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.
Maybe you are juggling being a leader and being a pharmacist, and finding that everyday you're spreading yourself a little bit thinner. As a result, you don’t have enough energy and attention to go around. Ask yourself this penetrating question: What is the one thing I’m really being paid for?
Most things in your pharmacy can be done by others, even filling prescriptions, which is a $55/hr to $60/hr job. If you want to be worth $250/hr, you need to isolate that 1 activity you are being really well compensated for by your business.
The answer: building your business bigger and making it more profitable. That’s what it’s all about, and that is the single activity on which to focus all your activities if you want a better outcome in 2019 than you had in 2018.
Start Internally—Your Staff Must Get Better Before Your Business Can Grow Bigger
If you have a staff of only 4 people, each one of them can learn to perform specific tasks— tasks that you either cannot do, or do not enjoy doing. The ultimate downfall of many pharmacies is that the owner, as leader, fails to tap into the hidden talents of the individuals on his or her staff. Those people may be doing rather well those specific jobs for which they were hired. Fortunately for you, they have additional talents and additional capabilities that they will happily render to your cause, if only you would ask them.
One of the best ways I have ever discovered for tapping into the hidden talents of individuals is to hold a staff meeting. This requires training, then asking just the right question. You would be amazed at the involvement and ideas that can flow. It’s a tried and true method used to solve some interesting problems in many a pharmacy.
Work Less, Achieve More
In order to prepare yourself to do the 1 thing that really earns you the most money, do 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. Some of it may be very valuable.
- Train them to do the basics of the job for which they were hired. Then train them to sell more products to more patients, so that those patients can enjoy better health and greater longevity. Training is important, and it does not end when a newcomer completes her 'basic training.' It is an ongoing process. They are the daily minutiae which should no longer occupy your attention.
- Appoint an operations manager. Delegate to that ops manager anything and everything you do not absolutely have to do yourself. Also, that which you no longer want to do yourself. Such delegated tasks should include, but not be limited to, staffing and training, as well as organizing and upgrading service to all patients. When your culture is strong enough, such a situation is feasible.
Work Smarter, Not Harder
When you stop trying to do so much, you’ll get so much more done. An important element: doing the right things at the right time. It requires that you trust others and encourage them to know when to ask for help.
Then, you will be able to achieve more of what matters in each and every time frame and make the most of your talents and abilities. You’ll also develop even more talents and abilities of your team members, so that they, too, will accomplish more for you. And so, is doing the right thing at the right time, rather than trying to do everything all the time.
What is your job as the owner/entrepreneur is really all about? Training, delegating, and then marketing. In fact, it should be part and parcel of your job description.
That’s the key to your success?
The unfortunate truth is, we try to make things far too complicated in our business life.
So, ask yourself: Are my priorities at the back of my queue when they should be at the front of my queue?
Learn to do the 1 thing, and only this 1 thing, really well. When you do, you will reap handsome dividends. Can you do it really well? If you do, then you will be working less and accomplishing more.
The Pharmacy Sage can be reached at (518) 346-7021 or email@example.com