The Importance Of Curb Appeal For Your Clinic

We use the term curb appeal to describe the general attractiveness of a property, as seen from the street or parking lot. Indeed, it’s a major component of how customers or prospective buyers form opinions about your business. And although it may not seem like it affects day-to-day operations the most, a business’s property and surrounding area are powerful decision-making factors for prospective buyers and patients (especially when we’re discussing the curb appeal of service-oriented businesses)!

Create the right first impression

How your clinic looks from the outside significantly impacts how others perceive your services and overall brand. An exterior that’s clean, inviting, and professional serves as an excellent advertisement for the quality of services and patient care one can expect to find inside. Simply put, the quality of your property’s street view helps you capture more customers and improve how prospective buyers value your business.

- Curb appeal cements a positive first impression, which only amplifies as they approach the front door

- Curb appeal presents an inviting brand image to new or prospective patients

Though improving your clinic’s curb appeal requires a bit of an investment, the project doesn’t necessarily have to be a hugely expensive undertaking. Many aspects of curb appeal can be improved cost-effectively. Sometimes, even minor adjustments, additions, or improvements can generate positive returns and help you stand out from the competition.

Try to see your clinic’s façade through another set of eyes

Hop in your car and drive past your property or walk down the sidewalk towards your front door. Pretend you’re new to the area and take in the scenery with a fresh set of eyes. It’s a fun exercise—you’ll likely notice a few things you never did before. You’ll possibly miss a few things, too, so don’t be afraid to ask for a second opinion. If needed, invite an expert to offer advice on what updates you should make.

Here are three powerful ways to boost your clinic’s curb appeal

1. Draw attention with attractive signage

Unquestionably, signage can be one of the most effective tools to get your business to stand out. Even if you’re renting your premises, you likely have control over your signage. Your storefront is an extension of your brand and should therefore align with all your other marketing materials. A few signage tips:

- Keep it simple—Use only a few key elements and make sure your logo and contact details are visible.

- Make it clear—Use an easy-to-read font that’s large enough to be legible from a distance. Also, ensure it’s well lit.

- Inject some colour—Don’t be afraid to add a splash of colour to make your storefront more vibrant and memorable.

- Consider signage position—Where you place your signage is extremely important. Consider how the sign will be viewed (e.g., on foot, from a car). Signage position should play a big part in the type and size of the signage you select.

2. Create eye-catching window displays

Whether you’re located in a shopping centre or a stand-alone building, including large windows and glass doors in your façade is a great way to showcase your practice.

- Keep your windows clean and clutter-free, but don’t be afraid to get creative with your displays! Window displays are great tools for generating interest.

- Change your window display regularly to keep your storefront attractive and fresh. State your message clearly with a big, bold typeface in contrasting colours.

3. Dress up your practice for success

Beyond your façade and signage, you should consider how other aspects of your clinic’s exterior can help attract new customers and improve market value.

Landscaping—Well-manicured landscaping is a great investment, as it creates an inviting outdoor space that adds value to your property. Whether you’re considering a visually stunning and inspiring landscape or simply want some help with its regular maintenance, hiring a commercial landscaping company equips you with the expertise and advice you need for any project size.

Clinic entrance—Put some greenery out front: flowers or planters on either side of the front door add a splash of colour and make the premises look cared-for.

Maintenance and surroundings—Make sure your parking is visible and well lit. Be accessible to all visitors. Ensure there are no obstructions to your paths and steps— particularly, clear snow and put down salt in the wintertime when slick surfaces can be dangerous. Lastly, don’t forget about general maintenance: small things such as paint and door handles are important.

A well-maintained, updated facility with curb appeal will most certainly generate a positive return on investment via existing patient loyalty and new patient traffic. The positive feedback from word of mouth and online reviews will bolster your clinic’s reputation and increase its value. Remember, presentation remains a key factor to your business’s success!

OSI’s Vision Entrepreneur program provides a comprehensive range of tools and services to support independent optometrists at various stages of their entrepreneurial journey.

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