How to Choose the Right Location for Your Medical Practice

Choosing the right spot when moving medical offices is critical to the success of your business. When you choose the right location, you can watch your business grow and flourish. Picking the right place is more an art form, not an exact science. There are a lot of factors to take into consideration when moving medical offices.

Patient-to-Professional Ratio

This little-known secret is majorly helpful when moving medical offices. You can do a simple analysis of when looking at potential areas. Look at the number of medical practices that do the same thing you do compared to the number of people. If there’s big number of medical practices, it’s best to move on. For example, if you’re a dentist it would be difficult to break into a community that has a lot of dentists already. Professionals usually overpopulate upscale areas, and are missing big opportunities a few miles away in middle/lower income areas.

Demographics

Another important consideration is the demographics of the area. The local chamber of commerce or newspaper should have them readily available. Start with compiling information from at least three areas that you’re considering.

First, think about the type of patient you are trying to or usually attract. Then look at the demographic information from each place for a match. Also look whether the population has been declining or increasing. Know that it’s easier to break into new areas where you won’t have to struggle to take patients away from already established practices. And obviously, you want to avoid fading communities.

Traffic

Often a forgotten about factor is the traffic patterns in an area. You might have to dig a little deeper in your research or go out there on your own to observe, but it will definitely pay off.

What you want to look for is the amount of cars going down the street of your potential new location. 40,000 cars a day is considered a prime retail location. Also take into consideration the traffic. Is it heavier during rush hour or about the same? Is it a generally lighter traffic area? Since we all hate traffic, plan accordingly.

You can also choose the side of the street for your location. Maybe on one side there’s a clearly marked way right into the parking lot, but on the other side you have to make a U-turn to get into the parking lot. Traffic could also be heavier on the West side than on the East side. Try to make getting to your location as convenient as possible for your patients.

Spreading the Word

If your practice is consumer-direct, you’ve got to be visible from the street. Does the landlord or city have any signage restrictions? Is your office visible from the street? Are there already many signs crowding the street that will make yours hard to see? After all, if consumers can’t see you from the street, you may as well not be there. Paying for a spot with great visibility can be more expensive, but it can pay off.

Specialists

If you’re a specialist, you have one more factor to consider: your proximity to large, referring practices. If you don’t have a relationship with those offices, find a way to introduce yourself and network. It can really pay off.

It even helps to be in the same building as them with your office on the ground floor. If you do that, 100% of the building foot traffic will go right by your door.

Common Sense

When choosing the right location for your medical practice you should do one thing above all: practice good common sense. For example, podiatrists probably either want to be on the first floor of the building or be in a building with a reliable, working elevator. Don’t be that podiatrist on the third floor of building with only stairs – how will your patients with foot problems get to you?

Choosing a new office space can be fun, exciting and even a little stressful. Follow these tips and tricks to lessen the stress and find the perfect space.

Boulevard LA specializes in custom, state-of-the-art medical and dental office space in Downtown Los Angeles. They have worked with clients like Quest Diagnostics, USC Fertility and Perinatal and nonprofit community clinics. Because they understand that every practice is unique, they can provide a custom space for your office. ‬

The Custom Office Move-in Process

Moving or expanding your office can be a huge undertaking, and working out the logistics can be overwhelming. If the process seems stressful, there are alternatives to doing it by yourself. Need help with your new office move in checklist?

Boulevard LA is here to help. We have a custom office move in checklist and process that can take the stress and annoyance out of setting up your new office space. From finding the perfect space for your medical or dental practice to putting in place the last decoration, Boulevard LA can perform the whole process from start to finish for you.

The process in broken down into three parts:

1. Designing the perfect office
2. Decorating
3. Building your new space

To design your office, we will work with a preferred building contractor and an architect. We will come up with the ultimate plan to maximize the space and make it visually appealing and practical while taking your patients’ and staff’s specific needs into consideration and set your office up for success. Any necessary city permitting or construction that comes up during the big move will be taken care of.

Next, we will work with you to plan an office space customized to your taste. Interior designers will help you select paint colors, cabinets, flooring and more for your new office. Our network of preferred interior designers is a wealth of knowledge, having years of experience designing medical and dental offices in Los Angeles. Their goal is to design your space so that it makes a great first impression for your patients.

The third step in this process is actually building your new space. Once the plans have been finalized and the decorations picked out, the construction can start. Their contractors have years of experience building medical and dental offices, so they are knowledgeable about the complexity of moving and placing medical equipment. They will give you updates about the process, taking the stress and worry out of moving.

While Boulevard LA will take care of most aspects of your move, add these tips to your new office move in checklist:

• Start planning the move as soon as possible. They are generally planned months in advance, with larger moves planned even earlier. You might even have to move during non-work hours outside of the 9-5 Monday-Friday schedule.
• Get to know the new building or space before moving in. Check to see if there are any specific requirements for the new building, like flooring requirements. Walk through the pace with the building manager to make sure the space is ready for move-in – i.e. no leaks, broken bulbs, etc.
• Keep your employees informed at every stage of the move and let them know about it as soon as you can. Give them some time before moving day to pack up their things and take personal items with them.
• Create announcements about the move. You can announce it on your website and social media, create new business cards and flyers and let your patients know when you talk to them.
• On the actual moving day, have 2 managers present during the entire move. One should be at the old office and the other at the new place.
• Make sure to clean the clutter from your current office when you move. Extra clutter will take up valuable space and time to move.
• Create a checklist so that you remember to do certain tasks. You can create different checklists for planning your move, move-in day and for your employees.
• Communication is one of the most important parts of a move. Communicate frequently with your movers, your staff, your patients and anyone else involved.
Boulevard LA specializes in custom, state-of-the-art medical and dental office space in Downtown Los Angeles. They have worked with clients like Quest Diagnostics, USC Fertility and Perinatal and nonprofit community clinics. Because they understand that every practice is unique, they can provide a custom space for your office. If you have questions about your new office move in checklist contact us today!

7 Questions to Ask Yourself When Moving to a New Office Space

The cost of office space is one of the single largest expenditures for any medical practice, so it’s important to know exactly what you’re getting from your space before signing a lease. You want to be cost effective, but it’s also essential to find a space that works for your medical practice’s needs. The last thing you want to do is move into a new space and find out that it’s not working out, forcing you to spend even more to break the lease and move again. Plus, constant moves can lose you patients. Here are some ideas for a moving offices checklist and questions to ask before you move into a new office space.

1. Is Renting or Buying Better for My Practice?

Buying a property for your medical practice’s office space may actually be a better option for your practice than renting one. For example, buying opens up doors for making your property an investment, provides more potential for expansion without relocation, and makes annual costs more predictable. On the other hand, renting requires less upfront cost and less commitment to the locations, and you don’t have to handle refinancing. Working with a real estate professional can help you determine which option is right for your practice’s needs.

2. How Much Space Do We Need?

Size is probably the primary consideration when it comes to determining your practices needs. Too little space and your practice will be crowded and take a hit to productivity, but too much space is a waste of money. A general rule when determining your medical practice’s space needs is 1200 to 1500 square feet for the first physician (or single physician practices), plus 1000 1200 square feet for each additional physician. Some practices, like psychiatrists, will need less while others, such as outpatient surgery centers or practices with large equipment, will need much more. An average family physician will generally need about three exam rooms and one procedure room, but this can vary depending on specialties and the number of physicians in the practice. At minimum, a medical practice should have a reception area, a front office, a physician’s office, two treatment rooms, and a restroom.

3. What Are Our Accessibility Needs?

All medical offices need to be handicap accessible, but, like with space needs, certain practices will have greater accessibility needs than others because of the patients they receive. For example, a physical therapist or an orthopedist will likely see far more patients with mobility issues than a dermatologist or a periodontist. Your practice needs enough parking spaces, elevators, and ramp access to easily accommodate handicapped patients without causing waits, crowded, or awkward situations. Automatic doors may also be a good addition. Remember that bathrooms and exam rooms need to be easily accessible, with plenty of room to turn a wheelchair around inside, and with all of the necessary supports to help a patient with limited mobility move around, and don’t forget to leave room for wheelchair parking in waiting areas.

4. How Much Will It Really Cost?

Obviously rental or mortgage payments have to be made, but not all payment systems are alike, and there’s plenty more that must be factored in before you can really understand the cost of your space. Some landlords require tenants to have insurance for the space, and while some will foot the bill themselves, others pass that responsibility onto you. Know who’s responsible for utilities. Sometimes landlords will absorb these costs, other times it’s all on the tenants, and still other times there’s a division of responsibility. Be sure you know how much you can expect to pay each month and remember, a space with cheaper rent can still be costlier than a space with a higher rent if utilities are lower. Higher rent may also come with benefits like property maintenance or pest control that would otherwise come out of your pocket, while lower rent may be because of problems and lower profitability associated with the property. Finally, don’t be afraid to shop around. By moving just a short distance farther from a major hospital, you may be able to get a nearly identical space for much less.

5. What’s the Timeline?

First, make sure your building will let you move in when you want, so you aren’t on the hook for the apartment before you need it, but can also be certain that the space will be available for you when you need it. You should also know how long the lease length is and how much flexibility you have with negotiating lease length to make sure you’ll have the property for the time frame that’s right for you. You should also make sure you know what your options are once the lease is up. Will renewing the lease be an option and how will the price be affected?

6. Who Is Responsible for What?

The divisions of responsibility in a rental aren’t necessarily consistent between properties. Make sure you know who is responsible for which utilities and how much of each. Even if some utilities are included in the cost of rent, all may not be, and some landlords only cover up to a certain amount. You also need to know who’s responsible for maintenance. You don’t want to commit to a property only to be surprised when you have to arrange and foot the bill for repairs or upkeep. You also need to know if you or the landlord pays for improvements to the space.
When you are through with your moving offices checklist, it’s time to settle in. If your practice needs a home, or you are just looking to expand, contact Boulevard LA today. We offer a number of locations that are suitable for medical practices of all kinds. We have years of experience finding suitable spaces for specialty offices and general practices, so schedule a meeting today to see what we can do to get you into the perfect medical office space for you and your practice.

Cinco de Mayo Party Ideas for the Office

Office celebrations can be a lot of fun, but they’re also great for improving the productivity of your office. Office parties improve morale by giving you a chance to make sure your medical office knows how much you appreciate them and the work they do, and by giving your staff a chance to relax and bond with each other, increasing teamwork and group cohesion in your office. With Cinco de Mayo right around the corner, now is a great time to throw together an office party that is both fun and helpful for your practice. Let’s take a look at some of the best Cinco de Mayo party ideas for your office this year.

Festive Food and Drink

Food and drink are the best parts of any part, but for many of us, Cinco de Mayo brings to mind images of margaritas and imported beers. These drinks are best enjoyed after your medical practice closes, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of options for your office’s Cinco de Mayo festivities. For more work appropriate fare, alcohol free margaritas (though you may want to keep these out of sight of your patients to avoid awkward questions) and, of course, traditional Mexican foods and their Tex-Mex cousins tend to be major crowd pleasers. Mexican colas, which use real cane sugar instead of corn syrup can also be a hit. Guacamole, salsa, and queso are all great snack options to keep in your break room for staff to grab when they have a chance.

For a more comprehensive option, try a lunchtime taco, nacho, or burrito bar for your staff. This can be quickly, easily, and inexpensively whipped up by you or a staff volunteer, or you can splurge a little and have a local restaurant cater for extra authenticity and even less effort. If you really don’t want to go without. Don’t forget to be sensitive to any staff members with dietary limitations by incorporating alternative choices that they can eat, dairy or gluten free options for any staff members with dietary limitations.

Create the Right Atmosphere

Aside from food and beverages, decor is the most important part of any party or celebration. You can go all out with carefully placed sombreros, a hanging Mexican flag, and lights and Mexico and Cinco de Mayo themed banners strung up around your office. Alternatively, for a thriftier approach, simply use store bought or even homemade decorations in the colors of the Mexican flag: red, green, and white.

Don’t forget to choose the right music to finish off your fun and festive atmosphere. Traditionally, Cinco de Mayo is celebrated with mariachi music, but for a more modern take, try a Mexican pop radio station, either through standard publicly accessible radio stations or through your medical practice’s internet radio provider.

Be Culturally Sensitive

Remember that Cinco de Mayo is a culturally significant holiday, so try learning a bit about the history of the holiday so you know why you are even celebrating in the first place. Cinco de Mayo celebrates the unexpected victory of the Mexican army over the French in 1862 at the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War. In Mexico, Cinco de Mayo is a relatively minor holiday, but it later became a way for Mexican-Americans to celebrate their Mexican culture and pride and has now become a celebration of Mexican culture in general throughout much of the United States. Recognize and appreciate this history – and keep your office party classy – by avoiding the stereotypes and hurtful jokes that are found in many Cinco de Mayo celebrations.

Celebrate Throughout the Year

Cinco de Mayo may only come around once a year, but there are plenty of holidays that you can celebrate at your office to create a festive atmosphere, have fun at work, and keep your medical practice’s staff’s morale high. For more office party ideas, see our guides for celebrating Easter and Saint Patrick’s Day in your medical office.

Boulevard Medical Properties

Even the medical practice with the best Cinco de Mayo party ideas needs the right office space. That’s where Boulevard Medical Properties comes in. Boulevard LA is a Los Angeles based medical property specialist that can help your practice through the entire moving process, from finding a property to moving in. We can even help you develop an eco-friendly medical practice. Whether you are interested in expanding your practice into an additional location or want to move into a new space entirely, Boulevard LA has the experience and skilled staff to help, so contact our office today.