I RECENTLY READ an article about some recipients of extravagant new homes from the TV show, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition who were facing foreclosure. Between trying to maintain a lavish new house with a significantly higher mortgage, coupled with the economic downturn, and the housing market in disarray, many families featured on the show were fighting to save their homes. These homeowners wanted a new look and image but got into a financial situation beyond their ability.
That set me to thinking about office makeovers. Many ECPs put off make-overs because they’re concerned it will be too costly. The truth is you can do a lot to give your office a boost without taking much of a financial risk.
Don’t underestimate the life a fresh coat of paint in a new color can add to the look of an office that is looking dated. New carpeting or laminated floors are also upgrades that instantly change the feeling of your space. Even reupholstering chairs in the reception area and dispensary, and updating window treatments renew the space.
Don’t neglect other regions of the office where simple changes make an impact. New pictures, artwork, and educational posters for the exam rooms, pre-testing areas, and hallways can all be done with a small budget. Rid the office of tired-looking plants and the fake tree in the corner that collects dust. Consider replacing them with some fresh flowers. If you have an area where children play or you have toys, replace them with new ones—you know they look old and beaten up. Remove ancient point-of-purchase materials and throw away old brochures.
When you’re in the same environment for so long, you don’t notice the little things that need attention or fixing. However, it’s likely your patients are noticing these defects, like the cracked tiles on the bathroom floor and ceiling panels that have brown condensation stains from the air conditioning. These cosmetic things detract from patients’ perception of you and your practice. “If she can’t pay attention to keeping a clean office, how much attention will she pay to my eyes?” is something patients might think. At a minimum, have the carpets professionally cleaned and use a paintbrush to touch up scratches on the walls.
Grab a notepad and walk around the office, writing down the things that need easy fixing and updating. Make a list and prioritize what you want to get done. Then don’t wait and put it off—get started on your Economical Makeover today.
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