How to Open Up Your Own Aesthetics Clinic, Part 2: Location

How to Open Up Your Own Aesthetics Clinic, Part 2: Location

Discover the second installment of our three-part series that touches on the biggest steps and hurdles for opening your own medical aesthetics clinic or MediSpa.

When opening your own medical aesthetics clinic, establishing a business plan and securing financing may be the first steps, but picking the right location for your new business must be front of mind all the while. With up to an average 20% of the budget going toward rent or mortgage payments, finding the right location for your aesthetics clinic or MediSpa is imperative to your clinic’s future success. The location you choose should be aligned with the overall branding plans and values outlined in your business plan. But how do you narrow down your location options and ensure you’re making the right choice from the start?

How to Choose the Right Location for Your New Aesthetics Clinic

To ensure you’re on the right track, we’re offering up some of the top considerations to help you narrow down the options and find the right home for your new business venture. As with every business decision, there will be an element of chance. You can’t know for certain that a location is the absolute perfect fit; however, you can ensure your decision is well-informed and less of a gamble.

Know Your Neighborhoods

Each neighborhood tends to have its own distinct character and often draws in a different demographic as a result. Finding the right neighborhood for your new medical aesthetics clinic starts with considering your ideal patient as outlined in your business plan. To start, consider your target patient’s age, income, interests, and more. These details will help to better narrow down the neighborhoods in which you might start seeking out prospective business locations. If you’re unfamiliar with all the neighborhoods in your area, seeking out the assistance of a knowledgeable real estate professional who understands your target patient base and can better narrow in on the neighborhoods that attract the clientele you want can help to cut down on a lot of research.

You may also want to consider the feel and style of your top prospective neighborhoods, and whether locating yourself in a specific neighborhood may better draw in your target demographic. For example, if you’re opening an aesthetics clinic catering to busy professionals and offering shorter, lunchtime treatments, the hustle and bustle of your city’s busy business district may be the ideal location for your new clinic. In comparison, clinics offering non-surgical treatments that also cater to career-driven professionals but often require a longer treatment session may benefit more from a suburban location closer to where these professionals live, allowing them to fit in treatments on their way home or in the evenings after work. Of course, regardless of the neighborhood, you also want to prioritize a location in which prospective clients will feel comfortable commuting to while also benefiting from neighborhood foot traffic.

Before settling on your final destination, be sure to explore your top neighborhoods to see how each feels. Talk to business owners in the area to get an inside scoop of the types of people who support local businesses and take note of how your aesthetics clinic may fit into the neighborhood’s business ecosystem. Finally, keep an eye on locations that may open up near neighborhood hotspots, established shops or restaurants, or top-rated businesses, as a location near these sites can add a little luster to your business and help get more eyes on your clinic as you open up and work to establish a strong patient retention rate.

Consider the Competition

With your new short-list of prospective neighborhoods on hand, it’s time to consider your competition. For the most part, it’s not the best option to choose a location that is too close to competing businesses, as this will create a more hostile type of competitive environment that may lead to pricing wars, customer retention concerns, and a divided prospective patient base. However, there are some businesses that may be complementary competition. For example, for those opening a MediSpa, a nearby salon may offer similar services but it can also help to better draw in prospective patients who may be more open to your aesthetic services without your business having to spend a single ad dollar to get their attention. Other complementary businesses that may benefit your new aesthetics clinic could be an upscale neighborhood gym, a yoga studio, a healthy restaurant, and more. 

As you explore each neighborhood’s businesses, consider whether each is complementary or competing. Consider how your aesthetics clinic may set itself apart from the competition and seriously contemplate whether your approach is enough to differentiate you from established competitors in the area. Once you know the lay of the land, you will be better able to determine if locating near a similar provider is a strong move or if choosing a new location is best for your clinic’s long-term success.

Factor in Your Space Needs

Finally, you’ll want to consider the amount of space that your clinic may require. Here, it’s best to consider whether you’ll prioritize location for a space that fits your clinic’s square footage needs right now, or whether you’ll prioritize a larger space that may allow your clinic to grow as needed.

Choosing a space that fits your clinic’s current needs can be a little lighter on the budget and offer your clinic more options, but finding a location that offers more space makes it easier for your clinic to grow if and when business goes well. Of course, the cost of a larger space can be a struggle for an aesthetics clinic that is just starting out. With a little creativity, though, this barrier can be easier to overcome than you may think. Depending on leasing terms or whether you purchase your space outright, today’s sharing economy means there are plenty of other professionals offering services complementary to yours who may also be seeking out a space from which to conduct their business. For those renting a space that’s larger than required to begin, you may have the option of renting out unused rooms to another complementary business or individual professional. Doing so helps to lower your location costs while also lowering other potential bills and expenses. In this way, getting a little creative in the beginning means it might not be necessary to give up the perfect location for lack of budget.

Some Additional Details to Consider

While there are many other smaller factors that may come into play, the following are some worth highlighting. While these may not wholly rule out a prospective location, they are factors to consider, particularly as they can affect your overall budget.

  • Curb Appeal: Visibility and the outer appearance of your business can help your new clinic get noticed by prospective patients. In some areas, upgrades to a location’s facade may mean a simple new coat of paint, while other neighborhoods may have restrictions and regulations determining what you may do to the outside of your business. Depending on what kind of work needs to be done, what permits may be required, and whether certain aspects of a building may need to be preserved, that seemingly small bill for a little outside facelift may end up being much larger than expected. Real estate professionals, building owners, and local business associations are great resources for this kind of information.
  • Zoning: In many areas, zoning by-laws determine how a business property may be used. While seeking re-zoning is an option, it’s best to opt for a location that is currently zoned for commercial purposes to prevent delays and limit the amount you may need to spend on getting the zoning of your dream location changed and perhaps even upsetting residents in your area. There may also be zoning restrictions in the area that could affect the process. In this case, it’s best to check with your municipal government to better explore your options.
  • Electrical Power: While it may seem odd to count the outlets, electrical power is obviously essential to running an aesthetics clinic. Before settling on a space, you’ll want to ensure any rooms you’re considering using for treatments have adequate outlets and the electrical is up to date. Renovations to better ensure your space is able to properly run the aesthetics devices you’ll need can be costly. For those with a tighter budget to begin and not enough power for multiple devices or treatment rooms, a multi-treatment platform like the Venus Versa™ may be a creative solution to offer more treatments with just one device to plug in. (Find more ways to maximize the space in smaller treatment rooms.)
  • Accessibility: Consumers tend to favor shorter travel times of 20 to 40 minutes at most, so it’s best to favor more central locations that require a shorter commute for your prospective patients. Accessibility by transit with close parking nearby are also benefits in your prospective patients’ eyes, as well as physical accessibility. Having a less accessible clinic could mean greater costs, such as additional signage to ensure a patient finds your clinic if it’s located in a building and not directly off the street or validating patients’ parking slips to make travel less of a hassle if there isn’t free parking nearby.

The Bottom Line for Setting Up Shop

Regardless of whether your top location is the perfect spot for your new aesthetics clinic, it must work within your financials. If the perfect place will cost much more than your new business can afford, it might be best to move on to your second choice. As can be seen with our notes above, there are several factors through which a location may be a strong contender. In other words, there are plenty of ways to discern the best location for your new aesthetics clinic, making it imperative to weigh both the pros and cons and consider the long-term success of your business prior to locking yourself into a lease or mortgage. By working within your budget and business plan, doing your due diligence, partnering with a knowledgeable and local real estate agent, and perhaps getting a little creative, you might just find that determining the right location for your aesthetics clinic is easier than you might have anticipated. Need more tips? Contact one of our experts to learn more!

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