Interview with Dr Mark Pastorino
What prompted your decision to do a new refit?
Ten years without having made any significant changes to the decor. Had been wanting to do for at least 2 to 3 years prior. Original interior decorating had been very basic. My main dental cabinetry, chairs etc were still very adequate.
How did you arrive at a budget for the fit out? For example, was it a percentage of turnover or any other specific factors?
No specific calculation. Looked at cash flow and what sort of monthly lease payment I thought would be reasonable. It was largely a cosmetic revamp so difficult to justify too much cost, but I wanted professional input.
What options do dentists have to finance projects like this? Who did you use and why did you choose them?
Many avenues for financing. But after discussion with accountant and finance provider, a Lease seemed the most logical, and one that would have a term that roughly reflected the life expectancy of such a remodeling. MedFin is my main finance provider for any Leases I look at. Have had the same front man the whole time. Very efficient, excellent personal service, and very good rates. Knows my business.
What steps did you take to find someone to work with on your project?
Listened to others experiences. Magazine articles. Dental Innovations chat line network. Ads in newsletters. At the time there didn’t seem a lot of choices. Most seem to deal with total fit outs. i.e. structural building, dental cabinetry etc. I was chasing more an interior decorator. I had contacted an interior decorator/interior architect that did our home successfully. She turned up, had discussions, and was meant to come back with some initial ideas, but disappeared!! Another “interior decorator we came across in a high quality furniture manufactures, also consulted briefly but it was unsuccessful.
What were your priorities in the refit?
To create a contempory feel. Smart without being pretentious. Some new equipment eg. Autoclave.
How well were these realized in your new surgery?
Very happy with end result despite having to cut out some things due to cost.
Was what you expected to pay for the project what you ended up paying? Were you comfortable with any difference?
Service fees for “Ego” were much less than I expected. But they did say it was because they were just starting out and were trying to get known. The cost of the project was a lot more than I expected. Even “Ego” were a bit surprised at what the tenders came back at. It was the climate of the building industry. I was comfortable with the difference after the cut backs that were made. “Ego” were very good at advising what to cut back on without compromising the feel of the end result.
Would you do anything different next time?
Calculate the budget better.
How has your staff found the new fit out? Has their been any particular advantages for them?
They were very positive. They had some say in what was needed in regards to storage requirements.
What response have you had from your patients?
Very positive. There were plenty that didn’t notice as they commented only after the 2nd or 3rd visit!
How long did the process of the fit out take?
Have you been able to achieve any savings on running costs?
No. But none expected.
Were there been any surprises once you were actually working in the new space?
Some equipment supplies offer a design service, were you aware of this? Why did you choose not to use them?
Yes, aware of this, but this was not surgery refit per se
How would you describe working with the EgoSquared team?
Very easy. They listened well, and seemed to ask all the right questions. Being a two person team I felt they had their own fortes that seemed to work well together, like a good partnership should.
Our site is intended to help other dentists through the process of their own fit outs. What advice would you offer to people embarking on their own projects?
Get good independent advice on what to spend eg. Good accountant. Have a clear idea of what image you want to put across to patients and that it is appropriate for the type of patient you are likely to see and also want to attract. Spending heaps of money on a fancy fit out doesn’t guarantee increased turnover or more patients. It’s the whole package that counts- good location, good happy staff, good working and treatment environment, good service.