Visual Presentation of Your Practice

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How does your practice look? Many practitioners have had their practice with no significant change month-to-month and year-to-year – and it does get old and tired. If your leasehold improvements are 20 years old without any major refurbishing you probably fall into this category. This article is written on the basis of presentation of your practice being for sale but it also applies to your every day operation of the practice.

Colours, layout and design continually change and after a number of years one has to give consideration to what others see when looking at your practice for the first time. Does your office have the sliding window between the waiting room and the receptionist? This is a dated look. Do you remember the oranges, browns and purples of the 1970’s? These colours are not in today. Older design, layout and colours will probably make the purchaser wonder if contemporary dentistry is being done in the practice. Today’s look is open and inviting. In the 1970’s and the first part of the 1980’s many practices were closed to new patients. Today, very few practices are closed to new patients and the practice should reflect this new openness.

Investing in your practice is important. Put your money where it will get maximum impact. Take pictures of your office; look at the pictures to see what others will see. This may seem ridiculous but the concept is to really see your office. If your facility is old and tired, hire a qualified dental designer to reinvigorate your practice. This will probably involve some minor structural design and colour changes. And making your sterilization area a focal point, rather than hidden in a backroom, is a good design feature.

We recently completed a valuation in which the hygiene operatory had a broken up floor and three different paint colours on one wall due to moving x-ray wall mounts. When this was mentioned to the dentist, he not only had the floor rebuilt and tiled but also had his entire practice repainted. What a difference! The practice looked cared for and the landlord paid for a portion of the renovations. We went back, took new pictures and now have an accepted offer on the practice.

First impressions are important, as the purchaser has to think about working in this location well into the future. I believe updating also brings a new vitality to the practice. You the dentist, your staff and of course the patients, will enjoy being in a fresh newly remodeled surrounding. Remember dentistry is perception. How are you perceived?

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