Starting a business has taken it’s toll on you and came at the expense of money, time, stress, and maybe even relationships. However, it has probably been worth the sacrifices to see your pharmacy become a successful business. But wait – what if that scenario never played out? Sadly, it is a reality that many independently-owned businesses fail early on, even pharmacies. What differentiates those that succeed from those that don’t? Experts believe the results can be traced back to the owners. Certain traits and habits help pharmacy owners beat the odds and build highly successful brands. Here’s a look at the top eight things you should be doing to build and maintain a successful pharmacy:
1. Think Differently
As an independent pharmacy, chances are good that you may not be able to compete with the retail giants in terms of price. This is an opportunity for you to get creative and deliver services a chain pharmacy simply can’t. One of the benefits of being smaller is that you can change direction quickly. If you try to differentiate yourself in a way that isn’t working, try something else. If you can provide something that none of your competitors are able to, you’ve just made a big impact on the market. Think differently about your business and customers will think differently about you too.
2. Don’t Be Afraid to Fail
Fear of failure prevents many people from starting businesses or trying new things in the first place. Don’t let self-doubt or naysayers get in your way. Your persistence will push you forward and keep you focused, even if it looks like things aren’t working out. Successful entrepreneurs understand the risks and try to mitigate them, but don’t let risks stop them from pursuing their goals. To be successful, you can’t let fear paralyze you from making solid business decisions for your pharmacy.
3. Take Small Steps
Even if your ideas are big, as a savvy pharmacy owner you know you can’t achieve everything at once. You will never have all the time, money, and workers you think you need. So learn how to prioritize and accomplish things by taking small steps forward. Engage in incremental progress and over time, those daily steps will add up.
4. Ask for Help
Many of today’s most talented business leaders have mentors, and most high-growth companies weren’t started by one person alone. Don’t wear yourself out! Even the smartest and most seasoned owners need a sounding board. Look for people who have experience in the pharmacy industry, find a local small business owners club, or join groups online. You’ll be thankful for the comradery, advice, and sense of community these types of organizations can build.
5. Bounce Back
Most successful business owners are going to make lots of mistakes. The difference, however, will be in those who are willing to learn from and accept those mistakes and change their course. You aren’t going to choose the best path for your pharmacy every time. Whether it’s attempting to roll out a new program that people aren’t signing up for or hiring the wrong candidates, these mistakes are bound to happen. No one else is going to dwell on these bumps in the road, as long as, you’re moving forward.
6. Hire a Strong Team
Your pharmacy will start to grow and you will hire more people. Efficient owners know not to take this step too lightly. Your employees are the backbone of the pharmacy. Successful owners spend a lot of time figuring out what traits and skills they want in employees and then determining how they will find those people. The ability to hire well is crucial if you want to grow your brand.
7. Delegate to Others
It’s often hard for independent pharmacy owners to let go. You built your company from the ground up, after all. But the most successful owners know they can’t do everything, especially as their pharmacy grows. After you hire the right people, let them do their jobs so you can focus on what you do best, running the pharmacy.
8. Take Care of Yourself
Have a life outside of your pharmacy! Smart owners recognize that having a sharp mind requires having a healthy body. Eat healthy and make time for physical exercise. What less-educated owners might see as indulgent behavior is actually necessary maintenance of your most crucial tool: your brain. Spending too much time focused on any single interest, even if it’s your livelihood, will almost always lead to hitting mental walls. It’s important to lead a balanced life by exposing yourself to a diverse range of mental stimuli and to give your work brain the rest it needs to remain focused. You never know what might trigger a great idea, after all.