The Vital Reason Your Practice Needs A Demographic Study
You are looking to open your first dental practice. It's a whole new world out there but you're ready to get the ball rolling. You can’t wait to be in business for yourself and starting helping people. You're in the process of finding the right location and opening an office. Or maybe your first practice was so successful that you're ready to branch out and open a second one. Everything turned out so well with the first practice that you're confident that you can do it all over again!
Well, I think your enthusiasm is great! In order to own a business, you must be passionate. However, enthusiasm isn't enough. Opening a practice requires a lot of steps be taken in order to successfully reach the final goal. I am here to tell you that there is one thing that can really help your business start off on the right foot. Opening a business will present you with many challenges, so it's important to put the time in and try to eliminate as many future challenges as you can.
This should go without saying, but in order to open a successful practice, you must do your research. Knowing your market is absolutely key. Whether it's your first practice or your second, each one will be different and because of that, each deserves individualized attention. It's crucial that you dive into the community and learn the demographics that will surround the area of your future practice. If you don't, how can you really understand the opportunities around you and the people you will be serving? Conducting a location viability study is just what you need to start learning about your community and to apply the learned information when making decisions for your practice.
What are some of the things you should want to learn from these studies? The list includes, but is not limited to, crime rate, income levels, real estate prices, future residential and commercial developments, city leadership, strength of the school district, etc. All of these things will tell you about the people in the community you're considering and whether or not your business would be in a safe and viable location. This knowledge will also help you to develop your logo and the branding of your business. Different communities react differently to different types of marketing. You will want to be sure that you are reaching your target market in the best way possible.
Though location viability studies don't guarantee a fail proof business (you still gotta do the work!), they are an important first step that will help pave the direction of your business. It's worth taking the time to slow things down and learn about where you're getting into business and why the area is the right place for you.
(Please note these studies should be repeated over time. Change happens and things do not stay the same forever. If you're in business for 20 years, one demographic study will not be enough to really understand who you're serving!)