The moment new patients walk into the office, they begin to evaluate who you are and what you stand for. It takes mere seconds for them to take in the lighting, smell, furniture and overall office culture. Your practice shouldn’t look like any other practice — it should look like you and reflect your personality and taste. Keeping your office looking fresh is simple and doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Here are seven ideas you and your team can do annually to help maintain the beauty of your office space.
1. Paint the walls. I try to have our office painted every two to three years. Typically, we keep the same color scheme, but having a fresh coat of paint on the walls immediately makes the office look clean. All the scrapes from package deliveries and general people traffic disappear, leaving the walls looking new. In between repainting years, I will spend 15 minutes doing touch-ups where the walls need it most.
2. Have the carpet shampooed and the hard floors polished. While the floors get vacuumed and wiped down daily, a professional cleaning is a must. Our operatory floors shine, and the carpet never looks dull or dirty.
3. Move the wall art around. Look at the art you have on your walls. If any pieces are dated, replace them. If they’re still good, just move them to another wall to switch things up and make it look like you have new art.
4. Rearrange you reception area furniture. Much like wall art, if your furniture is old, get rid of it. There are so many furniture companies selling nice modern furniture at prices much lower than dental or office distributors. Companies like Wayfair will have your reception area feeling more homey or modern — depending on your taste — at a fraction of the cost of the distributors. If your furniture is in good shape, simply rearrange it to give the area a new feel.
5. Diffuse essential oils. Using essential oils is a healthy and safe way to keep the office from smelling like a dental office. Citrus scents provide a nice clean smell, and scents like lavender or eucalyptus can help people feel calm during their visit.
6. Nice uniforms. I order new uniforms about twice a year: once in the spring and again in the fall. I spend about $1,500–$2,000 annually to keep my team looking sharp. This is a bit pricey, but they take care of their uniforms, and a fresh look gives them the professional feel that they need to convey to patients.
7. Devote a day for an office detail. Every spring, we schedule four to six hours for an office detail. We go through every cabinet in every room and take everything out, wipe everything down, reorganize and purge what we don’t need. My team members are required to keep their office spaces clean year-round, but, without scheduling this time, clutter and needless things accumulate. To me, office clutter is mental clutter, and I don’t want any part of either!
These seven little things have made all the difference in keeping our office looking gorgeous. I have been in my office space for over 15 years, and, when new faces come in, they think our practice is new. Existing patients continue to value the effort we put in. In addition to patient perception, my team and I also benefit by coming to work every day to a pleasant work space.