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A year ago, Mickey Jones was starting an urgent care in a great location in Lehigh Acres, Florida. But he had one problem–no signage, and no available signage. There was a large billboard in front of his center, but he wasn’t sure if buying space on the billboard would be cost-effective.To get some outside input, he discussed his situation with us at Practice Velocity. If he could afford it, it seemed like a great idea. We suggested that he make it clear that the billboard was acting as a giant sign on the street for his center. We suggested that he put a large arrow pointing to the center with the words, “Right Here.” We encouraged him to see what kind of price he could get on the billboard. In the current recession, prices were quite reasonable.We talked to him this week, and he told us that he had done exactly what we had suggested, and the results speak for themselves. The billboard is by far the number one marketing source for new patients at the urgent care center.

Advantages of billboard signage include:

  • Little up-front cost. Permanent signs can add $50,000-$100,000 to your startup cost.
  • Pay as you go. You are simply leasing the signage. Someone else is paying the capital cost of the sign infrastructure.
  • Can swap out graphics for a low price

Disadvantages include:

  • Price may go up. It might be a good idea to sign a contract for the length of your lease.
  • Increases financial risk of failure. You can avoid this risk by not signing a personal guarantee, i.e., sign the lease for your LLC, not as an individual
  • Unsightly. Everyone knows that billboards can be an eyesore, but the billboard is going to be there anyways. This allows you to control how the sign looks.

Our advice isn’t guaranteed to always work out this well, but if you are starting a new urgent care we encourage you to consider coming to our headquarters near Chicago, IL and visit us for a free, full-day consultation tour of the 13 urgent care centers we own. Over 500 urgent care professionals have visited in the last two years. We would be honored to host your team.

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