What is a Viability Study?

You know the ins and outs of dentistry and how to best serve your patients. But how do you find patients looking for a new dental provider? To be successful, you have to understand your market before opening your doors. A viability study is a data analysis that helps you determine the best place to start a new practice based on your ideal patient. These analytics also help you understand the best marketing strategies to continue to reach new potential patients after opening. Here’s what you should know about viability studies from EOS Healthcare Marketing.   

What is a Market?

Everyone needs a dentist, so does it matter where you decide to open up your practice? Yes! A market is made up of consumers with needs and wants, and each market makes decisions on how to fulfill those needs and wants in their own unique way. 

Each dentist should have anywhere from 1600 to 2300 active patients at any given time, and once a patient establishes a relationship with a dentist, they typically stay there. Many markets already have more than enough or more dentists than necessary, making them what’s called an overserved market. An overserved market has more competition for you and less opportunity for growth over time. On the contrary, underserved markets have the most opportunity for growth and success if your ideal patient lives there. 

To find the perfect location for your new dental practice, you need to first find an area with a demographic profile that suits your ideal patient and can support a new dental office.

What is an Ideal Patient? 

Your ideal patient is just that. Who do you want to come into your practice? Different factors can make up your perfect patient, such as:

  • What is your ideal age range? 
  • Are you looking to focus on specific dental needs or procedures? 
  • Is the patent income a determining factor?
  • Are you planning on serving patients with private insurance as a primary revenue source for your practice?

Before even thinking about opening your doors, you should decide who your ideal patient is. Knowing your ideal patient is key to finding the perfect location for your practice and determining which marketing efforts will work the best for you. 

How Do You Find Your Target Market? 

You want your target market to have an abundance of your ideal patients. If you open a new dental practice that caters to families in an area with primarily adults over 50, bringing patients in will be an uphill battle. By analyzing real-time data in the areas you’re interested in opening, we can help you uncover the types of patients in a specific region and give you an idea of where you might be the most successful. 

Is Census Data Reliable?

No. Census data is gathered every ten years and takes an additional three years to compile. It’s outdated once released. Past data leads to false conclusions about a market or demographics in an area. Real-time data provides the most accurate insights into a specific market.

What is Real-Time Data? 

Accurate data helps you understand what to expect. Real-time data gives us an accurate look into your prospective market. Unlike census data, real-time data is delivered as soon as it’s collected. This means we can understand what is happening in your market today, how it’s trending, and how it’s forecasted to change. A viability study uses both real-time data and predictive modeling to gain a better understanding of market factors, including:

  • Population change: How many people are moving in and out of neighborhoods and the rate at which the population is either increasing or decreasing. 
  • Income by neighborhood: Median household income constantly changes due to various economic forces such as inflation. Real-time data gives us a closer look into how the income in each neighborhood is currently trending. 
  • Competition: How many dentists are already in an area, and what type? New markets are any area that lacks the kind of niche or services you want to offer.
  • Emerging markets: Individual neighborhoods where most of the population is new to the market. 
  • Demographic Profiles: Data related to the overall population and the specific groups within it. 
  • Insurance: How many potential patients in an area have insurance, and what kind – private or public. 
  • Household turnover rates: This is calculated by the number of houses sold in a market divided by the number of homes in a given market. 
  • Purchasing behaviors: Analyzing consumer behavior in a given market is an excellent opportunity to learn if they might be interested in your practice and which marketing initiatives would be most successful in drawing them in. quality-driven households vs. price-driven households 

How Does A Viability Study Work? 

When you’re ready to get started, we spend some time getting to know you and what you are looking for. We will ask you what type of practice you plan to look at, who you think your ideal patient is, and your business goals. Next, we will analyze your target market to find the areas that will work best for you. Depending on your needs, we can also run specialty reports to look for any possible identifier for your ideal patient, such as:

  • Households with kids
  • Prospective dental implant patients 
  • Expecting moms

These are just examples of the type of data we can access. If there are any additional special identifiers you’d like included, please let us know. 

After we’ve finished the market research and analytics, we will create a comprehensive report for you and will schedule a time to go over that with you in detail. After we explain the data we found, we will also make our recommendation on where your practice will thrive and which marketing plan to choose based on predictive analytics.

How Else Can A Viability Study Be Used? 

The value of your viability study goes beyond helping you decide where to open your practice. The data can provide insights that help you attract potential patients through various marketing channels even after opening your doors. Each market is different and interacts with the businesses around them in their own unique way, whether that’s through traditional forms of marketing like direct mail or online. More specifically, a viability study will tell us exactly which houses to target with direct mail or zipcodes with Google Ads. Knowing how to reach your target audience helps you get better results while making the most out of your marketing budget.

Ready To Get Started?

Before you sign your lease, you should be aware of the market you intend to open your practice. Real-time data is the difference between a guess and an accurate look into a market and potentially the difference between success and failure. Knowing your market provides peace of mind as you open your doors and implement your marketing strategy.

If you are interested in better understanding your prospective market or have questions about how a viability study can help, call EOS Healthcare Marketing at 866-238-6583 today!