As an independent nurse practitioner, one of the most important decisions you will make is choosing the best location for your medical practice. There are many factors to consider when making this decision, and you need all the information to make the right choice for the future of your practice. Scouting out the right location for your medical office space includes multiple considerations, such as business zoning requirements for your city or town and the current real estate market. However, the best location for your practice will be the one that supports your business goals with meeting patients where they are on their care journey at the forefront.
Assess Your Patient Population
When determining the location of your medical practice, extensive market research should identify and evaluate which potential sites will provide the best access and convenience for your patients. Careful consideration of the area’s demographics, the location of other providers, and consumer expectations will ultimately help you find the location to provide in-person care to the patients who best meet your desired patient panel criteria.
Finding an accessible, visible, and convenient location for your NP private practice is critical for your business success. Before closing on a property or signing a lease, carefully consider accommodation factors such as public transportation convenience to accessible parking options. Taking the time to find an accessible location will help increase patient flow and enable you to provide quality healthcare services more conveniently to potential patients in the area.
Renting vs. Buying
When selecting a location for medical practice, a separate, but key, consideration is whether to buy or rent. Advantages of renting include maximum flexibility – including the prospect of a more prime location – plus the convenience of minimum property maintenance. While disadvantages of renting include lack of building equity, inability to expand, and the likelihood of increasing rent payments.
If you find a rental space that meets all your needs, NP entrepreneurs can better protect their interests by consulting a lawyer or real estate expert to review the lease before signing. This is the time to negotiate the landlord’s maintenance responsibilities in the lease agreement.
If you prefer property ownership – and you have the means – the advantages of buying office space include building equity in the property and having fewer restrictions on remodeling or upgrading as your practice grows. You also don’t have to worry about scrambling for a new location when your lease expires or if the building is sold. Of course, owning the property means you will also be responsible for the extra costs associated with maintenance and taxes on the property, so this should be carefully considered.
Consider your Budget
Choosing accessible and convenient locations for medical practices is paramount for independent nurse practitioners. When choosing a location for your NP medical practice, it is important to take your budget into consideration. Desirable locations can be expensive – regardless of whether you plan to rent or purchase an existing space.
It is wise to take both tangible and intangible costs into account for budgeting purposes when selecting a location for medical practice. Controlling expenses while increasing revenue is key in keeping costs low when opening a new nurse practitioner private practice location.
Budgeting for your new location for private practice includes tangible costs such as office space, technology to support the office and improve patient outcomes, furniture, and exam room equipment. However, it is possible to start small and grow over time by finding reasonably priced office space, looking for quality used furnishings and shopping around for insurance services.
With all the excitement that goes along with selecting a location for your medical practice, it is easy to forget about the less obvious costs. For example, a prime location and a building with stunning architecture and landscaping may be initially tempting. However, the intangible costs, such as the time you may lose with family due to a lengthy commute to reach that location or working extra hours to pay for its pricy mortgage, may prove too costly from a personal standpoint.
Determine Your Immediate and Long-Term Space Needs
Once you have narrowed down your potential locations, be sure to factor in every inch of the square footage you will need. Consider your ideal space. How many examination rooms would you like to have (keeping future expansion goals in mind)? What is the ideal capacity for the waiting room? How much parking (including handicap spaces) will your practice need?
Other spaces, such as storage, reception, and break areas are also nice to have as well as some flexibility in layout for the space. If your goal is immediate and rapid growth, be sure the space will be able to accommodate increased patient volume without extensive renovations or expansions.
Reach Out to the Community
Even if you are certain that you’ve found your dream location, it is still a good idea to reach out to local businesses and ask for their feedback. Conferring with local business owners can give you helpful insights into the patient population in the area and what kinds of businesses have been most successful. They also may have advice on what properties to avoid such as a property management company with a bad reputation or targets for criminal activity. This information will be invaluable in helping you feel confident that you have chosen a location that will be popular with patients – and lead to positive outcomes for your NP business.
NP Advantage Can Help
Now that you’ve chosen the best location for your medical practice, it’s time to take action! Our NP Advantage business consultants have a single focus: to support NPs as they launch, market, and grow their independent practices. Contact us today and let us know how we can help support your success.