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As the saying goes, the three most important elements in real estate are location, location, location. Indeed, in any enterprise, location can have a major impact on operational efficiency. It’s true of substance abuse treatment centers as well.

To help the most people in the most effective ways, carefully consider where you’ll establish your facility.

Population and Infrastructure

First of all, it may be beneficial if your facility is close to a major population center. That way, there will be more patients to help.

On the other hand, many rural regions need such treatment centers as well, and your facility might do a lot of good far from a big city.

In either case, your center should be easy to drive to — close to a major road or highway. After all, some people will be in crisis when they’re heading to your facility, and it would be dangerous if they got lost on the way. Plus, many patients will come in the middle of the night.

It also helps if people can get there via public transportation. Many individuals who struggle with addiction have lost their cars or driver’s licenses, and some may be too impaired to drive when they enter rehab.

Consider the local infrastructure, too. It’s useful to have close access to a rail line or other form of shipping. Consequently, your supplies should consistently arrive on time.

Similarly, a strong internet connection and excellent water and sewage systems are must-haves.

Finances and Labor

Once you’ve estimated your annual operating budget, you’ll have to weigh how much it costs to do business in a particular location. What are the business expenses and taxes like there?

Also, what special state and municipal regulations — environmental and otherwise — must you adhere to? And how much more will it cost you each year to follow those rules?

On top of that, are there other rehab centers in the area? How much competition, so to speak, would you face?

Another vital factor is the available labor force. Are there enough substance abuse specialists living in the region?

Types of Facilities

The type of facility you’ll run will greatly impact your location decision.

For one thing, do you intend to lease or own your property?

Also, will you build a new facility or renovate an existing one? And if you’ll be renovating, how extensively will you alter the place? What’s your renovation budget?

Your choices may be significantly narrower if you’re looking for a building to refurbish.

In addition, will you treat patients at a single facility? Or would you prefer to operate two or more centers in different places?

Feasibility Studies

To evaluate all of the questions above — and many others besides — a high-quality feasibility study could be invaluable. You and your team could conduct such a study, or you could hire an expert consultant to do it for you.

A feasibility study can examine a single location, or it can compare and contrast two or more options. However your study is set up, it will scrutinize every salient aspect of a location. When it’s complete, it will tell you whether or not a particular place is right for you.

If your feasibility study gives you, say, two equally excellent options, you could start negotiating with both property owners. You might then opt for the more appealing financial package.

In the end, of course, the progress of your patients is paramount. What the right location will do for you and your team, above all, is clear away any impediments to providing them the best care possible.


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