's not too far away and is easy to get to. An office in the back of a large building where people have to drive around the block multiple times before they find an empty parking place and then drag themselves through a maze of long hallways to reach you probably isn't your best bet.

However, having an office in a building or complex that gets a lot of foot or vehicle traffic can help you draw in new patients who just happen to see your office. Some good signage and marketing materials can further increase interest.

Before you start looking at potential locations for your new business, determine what is important to you and what you do and don't want. For example:

  • How much money do you plan to spend?
  • Do you want to buy or lease?
  • What size location do you need (in square footage), and do you want extra room to expand in the future?
  • Do you prefer a standalone building or one shared with other businesses?

These are just some initial questions. As you start looking at office space, you'll get a better feel for what you want. For example, would you like to be in a medical building surrounded by other doctors, or would you rather be the only medical practice in the immediate area?

Aside from real estate agents, lenders, insurance providers, contractors and other professionals, don't forget that you also need experienced legal guidance if you're starting your own practice. The earlier in the business formation process that you find an experienced attorney, the more things they can advise you on along the way.

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