Whether you’re planning a new start-up dental practice or you’re looking to grow your existing practice by adding more offices around town, the importance of location shouldn’t be underestimated. The ideal location is where there’s sufficient demand for the kind of practice you want to have, or that you already have in the case of an established, growing practice.
To determine whether a specific spot will be a good fit for you and your professional goals, demographic location analysis is mission critical.
Below are some of the most frequently asked questions that we hear about dental practice demographics:
Answer: It is possible to do your own dental practice demographics research by utilizing a combination of free information from your broker and/or lender, plus whatever you can find out by searching the internet and by physically canvassing the area. We actually suggest doing all of these things before making your final practice location decision, but we also recommend getting a professional dental demographics report to include among your sources of information. Find a provider with proven experience in the dental industry, and check out references from other customers. A professional report can really help you along your way!
Your dental practice location is one of the most important business decisions that you’ll make. Don’t leave it to incomplete information or, worse, unreliable data from unknown sources. Ending up in an inferior or downright bad location could cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars. Don’t risk it by trying to save the small initial investment of a professional report on the front end of your practice journey.
Answer: Our dentist demographics reports are generated using two main proprietary software systems that compile multi-source household data for the target population information, and multi-source dental data for the dentist location and saturation information.
The household data comes primarily from major US data compilers, the White Pages, and Nationwide Directory Assistance. Numerous secondary data sources include estimated mortgage tax and deed transactions by area, household spending trends and other consumer behavior information, product registration and warranties, magazine subscriptions, email databases, self-reported information, new movers data, and statistical modeling and analysis. Every six weeks or less, household records are run to match and verify them, and to remove duplicate records. The dental data comes primarily from multiple national lists of dentists that are renewed on an annual basis and refreshed as needed.
Answer: Our software automatically updates the household data for the target population information every few weeks (six weeks or less). The dental lists that we use are wholly updated on an annual basis and refreshed as needed.
Answer: Our reports provide dentist-to-target population ratios, which are different from the dentist-to-population ratios commonly found in other reports. Our targeted population ratios are created using customizable parameters (including estimated household income, dwelling type, age brackets, presence of children, etc.), so your demographic location analysis will reflect only demographically relevant prospects for patients of your intended practice. This targeted information enables you to have a more meaningful look into your desired area. At Practice Cafe, we are concerned not only with how many people live in your area, but rather how many of the people who live there can be considered part of your realistic target market for patients.
Answer: The best timing depends a great deal on your location and individual situation, but a good standard timeline to keep in mind is 6 to 12 months in advance. Data older than a year will start to get outdated, but updating the data more frequently than 6 months typically won’t show enough change to warrant the additional cost of new reports.
Answer: We commend you for your flexibility! Your professional success will likely be enhanced if you’re able to live and work someplace where a new dental practice is apt to flourish. Many dentists have been hindered professionally by a lack of flexibility in where they can or want to live, and they’ve had to make do with less-than-desireable practice circumstances, whether they deal with high competition or a patient base that doesn’t match their practice vision. Life is about choosing what’s best for you from among your realistic alternatives.
When the sky is the limit for your practice location, start by researching areas to live in that match your personal and/or family goals. Things to consider include proximity to family and friends, population density, cost of living and local real estate, climate, transportation, culture, local education system, and healthcare facilities. Find a few areas that appeal to you and resonate with the lifestyle you want to have, and then we can help you narrow the search by identifying the best available locales for your practice within those areas.
Answer: Our Dental Grid Analysis Report is for those looking to narrow a practice search within a given metropolitan area. In densely populated regions, your marketable area will typically lie directly around your office. Our Grid Report takes this into account by dividing your report’s customizable area, which generally spans 40-50 miles of a metro, into a grid of overlapping radii, showing the demographics information and dentist-to-target population ratios of each. The radii with the most opportunity for a new practice are highlighted to create a visual heat map.
If you’re looking for practice opportunities within more rural areas, we suggest ordering our Dental Area Analysis Report instead. For these regions, you will often be marketing to one or more neighboring zip codes, so this report serves the same purpose as the Grid Report but uses zip codes instead of radii for the analysis.
Answer: Our Dental Specific Site Report is designed exactly for this purpose! This detailed demographics report by address presents the demographics and dentist-to-target population ratios of three expanding radii around a specific prospective site (address or coordinates). The radii sizes will vary based on the area’s population density, but they are usually 1-, 3-, and 5-mile radii in size.
If you are already familiar with the general demographics of an area and/or you’re interested in multiple sites that are located in close proximity to one another, then we can run an abbreviated version of the Specific Site Report called a Dentist Saturation Table. This condensed report simply provides the dentist-to-target population ratios in three radii around the practice site.
Answer: Absolutely! We are happy to schedule a phone call after each demographic location analysis and report that we provide to review the information, answer your questions, and share any additional insights we may have.