The Secrets of Millionaire Pharmacy Owners

DECEMBER 02, 2015
Millionaire pharmacy owners think differently. It’s not that they are more willing to take risks; rather, they know how to better manage risks, and they know which risks to avoid altogether.

They also understand that the biggest cost in business is opportunity cost, or not taking advantage of a really good opportunity when it presents itself, especially when the risk is relatively low.

Millionaire Pharmacy Owners Thrive on the Right Information

Millionaire pharmacy owners have discovered that they need certain pieces of information to run their businesses.
 
Which is better: an accounting system or information system? The answer lies in the purpose for which you need the information.

If the bookkeeping work is done in your accountant’s office, then you are paying a heavy price. It is more expensive, and the information you get arrives weeks later. I deem it “ancient history” by the time it arrives.
 
An alternative is to hire a knowledgeable bookkeeper who will organize your accounting system on QuickBooks, administer it religiously, and give you the information you want. Better yet, he or she will give you what you need, and at a lower cost.
 
Use this person’s services for bookkeeping only, not for any routine work in the pharmacy, except in emergency situations. To do otherwise is to expose them to handling money, which violates one of my laws of success: the bookkeeper never handles money, and the person handling money never keeps the books.
 
I know of one pharmacy owner who violated this principle and suffered a serious embezzlement problem, which eventually put her out of business.

If you’ve never hired a bookkeeper, then you may not know the right questions to ask. That is why I’ve helped half a dozen of my most successful clients hire the best bookkeeper they could ever ask to have.

With regard to the information system, it should consist of:
  • Weekly reports
  • Marketing information (feedback)
  • Monthly comparables
Millionaire Pharmacy Owners Structure Their Businesses for Success

How your business is organized is of critical importance. Far too many are organized solely around the owner as the fountain of information and the jack of all trades.
 
You cannot do everything. In fact, you should want to do virtually nothing.
 
As I mentioned in my book, The Lazy Man’s Way to Riches in Your Pharmacy, working smart beats working hard anytime. As Richard Koch, author of The 80/20 Principle, puts it: the harder you work, the more unproductive you become.

Millionaire pharmacy ownders have a strong second-in-command who may carry the title of Store Manager or Operations Manager. This individual runs the day-to-day operations.
 
Hence, they have only 2 people reporting to them:
  • The Operations Manger
  • The bookkeeper
All other individuals report to the Operations Manager. Even the driver does so, if they do deliveries.

What Else Do Millionaire Pharmacy Owners Do?

In order to have a pharmacy that functions like a well-oiled machine, millionaire pharmacy owners supervise and/or administer the following:
  • They make certain that they have some of the finest marketing specifically for pharmacies. They will most often bring it in from the outside, as that is a highly specialized field.
  • They make certain that training is a never-ending process. They organize and supervise it, working through their Operations Manager.
  • They leave the bookkeeping to the bookkeeper. However, they obtain weekly and monthly reports that identify those key numbers that are paramount for analysis, as well as goal-setting for the entire pharmacy as a business.
  • They interact as mentors with their team members. They do not circumvent the authority or responsibility of their Operations Manager. Rather, they inject leadership and their knowledgeability about helping the individuals perfect their work, aspire to higher levels of achievement—even promotions—and develop hidden talents.
  • They see that teamwork in the organization is developed through the manger.
  • They built their businesses by focusing on the future while developing more cash flow day after day.
  • They become deeply involved in goal-setting. They inherently recognize that businesses grow by achieving goals and that to achieve each one they must also plan. Hence, they activate one of Peter Drucker’s most profound admonitions: “the best way to predict the future is to create it.”
  • They concentrate on business building, which means always strengthening the marketing/sales function of the business. Some of this gets done through the Operations Manager.
  • They always build managerial strengths into their strong second-in-command, even to the point at which that individual can perform more and more tasks that the owner wishes to delegate, and tasks the owner may have felt were in his/her job description but can finally hand over.
There you have the essence of what millionaire pharmacy owners have done to get to that status. It is working like a thoughtful person, rather than working like a mad man.

Others have done it. You can, too.

The Pharmacy Sage can be reached at (518) 346-7021 or Lester@ThePharmacySage.com.

Lester Nathan, MS
Lester Nathan, MS
A powerhouse in the world of independent pharmacy, Lester offers free business resources for Pharmacy Owners on his website, ThePharmacySage.com. Offering insight, wisdom, and strategy, Lester is an esteemed voice in pharmacy business. Lester helps his clients increase patients and profits in spite of the 3rd party payment fiasco.
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