Once upon a time individuals could open a pharmacy, and the people would come. Pharmacy owners had plenty of patients and made a very decent living. If they didn’t own a pharmacy then, perhaps they met or heard about those who did—those who profited in days of yore.
That was then, and this is now.
Today, it is far more difficult to get people to change their habits, to leave their current pharmacies, to transfer their business to a new pharmacy... even to drive past all the competitors, and especially to bring all of their health needs to someone new.
The following steps cover the 6 most important basics to be mastered in the process of creating a pharmacy:
- Choose a high-income zip code in which to locate. Base it on demographic studies. Being close to 'money' is vital to success.
- Select a location within that zip code that provides good retail exposure. A medical arts building where doctors have their offices once did the job. No more! Locate in a retail center where the targeted audience shops.
- Know the correct amount of money needed. It should cover the cost of construction, acquisition of products, and any other knowledge or education that is needed, plus the operating expenses for the months before the business starts making a profit. As such, a carefully thought-out operating budget also is needed.
- Determine what the store is going to look like from the viewpoint of the patient walking through the doors for the first time. In fact, no matter how many times they come in, you want to impress them with your products, and your services. With products, and services that are different, and superior, so should the look of your store be different, and superior. It is that combination that will get you talked about in your community. Lines, color, and design are decidedly of great importance, and can be researched. Make certain that a store designer who knows all about pharmacy is chosen. Complying with rules and regulations, as well as specifications, are all important. The business will not pass state inspection nor DEA requirements unless your entire pharmacy is built to spec.
- Negotiate with the landlord for an optimum size store. It may be smaller than previously thought, especially if the right business model.os picked This process, when properly done, can quickly save a renter as much as $30,000 to $40,000.
- Before you open the doors, introduce prospective patients, especially the affluent, to the business becoming a source of unique health information. Develop some creative marketing. Use the newspaper, direct mail, and social media to announce the impending arrival, and to be certain it can be differentiated.
One more thought: choose someone from the outside to help with all the details. Make certain he or she is someone who has 'been there and done that.' A new business owner has dozens and dozens of other matters to concern themselves with. Be aware that mistakes made here have cost peers many thousands of dollars—mistakes that did not have to be made, and money they did not have to lose.
A few dollars invested here can pay handsome dividends.
The Pharmacy Sage can be reached at (518) 346-7021 or firstname.lastname@example.org