Ready to Become a Pharmacy Franchise Owner?

Pharmacy TimesJuly 2018 Digestive Health
Volume 84
Issue 7

Deciding to open your own community pharmacy is a big step. For the first time, you may be trading the certainty of a regular paycheck for the independence of caring for patients your way.Or you may already have an independent pharmacy but need more resources to compete and grow. How do you know if you’re ready to become a franchise owner? And if you are, where do you begin?

There are as many reasons to become a franchise owner as there are pharmacists who do it. But as unique as each situation is, they all share some common themes.

For many chain drugstore pharmacists, conforming to company guidelines can feel restrictive and reduce the time spent with patients, which can lead to dissatisfaction. You could feel you’re not recognized and appropriately rewarded for your hard work. You may be ready to do things yourway.

Current owners of independent pharmacies face different challenges, such as dealing with tighter competition.

Or you could be confronted with other business issues related to cash flow, accounts receivable (A/R), inventory management and/or workflow. While you enjoy the freedom to care for patients your way, you’re ready for new and more comprehensive tools to help manage your business more effectively.

Making your move

To start on the path to franchise ownership, consider: 1) your goals; 2) experience; 3) available resources to become a franchise owner and 4) to what extent you share the business and management philosophy of the franchise operation you’re considering.

Next, look at the market opportunities available from the franchisor to determine whether you should acquire an existing franchise location or open a new one. With an existing location, you and the franchisor will work through the necessary contracts to secure ownership.

Opening a new location can be more complex. So, the ideal franchisor would understand that a foundation of its responsibility to franchisees is to provide full business, brand and patient care support.That should include:

  • Developing a full business plan—including legal, regulatory, operations and marketing direction. The core focus is on financial performance,with the goal of improving expense, inventory and accounts receivable (A/R) management.

  • Performing a market analysis.

  • Assessing revenue potential based on patient population, provider mix and area competition.

  • Working with a real estate firm to scout retail locations and identify the ideal one.

  • Implementing business operations: including store layout, staffing, inventory management, workflow management and more.

  • Marketing your store, from pre-opening activities forward.

A particular focus—easily overlooked—is community engagement.To become the healthcare destination in your community, don’t spend all your time behind the counter. Instead, visit local providers and caregivers to talk about your broad array of patient care services.

Rx for the future

Whether you’re an established owner of an independent pharmacy or a pharmacist working at a major chain, the right franchise opportunity can be your next, best move. Above all, look for a franchisor with the resources, experience and commitment to work with you one-on-oneevery day to help you succeed.

For more than 45 years, this has been our approach at Medicine Shoppe International. To explore whether a franchise opportunity with us is right for you, visit

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