So, you successfully went through the ordeals of opening your own independent pharmacy. From now on, everything should be smooth sailing, right? Well, the truth is that the challenges have only begun.
Business success does not come easy and there is no reason why this should not apply to pharmacy businesses.
There’s still a lot to learn, so to help you out, here are 5 tips that will ensure your newly founded pharmacy’s success.
Hire the Right Help
The first important thing you’ll need to realize is that you simply won’t be able to do it all alone. Just like a number of experts helped you out with setting up your business the right way, you’ll need helping hands in keeping everything under control as your pharmacy continues growing.
You might be able to handle tasks now, but when these tasks multiply, you’ll need trusted employees, and most of all, you’ll need to be able to let go of perfection.
The importance of hiring the right people cannot be emphasized enough. Starting as a small business, you might want to create a family-like atmosphere. Whether hiring friends and family members is a good idea is debatable, though.
Needless to say, they need to be qualified for the job. But even when they are qualified, mixing personal and professional matters can end up badly. If you want to play it safe for the sake of your business, keep work relations purely professional.
If you value your staff and show them you care by investing in them, you will be able to build a loyal work collective regardless of personal relationships.
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Learn More About Your Customers
The next important element in ensuring the success of your new pharmacy is placing great focus on the lifeblood of your business: the customers. Sure, you have done some research on the local customer base when you were setting up your business.
However, to keep developing in the right direction and stay up-to-date with people’s changing needs, it’s worth delving deeper into what your customers want and need.
Is your community full of young people who are interested in new skincare trends or is your pharmacy located in a community where the majority are seniors? Figure out their needs, through surveys and questionnaires if necessary, and you will be able to come up with special services to fulfil them.
This is going to give you a major advantage over your competition: pharmacy chains can hardly pay attention to such small details, and while they might have the advantage of better prices, offering something customers can’t have elsewhere is still going to put you in the more favourable position.
Make More Money
Of course, every business owner needs to mind their budget. While it will take about seven to nine months before you start seeing positive numbers, it’s worth thinking about ways that will give you a boost. There are many ways to improve your sales and profit.
Start by evaluating your floor plan. Are you taking full advantage of the possibilities it offers? If customers just walk in and walk out without really seeing your offer, you’re doing it wrong.
Organize your space and keep changing the products that are displayed in the area that gets the most foot traffic. Track the changes and figure out what’s working.
You can also train your staff to upsell and cross-sell so that you make more of each transaction. For instance, when a customer purchases a drug that can cause certain nutritional deficiencies, your employee should readily offer the appropriate supplements to compensate for it. This will not only boost your sales but also nurture positive customer relationships.
Keep Up with the Times
Technology has found its way into virtually every industry out there, and not taking advantage of the solutions it offers would be a waste. You can rest assured your bigger competitors are already using the newest tech, so don’t let yourself lag behind.
Tech developments are focused on boosting your business’s efficiency, which will help you do more in less time. For instance, medical billing software will open up a door of opportunities as you will be able to offer certain clinical services, while pharmacy management software will take data storage to the next level. Even if you aren’t yet ready to introduce the latest tech, at least stay up-to-date with the industry.
Naturally, there are certain basics you won’t be able to skip. If you want to take your pharmacy beyond retail, you will need tools like lab balances and other gadgets used in compounding.
Certain drugs are also sensitive to temperature changes so you will need a reliable drug fridge. Introducing some of these pieces of equipment can expand your offer and services greatly.
Delve into Marketing
Finally, even such an essential business as a pharmacy will not be able to stay afloat without ample marketing. Competition is tough in this industry and it will not be easy to win customers over from the major pharmacy chains. The right marketing methods can, however, help you with advertising what makes you different and giving a reason to people to give you a chance.
Remember who exactly you want to reach with your message and choose your marketing methods accordingly. For instance, if you mainly target senior citizens, social media ads, which are highly regarded nowadays, may not be the best idea.
Combine digital and traditional marketing methods for maximum effectiveness. Be sure that your Google My Business listing is up-to-date and your website is functional, but at the same time, devote ample attention to your physical location and visibility.
Go out on the street to advertise your business, if necessary. Consider cross-promotion and other marketing tactics that are particularly effective at attracting local customers. Building a successful business in the healthcare industry is certainly not going to happen instantly.
Don’t get discouraged if your first weeks or months don’t perform as you would have wanted, but keep the aforementioned tips in mind and consistently work towards the success of your newly founded pharmacy.