Want to step up your practice image but can’t afford to relocate to a pricier part of town or snappier looking office complex? Make little changes that can have a big impact in improving the attractiveness of your office. These things won’t cause patients to come flooding to your door, but a poor presentation is a big turn off and certainly can keep them from returning. So remain mindful of the look of your business at all times, and seek periodic practice consultation to get critical feedback so you can make ongoing improvements as necessary.
The entrance to your office sets the tone for what awaits your patients, so ensure that it is welcoming and inviting. It’s easy to forget about this if you use a back door or other private entryway, so make a point of entering your own front door from time to time. You can’t do a lot to improve its appearance if you don’t own the building, but you can make sure that it’s clean and that the surrounding area is tidy. Sure, this is the property owner’s responsibility, but if maintenance is poor don’t just say, “Oh well,” and let it go. Sweep away the dirt, clean the windows and doors, and pick up debris on your immediate walkways and parking spots so that the entry to your area is top notch. And continue to hound building management to provide the cleanup and landscaping services that you should receive as part of your tenancy. If things don’t improve, it’s time to move.
While you can’t do much about the exterior looks of your office, you can add little touches inside that add polish to your practice “brand.” If you’re providing holistic treatment services, for example, your waiting room should greet patients with a calm and soothing ambience that should extend throughout the office. Many practitioners install modestly priced waterfalls to add visual appeal and the lulling sound of rippling water. Some use automatic scent devices to infuse a pleasant smell all over the premises. Child practitioners can decorate in bright and lively colors and, even when not allowed to paint, can use vibrant artwork and toy decor that assures both the youth and their parents that they’re in the right place and are in good hands. And don’t blow all this image-enhancement by forgetting about the basics: Keep the bathroom clean and take out the garbage. Stinky smells and uncleanliness reflect poorly on your practice. Period.
You’re not required to provide “extras” in your practice but patients like them, so they tend to make your office experience feel a bit more “upscale.” It’s not expensive to put a small bowl of mints at your reception desk or some healthier treat if you’re a behavioral health practitioner. Invest in a water cooler or attractive waiting room fridge for bottled water so that patients and those accompanying them can help themselves. Some practitioners host a small refreshment station with assorted coffees and teas. Others top a table with informative literature and items that promote their practice. And don’t be stingy with these items. You want people to take them. Patients often share them with others, and any recommendation from those who are pleased with your services has a high potential of leading to a new referral.
Be ever mindful of your practice image and try to enhance it whenever you can. Little touches here and there go far to boost the attractiveness and appeal of your office, and that means a nice boost in the impression of you!
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About the Author:
Dr. E. Carol Webster is a clinical psychologist consultant specializing in Success Psychology.
She is author of the book for those dealing with the stress of success ―
Success Management: How to Get to the Top and Keep Your Sanity Once You Get There,
The Fear of Success: Stop It From Stopping You! ―
the book to help you overcome fears that may be holding you back in your life and career
The Private Practice of Clinical Psychology in: Voices of Historical & Contemporary Black American Pioneers
Money Smarts: Put More Profit In Your Private Practice!
E. Carol Webster, Ph.D.
Clinical Psychology Consulting
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