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Owning a private medical practice is very much a business and building a successful brand may require expanding at some point. This is where opening a second location comes in. Remember, you're more than a doctor—you're essentially a small business owner who also practices medicine.
Still, opening a second location is a big decision. Here are some important things to consider before signing on the dotted line.
Clarify Your Goals & Brainstorm Potential Locations
The journey to expanding your practice begins with getting clear on your business goals. Why are you looking to expand, what kind of audience are you hoping to reach, and what types of patients are you currently unable to serve with your first practice? These are important questions that should help guide you toward untapped markets that may be ripe for expansion.
Do Some Market Research
This is perhaps the biggest piece of the equation. You may have a gut feeling that the next town over is a perfect place for a second location, but it's in your best interest to confirm it with some actual data. Entrepreneur suggests first getting a read on what the existing demand is in the area, as well as potential competition. Having a firm understanding of the latter is key. As Inc. reports, moving into an already saturated market means you'll face heavy competition. Unless the services you're offering are truly unique, it might be a better idea to go with an area that still meets your demographic criteria but has fewer competitors.
You'll also want to connect with your marketing team from the get-go to clarify the best ways to reach potential new leads in the area, which may involve some test marketing to identify how receptive your new audience is.
Build a Team You Trust
You can't be in two places at once, so expanding your practice to a second location means getting a killer management team and staff in place. (This, of course, translates to new costs that need to be included in your business proposal.) Similarly, if taking an active, in-person role in the new clinic is important to you, make sure you have a reliable team in place at the original location to keep the ship running smoothly in your absence.
Choosing a successful second location isn't an overnight process. The truth is that there are a lot of moving parts to consider, and every business owner is different. While none of us can predict the future, doing some market research is the best way to get a feel for how your practice will fare in a new neighborhood. Ren Scott Creative creates comprehensive medical marketing plans that keep all locations connected to your brand's vision and purpose.