Starting a pharmacy business is the dream of a lot of pharmacists. However, a lot of pharmacists do not know what is involved in venturing into a pharmacy business. We are always afar and assuming what it entails. This post will help you understand important things you should know before you venture into pharmacy business so that you don’t make mistakes when you are ready to start
- Altruism comes before money. Pharmacy practice is an altruistic profession and our main duty is to serve our clients. Although we are running a pharmacy business the core of our business is attending to the pharmaceutical needs of our clients including pharmaceutical care, drug counseling and advice. Whenever a client comes in contact with your business what should be on your mind and those of your staff is how best to serve this client. Making money should not be the primary aim of setting up a pharmacy business even though you are going to make money off the business. Altruism first then money follows. It is a common business practice that when you provide value you will make money.
- It is not a get rich quick Scheme. Pharmacy business is not a get rich quick programme. Do not come into the business and expect that in a year you will become a millionaire (although it is possible in rare cases under some circumstances). Have a vision for your business and set SMART goals then follow your written plans for the achievement of these goals. In due course your will meet all your goals including your financial goals. With the pieces of advice and strategies shared on this website you can make the journey towards achieving your goals faster and easier because you will learn to serve your clients better and as a result make more money off your service.
- Customer is king. This is a cliché but it is also true. Without your clients you do not have a business. Your clients determine whether you will make money or not in your business. So in your pharmacy business you must treat your clients very well. You and your staff must be trained to be courteous to your clients. You need to understand the needs of your clients and attend to them appropriately and promptly. You should go the extra mile in giving them an experience they cannot forget by how well you treat them.
- Wholesale or retail business. Your community pharmacy business can be either a wholesale or retail outlet. You must decide which one you desire to start. Each one has its unique business model and strategies. Research into what it takes to run any of the outlets to find out which one resonates with you. When you have decided on which type of premises you desire to start then you get the details about the processes involved in setting it up.
- There is more work at the beginning. Most pharmacists who are into community pharmacy practice went into it because they want to be their own boss. They may have worked for other persons or organizations before starting their own businesses. Many people think that when they set up their own businesses it is a license for freedom and plenty of time to do whatever they like. The good news is that ultimately they achieve these after the business has matured. What a lot of people do not know is that you spend more time in your new business than you may have spent in your previous employment. In fact you do much more work in your new than you previously do. So be prepared for these before you venture in starting your own pharmacy business.
- Your business is not your ATM. When you open shop and begin to get clients, your business will start to make money from sales of your products and services offered. Many people make the mistake of spending out of the money that comes into their businesses on their personal needs. This is a recipe for death for any business. Before you go into any business, make arrangements for your personal upkeep and expenses. You may pay yourself a wage just like any other staff of the business but this should be a predetermined amount and this will constitute a part of the business expenses.
- Understand all the law and process involved. Pharmacy practice is highly regulated. There are some basic legal conditions and procedures to follow before you can set up your pharmacy business. You must ensure that you meet all these conditions before you go ahead with your plans to open a pharmacy. These conditions include your business registration with the Corporate Affairs Commission; registration with the Pharmacists Council; inspection of your premises; availability of official books and materials and so on. You must be quite knowledgeable of these requirements beforehand to make the process of setting up your pharmacy smooth and hitch-free.
- Have an exit plan. This is missing in most businesses. Many businesses do not have exit plan or succession plan. People start business without planning for a time they will retire or pass the business to someone else. All business must have an exit plan. This will help the business outlive the owner(s). You r exit plan can be outright selling of the business or taking up an investor. It is important you take the decision about your exit plan at the beginning of your business.