How Successful Pharmacy Owners Manage Time


In the lexicon of management, the owner is the epitome of leadership. Yet surprisingly, according to the Harvard Business Review, little is known about this unique role.

In the lexicon of management, the owner is the epitome of leadership. Yet surprisingly, according to the Harvard Business Review, little is known about this unique role.

Running an independent pharmacy is an exceedingly challenging job. The scope of the organization’s managerial work is vast, encompassing marketing and leadership of the team, including external issues. It involves a wide array of people (i.e. customers, patients, employees, the government, and community organizations). Unlike anybody else in the pharmacy, the owner has to engage with them all.

While owners have a great deal of help at their disposal, as the leaders, they have to confront the acute scarcity of one resource: time. There is never enough time to do everything that the owner seemingly is responsible for.

However, an owner does not get paid for doing everything right. He or she gets paid for doing just 1 thing right: building your business bigger and making it infinitely more profitable.

What You Prioritize Determines What Gets Done

How the owner trains and delegates people to take work off of his shoulders is now critical. This 1 concept determines the foundation of how successful the pharmacy will become. What then?

The manner in which the owner allocates time—what is determined to be done versus what is not—is so important, it cannot be ignored. It signals priorities for others. It also signals legitimacy.

The allocation of time is so basic and fundamental that it is the essence of how money is made or not made. Is enough time being allocated to make certain that when a job opening occurs, the very best person is recruited and hired? Is enough time being allocated to training each and every individual? And what about supervision to make certain that each one of any individual’s tasks are performed to perfection, or as close to it as is possible?

Is your pharmacy the place where the best performers want to come to work and stay a lifetime? And, is enough time being devoted to marketing that concept to ensure that the right messages are delivered to all prospective applicants?

All the above are critical. All the above belong in the successful pharmacy owner’s toolbox.

Your Culture

What about the building of your culture? Is enough time being devoted to focusing on this visionary tool so that the entire team is in in sync? Are you properly conveying these messages to patients, vendors, and whatever local agencies can be involved?

This is the nature of the demand for the owner’s time. Such are the underpinnings of how profitable pharmacies are built because they find different and better ways of serving their patients.

Team members can fill prescriptions, render services on a daily basis, and perform other more menial tasks, and do so at a lower cost. An owner has much more valuable tasks on which to focus time and attention.

The cost of time is enormous. And if you, as the owner and leader, desire to create a larger income, then time must be given a price tag and the rules of ownership changed on that basis.

Time marches on. Are you, as the owner, willing to march to the beat of a different drummer? Others have. Are you willing to join them?

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

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