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3D rendering has made its way in the last several years into many engineering, architectural, and construction firms. And, that’s not without good reason! 3D renderings provide benefits for firms and their clients alike. Those 3D renderings can be done via AutoCAD, Revit, Lumion, Sketch Up, and many other design software. Because of their life-like image nature, 3D renderings are also knowns as photo-real renderings. However 3D photo renderings of buildings and office spaces is not the limit when it comes to visualization of a space. Owners and end users can now see their new office space via virtual video walk-throughs, digital tours, panoramic renderings, renovation renderings and more recently light and shadow renderings. Each of these methods of visualizing a space allows clients to focus on a specific aspect of the design, making it much easier to finalize its direction and move to construction earlier.
Here are four benefits when choosing a design-build contractor offering you 3D renderings as part of your construction project:
Improve project communication
3D renderings help clients better understand how their conceptual design for their commercial space will ultimately appear as a final product. It is easier for many clients to comprehend their needs by seeing an interactive visualization depicting how their space will look, rather than just a simple drawing or sketch. This is especially helpful if any changes need to be made before the construction process begins.
Utilizing 3D modeling saves construction and architectural firms time and resources, and ultimately adds buffer to the construction budget. Costly mistakes can be avoided using 3D renderings, and the office space can virtually be put to test before the construction project has even begun.
Improve building features
Many clients learn best when physically seeing something. Having an accurate 3D rendering of the office space helps clients decide on features and concepts. Even in the earliest stages of the process, clients can now see their new office space and its completed look, and can make changes with regards to design and features of the space.
Accurate Data for Coordination
Modeling any space design in 3D immediately opens the doors to BIM (Building Information Modeling) which is used to finalize coordination between construction trades. On top of assisting clients and designers in making decisions on space layout, construction trades can coordinate their work with one another early on to diminish any potential obstacles in the future
All businesses that are based in the District of Columbia must obtain a valid business license. The type of business license required depends on the business activity conducted in the District of Columbia. This will determine if a Basic Business License is required, and which other licenses are required to legally practice as a business. The process of starting a business can be easier than one might think, and it is strongly recommended to consult with an attorney to file for the right business entity that fits your needs.
Business licenses can be filed three ways
A Basic Business License can be filed in three ways: online, via mail, or in person. The processing time is currently around 30 days for Washington DC applications. If you are in a rush, consider filing for your Basic Business License online or in person. After you obtain the license, it has to be renewed every two or four years depending on the entity type.
Several business licenses
Several business licenses must be obtained for businesses with different locations or separate business entities. However several activities may be combined on one application as long as appropriate documentation required for each activity is provided. The requirements for that will depend on the nature of the business. The important thing to remember is that an entity name you obtain for one state’s business license may not be available in another municipality’s, so it’s important to check all the databases before you settle on the name of your business! The last thing any business owner needs to worry about is managing several different entity names across all their territories.
Different kinds of licenses
Different licenses are needed for different types of activities businesses engage in. For example, many retail and office operations require a General Business License. Businesses with an active business license are often exempt from needing to obtain a General Business License. Specialized licensing is needed for food establishments, industry, specific services, or medical practices.
The Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs provides several resources about business licenses under: https://dcra.dc.gov/node/545242
Having a well thought-out strategy when deciding on the space layout of your practice will have a significant impact on how your staff use their workspace. Nurses and most healthcare staff spend most of the day on their feet, moving around the practice from the waiting room to examination rooms all throughout the day. A well-designed office space can drastically reduce the steps both staff and patients take throughout the office. This makes for less stressed employees, but also allows patients to intuitively know how to progress through your clinic after arriving.
Your front desk should be the first element your patients see when walking through the door. This increases their feeling of comfort and safety, as they don’t feel lost walking into the practice. In return, your front desk staff should be able to have a view of all patients from the front desk to gain a sense of control of the workplace.
Having an inviting waiting room enables your office to avoid the coldness many doctors’ offices can project. Chairs can be arranged in patterns, instead of against the wall, to create a feeling of warmth and give a homey feel. When considering this, make sure you still leave enough space for foot traffic, so patients and staff can move with ease throughout the office.
Even a small doctor’s office should have a minimum of three examination rooms, even if there is only one doctor. This improves the waiting time for patients and the workflow for doctors and staff. Medical assistants can work on patients in those rooms before doctors arrive, improving the quantity of patients that doctors can tend to each day. Having those rooms in close proximity to each other allows your staff to quickly go back and forth, therefore improving their workload.
Are you looking to make the patient’s time in your practice as pleasant and memorable as possible? When done, it not only benefits patients immensely, but also reflects positively on your practice, staff, and doctors. The design of the space is key to how the patient interacts with the space.
First impressions certainly count, so having a clean and bright waiting room is essential to making a positive impression on your patients. The cleanliness of your waiting room and the accommodations you provide, be it coffee, tea and/or WiFi, will reflect on how the patient perceives the overall care he or she receives in your office. An added bonus, to ensure patients will love coming to your practice, are computer work stations, kid-areas with TVs and games, and “Family Corners” for quite privacy.
It is more important than ever for clinics to have modern and updated exam rooms. This ensures that the patients feel safe and that they will receive the best care through the newest technologies available. Up-to-date clinics who apply new advancements in the field are constantly surpassing the competition in terms of customer satisfaction.
The appearance of your staff and how they treat patients reflects on your practice, and the likelihood of them recommending your clinic. Ensure your staff wears matching, clean scrubs and that they treat patients with politeness and patience, especially on the more stressful days of the week where patients are enduring longer wait times.
Our recommendation: spend a lunch break in the waiting room and look around you. Examine how the staff interacts with patients and contemplate what could be improved in the waiting and examination rooms. See your practice from the point of view your patients see it.
Rhinoceros, Blender3D, SketchUp or ZBrush are the four big program names when considering 3D modeling. 3D modeling consists of design, geometry, and, in particular, math. Designers, architects, and even construction firms are able to, using special software, give a mathematical description of the object and its surface.
Today, architects, engineers, and construction model coordinators face more and more daunting challenges. Structures continue becoming more complex and the field simply demands that as much detail of a building system be shown as possible. 3D modeling, as opposed to 2D design, brings several benefits to overcome those challenges.
Efficiency – 3D modeling leaves more time to focus on the design of constructions, as it is easier to ensure that the plan, section and elevation express the original conceptual intent. Using 3D modeling saves the designers time, and the clients money.
Precision – 3D modeling allows more precision and control of single design elements than ever before. Every small detail of a building can be separately analyzed and measured.
Pricing – 3D modeling allows architects and construction firms to put their building to test before they are built, to avoid costly mistakes for clients. Clients can see the end result before the construction process has even begun, and it allows architects and designers to see the building’s reaction to stress factors and tolerances.
In the long run, not only does the construction firm and architect benefit from 3D modeling, but mainly it is the client who comes out on top with receiving a complex yet tested final product. 3D modeling helps the client envision the how their new space will look like, but also save them time and money during the construction and design project.
Liberty Group, LLC has been using 3D modeling for their clients for years to stay up to date with current trends. If you want to learn more about how 3D modeling can benefit your, contact us today toll free at (888) 308-6869.
Are you considering opening your own practice? You are not alone: a growing number of doctors want to make the leap into independant business ownership every year. Shaping your own work environment, hours invested, and applied techniques are some of the many reasons healthcare professional across the field strive to open a private practice. There are many things to consider when opening a business in the healthcare industry, be it seemingly minor details such as where to get business cards printed, or more significant aspects like the floor plan layout and size of your new practice.
Here is a list to get you started when thinking about launching your own practice:
- Create a business plan, including a marketing and strategic financial plan to alleviate concerns about cashflow and initial capital invested.
- Spend time meeting with various architects, interior designers, and contractors to ensure you create a team of professionals who have your business’s best interest in mind while being best suited for your long term vision.
- Conduct market research while speaking with business consultants to decide the ideal office location and whether its best to rent or buy the space.
- Determine a legal structure and obtain all appropriate licensing, such as business and medical licenses. Don’t forget about insurance!
- Ensure that the candidates you hire to join the staff will be worth the investment you make in training them for the long term.
- Setup your office and make sure you are up to speed on local business codes, Tax ID , NPI, DEA, etc.
- Work on a fee schedule and setup an accounting system.
- Work with designers on the layout of the space to ensure efficient traffic flow for both patients and the staff.
- Establish furnishing, equipment placement, and clinical supplies needs prior to placing orders.
- Establish information technology needs like appointment booking systems.
- Plan for IT installation and training, such as internet, phone system, and electronic health record-keeping.
- Choose vendors for maintenance, supplies, payment processing, and other office needs.
Having an experienced partner when opening your practice is vital to its success. Liberty Group Construction has been working with medical practices for the past years and would love to help you get started. Contact us today at (888) 308-6869 and we will ensure your vision of opening your own practice becomes a reality.
The average waiting time at a medical office is 21 minutes. This is often more time than the patient actually spends with the doctor, therefore making a large impact on how the patient perceives the quality of care.
Below are tips for designing your waiting room to make a positive impact on your patients:
- Patients love to use their waiting time actively. A flat screen displaying the news and a stack of magazines can only take you so far. Free WiFi is often the minimum a client expects in a waiting room. If you are looking to go a step further than that, think about setting up small desks or workstations so your patients can use the waiting time actively. If a patient can feel productive and amused while waiting for their appointment they may feel as if there was no wait at all!
- Patients want to take control. Most patients dislike being seated in a hard chair next to strangers waiting for their appointment. Giving patients some control back will help improve their overall experience. Consider giving your patients space to sit in the children’s corner, have coffee on a communal table, or setup a muted tv. Additionally, alert patients on a screen, or via text alerts when their appointment is coming up. This has been one of the most requested features by patients in the last several of years.
- Patients love being pampered. Setting up a coffee bar and tea bar is a great bonus to shorten and ease the waiting time for clients. Think about going further and leaving a real impression, like some dentists who offered massage chair for waiting parents. A dentist that posted their waiting room massage chairs garnished over 1000 likes on Instagram which doubled as free advertising for the practice.
At first glance, hiring an independent contractor or an employee may seem similar, but there are enormous disparities between the two. The law has very different specifications for employees and contractors, and organizations bear different short- and long-term costs depending on what type of worker is hired.
Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of hiring a full-time employee (FTE) or a contractor.
Contractor vs. Employee Costs
The costs of hiring an independent contractor versus a full-time employee are often grossly misunderstood. That’s because there’s quite a bit to consider. Recruiting, onboarding, training, overhead, equipment, insurance, healthcare, taxes, and other variables factor into the costs of hiring an FTE or a contractor.
Because of all the confusion around hiring costs and benefits, we recommend using a hiring calculator to try to estimate the true costs of a contractor or employee.
Pros of Hiring a Contractor:
- Hiring independent contractors saves on some of the costs that are typically associated with full-time employees. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, benefits alone can account for more than 30% of total employee compensation. This year, employers spend an average of $10.70 per hour per employee on benefits!
- If you have an underperforming employee, it may be challenging to let that person go. Many businesses hold on to low-performing employees, as they work through the training and legal processes of termination. These poor performers can affect the larger group and reduce productivity by as much as 30%! If a contractor is performing poorly, it’s often much easier to part ways from a legal, cultural, and team morale perspective.
- Additionally, hiring a contractor offers budget flexibility throughout the year, allowing you to bring on contract help only when you really need it. This can be especially helpful for agencies or other professional service organizations who have varying client workload by month or even week.
Cons of Hiring a Contractor:
- It may be more difficult to manage, train, and supervise contractors. These independent workers often have greater autonomy than FTEs. An independent contractor also does not have the same obligations to management and may not make decisions that support the long-term best interests or vision of the company.
- Sometimes the hiring organization sets the pay for an independent contractor position, and other times, the contractor does. Because independent contractors charge different fees, controlling costs can be a challenge, especially if you are passing these costs on to your clients.
- Unless you spend additional funds, you may not own the copyright of works created by an independent contractor. This is especially true for design or other labor-intensive work that may require future revisions or updates. In contrast, if an employee creates similar work, you typically own the IP and have full control over any assets.
Capacity to Hire
Does your business need to expand its capacity? Does it need to do that all year long, or just for the short term?
- Hiring independent contractors allows your team the flexibility to ramp up when your business is strong, and scale back when things cool down.
- Hiring contract employees means you can carve out a specific number of hours for a particular project or task, which when correctly managed, can keep costs down.
- You may need highly specialized skill sets that aren’t readily available in your current workforce. Independent contractors can provide expertise and offer strategic counsel to your full-time employees or complement your team during a specific project.
- Sometimes it can be hard to rely on independent contractors to deliver exactly what you need when you need it, due to their availability.
- If you request work with short turnaround, contractors may charge a rush fee that can significantly add to the cost of your project.
- Certain employees may not appreciate working with contractors, and clear policies must be set in place to ensure that both FTEs and contractors are in a safe and friendly work environment.
Regardless of what type of employee you ask to join your team, there are risks associated with the process.
- Working with independent contractors exonerates your business from many of the liabilities that can come with hiring FTEs, such as on-the-job injuries. This is why some higher risk industries require that contractors carry their own liability insurance.
- Classifying independent contractors is a tricky job and can vary by state. If it’s determined that your independent contractor is actually an employee, you could be hit with some hefty penalties and back payments. (Not to mention what might happen if the contractor is injured on the job, and they turn out to be an employee.) If you’re unsure if your employee is truly independent, the IRS has put together a handy guide that should help you better understand employment status. (We also recommend that you speak with a lawyer or HR representative who can help confirm you are operating your business the right way.)
- As an employer, you could be held liable for your employees’ injuries or misconduct while on the job. This can also reflect negatively on your brand and impact future sales, investments, etc.
Onboarding Employees vs. Contractors
According to our friends at the Society for Human Resource Management, onboarding is “the process by which new hires get adjusted to the social and performance aspects of their jobs quickly and smoothly, and learn the attitudes, knowledge, skills, and behaviors required to function effectively within an organization.” Onboarding is a tremendously important part building employee engagement and ensuring that new team members are as successful as they can be.
- Independent contractors usually require a much less involved onboarding process. They rarely need to same level of education around company history, culture, and vision. This can save the team time and money, as contractors should be be able to get started on their projects relatively quickly.
- Because contractors often receive very limited onboarding, they may unintentionally make decisions or take actions that do not align with the company’s vision, values, or interests.
- If you’re used to having things done a certain way, it may be difficult to ensure independent contractors are following your process. They may be flexible enough to adopt some of your procedures, but it’s possible you’ll be adopting theirs. So in this case, it’s possible that you’re the one who may need onboarding. (Which is not ideal!)
Is the project offsite or onsite? This makes a big difference in how company culture factors in.
- While you want your company values to align with your contractor, if for some reason they don’t, it’s much easier to end this relationship than it is with a full-time employee.
- Even if you and your contractor stay in touch on a regular basis, it can sometimes feel like there’s a greater disconnect than an employee relationship. Luckily with apps like Slack, offsite contract employees can feel like part of a team — but it’s not always the same. For example, it can be awkward to host team building or other events and invite your local employees but not your contractors.
Want More Information on Contractors vs. Employees?
There’s a lot of great articles out there on ye olde internet machine. Here are a few we recommend!
- Contractor Versus Employee — The Atlantic
- How to Overcome the Contractor Culture Clash — Gigaom
- Should I Be an Employee or Independent Contractor? — Forbes