Three Ways to Improve Your Cash Balance

If we were to ask independent pharmacy owners what makes their pharmacy run, many might say their inventory, their customer service or their rock-solid team who keep the ship afloat. While all of those are true, the undercurrent at the heart of these statements is money. Make no bones about it, your cash balance dictates your ability to pay your team (and by extension, their families) and whether or not you shudder at the thought of paying your wholesaler bill.

A large part of understanding the science behind profitability is knowing how your money moves through your business. Once you understand how it works and what financial statements you need to review then you will know what to do to improve your cash balance. Money in the bank means that you have a safety net to see you through those industry forces that impact your pharmacy today, such as lower reimbursements, DIR fees and GER contracts. 

As a pharmacy owner, you should be confident in your ability to:

  • Pay your wholesaler on time, every time.
  • Sleep at night knowing that your cash balance is on solid ground.
  • Keep the fear of making payroll a thing of the past.
  • Know how your money moves through your business.

If any of these statements hit home, read on for a few tips to get you on the track to financial freedom.

Better Outcomes, Better Profits

If you’re to increase your cash balance, you must understand that profitability follows great patient care. This is not something we tout as a feel-good story. We mean that if you look at your dispensing data to find where there are more effective therapeutic options for your patients which also offer higher reimbursements, this is a win-win for you and your patients.

Real-Life Application: One PDS member pharmacy consulted with their patients and prescribers to help their patients get the most effective drug available with their insurance. Without any changes to the total Rx volume, this pharmacy was able to increase their gross profit by $25,000 – all from one drug!

As you continue to analyze your data, you’ll start to

  • Discover more profitable opportunities
  • Increase your average margin dollars per prescription
  • Earn more profits without filling more prescriptions
  • Mitigate low-yield prescriptions
  • Build trust as a thoughtful, dedicated healthcare advocate

PDS offers our members access to our proprietary platform, RxAnalytics, a tool that can help you revolutionize how you see patient care and profitability. Fill out the form to learn how you can get a pharmacy performance analysis to know whether RxAnalytics is the right place for you to start.

Synchronize Your Way to Money in the Bank

The foundation for a profitable, high-performing pharmacy is a solid medication synchronization program. Many pharmacies don’t implement this program correctly; therefore, don’t see the benefits of improved workflow, reduced expenses, scheduled staffing, improved adherence, and opportunities for healthy patient interventions.

There’s no magic involved. You don’t have to be a “special kind of owner” to achieve results that impact your profitability so you can rest easy knowing your cash balance is on solid ground. Besides the patient, workflow, prescriber, performance, and marketing impact you gain from implementing a successful synchronization program, the direct financial impact is undeniable.

Your synchronization program should be able to:

  • Deliver more prescriptions per patient
  • Lower expenses per prescription
  • Improve inventory management
  • Allow for more effective staffing

You’ll see all of these benefits in your financial statements, and the numbers don’t lie. PDS offers a comprehensive training to equip owners with the tools and knowledge they need to properly implement this program and synchronize their way to better financials.

Get the clarity you need to be sure that medication synchronization, and the PDS exclusive member program SyncRx, is the right place for you to start. Fill out the form to learn how to get started with a pharmacy performance analysis.

Understanding Your Money

In order to move from the unknown to the known, you have to understand the health of your finances. Stop worrying over how much money you have in the bank and start by creating a plan of attack. PDS is offering a pharmacy performance analysis from an experienced independent pharmacy owner. In this analysis, we’ll show you:

  • A snapshot of your pharmacy’s performance in four key areas
  • The eight KPIs you should measure
  • The tools you need to move the needle

Take the next step to secure your financial freedom and leave the stress of making ends meet in the past.


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11 Tax Deductions Most Pharmacy Business Owners Should Tap Into

As a pharmacy owner, the tax law is filled with breaks to help you lower your taxable income and put more money into your pocket at the end of the year. After all, it’s not really about how much you make; it’s how much you keep that matters.

The concept is simple, the more you understand the tax rules, the more tax deductions you can legitimately take, the lower your taxable income will be. The tax breaks not only add to your bottom line, but tax codes can also occasionally have a personal benefit. For example, a combination business trip and vacation. It all depends on paying careful attention to IRS rules on just what is — and isn’t — tax deductible.

11 Tax Deductions Most Pharmacy Owners Should Tap Into

Be sure to check out number 10; it’s our favorite. However, it’s important to know we do not claim to be tax experts, please consult with your accountant or tax adviser for complete information.

  1. Your Home Office – Do you often bring work home? If you have a dedicated workspace, you may be eligible. You don’t need a full room to take advantage of this benefit. If your home office is just part of a room; measure your work area and divide by your home’s square footage. The percentage represents how much of the home-related business expenses that you can claim.
  2. Office supplies – Even if you decide not to take the home-office deduction, you can still deduct the business supplies you buy. Don’t forget to keep the receipts for these expenses to offset your taxable business income.
  3. Computer Systems, Robots, and Other Equipment – Items such as computers, copiers, fax machines, and scanners also are tax deductible.
  4. Subscriptions – Do you subscribe to industry-related magazines? You can take the total costs as a full deduction in the year spent.
  5. Mileage – If your pharmacy delivers or you drive often for other work-related reasons, you’re eligible to receive some of your money back. Keep a record of dates, mileage, tolls, parking costs and the purpose of your trip.
  6. Travel, meals, entertainment and gifts – Good news, small-business travelers, the cost of business travel is tax-deductible.  The cost of travel be it air, rail, or auto, is 100 percent deductible.
  7. Telephone charges – You can deduct the cost of the business calls that you make for business from home. When your bill comes in, circle the business-related calls, total them up and keep a copy for when you file as a reference.
  8. Expenses to start up or expand your business – The biggest mistake in deducting expenses to start up or expand your business is failing to make an election to amortize or deduct these expenses in the first year. A paper election is required to be attached to the return, stating your intention to amortize them. Otherwise, the expenses become nondeductible until you sell or liquidate the business.
  9. Charitable Donations –  Save all your receipts, and don’t forget to keep track of contributions of inventory or property.
  10. OUR FAVORITE: Continuing Education –  The tax law is filled with breaks to help small business owners pay for business education events such as the PDS Super-Conference. After all, the smarter and better trained a business owner is, the more likely she will make more money and benefit the entire economic system.
  11. New tax benefits for 2018 – There are new tax rules for 2018. Some old favorites such as the manufacturing credit are gone and instead new benefits such as possibly expensing your inventory are now in play. This benefit alone is worth tens of thousands of saved tax dollars to most owners! It is vitally important you speak with a tax advisor that is schooled in how pharmacy owners can take maximum advantage of the new tax code.

The window of opportunity for reducing your yearly taxable income is about to slam shut on December 31st. While most of your tax deductions are already set in stone, attending the PDS Super-Conference allows you to reduce your taxable income while simultaneously learning the numerous ways the new tax code will benefit pharmacy owners.

Tom Wheelwright, CPA is the visionary and best-selling author behind multiple companies that specialize in wealth and tax strategy. He will be presenting at the PDS Super-Conference showing pharmacy entrepreneurs how to build wealth through practical and strategic ways to permanently reduce taxes.

December 31st is the last day for you to purchase a ticket to the PDS Super-Conference AND write it off as a tax deduction for the year. As stated above, everything is tax-deductible – from the ticket to travel expenses. Join us this February in Orlando, Florida for the most important pharmacy conference of the year.

PDS is proud to bring you the Annual Pharmacy Business Super-Conference with three days of actionable content. Independent doesn’t mean alone. Gain the knowledge and strategies shared by 1,600+ thriving pharmacy owners.

Questions to Ask When Investing in Your Independent Pharmacy’s Future

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 Associated Pharmacies, Inc. (API), read on for their sponsored blog post about investing in your pharmacy’s future.


Your independent pharmacy is your livelihood and your calling. Whether you enjoy the autonomy, the ability to make a difference in people’s lives, or the contributions you can make to your community – or all of the above – you own your community pharmacy for a reason, and you work hard to see it succeed.

Investing in yourself and your business has never been more important than in today’s business environment – whether your store operates in a close-knit small town, a crowded city, or anything in between.

What does it take to build a strong, patient-centric pharmacy business that will keep people coming back?

It starts with you, your vision, and the important decisions you make. Every day you seek out the most beneficial choices in pricing and services as you make efforts to grow your pharmacy. Growth and change are necessary aspects of any successful venture, but this is particularly true for independent pharmacy owners.

As you look to the future, what’s next for your pharmacy? How will you face the rapid changes in the pharmaceutical marketplace and come out stronger?

Surrounding yourself with the tools you need to succeed is always a key part of moving forward, and some of your most valuable assets are your suppliers – plural. Rarely will any direct offer secure the best total cost of inventory. According to Jeff Hetrick of McDonald Pharmacy, “Frankly, you can’t maintain the proper cost of goods or buying situation on a wholesale or direct deal anymore.”

Direct contracts or a group contract – which is better?

Contracting directly with a supplier may seem like an efficient option, but is it really what’s best for your bottom line and the future viability of your pharmacy? When cable and telephone companies bundle services together, it can often be hard to discern the true value and costs. The same is true of an independent direct pharmaceutical supplier deal. In particular, in a world where pharmaceutical prices rapidly fluctuate, individual direct wholesaler termed deals or contracts can severely hamper a pharmacy’s ability to save money.

Pharmaceutical purchase agreements have become a very complex contracting process in which the buyer must be very careful of what they ask for AND must read and understand every aspect of the agreement. Today all primary purchase agreements require some type of purchasing requirements or compliance to be eligible for the desired discounts and rebates. Can you meet the requirements? What are the consequences if you don’t? Many owners wish to purchase from other sources than just the primary supplier, but how much CAN be purchased if the contracted compliance rate is 90% or 95%? How is that compliance rate calculated?

Most important with any purchase agreement is to not lose sight of the bottom line. Your focus needs to be on the DOLLAR cost to purchase your pharmaceutical inventory – not the compliance percentages, discount percentages or rebate percentages. Before you commit your business to a 2-3 year commitment, you should completely understand the effect the contract terms will have on your business.

The good news is, you have options, and independent pharmacies’ preferred generic Rx partner just got better. API’s warehouse program is designed to improve cash flow, starting with a 20% instant generic rebate off invoice pricing. Keep more money in your pocket from the beginning. This allows more flexibility to focus your time and efforts on your patients and increasing capital to invest in improving your pharmacy and its services.

Make sure you’re getting the best cost of goods. Empower yourself to look at your pharmacy’s future today.


About the Author:

Associated Pharmacies, Inc. (API), the warehouse subsidiary of American Associated Pharmacies (AAP), is designed to lower operating costs and increase margins on Brand Rx, Generic Rx, and OTC’s. API is member-owned, which means the profits make their way back to you as the customer. After a 20% INSTANT generic rebate, you receive the remainder of monthly accrued generic Rx rebates that can total up to 49%. You can also earn Generic Achievement Credits for every $7,000 in monthly generic Rx purchases. Additionally, earn Generic Loyalty Rebates on qualifying annual purchases at the end of the year. Need brands? Brand discounts are available at up to cost minus 6.75%.

At API, you purchase how YOU want to buy. API will ship any order in any quantity; reasonable minimum orders only apply to whether shipping fees are waived. With over 2,000 SKUs at the best net prices, API has everything you need to take care of your patients. Invest in your future, your customers, and your pharmacy. Make API your pharmacy’s NEXT improvement.

{PDS Sponsored Post} The 5 C’s of Credit: What a Bank Looks for When Lending to Independent Pharmacists

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 Live Oak Bank, read on for their sponsored blog post about how to best prepare when looking for a business loan.


A bank’s decision to lend money to a borrower is not rocket science. The final decision is made based on five founding principles. At the core of any loan process is a credit analysis to determine the risk associated with making the loan and the likelihood of repayment. In business financing, it is not just a matter of evaluating the business, but also the borrowers associated with its ownership and operations.

Most credit analyses use the five C’s to evaluate the risk of a loan:

  • Character
  • Capital
  • Conditions
  • Collateral
  • Cash flow

Documents such as tax returns (individual and business), personal financial statement (PFS), resume, interim profit and loss statements, balance sheets and a business plan help paint the picture of a borrowers five C’s. Below we’ll explain each of these categories and discuss why pharmacy owners should pay attention before seeking financing for their pharmacy.

Character: Can a bank trust you?

From each interaction, the bank is determining honesty and integrity. Lenders need to be confident that the applicant has the background, education, industry knowledge and experience required to operate their pharmacy successfully. This all amasses to answer the question of “can we trust that you will be able to run this business successfully and pay back our loan?”

Business owners have a personal financial history that can help paint a picture of their (likely) future behavior. There are many factors that influence loan approvals, and personal finances and credit can have a significant impact on your ability to borrow money for business purposes.

Your credit report is your track record of prior debt repayment. It compiles your debt story in one place then tells a reader how successful you are at paying your debt back. Balances, credit limits, and payment history are reported from your credit cards, student loans, mortgages, car loans or other lines of credit. Payment history is one of the most significant factors in your credit score.

Tip: Check your reports before talking to a lender; if there are any delinquencies, be prepared to explain.

Capital: What is your investment?

When asking to borrow money from a lender, they’re going to ask what personal
investment, or capital, you plan to make or have already made in the business. Contributing personal assets demonstrates that you are willing to take a personal risk for the sake of your pharmacy business; it shows that you have ‘skin in the game.’

To assess your personal financial position, the lender will request a PFS; this shows a summary of your assets, things of value you own, liabilities, debts or obligations. It also indicates your financial responsibility. From these numbers, you are then able to calculate your net worth, which is assets minus liabilities.

Accumulating credit card debt, even in smaller amounts, can appear as a less favorable type of spending behavior than larger student debt balances used to invest in your education or a reasonable mortgage for a house. Savings are important as it shows the lender that you are living within your means.

Tip: Consider these two questions about your PFS. Does your PFS align with your past and current job positions? Does your PFS reflect a history of responsibility when it comes to managing your personal finances?

Conditions: What is the money being used for?

To the lender, conditions represent what the money can be used for and the overall health of the industry. Many things factor into how the lender evaluates the conditions. The premise is that they are gaining a perspective on what the loan will be used for, what will be taking place, the status of the business, as well as the status of the profession and marketplace economy. Lenders like to see positive trends and robust business plans with a thoughtful plan for growth and continuity.

Common reasons for pharmacy financing include: acquiring an existing pharmacy, expansion, renovations, prescription file buys, working capital and refinancing existing loans.

Collateral: What if you don’t pay back the loan?

A lender has to consider the worst-case scenario. What happens if the borrower chooses not to pay back the loaned money?

Collateral acts as a secondary source of repayment. A lender will consider the value of the business’ assets and the personal assets of the guarantors as potential collateral for the loan. Collateral also acts as a psychological motivator, as people tend to get more resourceful when they have something to lose.

Cash flow: How will you pay it back?

To approve the loan, the lender wants to get comfortable with how your pharmacy will be able to repay the loan successfully. With business loans, the repayment ability is coming from the performance of the business being evaluated and the state of their cash flow. You should have sufficient income to support your business expenses and debts comfortably while also providing principals’ salaries sufficient to support personal expenses and debts. Cash flow management is an imperative skill for any small business owner.

There is a lot to prepare for when looking to obtain a loan. Always remember character, capital, conditions, collateral and cash flow as the pillars of a typical credit analysis. Start reviewing these five areas to help the lender evaluate your business to better understand the risk of making the loan.

Terminology Key

  • Revenue: The amount of money generated from business sales and activity. Also referred to as income, sales, or “the top line.”
  • Cost of Goods Sold (COGS): Cost of the materials to perform the services you deliver, and goods sold. This is the primary variable or direct expense for the business because it varies directly with sales volume.
  • Gross Profit: Money available for the company to meet its overhead and other general expenses.
  • Operating Expenses: General expenses of the business not directly associated with a sale. They are also known as overhead costs or indirect expenses.
  • Net Income: The resultant dollar amount after all other expenses have been subtracted from the gross profit.
  • Net Operating Income (NOI): A simple measure of the company’s cash flow available. Calculated by add-backs to net income.
  • Margin: Ratios created to translate dollar amounts into percentages to express efficiency.
  • Debt Service: Total dollar amount owed for principal and interest payments on a debt.

About the Author:

Live Oak Bank’s mission is to create an unprecedented banking experience for small business owners nationwide, through service and technology. Live Oak Bank is not your traditional bank. With a laser focus on innovation in finance and technology, we bring efficiency and excellence to the lending process. We believe deeply in personal service and focus on taking care of our customers throughout the life of the relationship.

3 Ways Pharmacy School Failed Independent Owners (and what to do about it)

3 Ways Pharmacy School Failed Independent Owners

3 Ways Pharmacy School Failed Independent Owners

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.  

1. Ethics 

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. 

2. Leadership 

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.  

3. Culture 

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

{PDS Sponsored Post} The Top 6 Reasons You Need a Pharmacy-Specific CPA

The Top 6 Reasons You Need a Pharmacy-Specific CPA

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.


The Top 6 Reasons You Need 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.

  • Inventory

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.

PDS Sponsored Content

7 Powerful Business Lessons From the 7 Kingdoms of Westeros

7 Powerful Business Lessons From the 7 Kingdoms of Westeros
 7 Powerful Business Lessons From the 7 Kingdoms of WesterosLike the 7 Kingdoms of Westeros, the pharmacy landscape is, at best, a tumultuous environment where the little guys are at a seeming disadvantage, and the power-hungry folks on top make the rules.

With Game of Thrones season in full swing, we noticed some key strategic lessons in the series that apply to life and business. Indulge us for a moment as we bring you through some hard lessons in business, life, and pharmacy from our favorite Game of Thrones characters. This is relevant, we promise!

Lesson 1: Never Underestimate the Importance of Perseverance.

Sure, no one likes Cersei Lannister, but look at the lesson she imparts to us; unbridled determination and perseverance is a cornerstone of success.Those who don’t believe it should look at how independent pharmacies are still thriving despite PBMs, DIR fees, and mega chains. With the right knowledge, unwavering determination, and confidence in your convictions, a thriving, successful business is within your reach.

As a pharmacy owner, you can find out how to get that knowledge and develop the confidence in your decisions here.

Lesson 2: Don’t Let the Past Determine Your Future

Throughout his life, Jon Snow believed what people told him; there were limits in his life, and the faster he accepted it, the better. Well, look who’s King of the North now! Okay, okay, but our point is that in business (pharmacy or the business of ruling) you have to know when to disregard limitations, self-imposed or otherwise.

Driven by a clear vision, Snow is focused on getting the right tools, in this case, Dragon Glass to accomplish his mission. Others in his company lack perspective, leaving him to take the first steps into the unknown. An inspired vision for your pharmacy business isn’t enough; you need the right tools and team. Improvement and growth require thoughtful execution, so seek out the best in your industry and take a calculated risk; the benefits are worth it.

Lesson 3: An Educated Mind is Sharper than a Sword

Tyrion Lannister was not born equipped for success in the traditional Westerosi way, but he has ascended the figurative ladder considerably through on-going education. Continuously sharpening your mind, expanding your skills, and adding to your area of expertise ensures that you and your team never become obsolete.

Tyrion teaches us a powerful lesson about upward mobility through on-going development both personal and professional. Education doesn’t only apply to the leader. Training your team is key to achieving an efficient, results-driven culture. How do you know when to educate your team? These are the questions you should ask yourself as a leader who has a team in need of training.

Lesson 4: There is No Template for Success

Daenerys Targaryen started out as a character on the fringes, beholden to no one. At best, success was unlikely. At worst, if she failed, she’d be a footnote. Independent pharmacy owners, like Danaerys, have been pushed to the edges and all but forgotten in light of challenges such as chain stores and problematic PBMs.

Far from being marginalized, exceptional pharmacy owners, much like Daenerys have managed to maintain an unbreakable edge after enduring waves of inequity by finding strength in numbers. The most progressive pharmacy owners have started to discover their tribe and demonstrate the power to impact a brighter future.

Just like Khaleesi herself, independents across the nation have discovered a new way of thinking. Join the top 20% of them in February at the 2018 PDS Super-Conference. Grab your dragons and join your tribe in Orlando! Okay maybe leave your dragons at home (fire hazards and all). Find more info here.

Lesson 5: Start Where You are and Use What You GoT (we couldn’t help it).

As a lesser known, but pivotal, character, Lord Varys signifies the power of resilience and resourcefulness. He uses his little birds to make informed decisions on data points to advance in the game. It seems Varys has a thousand hands and ears, all able to measure, track and assess the current pulse of the environment and act accordingly.

Just like Lord Varys, PDS members use a vast and comprehensive system that analyzes existing data to discover a way to dramatically increase their profit per prescription. The PDS member exclusive system is called RxAnalytics. Curious? Find out more here.

Lesson 6: Watch, Observe, Act

In a time where most people shoot first and aim later, Littlefinger understands that there is power in patience. There are three elements to his formula for success; observe, assess, and then make an informed decision. Sustainability is built on timely and informed decisions. We can all take a cue from Littlefinger on playing the long game. His patience and leveraging of the right relationships keep him moving forward. Applying these characteristics to your business will do the same.

PDS has more than 1,000 member pharmacies, and many of them make up the top 20% in the industry. Coincidence? Not at all. These owners know that patience, key resources, and the right relationships will drive your success. Join the most successful pharmacy owners in the nation, ready to welcome you to the team. The PDS Super-Conference is where they’ll be. Will you join?

Lesson 7: You Can Be aVictim, or You Can Win

It’s fitting that we end with a character who has been beaten and down-trodden, which perfectly analogizes independent pharmacies against the unfair pharmacy environment.

Arya Stark chose to rise above the treatment she has endured to become the deadliest wolf in sheep’s clothing. Her lesson is simple and one we reiterate to our members: You have the choice on how you react to your circumstances. You can be part of the owners that succumb to the inequities in our industry or you can gain new skills and choose to be a fighter and triumph over your adversities.

You can be a victim, or you can be a victor. Which will you choose?


Join us to see what we’re all about at the 2018 PDS Super-Conference in Orlando Florida on February 22-24, 2018 at the Orlando Convention Center. If you are a pharmacy owner, manager, key employee or anyone in the industry concerned with the state of pharmacy, you must join us to discover the solution that the top 20% of the industry have already discovered. Own your future and don’t let the game beat you down. Click here or below to find out more.

 

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Refinance Debt: Easy Cash Flow for Your Pharmacy

Refinance Debt: Easy Cash Flow for Your Pharmacy

Here at PDS, we have many incredible solutions partners that have the ability to revolutionize pharmacies through their products and services. We’re so excited to share with you one of them — First Financial Bank. Read on for their guest blog post below about refinancing your pharmacy debt. Enjoy!


Cash flow is critical to any small business, and the world of independent pharmacy is no exception. In today’s environment, a rising number of business owners are acquiring debt withEasy Cash Flow for Your Pharmacy unreasonable repayment terms. In this case, refinancing may be a viable option for business owners. When looking at a potential refinance, you need to evaluate your existingdebt and analyze the repayment requirements to see if this option contributes to improving your business’ overall financial health.

There are many different types of debt in addition to traditional bank loans and lines of credit. Those include owner financing, Small Business Administration (SBA) or conventional loans, wholesale debt, business credit cards, and merchant cash advances that require daily payments. An independent pharmacy owner may have one or any combination of these debts. Refinancing can potentially reduce loan payments, extend the term of the debt, consolidate multiple loans into one lower payment, and improve working capital. Additionally, paying off creditors enhances the business reputation of the pharmacy, reduces the possibility of litigation, and helps re-establish solid relationships between the pharmacy and key suppliers.

If you are considering refinancing; you will want to ask yourself several questions before deciding to refinance.

  • What is your current interest rate?
  • Does your loan have a balloon payment coming due?
  • Are there prepayment penalties on the current debt?
  • Do you have stacked debt (multiple loans: bank loans, credit cards, etc.)?
  • Do you have a good credit score?
  • Does the pharmacy have prepared financial statements?
  • Will the pharmacy’s cash flow support the refinanced loan?
  • What is the cost of refinancing?
  • Do you have the patience to deal with the paperwork involved?
  • Will this improve your cash flow?
  • Is the Small Business Administration (SBA) a viable option?

Interest rates are at historically low levels, even with the recent increases. If the business owner has stacked debt or higher interest rate loans in place, a reduction in your interest rate could significantly improve cash flow.

A credit score is also something to consider in the refinance process. A score of 680 or higher is usually preferred by lenders. The pharmacy also needs to have credible financial statements that show that the refinanced debt can be supported by the pharmacy’s current cash flow after removing the old loan payments. 

Owners should also examine the cost of the refinancing. Loan fees, appraisals, title work, and other costs associated with refinancing range from 3% to 6% of the loan amount. However, these fees can be included in the loan and paid over the term of the note. Typically there is no equity injection, also known as a down payment, required for refinancing debt.

The SBA is a viable option for refinancing business debt for independent and community pharmacies. Because of the complexity of the SBA loan, choosing a lender with a dedicated SBA division and expertise in the pharmacy segment is highly preferred.

Refinancing your current debt to improve cash flow may be a useful option for independent pharmacy owners to free up cash flow. If you think this could be an option for you, find a knowledgeable lender that specializes in Independent Pharmacy Financing to answer all of your questions.

 

Your Pharmacy Financial Data is Speaking to You. Are You Listening?

Your Pharmacy Financial Data

Know the Red Flags, or Sink.

Your Pharmacy Financial Data is Speaking to You. Are You Listening?

Pearson’s Law: Everything measured improves, and everything measured and reported on improves exponentially.

When is the last time you measured your pharmacy’s financial progress? We’re willing to bet that most reading this don’t take a deep dive into what makes their pharmacy thrive — and what is bogging the business down.

Understanding your financial statements is a necessary game business owners must play if they intend to win. Far from a boring topic, speaking your pharmacy’s financial language will become fun once you can interpret what your statements are trying to say to you. Once you tap in, it will start telling you if you are on the right track, what initiatives or tactics are viable, and what ventures you should drop immediately.

Waiting until symptoms manifest shouldn’t be the time to look into your data. You must be able to identify what’s happening in your business long before things go south. Below are some red flags you should look out for that signal a vital need to look into your statements immediately.

Red Flags to Look Out For:

  • Your pharmacy cash balance is low.
  • Your payables are growing, but your cash is not.
  • You have little or no understanding of what your true accounts receivable balance is.
  • Your payroll is not the ideal of 11-13% of revenue.

Learn to Speak Your Business’ Financial Language

Cashflow and understanding financial records are your keys to discovering what your business is saying to you. Pharmacy Development Services offers two ways to take control of your financial data.

  1. Cash Flow 101 Workshop: This training course teaches you to understand the language of your statements and how to check the pulse of your financials so you can determine the next course of action you need to take as a business to keep that arrow moving up. In this workshop, pharmacy owners step into the lion’s den to learn how to read, understand and interpret financial statements along with other pharmacy data to help you make better management decisions and seize opportunities. Get an insider’s look at what the Cash Flow 101 course is all about by watching this video of one of the workshops below. Find more details and catch the next session here.
  2. PDSfinancials: Level up your pharmacy by taking control of your finances. We take your messy pharmacy financial records, clean them up, make them easy to read and enable data-driven decisions. We’ll also standardize your chart of accounts, convert your old QuickBooks and fully reconcile all of your bank and credit card accounts — plus more! Find out more about our comprehensive pharmacy package and inquire about the service here.

Get an insider’s look at Cash Flow 101 from an attendee’s eyes below:

 

Don’t wait until those red flags sink your ship. Understanding your financials can mean the difference between thriving and closing your doors for good.

For more information on Pharmacy Development Services Pharmacy Training Courses, click here.

 

Free Webinar: Hitting a Profitability Home Run – Automating Your Pharmacy’s Inventory Management

Pharmacy's Inventory Management

Anyone who manages an independent pharmacy knows how intractable the challenge of inventory management can be, whether perpetual or not. Cycle counting, managing C-II logs, order point adjustments, and tracking expired stock are among the labor intensive processes that can drastically impact the profitability of your business. How can a pharmacy with competing demands on technician and pharmacist labor keep perpetual inventory without a significant time investment?

You can hit a “profitability home run” by maintaining accurate perpetual inventory that can reduce the overall inventory carry, minimize stock-outs, and enhance the overall standard of patient care. The problem is one of automation—how can a pharmacy with competing demands on technician and pharmacist labor keep perpetual inventory without a significant time investment?  How does a pharmacy balance profit vs. cashflow?

The current model for keeping perpetual inventory should be well-known to anyone who manages daily operations in an independent pharmacy:

Manual Perpetual Inventory Management Cycle

Manual Perpetual Inventory Management Cycle

The end result of these processes is, hopefully, accurate perpetual inventory. But the major drawback is the amount of time investment required to have someone cycle count, manage par levels and reordering, check in totes against a manifest, and physically place bottles on shelves. And if someone calls in sick, or it’s a busy Monday and there’s no time, or a technician forgets to cycle count, it can quickly become extremely difficult to keep up with the management cycle. The result is often the “garbage in, garbage out” problem, which is the tendency of manual inventory systems to drift over time, leading to inaccurate data, which in turn causes stock-outs, incorrect order quantities, and ultimately poorer customer service this crushes cashflow and suppresses profit.  

Automating the cycle eliminates the problems inherent in the manual process, and is now finally achievable with the introduction of the RxSafe 1800.

Automated Perpetual Inventory Management Cycle

Automated Perpetual Inventory Management Cycle

With the RxSafe System, manual processes are replaced by automation, and stock bottles are actually stored in native packaging. This video explains the basic functionality of the system in more detail. Essentially, the RxSafe system is completely unique to the marketplace and shifts the focus of pharmacy automation from vial filling to inventory management, control, and efficiency. The time you save will allow you to pay closer attention to money-making opportunities, adherence programs, pharmacy services, and patient consulting, to name a few.

Add Datarithm to your RxSafe and realize the complete automated perpetual benefit from the cloud! Datarithm’s innovated features include: automated demand forecasting, order point updates, inventory returns and transfer recommendations, along with advance analytics in easy to understand reports. Datarithm’s customizable inventory solution adapts as your business changes ensuring you have what is needed, in the proper amounts, secured in your RxSafe!

Check out our FREE webinar with RxSafe to learn more about what automation can do for your pharmacy’s inventory. Being able to get a handle on this vital side of the pharmacy business will pay dividends down the road.

free webinar