*Leases for Dental Practices – Marketing Fund*

Nowadays, many shopping centers are asking dentists to contribute to a marketing fund for the entire shopping center. Sometimes this is a fixed amount per tenancy, other times it is split in proportion to the gross floor area of tenancies.
Marketing contribution, for dental practices are almost always, a loss making venture.
1. Dental practices don’t see the volume of clientele that other retail and food tenancies see, yet we are making an equal (and sometimes greater) contribution to the marketing fund of the shopping centre.
2. For a new practice, the turnover is minimal compared to other tenancies and as such, the marketing contribution has a large effect on turnover, but does not necessarily have the ROI to go with it.
3. Dental surgeries rely on foot traffic much less than many other businesses. For example, someone who comes to a shopping center to buy some alcohol for a weekend party, might walk past the bakery and quickly grab a sausage roll. They are unlikely to quickly duck into the dental practice and get a tooth fixed. Sure exposure is great for any business, but paying an equal contribution towards a fund where other businesses benefit much more, is not a wise idea.
4. Some larger shopping centres use the funds in national marketing campaigns. This is good for the larger retailers who are present in many shopping centers but of little use to a small dental practice only present in one location.
5. Perhaps most importantly, you have no say or no control in what forms of advertising the centre does. It’s generic and has little applicability to a dental practice in many cases as we are so different to retail and food. Sometimes, advertising may infact contravene our advertising laws, especially where limited time offers are concerned. It is, without a doubt, much better to spend the money on focused marketing individually.
In most of the practices I’ve started, I’ve been successful in completely removing the need for myself to contribute to a marketing fund by using a compelling argument (based on the above points). Even when I haven’t, I’ve been able to greatly reduce the contribution amount.

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