There are many pros and cons to moving. It is one of the biggest decisions one has to make as a practice owner. There are many reasons that prompt or even force you to make the big leap.
Is the Parking Lot Too Small?
For instance, some of the clients we are working with have outgrown their parking lots!!! This has presented interesting problems for some of them when there is no other street parking in the area or the town. Some of them have gone from one practitioner to 4 or 5 practitioners and the parking lot for the proportionately larger clientele has become completely inadequate. In one case, the practice now has 7 practitioners, and the parking lot is too small to accommodate all the visitors and the small town they are in does not have enough street parking. The solution became opening up a satellite location a half hour out of the town and shifting some of the providers and clients over there.
Yesterday, one of my execs and I went to see one of our nearby clients at his practice. The building he is in is surrounded by a paid parking lot and we did not feel like paying a flat rate for parking for only 15 – 20 minutes and so we decided to find a free parking spot in the residential streets beside it. Apparently so did half the people visiting that building … we had to go several streets over to find a legal spot. It was a definite negative and could turn off new patients from becoming repeat patients.
One of most common growth inhibitors for a practice is the amount of delivery space available. Many practitioners find themselves stuck at a “maximum capacity” due to lack of rooms and no place to add an associate or two. Sometimes we have solved this by supersizing the hours of the practice … open early and close late and open up Saturdays. However, this brings with it staffing logistics that many are not willing to take on.
The Ultimate Solution
At this point, many practice owners start to contemplate the BIG MOVE as the ultimate solution. The questions arise as to whether they should rent or buy or build. The answers to those questions are not straightforward … it can depend on what stage you are at in your career (i.e. do you really want to build a building if you are going to retire in 5 years?), and how much money you have available to you for buying or building.
The REALLY big factor to consider is: Is your current space holding back your growth? Will moving into a bigger location result in a lot more income?
If the answer is “yes,” then perhaps you need to push yourself out of the nest, so to speak. Start an investigatory project to feel out what would be the best move for you to make. Collect the data and then decide.
Don’t be afraid of change … it may be the most exciting thing you’ve ever done!