Independent Pharmacy Owners Only Need to Do One Thing Right to Earn More Money

MARCH 24, 2016
When a client called me from his Midwestern pharmacy complaining about how things were going, I asked him a very straightforward question: “What are you being paid for?”

He pondered it for some time, not really feeling certain about the right answer. Therein lies the problem for so many independent pharmacy owners who are trying to get through these perilous times.

You can’t do everything. You can’t even come close to doing most things really well.

The good news is you’re not being paid to do everything right; you’re being paid to do just one thing right. Therefore, you must know what earns you the most money and what doesn’t.

Put Your Staff to Work Properly
Even if you only have a staff of 4, each of them can probably do something rather well that you either can’t do or don’t enjoy doing.
 
The ultimate downfall of so many pharmacies is that the owner, as a leader, fails to tap into the hidden talents of his or her staff. Your employees may be doing rather well in the specific jobs for which they were hired, but they have additional talents and capabilities that they will happily devote to your cause, if only you would ask them to.
 
In my experience, the best way to tap into the hidden talents of individuals on a small staff is to hold a meeting. However, the techniques for running that meeting must be very specific because you don’t want to create blockages that will cause employees to totally reverse the direction where you want them to go. Business leaders’ attempts to get more dedication and input from their associates have often backfired simply because their techniques were ineffective.
 
Work Less, Achieve More
Is your life how you imagined it would be, or is your reality more complicated and stressful than you had planned? Do you get to the end of the day and wonder what you managed to achieve between all the phone calls and meetings?

Life is very simple, but we insist on making it very complicated.” – Confucius.

The solution: work smarter, not harder.

In order to prepare yourself to do the one thing that earns you the most money, you must accomplish the following:
  • Motivate your team members. Treat them like volunteers. Thank them for what they do and never stop thanking them. Then, ask them to participate more. Seek their advice, as some of it may be very valuable.
  • Train your team members to not only do the basics of the job for which they were hired, but also create more sales of highly profitable items. Training is important, and it doesn’t end when a newcomer completes “basic training.” Rather, it’s an ongoing process.
  • Appoint an operations manager. Delegate to that individual anything and everything that you don’t absolutely have to do yourself. Such delegated tasks should include but not be limited to staffing and training, as well as organizing and upgrading patient services.
You’re now ready to become involved in the one thing that truly earns you money, which is doing whatever supports your value to the pharmacy. It’s not filling scripts because that’s $50/hr to $60/hr work that should be done by someone else. It’s business and profit building.

If you’re already earning as much as you want, that’s fine. But, if you aspire to add another $200,000 to $250,000 to your annual income, then you need to concentrate with laser-like intensity on only the work that will produce your desired results of earning that additional money.

Each and every hour of your time should be concentrated solely on significant activities. Any task that doesn’t produce significant results is a distraction and should be delegated.
 
No hour should be unproductive. Motivate, train, and delegate, and then concentrate on the tasks you should be doing that others in your organization can’t do.
 
Work Smarter, Not Harder
When you stop trying to do so much, you’ll get so much more done. Doing the right things at the right time requires trusting in others and encouraging them to know when to ask for help.

You’ll be able to achieve more of what matters to your business in each and every time frame and make the most of your staff’s talent and abilities. You’ll also develop more talents and abilities so that your team members will accomplish more for you. And so, doing the right thing at the right time, rather than trying to do everything all the time, is the key to your success.

The unfortunate truth is that we try to make things far too complicated in our business life.

Maybe you’re juggling being a leader and being a pharmacist, and then finding that your spreading yourself just a little bit thinner every day. As a result, you don’t have enough energy and attention to go around.

Now, ask yourself: “Are my priorities at the back of my queue when they should be at the front?”

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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