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.
Determine what you’re passionate about.
What is it that you get most passionate about when helping people to enjoy decidedly better health? And does that purpose and passion drill down to the utter depths of your wanting to consult to them on better ways to address their particular chronic aches, pains, or other maladies. That’s the basis of building your brand. Put it in writing.
Write your vision fully and descriptively.
Make sure that it defines your total vision, including the 6 critical elements that should go into every vision. They are:
- Products and services that you will sell.
- Markets you serve and how you will serve them.
- Type of people that you want in your organization as team members, and concepts about how they can be rewarded for creating excellence.
- Your core area of competence, that is, what you will be doing better than any other pharmacy.
- How you will relate to the community.
- What are your future expectations, as expressed in goals for 1 to 3 years in the future (and beyond)?
The people who can really support you as an independent pharmacy owner are the ones with the income and the discretionary purchasing power. They usually live in expensive homes.
Determine to be different.
Start with a different business model, one that embraces customized scripts, as well as an assortment of higher quality herbal and homeopathic medicines. Understand that no brand covers the entire spectrum properly. You need to cherry pick.
Differentiation is the essence of strategy and the prime source of competitive advantage. Determine what is different about your pharmacy from all others and bring that emphatically to the marketplace in messages that are interesting and memorable.
Also, your marketing needs to be different. It should describe how you and your pharmacy are different from your competitors. If you don’t get them to read and understand this value-added proposition, then you will not get them into your pharmacy. Your marketing should be benefit laden. When it disrupts people’s buying habits, you give them reasons to drive by all your competitors. At that point, they understand that you, and you alone, are the obvious expert in chronic diseases and have the solutions they are seeking.
Get the help of someone who has been there and done that.
Such an individual can help you avoid enormous mistakes to the tune of $50,000, $60,000, even $80,000, which some of your colleagues have made. Those errors are totally unnecessary! That certain someone can help you not only avoid costly mistakes, but also gain significant sums of additional wealth, and do so much more quickly.
One pharmacist got this process totally wrong. She wanted to start her own pharmacy, talked to a consultant, and then created these recognizable and very obvious errors.
- In the beginning, she attempted to save some money by not employing the help of someone who is a master of the process. Instead, she hired an architect and builder to create her dream pharmacy. And she overspent by over $80,000, even according to her own budgets.
- She hired a lawyer to negotiate her lease. Unfortunately, he did not understand the intricacies and the legalities of the pharmacy industry. Outcome: she had to pay rent for an extra 3 months. This was $9000 wasted. Those terms are totally negotiable by someone who knows the various constraints put on pharmacies by the regulatory agencies.
- She hired a compounding tech. Unfortunately, the tech lacked certain necessary characteristics to be the owner’s prime assistant. Yes, she could compound very well. Unfortunately, she could not help obtain the patients for whom that compounding was necessary. Furthermore, she totally lacked any attributes to even help the owner acquire patients for her high-quality front-end nutraceuticals.
- Additionally, when the owner finally sought the assistance of professional help, she totally ignored 3 major corrective actions that could have quickly multiplied cash flow.
There is a right way to accomplish your vision and establish your dream pharmacy, and there are wrong ways.
Following these 5 steps will help you accomplish the mission of setting up your pharmacy with profitability written all over it.
The Pharmacy Sage can be reached at (518) 346-7021 or email@example.com.