Are Your Pharmacy Performance Expectations High Enough?

JANUARY 21, 2016
The most successful pharmacy owners I know are best characterized by one particular attribute: they demand performance from each and every resource they use.

In other words, successful independent pharmacy owners demand performance from their marketing strategies, equipment, and yes, employees. To achieve excellence, you must constantly invest thought, time, activity, and energy—as well as money and personnel—into your pharmacy.
This investment is reflected in how you relate to your vendors, customers, and products, and even how you deliver your services. It is also reflected in your advertising and other marketing that is the very foundation of your business life, where you need to invest ruthlessly, impatiently, and intolerantly.

Far too many pharmacy owners fall short of the success they seek because they fail to demand enough of themselves and of others. They also lack clear-cut, inflexible standards.
Yes, these owners work hard, but where is their time being spent? Is the area producing the results desired?
For the vast majority of independent pharmacy owners, the answer is no. In fact, only 2% are truly successful.
Most of the remaining 98% earn a decent living, but they don’t maximize their potential. They confuse discussion with informing and educating, talking with selling, and activity with results.
All of this confusion must be replaced by a singular priority: building profit and accumulating wealth.

Few other businesses that cater to the public appear to be this short sighted. Why? Because of what you never learned in pharmacy school.

If you start with crafting and implementing standards of excellence throughout your pharmacy, then you will be off and running on the right track towards raising performance.
Such standards can include:
  • Answering the phone by the third ring.
  • Having at least one person greet each patient entering the store within 30 seconds.
  • Always returning phone calls the same day.
  • Filling no prescription that returns less than a 25% guaranteed margin.
Finally, pharmacy owners must understand which factors contribute to profitability and which ones do not.

On my way to getting a Master’s degree in business, I took a few courses in education. One of the valuable things I learned was that every time the teacher raised her expectations for her students’ performance, the performance of those students rose to the occasion and produced the desired results.

I tested this theory when I owned a group of retail stores, and it proved valid and true there, too. I have also proven its application in independent pharmacies.

You can, too. You just have to try.

The Pharmacy Sage can be reached at (518) 346-7021 or

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, 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.