Mistake #8 — Choosing a Purely Residential Community
A neighborhood is a residential area that is changing for the worse.
— John Ciardi
Some communities deliver much more significant amounts of occupational medicine patients, so the community you pick for opening an urgent care will make a significant impact on how much growth you can expect in occupational medicine services.
I believe an ideal location for opening an urgent care center is on a busy intersection on the border between an industrial area and a residential community. This location for opening your urgent care center gives both corporations and residential communities ready access to your services. These corporate services can be the difference between a struggling and a thriving urgent care center and account for twenty to fifty percent of visits in many successful urgent care centers.
To be honest, many startup urgent care centers do break this rule, and still reach modest success. Purely residential communities, however, have a smaller corporate base to support occupational medicine services. Office workers are much less likely to require services for workers compensation injuries than dock workers and factory workers.
If you are dead set on opening an urgent care center in a particular residential community, don’t ignore occupational medicine. If you decide to break this rule, remember that occupational medicine can still account for ten to twenty percent of your business. Purely residential communities always have somewhat less obvious sources of occupational medicine, including retail stores, school district employees, bus drivers, fire departments, police department, public works employees, construction crews and many other businesses. Make
sure you let these employers know about your services, as they can quickly get you from zero to five patients daily. Even five daily occupational medicine visits can get you to financial break even six months earlier. Ignoring occupational medicine at the outset can mean $100,000 to $200,000 of additional losses soon after the opening of your startup urgent care center.
If you start off marketing your services to local corporations, you may pay off your startup loan five years earlier—just when your first child gets accepted to that elite private college or just when it is time to plan the opening of a second urgent care center.