Whether you’re a cosmetic surgeon fresh out of fellowship or a seasoned surgeon ready to branch out on your own, the prospect of starting a new practice can be daunting. You want to be successful, but it’s a growing space and competition can be fierce. So where do you start? One word: Location. A strong location can mean the difference between success and mediocrity. Therefore, we’ve partnered with Practice Real Estate Group, a full-service healthcare real-estate solutions company based in Austin, Texas, to bring you a series on how to find the best location by analyzing your competition, understanding the surrounding market and more. This first article is all about first steps.
First Steps to Finding the Right Location
If you believe that corporations and large hospitals make it nearly impossible for cosmetic practices to succeed on their own, Thomas Allen, founding partner of Practice Real Estate Group, says this doesn’t have to be the case.
Despite the perceived barrier, Allen encourages practices to research what it is really like to own one’s own practice. “Maybe they can find some colleagues or other people that they trust and who will talk to them,” Allen tells The Aesthetic Channel. “I think they will discover that there are a lot of independent physicians out there who are very happy with their situation.”
Once you decide it’s time to seriously consider taking those first steps, there are several initial questions about the type of practice you envision owning that will affect the ultimate location of your practice, including lifestyle, brand and demographics.
Apart from location or demographics, practices need to consider lifestyle when considering real estate: “Do they want a big, super busy practice that will, no doubt, attract attention but a lot of overhead, too, or do they want a smaller practice with a more relaxed life while still achieving the same income?” Allen poses.
Retail vs Office Setting
A decision also needs to be made as to whether a practice seeks to locate in a retail center with great visibility to potentially draw patients or to an office setting with less visibility but a more professional feel. “We see dermatologists do really well in retail centers,” Allen points out.
A Question of Demographics
And when it comes to demographics, what type of patients does the practice most desire to attract? “This would be locations with middle-upper to upper income,” Allen notes. “It is important that a practice can fit in an area.” Also, is the practitioner willing to live or drive in a particular area?
“A lot of physicians that we work with do not truly think about the lifestyle aspect before they start a practice,” Allen says.