There are various methods of choosing a book: by recommendation, by well-loved author, or by the colour and design of the cover. It is pretty much the same way your patients may go about choosing your practice over other possible selections.
You may already be attracting patients by recommendation and by being a well-loved member of your community, so let’s take up the colour and design of the exterior (cover) of your practice as a possible additional way of bringing new patients in through your front door.
Obviously, having a well-worn, old-fashioned, run-down look to the exterior of your office is going to be off-putting to potential new patients and also may keep your patients from being proud enough of your office to refer their friends to you.
The exterior of your location says much about what might be inside your clinic and it pays to put some attention on this.
Let’s start with your signage. Use a very readable style of lettering that is reflective of the style of your practice (for example, use Norman Rockwell lettering for an antique look, or a very modern font if your office is ultra modern inside). The colours should be reflective of those in the interior, just as your letterhead and business cards and so on should all be coordinated. Be sure the signage is well illuminated to catch the eye of passersby whether in daylight or darkness. Keep the message succinct and ideally have a great logo.
Peeling letters on your front window are a discouraging message to send out to potential patients. They do need to be replaced when they get worn or faded. Don’t fall for putting too many messages in the signage or front window either. Listing out all possible services is unnecessary and cluttered looking.
Ensure that the lettering of your signing is large enough to be read easily from the road as people drive by. Otherwise, your message opportunity is lost.
A high quality sign may require a substantial outlay of money, but in the long run may be one of the keys to a highly profitable practice by attracting a steady flow of clientele.
Another key element of an encouraging exterior is strategic lighting aimed at key structural elements of the building you are in or they could simply be very elegant sconces. Aim for an upscale look that reflects good taste.
If you have your own building, you should also consider the exterior surface material whether it is paint on stucco, brick, siding, concrete, etc. It should be kept in excellent condition and clean. If you have beautifully maintained foliage, it again says a lot about the owner. Aesthetics are an important part of the cover of the book.
A parking lot, if you have one that is well cleaned and no pits or potholes, can also give you an edge over practices where the patients have to resort to street or paid parking. Don’t forget to keep it well plowed and accessible in the winter.
Lastly, we come to the entrance to the book, namely the front door. A popular opinion states that a glass door or one with a glass insert through which patients or potential patients can see makes them feel more comfortable about entering your office, especially if there is a well-lit, attractive interior. Ensure that the glass and door are kept sparkling clean as a reflection of the cleanliness of the interior of your clinic where they are going to allow you to treat them.
Judge your “book” by its cover and see what you need to do to take it to the next level and get it done.