Parking considerations are often overlooked both when purchasing a practice as well as when starting a practice. For CBD practices parking is less important as patients typically walk to the practice and visit either before or after work or in their lunch breaks. However, the importance of parking for suburban practices is not to be minimized as patients now have significant choice of Dentists and society is becoming much more convenience orientated. I have advised clients against purchasing a practice or starting up in a particular location due to poor parking availability.
What is considered ideal when it comes to parking?
In my experience, the ideal layout is when parking is located directly outside the practice with no time limit or fee. Generally, patients appreciate the convenience and expediency of parking directly outside the practice both in terms of when entering but also following the appointment when they simply want to get home as quick as possible because they may be numb, their make-up distorted or they’re biting down on gauze.
What is considered problematic when it comes to parking?
Parking becomes an annoyance when it is not readily available, free or when patients have to walk long distances to enter the surgery. In my own practices, I have spoken to many patients over the years that have left their long-term Dentist to come see us purely due to parking issues. Typically, when patients visit the Dentist they don’t tack on other trips and don’t particularly like walking through a crowded centre following the appointment so being in a major shopping centre is not advantageous. Furthermore, paid or timed parking is another grievance that may lead to patients choosing a competitor practice over yours. At one of my practices, we had patients come to us from competitors because paid parking was introduced in the CBD areas around our competitor practices.
Obviously, the ideal may not be achievable. However, getting close to the ideal will help retain and attract patients in this increasingly competitive environment.
If you have enjoyed this post or it has been helpful, please share, like or comment below.
Our next lot of practice Ownership seminars are in Melbourne and Brisbane later in the year. We cover all these topics and more, early bird specials end in 11 days so please register ASAP:
We also offer services for people looking to set-up or buy practices where we assess things such as parking. Please see the below link for more information.