Many pharmacists would like to open their own pharmacy, but they lack the courage and knowledge involved in order to make their dream a reality. Running a successful pharmacy is no easy task. It takes hard work, dedication, and extensive knowledge in the industry in order to make it work out.
1) Proper Research
The first thing you need to do in order to prepare yourself for the times ahead is to research the market. In order to be able to sell your products, you need to know who your customers are and what are their needs. Taking the location into account, if you live in a place where there are mostly elderly people, it will be far more profitable to focus on products that cater to that target group. Of course, this doesn’t mean you should ignore the younger generations completely because then a competitor will fill in that gap. With this in mind, you need to discover your own niche. What is it that your community lacks in its pharmacies? This is the way how startup businesses succeed, they see some needs that aren’t being met and they fill them. While on the topic of location, you should look to open up a store in a location that doesn’t have any pharmacies nearby or in one that doesn’t have their primary taken care of.
2) Make a Business Plan
Once you have done your research and determined whether it is profitable or not to continue your goal, it is time for the next step – making a business plan. On the entrepreneur side of things, you need to have a solid base for your pharmacy in order to make it work. So, questions like how much is the entire startup going to cost, what will be your brand identity, what niche of the market do you want to focus on, and how much will you charge them, are all vital questions that you will need to answer.
From the financial aspect, you will need to hire employees, purchase computers for prescriptions and other purposes, as well as all kinds of logistic investments. Even though the results may vary from location to location and expense to expense, opening a pharmacy costs around $500,000 but you will usually require around $1-2 million to last your first year. But to keep the business functioning for 5 years, you will need approximately $8 million.
3) Pharmacy Design
The first thing a random person will see is the look of your pharmacy. Then they will come in and look around if they are interested in buying anything. If your pharmacy looks like a dump or unappealing, it will mean that they will, usually, just go to your competition unless they are desperate to buy something fast and then leave (don’t get your hopes up, this happens only 10% of the time). This is just from the aesthetic side of things.
The way people can move around and get work done inside is crucial to the daily function of the store. You need to make such a layout that it won’t disturb the workers or make it uncomfortable for them to move around and get their job done. Decide on a side, left, right, or center – where will the people pass? Will you keep a logistics room close by so that people can easily access the database?
4) Above and Beyond
Finally, if you want to continue constantly growing, you will need to plan out the future of your business. How will you achieve greater profits? The most notable ways of growing include:
Upgrade Your Equipment
It happens very often that you don’t use up all of your products due to improper management, them expiring, or bad upkeep. This is why proactively investing in high-quality equipment like new vaccine fridges can be worthwhile because it leads to fewer vaccines being unusable
Make Out New Deals with Your Suppliers
If you have been a loyal customer of your supplier for some time, it could be time to change deals a bit so that your loyalty is rewarded. You can also reach out to other suppliers for even lower prices. The law of the market is that the bulkier order results in higher purchasing power for you
Readjusting the Prices
This one speaks for itself. If you want to gain more profits, figure out if you will sell one common product more if you lower the price (but it still remains profitable), or by raising the price of another product that is in high demand
As you can see, there are a lot more little things that you need to worry about when opening a pharmacy. Hopefully, after reading this article, you have realized some interesting things about the profession that you didn’t know before. Best of luck!