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

Marketing Your New Community Pharmacy

Marketing your new pharmacy!

We hear it a lot, I have no marketing background or experience where do I even begin. Below we have outlined 5 areas to consider when trying to get the word out about your new business or location. We would like to note however this process can be more effective and simplified by hiring a marketing firm. There are a lot of them out there and tend to be fairly inexpensive. We use one for our pharmacies and partner with one in our consulting business.

1. Public Relations - This is the art of using news media contacts to gain publicity for your venture. Often if you reach out to local TV, newspaper, bloggers, etc you can get them to cover your grand opening or any other event. As stated above using a PR or marketing firm will increase the performance of these efforts.
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Find a Location for your Community Pharmacy

LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION - Determining the perfect location for your community pharmacy!

Location is one of the most important factors to the success of a retail pharmacy. It is so important, it at times, can be the sole factor in the success or failure of a retail pharmacy. But how does one know if a particular location is going to breed a sustainable retail business? The answer is, it’s impossible to know for sure if a location is going to thrive, but there are ways to limit the risk of a pharmacy failing due to a poor location

Other Pharmacies – What other pharmacies are within your service area? Having a couple of high volume pharmacies close to your location can actually be a good thing. With very high volume pharmacies there have to be dissatisfied customers which means you have a built in customer base. A lack of pharmacy can be good also as it shows a need but also be cautious and try to find out why there is not a pharmacy there already.

Medical Offices – Look to see how many medical offices are within your service area. Visit these offices ask them if they perceive a need for more personalized care from a community pharmacy.
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Start a pharmacy today there is a ton of opportunity

Is there opportunity for new community pharmacies?

The Community Pharmacy marketplace has been declining for years and that spells opportunity for
young pharmacists and entrepreneurs.

Yes according to yearly studies done by the National Community Pharmacy Association (NCPA) the community pharmacy industry has seen continued decline in both sales, total stores and profit. But as entrepreneurs we always have to ask why?

It is true that some of the above is due to flat prescription volume, a low volume of new none generic drugs, an increased number of generics coming to market, poor reimbursement from PBM's and the increased use of 90 day refills.
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Start or Buy a Community Pharmacy

Should I start a pharmacy or buy a pharmacy?

Whether you are a first time owner looking to become an entrepreneur or a current owner looking to grow through expansion this is a tough question. We can't give you an exact formula to know which is best but there are a few important items to think about.

1. What is your financial position? - Buying a pharmacy in most cases is more expensive than starting a pharmacy. However buying an established operation typically will result in a faster return on investment and have less cash flow concerns.

2. In your community what are the options?
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Positioning Your Pharmacy For Big Growth - A Three Part Series to Building Success Within Your Pharmacy

Part 3: Using Strategic Alignments to Grow Pharmacies

Most in the retail pharmacy industry think there are only a couple of ways to grow, add store locations or add a line of business like compounding and DME. These are great ways to grow and should never be ignored when considering growth options but by creating relationships with strategic organizations in and outside the industry you probably can grow revenues and profit organically. Below I have outlined two ways this can be done but our advice is to always think creatively and proactively speak to vendors, partners and industry advocates about how they can help you grow.

1. Wholesalers – I know, I know no one likes thereThe truth is though, that it is in your wholesaler’s best interest to help you grow because they make more money when you make more money. McKesson, for example, has a whole division called HealthMart whose sole purpose is to provide community pharmacies with a more recognizable brand to increase revenue. They also have an application that is pre-built and will allow you to take online refills.
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