Marketing your healthcare practice is an important part of starting your new healthcare practice. Brand recognition and awareness of your new office space is important to both external and internal signs.
Alex’s #1 tip
that healthcare providers and clinic owners can do today to develop effective signage is to have a clear vision of your brand and tone of your business image.
3 common mistakes new practices make when planning signage
There are a lot of decisions to make when planning signage for your practice. It requires a well thought out coordinated plan and knowledge of the industry to come to a successful signage solution. Here are 3 common mistakes made – and what to do instead – to help you with your successful project.
Mistake #1: Not enough lead time!
Instead, plan your project. It can take three months or more to plan your permanent signage. Here are a few key points for you to consider.
- Review your lease – signage is often included in your lease agreement. Read the lease again carefully for conditions to visual identity, style, font, color, size, location, lighting, and location.
(Often you can include items like permission for pylon signage, greenspace signage, etc when you negotiate your lease. See Practice Management Nugget interview with Jeff Grandfield, The Lease Coach, “Leasing Do’s and Dont's for your health care practice” for more information.)
- Graphic design artwork – ask for a vector image of logos and other artwork and a statement that you own all rights to images. You might also want .jpg and .png file formats so that you can re-purpose the artwork in business cards, letterhead, etc.
- Permits and approvals from City and leaseholder
- Signage Supplier
- Discuss your options
- Select your products
- Your approval
- Minimum 3 business weeks to produce most products
- Installation schedule
- Interim plan – don’t forget temporary signage to let people know that there will be a new office opening soon!
- Backup plan – just in case the supplies you want can’t be available for your grand opening, consider temporary banners or other signs can use
Mistake #2: Failure to communicate
Make no mistake about it, planning signage requires co-ordination amongst many players – owners, graphic designers, landlords, signage suppliers and installation crew. There are many inter-dependencies – one task has to be completed before the next one can be started. As the project manager, one of your key roles is to keep everyone on task and informed of any changes to the schedule. Make sure that everyone knows how to reach you especially if you are temporarily working from your ‘mobile office’.
Mistake #3: Not having a realistic budget
Knowing what to expect will help you plan a realistic budget for one-time and recurring costs. Here are two common scenarios. Of course, there are regional variances and different qualities of materials. Canadian dollar figures presented here are for illustration purposes.
Store front space common choices
- Pylon signs (the big sign in the parking lot that lists all the stores and offices) should include the logo, name of the practice and phone number. ($10/square foot)
- Store front signs are usually ‘box signs’ (LED back-lit signs) are often 12 feet x 4 feet in size or ‘channel letters’ (individual letters affixed to the wall and back-lit) (either about $95-$110 /square foot)
- Window wrap is a popular item that doubles as signage and window covering. Versatile perforated opaque vinyl sticks to directly to the window. This can come in colorful images or artwork. ($10 / square foot)
- ‘Open’ digital signs can help to drive foot traffic across the parking lot at eye level
- Sandwich board signs also provide eye-level signs to passers-by and can include messages like ‘Accepting walk-ins today’.
Office building space common choices
- Pylon signs
- Lobby direction signs
- Door front signs
- Sandwich board / banner on the street level or lobby
Inside the office
You might also want to consider wall decals, channel letters / logo on inside walls and even floor decals.
Signage for your practice is intended to brand your practice and convey an image of trust of the professional services that you provide. The right signage will increase your visibility to attract new patients and clients to your practice. Project planning and communication with the project team will help you your practice to a great grand opening.
Bonus tip: There are so many things you need to know to start, maintain, and grow your practice. Join us each Thursday for nuggets of information that you can use right away for your healthcare practice.
Brought to you by Jean Eaton, your Practice Management Mentor.
Practice Management Nugget webinar interview with Alex Smith recorded live on Thursday October 16, 2014. Listen to the replay now!