In a nutshell, a squat dental practice is one that is set up in premises that previously had some other use, or none at all. Owners often start out with a single surgery with room to grow. So, you have got a blank canvas, offering you the opportunity to do everything your way. It may seem like a bad time to make an investment in a new practice but, while COVID-19 may have seriously affected the global economy, according to a `recent article in The New York Times entitled ‘How’s the Economy Doing?
Watch the Dentists’, the unique positioning of dental practices makes them stable businesses. Some economists are of the opinion that dental practices are the ‘perfect barometer for gauging the country’s recovery from the shock of the pandemic’, because dental practices’ business models survived the unprecedented global challenges. Indeed, the journalist who authored this piece wrote:
‘The dental industry has weathered an exaggerated version of the pandemic’s economic impact, experiencing both a steeper decline and a faster recovery than other sectors.’ This is interesting news for, for example, associates looking to branch out. It seems clear that the dental market remains a worthwhile investment, with squats offering exciting opportunities for future success.
Why develop a squat practice?
At Hague, we have been involved in developing squats for a very long time, but the confidence from individuals to build their ‘own’ new practice has come on in the last five years. Our records show that involvement in new developments has doubled over the last two to three years, with enquiries for design and site feasibility surveys quadrupling in the last four months.
As Andy Acton, a director at Frank Taylor & Associates, has commented: ‘We have seen a significant upturn in enquiries regarding setting up squat practices in recent weeks, both during lockdown and since it has eased. ‘Associates especially are looking to the future, hoping to secure their income after this challenging time, when so much was unknown. ‘Because established practices have goodwill and the premium associated with that, squats offer a great opportunity to start from the ground up and develop their careers in a direction of their choice.’
The truth is, developing a squat practice is a great way to ensure you achieve your ideal practice. You can choose the most suitable location, most suitable building, and put your best foot forward to achieve your professional goals.
The chances that taking over a pre-existing practice will satisfy your long-term ambitions can be low, as you may be restricted by dated layouts and equipment, as well as a limited downtime to make necessary changes. Sometimes, there is no chance to sync with your aspirations until a practice relocation happens down the line. Starting with a squat offers you the freedom to achieve a practice with your stamp on it, allowing for long-term expansion and with all the modern-day legislation incorporated.
Planning for success
Developing a squat takes courage and conviction, so surround yourself with people you can trust. Find a company that will support you in locating the ideal site and design a practice that works for you ergonomically, as well as creating one that reflects your personality and your brand. Take time to consider the entire space and the detail. A good supplier will provide numerous concepts, until it feels right.
Budgets are tight on large scale projects like squat dental practices, so ensure you work to future-proof the space. Buy equipment that is reliable and, if you look after it, it will look after you. If I could offer one simple piece of advice, it would be this: follow your heart but do lean on those with experience in the process.
Your practice, your dream, your way
The early stages are so important in achieving your end goal. Make sure that you have plenty of time to get to know your architect, practice designer, equipment supplier – indeed, everyone involved in the project. That way, they will get to know you! Always bear in mind that long-term relationships with your suppliers are essential to success.
Working together, combining your wish list with what is essential, will help determine the space you require. You will probably know the geographical area you want to create your practice in, but now you will know the ideal building attributes. Once the property has been found, initial schemes are a great way to communicate he potential practice layouts. Spend time at this stage sharing ‘likes’ and ‘don’t likes’ until you hone your final plan.
Here for you
The Hague team can support you in creating your new practice every step of the way, from assessing site feasibility through to spatial planning and space layouts, budgeting, meeting legislative and regulatory requirements and equipment selection, as well as providing a build team or working with yours seamlessly. In addition, Hague is committed to dealing with any snagging issues, offers a comprehensive handover and training process, and an after sales service that cannot be beaten, from emergency repairs to annual servicing.
Click the following links to find out more about how Hague can support you in setting up your very own squat practice.