When you’re opening your healthcare franchise, you want to be open enough to be helpful for patients, but not so much that you’re operating at a deficit. How do you determine your ideal business hours?
Patients want to be able to rely on your clinic whenever they need care. But before you decide to be open 24/7, you need to think about cost. The more hours you are open, the higher your operational costs will be. You’ll need to consider:
- Payroll cost of night vs. daytime staff
- Differences in staffing needs by shift
- The pay rate of different personnel throughout the day
Once you’ve determined approximately how many hours per day your healthcare franchise can afford to be open, consider your location. What are the hours of the other businesses around you? What is the demographic of the people that live in or travel through your area? The right hours will depend on the patient demographics. If it is based in a school or business district, the hours might be different than if it is surrounded by residential neighborhoods.
Healthcare franchises in residential areas will want to have evening and weekend hours, but business districts could forgo some of those extra hours. Offering medical care at late hours might be the competitive advantage you need in a market with a lot of competition.
As you set your hours, you also want them to be consistent. Regular patients become accustomed to your hours, and new patients will never return if it they show up to locked doors. Make sure your hours are posted on your website, Yelp page, social media pages, and on the door of your business.
If you do change your hours, either permanently or for a holiday, make sure it is highly publicized, and easy to find for all potential customers.
Recent data from the Urgent Care Quarterly suggests that in most cases it takes 18-24 months for a clinic to receive consistent patient volume. For this reason, it’s important to stay patient as you determine your schedule and start your healthcare franchise.
Try to set hours that allow you to see the most patients and allow you to recognize any patterns of traffic that will help you more efficiently staff your clinic.
You might need to adjust your healthcare franchise hours after a year if you begin to notice a pattern. If you get a lot of calls from potential patients asking if you offer specific hours, it’s likely you should adjust your schedule accordingly.
Your business hours can have a big impact on your revenue and business success, so make sure you set them with care.
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