The wild world of pharmacy ownership

Entering the wild world of business ownership can be a daunting task. Knowing where to start and what to look out for is an important first step in the journey. To help you get the ball rolling we have pulled together the 5 golden questions you should ask yourself to help determine whether you’re ready to take the leap. Of course there are many more factors to consider but we think this is a pretty good start.

Are you financially ready?

Pharmacy can be an expensive game to buy into and you will need some capital to get you started. The majority of pharmacy purchases are done with a combination of borrowings and equity contribution. Typically, lending institutions will lend between 60% and 80% of the business value, leaving you to come up with the balance yourself in either cash savings or property. Every pharmacy and every borrowing candidate is unique so there are no blanket rules that apply.

Do I have the right skills and experience to make it a success?

Looking at some of our most successful clients, there are a myriad of qualities that make them great at what they do. To simplify things we like to strip it back to 5 core skills and competencies. If you can nail these then you’re off to a great start!

1. Lead your team well – your people are your best asset.

2. Financially savvy – money makes the world go around. Understanding cash flow as well as your Profit & Loss statement is a crucial foundation.

3. Love your customer – delivering a brilliant customer experience is the only way to win.

4. Nail the three S’s:

  • Staff – get your rostering right! Run efficient and lean!
  • Stock – slick ordering processes are a must. Buy the right amount of the right stock!
  • Sales – you gotta sell! Make sure you are driving your top line hard.

5. Be a great Pharmacist – looking after the health of your customers is why community pharmacy exists.

Am I backing the right horse?

Make sure the brand you choose is the right fit. Does the branding and marketing give you the support you need to grow your business? Knowing exactly what you want to buy is an important precursor to knowing whether you’re backing the right horse!

What am I trying to achieve?

Setting clear and achievable short and long term goals is vital. Know what you want to achieve in 2 to 3 years and work towards it.

A 30/60/90 plan can be a great way to lay out some early goals that will help you work towards your 2 to 3 year goals. An example of a shorter-term goal could be hiring and getting the right team in place.

It’s always a nice test to ask yourself, if I execute on my 2 to 3 year goals, will that put me ahead of my competition?

Lastly, be patient. Pharmacy is a subscription business and like all subscription businesses takes time to grow, know your offer and deliver it to your subscribers to the best of your ability.

– Andrew Whelan, General Manager at AP Group

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