If you’re like many of the 20,000+ independent pharmacy owners in the nation, you went to the business school of life… which means that you didn’t go to business school at all. You rely on different sources from networking to online literature (like this blog!), business coaching and everything in between.
Fear not, weary warrior. We’re here to bring you a powerful, yet simple tool you can use with your team to uncover the next big opportunity your pharmacy can leverage.
We’re talking about a SWOT Analysis. If you have heard of this, you know that this is a simple, yet powerful tool. When used thoroughly and thoughtfully, it can help identify your business’ strengths and weaknesses as well as any opportunities and threats that lie in wait to stall your growth. SWOT is an acronym for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. As far as general business strategy, this handy little tool can be a starting point to open up major team discussions.
You guessed it, we have the worksheet you can download right here!
Make sure you download and print the file first, then read below with your team to learn how to use the matrix.
Conducting a SWOT Analysis on Your Business
(Do this with your team!)
Do you have your worksheet ready and printed out? Good!
A SWOT matrix is normally a worksheet divided into four quadrants. Each quadrant represents one element of the SWOT analysis: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats. Each quadrant should ask a series of custom questions you can answer to fill in that quadrant. Focus on the questions that are most relevant for your business, community and current situation.
Dig Deep and Ask Relevant Questions
For this section, think about the attributes of yourself, your team and your business that will helpyou achieve your objective. Sample questions to get you started:
- Where are you most profitable in your business?
- What do you do exceptionally well?
- What skills do you have that are unique to you, your team and your location?
- What are your specialties?
- What do you do better than your competitors?
For this section, think about the attributes of yourself, your team and your business that could hurtyour progress in achieving your objective. Sample questions to get you started:
- What areas do you need to improvement?
- What areas do you need more education or experience?
- What parts of your business are not very profitable?
- Do you lack any resources?
- What are the initiatives that cost you time and/or money?
For this section, think about the external conditions that will help you achieve your objective. Sample questions to get you started:
- What are your current business goals?
- Are there untapped target audiences you can reach?
- How can you improve your current customer experience or customer wellness?
- Is there technology that you can apply to improve your business?
- Can you think of any supplemental products and services that provide an opportunity for your business?
For this section, think about the external conditions that could damage your business’s performance. Sample questions to get you started:
- What are your obstacles?
- What is going on in the economy that can potentially affect your business?
- What is going on in the industry that can potentially affect your business?
- What are the strengths of your biggest competitors?
- What are your competitors doing that you’re not?
You’ve Filled it Out! Now What?
This worksheet won’t help you unless you can analyze the data you’ve compiled and put it into action. While going through, you may have already identified some strategies and goals for your business. Your next steps should be:
- Create a plan to expand on the strengths you’ve identified
- Identify ways you can diminish, dispell or defer your weaknesses
- Set achievable goals for each of the opportunities you have identified
- Use your strengths to decrease the threats you identified
Mix It Up.
Now the opportunities should start flying off the page. Explore ways in which you can combine your strengths and opportunities to develop new strategies. Try combining strengths and threats to identify threats you can eliminate and look at your weaknesses and opportunities to create a list of areas ready for improvement.
You should also make a list of areas to avoid that fall under weaknesses and threats. Once you can read your data and understand the recordings, you can find ways to use it strategically. The best part is that you can use this tool over and over again to explore new opportunities, uncover lurking threats, and improve your business year after year.
Join us at the PDS Super-Conference
If you’re ready to accelerate your success, profitability, and team, now is your chance to act. Come see for yourself why we are so confident in our ability to change your life and improve the profitability of your pharmacy that we have a conference guarantee. If you don’t see the value of the PDS Super-Conference after the first day, we’ll reimburse your travel up to $500 and give you an additional $300 — no questions asked.
This is a philosophy I share with almost all pharmacy owners whenever we speak about employee performance. Why? While managing people is often labeled as daunting, everyone understands the fundamentals of sports.
From the players on your team to the programs, or plays, you implement on the “court,” the same mindset and skills required to craft the best basketball team can be applied to operating a wildly-success pharmacy business.
That’s why I’m thrilled to welcome Earvin “Magic” Johnson, one of the greatest athletes of all time, onto the stage at the 2018 PDS Super-Conference this coming February.
While he was a sensational talent in the 13 years he played point guard for the Los Angeles Lakers, what was magic about him, and still is to this day, was that he understood how to make his teammates look great. He was the consummate team player and understood that while individuals score points, teams win championships.
In fact, since retiring, he has translated that skill into the business world and has continually invested ownership in many lucrative businesses including movie theaters, urban real estate developments, restaurants, an infrastructure fund, EquiTrust Life Insurance Company, ASPiRE television network, professional sports teams and others. Recently, he was named the President of Basketball Operations of the Los Angeles Lakers.
And that’s exactly what I want him to share at the conference — that business is no different than sports. That if you look at your business as a game you want to win, you will see massive results in your business, bottom line, and, ultimately, your life.
- Your front line is your bottom line. The teams with the best players win. Every pharmacy owner wants a superstar team that will generate new business, solve problems and engage with the customers. But the downside is that high-performance people need to be surrounded by other rock stars. The question is… what are you going to accept or tolerate? As businesses evolve, so do the type of employees needed to execute the plan. Just because they were a great employee 15 years ago doesn’t always guarantee they are a high-performer today. You must continually evaluate your team and fill out the ranks with remarkable talent.
- Your Culture Is a Defensive Strategy. Just because you sell the exact same products to the exact same people doesn’t mean you’re in the same business. Your pharmacy’s culture – your team’s bond – is the intangible that’s driving competition wild. It’s almost as if they stick their head in and they look and see, “How much merchandise do you have? How is it merchandised? What’s the price?” Nobody considers “Wow, they make you feel welcome here. They’re knowledgeable. They’re trained. They’re personable. They care.” When you focus on fostering a stellar culture within the four walls of your pharmacy, it actually becomes both an offensive and defensive strategy. After all, your competition doesn’t steal your customers, you give them away.
- Be Coachable and Work the Playbook. Johnson and his team went to the NBA Finals nine of the 13 years he was on the team. They didn’t get there alone. They had numerous coaches with strategies that led them to countless victories. Not only do you need to have top-notch employees, you also need to work with experts who can look at your business from the outside and provide a roadmap to success, access to ideas and programs, that will turn your ideas into a reality and significantly add to your pharmacy’s bottom line. The amount of time you spend thinking about your business – identifying opportunities, evaluating weakness, etc – versus grinding away at your task list, should be just as much as an athlete practices. However, practice doesn’t make perfect, it makes permanent. Work with an expert who can see you shoot and fine-tune your skills along the way.
Simply shifting your perspective can change your reality. From innovative perspectives, extraordinary networking, data-driving solutions, this three-day event gives you the playbook to make you even more profitable. This is where the superstars of the independent pharmacy industry go year after year to continually improve and learn how to win championships. Our pharmacy programs are the industry’s best-kept secret. Come see for yourself why we are so confident in our ability to change your life and improve the profitability of your pharmacy that we have a conference guarantee. If you don’t see the value of the PDS Super-Conference after the first day, we’ll reimburse your travel up to $500 and give you an additional $300 — no questions asked.
Flu season is upon us, and as they say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. How will you be conveying that message to your patients this flu season?
Here are 22 marketing tactics to position your independent pharmacy as the go-to for their healthcare needs this flus season. The ideas below are all highly effective with little to no-cost investment. Whether you choose to implement one or all of the ideas, they’ll make your job a lot easier and your pharmacy marketing tools much more effective by keeping your brand top of mind.
1. Flu shot gift cards. This is a simple flu shot solution for younger patients with elderly parents, friends or neighbors. Have the gift cards available at your cash register and strategically place some signage throughout the store. Your all-star pharmacy team should also be trained to mention this offer while the patient is receiving their shot. Before you know it, your independent pharmacy can be the go-to healthcare destination in the community.
2. On-site flu shots to local businesses. The flu takes a real toll on workplace productivity. Reach out to local business leaders and organizations offering them the solution they didn’t know they needed. Send a letter or make a personal phone call offering to administer on-site vaccinations. Take the stress off their plate allowing them to focus on running their business while you build yours.
3. Send out a voice broadcast to your past flu shot customers. If they received a vaccination in the past, they’re likely to continue. Consider sending a voice broadcast to elderly and diabetic patients. Remember these best practices while you’re planning the campaign:
- Create a short script that runs no longer than 30 seconds.
- Avoid scheduling the call too early in the morning, too late at night or during typical dinner times.
- Think about what type of voice would be pleasing to the ear.
- Don’t forget to give the customer the ability to opt-out from receiving future calls.
4. Record helpful and educational videos. Engage and education existing and potential customers. Videos can be posted to your website, shared on social media, played in the store or linked in an email campaign. Here are a few video suggestions to get you started:
- Demonstrate how flu shots are pain-free and easy to administer by using a live patient (make sure you get their consent first!).
- Create a fun, candid video
- Tap into the knowledge of a staff pharmacist or the pharmacy owner and ask them to record an educational video. Sample topics: The Top 5 Ways to Stay Healthy This Flu Season (tie-in products they can buy in the store) or How to Wash Your Hands Effectively
- PRO TIP: Ask a child to join you in the video – their mom will surely show it to 20 people.
5. Record a new on-hold message. Sometimes putting patients on hold is unavoidable. Make the most of this (hopefully) brief hold and remind them about the importance of getting a flu vaccination. Keep the message short and to the point and when your done conducting the business that they called about, ask them if they’d like to schedule their flu shot appointment
6. Place a sign by the road that reads, Flu Shots Here. Simple, cost-effective, and most importantly, it works.
7. Pass out “I got my flu shot, did you?” stickers to each flu shot customer. This patient will be a one-day walking advertisement and testimonial for your pharmacy.
PRO TIP: Take pictures of customers wearing their stickers and post a collage of these on your social sites. Make sure to ask for their consent first! These customers will share the image on it. Influencer marketing at its best!
8. Have FAQ and Fact Sheets, both in English and Spanish (or any other language prevalent in your location), available in the pharmacy waiting area.
9. Hang flyers around your pharmacy and on community bulletin boards.
10. Send customized letters to families with children, diabetic patients, your elderly customers, pregnant women, etc.
11. Educate your staff on the benefits of getting a flu shot and train them so they can effectively “sell” to your patients.
12. Send a text message reminder to your customers that have opted-in to receive messages from your pharmacy.
- The flu claims an avg of 36,000 lives and hospitalizes more than 200,000 people every year. Schedule a flu shot by calling xxx-xxxx.
- Flu season is just around the corner, protect yourself by getting a flu shot at ____________.
- Stay healthy this winter, get a flu shot. Call ___________ to set up an appointment.
13. Offer a $10 coupon to the store with every flu shot. Restrict the coupons to OTC items only and only on a $20 sale or more.
14. Set up a synchronization alert to automatically remind this year’s flu shot patients when it’s time to come back next year. This strategy works well for any appointment or event in your pharmacy — diabetic shoe reminders, cholesterol testing days, etc. Do you have a medsync program in place? If not, you’re missing out! Here’s a great place to start.
15. Offer free Vitamin C to the community. Position your efforts as a way to keep the community healthy during the season. Not only will it put your pharmacy in a good light, it will also get people to spread the news about your efforts and get people to walk into your store.
16. Add a widget to your blog or website. Go to the CDC website and download one of the many data and statistics widgets they offer for health-related websites and blogs.
17. Inform your Facebook and Twitter communities by uploading your ads, videos, reminders, and exclusive promotions.
18. Set up an after-hours flu shot clinic for professionals that are stuck in the office during your pharmacy’s hours.
19. Write blog posts about the flu season and how to stay healthy. Suggestions: The Truth About Flu Shots, How to Stay Healthy During Flu Season, and What to Do if You Catch the Flu.
20. Staple bag stuffers to each bag leaving the pharmacy with flu flyers.
21. Update your monthly pharmacy newsletter with an ad, educational article, or information hotline number geared about the flu season.
22. Update your pharmacy voice mail message. Include a quick recap of benefits and how they can make an appointment.
Not sure where to start? Voice broadcast scripts, bag stuffers, flyers, FAQ sheets in English and Spanish, etc. can be found in the PDS Advantage Library by searching the keyword “flu.” These documents were designed as basic templates; feel free to edit the information to fit the needs of your pharmacy. Don’t have a PDS Advantage account? If you are a valid pharmacy professional, you can set one up for free here! Begin testing out a few of these ideas this week, and let us know what else you would recommend, or what has worked for your pharmacy in the comments below.
Pharmacy ownership doesn’t have to be scary. Sure, the industry is filled with pitfalls and roadblocks, but there’s no need to fear! Here are four pharmacy rules to get you through this Friday the 13th and beyond.
You can survive and come out the other side with a thriving successful pharmacy.
Don’t Go Swimming
What does swimming have to do with running a successful pharmacy? What we’re trying to say is there is no need to jump into the deep lake in the woods when you don’t have the bandwidth or experience — aka if you aren’t ready to leave the pool you know. Focus on what you do exceptionally well and execute (chainsaw pun intended) to the best of your ability. Take the time to improve processes in your Synchronization program, create an excellent patient experience, provide the best customer service in town. Once you have mastered the skill of swimming in one pool, find yourself a new lake to conquer and repeat the process. Take on the lake of RxAnalytics or implement a Clinical Services program. Rushing to do more than what you are realistically capable of will only lead to trouble.
Don’t Run From the Killer if You Can Fight and WIN
There’s a lot of competition out there, but you can’t be scared to compete. The PBM’S, DIR fees, and big chain stores may be intimidating when they are staring you down, but there isn’t any reason for you to run. You have two secret weapons these competitors can’t offer and they will help you beat the competition every time. What is it that will help you succeed in the face of danger?
- SECRET WEAPON #1: You have a network of pharmacy owners out there just like you that are ready and willing to engage in a knowledge-sharing culture.
Our industry-only message board generates hundreds of posts a week that address everything from technical challenges, to the best kind of shoes to wear when working the bench. The PDS Super-Conference is an exceptional opportunity to engage with the industry elite in person. Many are willing to share their wins, losses, tips, and tricks if it means keeping the industry moving forward.
- SECRET WEAPON #2: Your insider knowledge of your community.
You know the healthcare needs of your area better than any box chain ever could, and this information can be leveraged to impact areas like your profitability, team building, and implementing new revenue streams. Next time you’re looking at a scary competitor, reach for the tools you have to stand up to those that want to see you fall.
If You Trip, Get Up and Keep Running
You can’t just give up when you’re being chased through the woods. Running a business isn’t fool-proof, you will make mistakes as you go. Spending your time and efforts on building prescription volume when you could be leveraging the data in your pharmacy is a mistake, and most pharmacy owners have made it. Some just lay down and accept their fate, but those that see success are the ones who got up and figured out where they should be focusing instead.
Don’t Split Up
Power in numbers. This is true in the horror movies and in the independent pharmacy industry. Our members are the top 25% of the industry, the cutting edge when it comes to pharmacy operations and profitability. In fact, some of our members have become such rockstars in the industry, they are training facilitators for PDS to teach their strategies to other owners. Our RxAnalytics program not only looks at your specific pharmacy data but puts it into the context of other member pharmacies. Independent doesn’t mean alone, our network of approved vendors, subject matter experts, and ever-growing industry-only message board keeps independents engaged and connected for long-term success.
Running your pharmacy business should be fun, not scary. If it’s scary for you, that is a red flag. Talk to us! We can help you lay down a plan to navigate your business to make it through the woods. Or better yet, talk to your peers on the PDS Advantage Industry Message Board (it’s free to sign up and start connecting!). They’ll tell you what we already know — there’s nothing scarier than the unknown.
Join Us at The PDS Super-Conference
Come to the place where the industry meets. This 3-day event is the only event dedicated to pharmacy business growth. Our amazing Lineup of speakers, experts and vendors will blow you away — not to mention the lifetime connections you will make with your fellow attendees. What are you waiting for? Click below to save your seat before we sell out! Come see for yourself why we are so confident in our ability to change your life and improve the profitability of your pharmacy that we have a conference guarantee. If you don’t see the value of the PDS Super-Conference after the first day, we’ll reimburse your travel up to $500 and give you an additional $300 — no questions asked.
Between PBMs, DIR fees, MAC pricing and clawbacks, the independent pharmacy owners we work with are hungry for proven strategies to transform their business. And who would blame them? Identifying ways to supplement your pharmacy’s bottom line is more important than ever with insurance companies and auditors regularly skimming from the top.
Our R&D team is dedicated to creating profitable and patient-focused member programs, such as RxAnalytics. This proprietary system analyzes pharmacy data to uncover specific ways to increase profit margins, but success is not just about making money.
Is this a shocking statement from the “pharmacy profit” guys? Absolutely! However, we know it’s just as critical to be an excellent team leader.
Every year at the annual PDS Super-Conference, we unveil the newest ideas and programs
programs guaranteed to push you past the competition, add cash to your pockets, and work on you as a leader. Why? Because that’s the accelerant for turning “We’re having a good year,“ into “Our accountant is asking why our profitability is this high!“
As our founder, Dan Benamoz, says, PDS can give you the tools necessary to start the campfire, but leadership will turn it into a roaring bonfire that warms everyone and everything. It’s the rocket fuel that gets the PDS programs not only up in the air but into orbit.
Do pharmacy owners forget to value leadership?
The short answer is no. Everyone has an idea of “good leadership” or can picture someone they admire. However, the reality is that pharmacy school taught you how to be a competent healthcare provider, not how to be a leader or business owner. And while some owners have a natural ability, it’s not the reality for most in this field.
In fact, there are three areas Dan believes aren’t discussed enough at universities that we’ve found to be a critical element to success: ethics, leadership and culture.
The root of unethical behavior is greed. It’s important to discuss this with pharmacy owners because the reality is that our industry, which is dictated by insurance companies and PBMs, is built on…well, greed.
Of course, we want to do the right things for the right reasons, and do them for the greater good. However, in this industry, owners sometimes find themselves pushing the envelope just to get by. They feel the only way to win is to cheat the game, which is simply not true. You can do what’s best for the patient and your business while still being able to sleep soundly at night.
As one of the most trusted professions, a title we all wear proudly, we’re here to improve society. We as pharmacists need to ensure we’re furthering that reputation, not hindering it, especially as we get closer to being more integrative in clinical practices. We have the trust and confidence of many people in the community, so it’s critical everyone is careful. What took our profession and your business a lifetime to build can be ruined with one small misstep.
Your team wants someone to follow. Someone who has a vision that will inspire them, foster job satisfaction and fulfillment, as though they’re contributing to something bigger than themselves. Being the pharmacy owner, inherently most of you have assumed the role of Leader. It’s a tremendous responsibility, and to succeed, it’s essential you know what the expectations are so you can cultivate the right work environment. You want your team to look forward to coming in and feel good about providing an essential service to patients in the community. Good leadership has a trickle-down effect, and that’s what we mean when we say quality starts in the boardroom.
What would the Philharmonic be without the symphony hall? Culture represents the environment in which you operate and while it can be hard to fully grasp, it’s critical to success. But is culture intentional or unintentional? For many pharmacies, it’s unintentional, which means they’re probably making some mistakes. If they simply knew more about what they’re doing, they could really set their business on fire. The good news is that it’s usually just a few broken links, not the whole chain. When you can identify these weak links, you can fix them and begin to nurture a culture with intention.
After profitability, employees are one of the biggest frustrations for business owners.
If employees are one of the biggest frustrations, how do we make sure we’re addressing the challenges properly? How do we get culture and leadership to work for pharmacy owners rather than against them? How do we get it to bring you joy?
While we have the programs and strategies to help, we still believe they are not discussed enough. That’s why leadership and culture are always a major theme at the PDS Conference and why we’re inviting the foremost experts to speak at the 2018 event. After all, we only want the best for our show.
We tend to keep our schedule for the show a surprise, but this year we’re so excited about the big names we’ve invited, that we couldn’t resist announcing that John Maxwell will join us in Orlando. He has authored more than 100 books, many being New York Times Best Sellers, selling over 16 million copies, and was named the #1 leadership expert in the world by Inc. Magazine in 2014.
John’s philosophy that “everything rises and falls on leadership,” motivates his every endeavor to help individuals reach their highest potential, both in personal and professional settings.
To him, there’s no higher goal than to help others realize their significance. He has dedicated his life to growing and equipping others to do remarkable things and lead significant and fulfilled lives. John will discuss…
- How to become a person of influence
- Develop the leader within you and those around you
- And, most importantly, how to fail forward
Community pharmacies play an important role and bring a unique value to the areas they serve. This role is particularly important when it comes to natural disasters. The threat of natural disasters isn’t new, but in light of recent times, there is an increased sense of awareness and need for preparedness if the next one is ‘The Big One.’
Under the HIPAA Security Rule and the Medicare Quality Standard, your pharmacy must have a Disaster Recovery Plan in place to implement. It’s a good idea to read up on your plan, research if it is still compliant, and go over this with your team, so there are no additional surprises beyond the stress of the natural disaster itself. Once you have your contingency plan in place, you are better able to serve your community and step in when the situation arises.
Increased awareness surrounding recent and impending natural disasters has driven states and organizations to establish and reassess protocols for disaster recovery plans. These vary state to state so independent pharmacies should confirm that they are up to speed on expectations. This isn’t the type of contribution that we are talking about though, we’re talking about a different list of things that you can do as your communities healthcare destination in support of first responders and federal help.
It all comes down to one overarching idea — Think Locally.
Your Role in Light of Disaster
As a local provider, nobody knows your community, their health care needs, and ailments the way you do. In the case of an extreme disaster, it is possible that responders may take days to get on the ground in your area. In the meantime, serve the community by acting as a liaison for communication, health questions, and readiness support until the Federal assistance arrives.
- If you have working phone lines, allow those who are displaced the opportunity to contact their loved ones and let them know they are safe.
- Remind your patients before an oncoming disaster to fill their prescriptions so they are prepared in case of service disruption after the event. Many patients require life-saving medications and do not think of refilling their medication in the chaos of preparing their homes.
- Provide disaster preparation checklists to your patients that include information on proper medication storage, water safety, shelter, and resource information.
- Reach out to local health officials and offer your services as a community resource center in the event of a disaster.
- Make connections with pharmacies in other areas that may provide services that you do not cover. If one distribution center is depleted, you should always have a backup plan for necessary medication and supplies.
- Be willing to jump in and open your store up to provide life-saving products, equipment and shelter to those in need after the disaster passes. Sometimes people just need a working outlet to charge their phones to reach loved ones.
The key is to have a plan and build the connections before the disaster hits. Practice and test your plan frequently enough so that when something happens, you are prepared to serve your community in what may be their darkest time of need.
PDS Stands With Those Affected by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria.
PDS believes in the strength of communities and supports businesses across the nation and abroad. Our hearts are with those displaced and affected by hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria. If you wish to donate, to hurricane relief, please find a list of charities below:
This is just a short list of groups dedicated to provide relief to those affected. Please take the time to donate and keep the victims and communities in your hearts.
As an owner, what is your first instinct when you stare headlong into another business challenge? Do you immediately lay claim to a solution and disregard input from others? Or, are you the type who treats challenges as an opportunity for growth and improvement?
FACT: No leader can solve every problem or claim to have all the answers.
What they can do is harness one of the most important, yet underestimated skills in any professional repertoire. This skill is the underlying current of PDS; it is what drives us to excel. Our most successful members have grasped this concept and continue to run with it to grow their businesses to reach unimaginable heights.
For 2018, we are focusing on one of the most important lessons every successful member knows, and every entrepreneur should learn: Stay Coachable.
What does all this have to do with announcing our first keynote speaker? Simply put, everything. The exceptional speaker we are revealing has been communicating this message for nearly 40 years as a leadership guru and international keynote speaker.
We are bursting at the seams to tell you that our first keynote speaker who will grace the big stage at the 2018 PDS Super-Conference is the legendary leadership extraordinaire himself… John Maxwell!
John has become a household name and has stayed at the forefront of transforming millions of people into exceptional leaders. The core of his message perfectly aligns with PDS’ mantra: it is never too late to start living up to your potential.
How do you recognize if you are keeping a coachable state of mind?
John Maxwell has identified a few key identifiers to help you understand what makes someone coachable.
- Coachable = Approachable | Someone that is coachable has to have a degree of openness and acceptance; they have to be willing to listen to things they may not want to hear, but they need to hear. They have to be willing to actively listen and apply knowledge without bias on where the idea came from.
- Learn-it-all’s, Not Know-it-all’s | As the saying goes, if you are the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room. If you’re running your business without consideration to the type of value others can bring to the table you are missing out on a wealth of information. Closing your mind to the knowledge and ideas others bring is equal to shutting the door on growth.
- Shifting Gears: The Lynchpin of Leadership | The challenges will never stop, if you’ve been in business for more than a day, you’ve likely picked up on that lesson. What’s the key to managing it all? Shifting gears. Taking a critical look at yourself is just as important as taking an objective and analytical look at the situation. After all, is it possible that you could be the problem?
When we say that the PDS Super-Conference is the most important pharmacy business conference of your career, we aren’t exaggerating. The show we produce is a direct reflection of the PDS core values and is tangible in every aspect of our conference.
If you are a pharmacy owner, manager, employee, or in the pharmacy industry, you owe it to yourself to experience this conference that attendees have been calling year after year “transformational,” “magical,” “breakthrough.” You get the idea.
Don’t believe us? See the results yourself. Join us in Orlando, FL on February 21-23, 2019. You will not regret it!
Independent Pharmacy Owners Deserve to Thrive
The PDS Super-Conference is unlike any other pharmacy conference in the industry. Over the course of our 3-day event, you will discover groundbreaking innovations, exclusive exhibitors, and keynote speakers that will empower and inspire the best in you and your team. Click below to learn more and reserve your place among the industry’s elite.
Here at PDS, we take pride in highlighting some of our incredible solutions partners. We know these companies have the potential to revolutionize pharmacies just like yours through their products and services. We’re excited to introduce Sykes & Company P.A.; read on for their sponsored blog post about why your business needs a pharmacy-specific CPA.
Running your pharmacy is tough, especially in today’s environment. It is important you have a pharmacy-specific CPA in place to help make sure every aspect of your pharmacy’s accounting is taken care of.
When you are looking for a pharmacy-specific CPA, you’ll need someone who:
- Will help improve your daily processes
- Assist with tax reduction
- Provide advisory services critical to your success
The top 6 reasons you need a pharmacy-specific CPA
- A pharmacy CPA knows your industry.
Pharmacy is much too complicated to not have a CPA with experience and contacts in this industry. You should always ask how many pharmacy clients they have as well as basic questions about inventory, third party accounts receivable and gross margins. A CPA with specialized pharmacy knowledge should be relentlessly analyzing these three metrics daily, monthly and yearly, asking the questions that matter and comparing your information to your peers.
Actual inventory counts, perpetual inventory, and monthly dispensing audit logs play an urgent role in analyzing the performance of your pharmacy. Your CPA should be staying on top of your inventory every month and providing valuable feedback.
- Third Party Accounts Receivable
Third party accounts receivable make up a huge portion of your gross revenues with daily EFT deposits and paper check payments. With such a large amount in play, your CPA should understand what your AR third party is, what a reasonable AR third party balance should be for your size pharmacy, and how AR third party impacts your margins.
Did you know that most taxpayers are required to report AR third party on their tax return? Believe it or not, many pharmacy clients we bring on board do not comply with this basic IRS rule, mainly due to lack of CPA experience with pharmacies.
- Gross Margins
Anyone with pharmacy knowledge understands the importance of maximizing gross margins. Each percent increase or decrease in margins can have a huge impact on your bottom net income amount. With such a large amount at stake, your CPA must understand what impacts your margins and what a reasonable and accurate depiction of your gross margin should be for your pharmacy based upon your “blend” of revenue (ie: compounding, specialty, DME, OTC etc.). And, they must have experience about how to help boost margins. Your CPA should also know where you stand vis-a-vis your peers in the industry of similar size revenues.
- A pharmacy CPA is responsive.
When you have a question or a need, you shouldn’t have to wait a few days for a response. In today’s environment, people want instant feedback, so find a CPA who provides an instant response. This keeps you informed every step of the way.
- A pharmacy CPA is proactive.
In addition to being responsive, you want a CPA that is proactive. Many CPA and accounting firms are reactive – it is the nature of the industry. However, times are changing and being proactive is what the best firms are doing for their clients. The best firms are constantly being proactive and thinking several steps ahead for their clients.
Finding these attributes are crucial to you and your business. If you desire to be steps ahead like some of your most successful peers, you need to surround yourself with the right team.
About the Author:
Sykes and Company P.A. is a qualified, responsive and proactive CPA that can help pay huge dividends for you and your business. If costs are an issue, remember the saying: if you think it’s expensive to hire a professional, wait until you hire an amateur.
Independent pharmacy owners have multiple items on their to-do lists, with the most important being properly dispensing medications to ensure their patients recieve the right dose to get well. Running your operations and implementing new programs, all while keeping up with employee morale, can often get pushed to the side. These details may seem minor, but they often what take a back seat and in doing so, negatively impact your business.
Don’t Just Survive. Thrive.
Pharmacies have many opportunities to add additional revenue utilizing their existing prescription customers. You just have to take a deeper look into what you’re already doing. Below are our top 3 ideas to increase revenue without expending too much effort.
- Idea 1: Take a visible end cap on a heavy traffic pattern isle and fill it with seasonal items that are already on your shelves.
- Idea 2: Place a tester for a hand or pain relief cream on your wrapping counter. It’s all about the laws of percentage!
- Idea 3: Recognize which shelving in the store has the most visibility to your customers while they are waiting for their prescriptions to be filled. Find the sections that could be communicating “buy me” while a patient is standing or sittiing down waiting. Make sure to have the right mix of impulse, trendy, cute and useful items.
Cost-Saving Tips to Keep in Mind
- While snacks and candy seem like quick and easy sales, the reality is that their profit margin is too low and take up too much valuable real estate.
- Some specialty candies down low will do the trick especially as “distraction” candy for kids.
- Make sure to stock items that are fun versions of old standbys, such as:
- Neon or animal print nail clippers
- Cell phones paraphernalia (Only EVERY customer over 8 has got one!)
- Pain relief products, or sleep aids
- Unique pill holders (this one is a fast seller!)
There is no playbook or blueprint that guarantees what you should be offering in these highly visible and high-traffic locations – all it takes is trial and error. Your traditional wholesaler carries general drugstore merchandise that you can find in every chain drug, grocery and dollar store. Become the destination for products other than the predictable OTC drug necessities!
Finding the Best Resource for Specialty Items
We live in a society that is constantly consuming. Whether your customer needs a modest gift to give or wants the latest gadget or gizmo, keep something on shelves they’ll be willing to buy. With desire, modest effort and a reliable resource, you can start to fill your registers with much needed augmentation for the low reimbursements you’re receiving on prescriptions.
About the Author:
Langermania is the leader in providing specialty products for independent pharmacies to grow their revenue. Many of our products are not found in the chain stores, eliminating the worry of competition and keeping up with the latest products. We work diligently to source the latest trends to be able to offer over 7,000 stores unique items. Visit our website to see more of what we offer and how we can help grow your independent pharmacy.
For 19 years, PDS has been working with independent pharmacies, just like yours, and we’ve heard the same complaints and frustrations time and again.
“I’m tired of working so hard for such little return.”
“I dread going to work every day, not knowing if tomorow is going to be okay.”
“I don’t know how to get ahead with everything beating down on me.”
“I’ve opened my own pharmacy; what do I do now?”
And for 19 years, we’ve heard you loud and clear. Pharmacy business development is our thing, and we’re the best in the world at what we do. If you or someone you know has said anything remotely close to what you have read in the lines above, take a moment to collect yourself because now is the time to pay attention. After all, what is 12 minutes of your time when it comes to the success of your pharmacy business?
In this short video we want to show you an open door that will lead you and your team to an entirely new way of thinking about pharmacy ownership.
We get it; we sell access to a premium pharmacy membership for a living, so why would you listen to us when we say our stuff works? Because this isn’t about us selling anything to you; this is about you, the pharmacy owner. It’s always been about you, our passion for the industry, and showing owners, just like you that there is a better way. We’re on a mission to change the industry, one pharmacy at a time.
Listen to the real results that actual pharmacy owners are achieving. The proof is in their numbers.
If you want to skip the video, we get it, you’re busy, so we’ve placed a few highlights below. These results are directly from the mouth of two pharmacy owners. One is a long-term PDS member, and the other has only been a PDS member for under 5 months. Keep that in mind — these results have been acheived in only 5 months.
- New Member Pharmacy Owner (Under 5 months as a PDS member)
- Earned $24,000 within the first 14 days of PDS membership.
- Started with an average profit margin of $9.50 per script, she is now at $17.40 per script all from one program.
- This translates into $11,200 per week; $44,800 per month; $537,600 per year in additional profits.
- She was able to give staff $13,000 in bonuses for the first time. How do you think that boosted team morale?
- Long-term pharmacy owner and PDS member
- Consistently ahead of the curve and he is now an early adopter of the latest ‘golden egg’ programs that consistently increase his profits.
- Started at about $12 average profit margin per script, and he can’t remember a time in years when he has ever fallen below $20 average profit margin per script.
Watch these pharmacy owners share their aha moments with you. It gives us the goosies every time we watch it.