Our latest thoughts and inspirations on buying a pharmacy, starting a pharmacy, and ongoing pharmacy operations

Owen BonDurant, President: Owen is 2nd generation (his Dad is part owner in a 9 store pharmacy chain) in the pharmacy business and has worked in independent pharmacies since before he can remember. He has worked in almost every role a small pharmacy has to offer from cleaning the bathrooms, working as a pharmacy technician, marketing, starting and running a durable medical equipment company and managing employees. Owen graduated from Miami University of Ohio with a degree in marketing and a minor in management information systems (MIS). After graduating he briefly worked for Western and Southern Financial Group before deciding he wanted to return to the pharmacy industry where he started medical equipment business for a chain of 9 independent pharmacies. From there he moved to Chicago and started working for Experian QAS and for the last 7 years has been selling software to major retail organizations along with managing the Midwest sales team. Recently the itch to come back to the pharmacy industry, as it truly is all he knows, and Independent Rx Consulting was born.

Buying a pharmacy is a marathon not a sprint.

I know I know, something about being a marathon not a sprint is the oldest most over used term in business.  The reality is, buying a pharmacy does takes time and if you really think hard about acquiring a pharmacy, this will be very evident.

Whether it is your first pharmacy or your tenth choosing the right acquisition could lead to more personal and financial success than you have ever imagined, but it could also bankrupt you, cause health problems due to stress and ruin relationships. Remember this is a big deal, your house probably cost you between $100,000 and $300,000. A new pharmacy will most likely cost more than $1,000,000 - like owning 4 to 10 houses.  
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Working Capital - the Key to Pharmacy Ownership Success

You have heard the expression CASH IS KING. Nothing could be truer when you buy or start a community pharmacy. Below we have outlined the working capital needs for both starting and buying a pharmacy.

Starting a Pharmacy
The number one reason for a startup pharmacy to fail is not having enough cash in the first couple of years of business. On average in the first 6 months of operation a pharmacy will have approximately $75,000 in expenses per month. Day one you have $0 dollars of revenue. In month one you may have sales of $25,000.
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Don't Forget the Paper Towels When Opening a Pharmacy

Remember the Paper Towels when you start a pharmacy?

You are starting a pharmacy, no starting a business. You have put your life savings into the business, put up your house to secure a loan and you quit your high paying pharmacist job at the chain. As such you have meticulously reviewed every item that needs done, picked an accountant, choose a pharmacy system created a brand, ordered drugs, gained licenses etc, etc. You open the first day spill coffee all over the drop-off counter and have no paper towels to clean it up. You had that feeling in the back of your head that you were forgetting something. That’s because you were and that is okay. It’s the first time you have ever done this. The first time you rode a bike you probably crashed or fell over. It’s hard not to make a mistake the first time you do something because you have no experience.
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Buying a Pharmacy? Think Like the Seller

Think like the pharmacy owner/seller when buying a pharmacy.

Imagine spending 40 years creating something, having it be what you are known for, having it be your social outlet, having it be the cause of many sacrifices in your life, having it support your family and then BOOM one day it is taken away. How would you feel? Well this is the feeling many community pharmacy owners have when they sell their pharmacy.

It is very important when buying a pharmacy to take the sellers perspective into consideration throughout the acquisition process. Remember the seller/pharmacy owner has probably owned that pharmacy for 30 plus years and maybe even started it from scratch or the pharmacy has been part of their family for 80 years. It may be there life work and what they are known for. The employees are not just people who work for them but friends. It is not easy to let go and when you go to buy a pharmacy from someone it is really important to think like your seller.
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Pharmacies - Are you Compliant with the Affordable Care Act?

Are you compliant with the affordable care act? 

The Affordable Care Act requires employers to provide employees with a notice of the availability of the Health Insurance Marketplace (the “Exchange”) that will be available Jan. 1, 2014. This is a requirement of all employers, regardless of size.

Employers were required to distribute the notice by October 1, 2013. If you have not yet done so, you should discuss it with your financial advisor or insurance agent. There are two model notices (depending on whether or not the employer offers a health plan) which can be found on the Department of Labor website under the “Notice to Employees of Coverage Options” section.
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