In our technology-centric world it seems like everyone, every app, and every website wants to know your location. There’s a reason for that. People count on convenient, easy-to-access services to simplify their busy lives. They are more likely to frequent a business that is “on the way.” That’s why carefully choosing a location when opening your urgent care may be the most important decision you’ll make.
Answering the following questions will help you find the right spot to launch your new urgent care.
Where are the prospects?
Generally speaking, the majority of urgent cares are located close to dense residential areas and in the suburbs, where families with children are most likely to live. Middle class, dual income, with kids, hectic lifestyle—these are the people who are most likely to visit an urgent care.
Before you make your decision on location, think about the proximity to patients. How many visits do you need to be profitable? Is the area growing? Shrinking? Are the retailers busy?
How competitive is the market?
There is a saturation point when it comes to healthcare providers, especially when they offer similar services. When looking for your perfect location, look for other urgent cares or same-day primary care office in the area. Find out if they have specialized services like pediatric urgent care or OccMed. If not, these may be service lines for you to consider.
Think about the principle of supply and demand. Will your urgent care fill a need in the community?
After you analyze the demographic, competition, and market, you can make a sound decision about location.
Is the location visible?
To be successful, you have to be seen—easily, often, and by many people. This often means choosing a location close to frequently visited retail spaces. Think big box retail, grocery stores, major intersections. Choose places that people pass regularly during their daily lives. Become such a familiar sight that when people need urgent care services, your clinic will be the first one they think of.
One major component of visibility is signage. What are the sign restrictions at your preferred location? If it’s a retail center, will your name be prominent on the center’s main sign? Can the sign be seen from the street, or is it blocked by other buildings or trees? What kind of restrictions are in place regarding window and door signs?
Because convenience is key to urgent care success, make it easy for people to find you with a highly visible location and signs that are easy to see and have an impact.
Is the location easily accessible?
When in need of urgent care, easy in-and-out parking is essential. Is there space to drop off and pick up patients? Will patients have to walk an unreasonable distance to get to the office?
Setting up your urgent care in a perfect location may require a bigger initial budget than expected, but in the long run, it may pay off with more patients.
The urgent care industry continues to grow and evolve. Once, finding an urgent care in downtown urban or rural locations was unheard of. But today, urgent cares are adapting to meet the needs of very diverse communities across the country.
Once you choose your ideal location, think about ways to tailor the healthcare you provide to your specific demographic and community, and put your urgent care on the map.
Finally, never stop asking questions. The status quo never lasts and you’ll have to change with the community to stay competitive and relevant. Don’t be afraid to make changes, or even move your clinic when it makes good business sense.
If you’re not sure where to begin, hire an urgent care consultant to help you find the right location for your new urgent care.
If you liked this post, check out our posts: How Much Does it Cost to Start an Urgent Care and 7 Simple Things to Think About Before Opening an Urgent Care.