Your Roadmap is Waiting
When you attend our Super-Conference, you’ll notice that one of our beloved traditions is to recognize the PDS members who have shaken the ground in their success in the last year. These are pharmacy owners who, in one short year, have claimed their success over a variety of struggles. Be it cashflow issues, cultural deficits, financial decline, stagnation — you name it, these owners have come out on top.
Have you ever wondered how successful pharmacy owners have managed to bet against the house and win? Well, we have your roadmap, and it’s easier that you think! You just have to come and sit at the table.
Hundreds of your peers can attest to the success they’ve achieved. We have proof in what your peers are saying and in hard numbers. This is the real deal and we have a guarantee to back it.
If you want to learn more about the PDS Super-Conference, watch the video below as our very own Nicolette Mathey, PharmD and Pharmacy Expert shows real success from real pharmacists… and how their success is your gain!
Watch the video below!
The PDS Super-Conference is the pharmacy event of the year that is guaranteed to change the way you run your business. Join us for the next event in February! Click below for details.
What if we told you it’s possible to thrive during this holiday bustle?
This year’s busy retail season is crazier than ever, and you may be wondering how you will survive Christmas 2016. We know firsthand that major shifts in customer volume and stock shortages are hard to predict. Nevertheless, we want to assist you in taking care of the things that you can control. And, to help you eliminate stress and make sure your operations run smoothly, we created a simple list of practical tips that will help prepare your pharmacy to thrive through the New Year.
- Make sure your shelves are properly stocked, so customers who come in to purchase specific items don’t have to wait in the long lines just to ask if you have more. On the flip side, avoid packing shelves with too much merchandise: displaying fewer items creates the sense of urgency and motivates customers to buy while supplies last.
- Place products strategically throughout the store to maximize sales. Get creative – prepare a speedy recovery kit: tissue paper, hand sanitizer and cold medicine – and display it next to the checkout line or in the areas where customers are waiting on their prescriptions. This will help sell individual items faster, and your patients will know that you care. Eager to introduce new items or promote existing merchandise? Display themnext to your holiday best sellers for more visibility and they won’t go unnoticed.
- Organize selling floor and supply areas so additional merchandise is readily available for quick restocking, especially during rush hours and after store closing. The last thing you want to do is to spend time trying to hunt down a specific product, especially while your customer is waiting.
- Consider extending holiday hours these last few days of 2016. Everyone is busy and your time-crunched customers will appreciate the convenience of having an extra hour of uninterrupted shopping. There should be nothing more important than serving your customers.
- Evaluate last year’s holiday sales to plan and effectively organize staff: reports that are available in your POS system may provide an insight on customer count for a specific time frame, allowing you to quickly identify peak retail shopping hours and schedule more employees for when you need them. Slack times may also be leveraged with preassigned projects: for example, frontline employees who normally run cash registers can help organize shelves and clean the floor during less busy hours.
- Prepare your staff: for some of your employees this may be their first retail season. Working through holiday hassle and bustle can be overwhelming, so make sure your team understands the responsibilities and has all available resources to effectively prioritize and complete tasks.
- Use sales games as positive reinforcement to reward your staff when they practice higher level selling skills. For example, if the average items per sale in your store is 2.27 items, you should reward them for higher results – like selling 4 or more items to a single customer or achieving a daily average of 3 items per sale or more. To hit those goals, they will have to try harder at adding-on with every customer. The key to making games work for your employees is to make them fun!
We hope that our holiday tips will help you bring down stress levels, boost morale and spread cheer and joy among your team members and patients!
What are your best practices this Holiday Season? Let us know in the comments…
Interested in acquiring more out-of-the box ideas that will diversify your pharmacy?
Whether your goal is to skyrocket your profits, become a stronger leader, increase organizational efficiency or protect your assets, we invite you to join the industry’s movers and shakers (just like you!) at the PDS All Star Super-Conference. Join us for the next event in February! Click below for details.
Millennials, defined as those born between the early 1980’s and 2000, are an extremely brand-loyal generation. Developing relationships with this demographic should be a major goal for your pharmacy. One of the best ways to gain the business of this 80-million member group is to gain their trust. You will be well on your way to securing millennial supporters if you adhere to these six easy tips:
Maintain an Authoritative Online Presence
Their ability to find information about you and your products is crucial. If you offer a service at your pharmacy, like a medication synchronization program, put it on your website and publicize it. Millennials did not learn computers and internet skills later in life like older generations – internet access is all they have ever known. They are the first generation to grow up in a digital world and simply will not trust a business without a quality website and reasonable social media engagement.
Engage with Them
It’s not enough to just have a website and social media accounts. They want to engage with brands on social networks. 62% of millennials say that if a brand interacts with them on social networks, they are more likely to become a loyal customer. This obviously requires more labor on your part, but will be well worth it when your business expands as a result.
Don’t Ignore Their Complaints
Some sociologists refer to the millennials as an entitled generation. What this means for your pharmacy is that ignoring their feelings is a sure way to lose their business. When problems develop, do not avoid them, make excuses or place blame. You should immediately fix the issue. In a millennial’s eyes, the customer is always right and keeping them happy is your responsibility.
Never Misrepresent a Product or Service
Remember, this is the group of people most likely to engage with their peer group over social media. Never misrepresent the features, advantages and benefits of a product or promise anything you can’t deliver. One millennial who feels they have been lied to can easily alert hundreds or even thousands of others within seconds, which will cause big problems for you. On the other hand, millennials can serve as irreplaceable ambassadors if they are happy with your business.
Let Them Help You Plan
Millennial customers are the future, so why not let them help plan that future? When determining upcoming services or goals, let a group of millennials help you decide on the next big steps. In a Forbes survey, 42% said they are interested in helping companies develop future products and services. Typically, companies create products and hope that their target market will consume them. Millennials don’t like this traditional mindset – they want to be involved with products from the beginning of development. If your pharmacy enables them to be part of your brainstorming, the whole process will be more successful.
Donate or Volunteer Locally
Millennials want to stay loyal to a brand that gives back to society. In the same Forbes survey, 75% said that it’s at least somewhat important that a company gives back instead of just making a profit. Millennials love brands that support their local communities and would rather purchase from them than corporate competitors. Your pharmacy can do this easily by rolling out a free children’s vitamin program or other services to benefit underprivileged youth.
If you want to build trust and credibility with your Millennial customers and hold on to them for life, you can easily get started today by watching our free webinar, 5 Ways to Attract, Engage, & Delight Millennials.
“Success comes in cans, not in cannots.” as PDS 2017 keynote speaker Joel Weldon is known for saying. The pharmacy myth that you cannot improve patient outcomes while increasing profits is a dangerous and false self-limiting prophecy; though it is understandable why some would believe it. Driving profits while simultaneously adhering to the best interest of the patient seems too good to be true.
Whether you are focusing on patient outcomes, sales, customer service, or leadership, it all comes down to the relationship you build with your patients that determines the success of your efforts. At PDS2017 Joel Weldon’s presentation “Elephants Don’t Bite! Little Things Make the Difference” will address how your team can take small actions to make a big difference in patient outcomes. PDS has identified 3 ways you can start taking action today. Read on to find out.
Every profit opportunity you implement should directly tie into the goal of better patient outcomes; this is the undercurrent of each strategy Pharmacy Development Services (PDS) provides our members, time and again. Some of our most profitable programs such as our SyncRx+ training rely solely on improving patient outcomes through engagement. The dedicated practice of routine comprehensive medication reviews and medication management pays in the currency of increased patient wellness, understanding, and compliance along with the growth of your bottom line.
PDS offers an array of member programs that produce pharmacy profits and address the patient’s best interest. You need only look at programs such as Bedside Delivery, Clinical Services Profit Ignitor, and Diabetes Care Club. Our point is that sacrificing profits for better patient outcomes is a myth that is dangerous to the pharmacy owner who believes it.
Now that this myth has been debunked, what is the process to ensure a constant focus on improved wellness and profits?
The short answer is, your pharmacy team. The slightly longer answer is, by focusing on the little things you and your team do every day. This leads us to something we’re very fond of saying at PDS:
It’s all the little things done exactly right that separates the ordinary stores from the extraordinary ones.
Your patients’ wellness starts the moment they walk into your store. Creating a culture where your team is knowledgeable of medications, drug interactions, and store products, will expand your patient wellness significantly.
Here are 3 ‘little things’ your team can do to focus on better patient outcomes while ensuring pharmacy profits:
- Provide ‘upsolutions’ to customers that walk through the door.
For example, a team member can suggest solutions such as probiotics to offset antibiotics, or supplements for nutrient depletion — all to ensure patients receive the best therapeutic outcome from their prescriptions.
- Train your pharmacy team regularly.
Providing your team with the proper knowledge of pharmacy products, basic drug interactions, and common upsolutions will give your store the edge it needs to keep the customers happy and healthy.
- Create meaningful conversations with patients.
Your team is in the position to have impactful and informative conversations with patients. Train them to treat every interaction as an opportunity to ask questions, impart knowledge, and coach your customers toward adherence and improved outcomes.
Want more? At the 2017 PDS All-Star Super-Conference, one of our keynote speakers, Joel Weldon, dug deep into how the little things can make the largest difference in your pharmacy, namely on patient wellness and profitability.
Missed the 2017 conference? No problem! You can register now to attend next conference in February!
When you partner with organizations such as Pharmacy Development Services (PDS) and Live Oak Bank, you are choosing to do what it takes to win in an unfair game. You no longer have to make due with whatever prescriptions come through the door. If you know where to look there are countless opportunities to make a substantial profit in your independent pharmacy. Continue reading “Busier or More Profitable: Which Would You Rather Be?”
The Walking Dead (TWD) series has captured the dark imagination of TV audiences over the past six years, and fans (many of whom work at Pharmacy Development Services) are counting down for the season premiere this Sunday. We’ve identified the top three TWD lessons that independent pharmacy owners can apply to running their business.
You may be thinking, “What can a zombie show teach me about running a pharmacy?”
Ok, so you aren’t facing literal life and death decisions in a post-apocalyptic world, but pharmacy owners everywhere are facing significant changes in an industry that is fighting to survive and thrive — just like Rick Grimes and his team. Continue reading “3 Independent Pharmacy Lessons from The Walking Dead”
Data-Analysis for Independent Pharmacy Owners
Are you the type of independent pharmacy owner who is content to drift along with the dated model of taking whatever business happens to walk through the door? Don’t settle for “business as usual” and “my pharmacy is doing just fine.” The unfair game PBM’s are playing won’t change until you start to look at your profitability differently. Discover where big money can be made in independent pharmacy–it’s right under your nose, and you don’t even know it.
Pharmacy Development Services (PDS), believes that the success of each independent pharmacy is a win for everyone and we are ready to show you the level of commitment we have to your success.
As an independent pharmacy owner, your pharmacy manager has the ability to make your life easier and boost your profits. In the same light, the wrong pharmacy store manager can hurt the success of your store. When hiring a manager, look for a candidate who not only demonstrates the work experience listed on his or her resume, but someone who also has the results to back it up. For example, your candidate should be able to share examples of how he/she has contributed to the bottom line in previous positions and additionally he/she should be able to provide a list of references who can vouch for the work performed.
Here are the top 3 attributes to look for in your next pharmacy store manager:
- Drives Sales And Exceeds Goals
If you want to thoroughly test candidates, share a sample of your annual business goals for your store and then ask each candidate to provide some possible solutions based on your data. This exercise is a great way to see if the candidate has the ability to problem solve and is sales oriented.
Specifically ask the candidate how he/she would lead the pharmacy team to increase sales. If the applicant truly understands the value of human capital and how to lead, answers should look like this:
- Giving praise for hard work and achievements individually and as a team
- Being open, honest and communicative with team members
- Continually coaching team members to sharpen their skills
- Supervising and influencing time management
- Holding employees accountable
- Increasing morale with creative and cost-effective rewards
- Strong Leadership
To succeed, your store’s team needs someone who will lead by example. Anideal management candidatemust be a leader for both your team and your business. If an applicant shows signs of weakness or too much leniency, it could spell disaster for your company in the future. The manager must be able to delegate tasks appropriately while running the store effectively. These are some important examples to look for:
- Ability to recruit, hire and retain top talent
- Ability to multi-task under pressure in a fast-paced environment
- Ability to adhere to the company’s budget
- Ability to work effectively with other store managers (and you)
- Ability to execute plans in a timely manner
- Ability to solve problems small and large
- Affinity For Customer Service
An ideal management candidate should understand the value of your existing customers along with building new customer trust and relationships. Regardless of whether a customer is a “regular” or a new patient, a good manager will lead his team to exceed expectations at every opportunity.
Your top candidate should encompass some or all of these attributes:
- Gives undivided attention to customers
- Is courteous and a good listener regardless if they are getting a compliment or a complaint
- Is able to solve problems quickly and innovatively
- Is professional, calm and patient at all times
- Shows delight in helping people and making things “right”
If you find a manager who meets all or most of this criteria, you will be on the path to operating a successful independent pharmacy business, primed for growth. Hiring the right talent (and eliminating the wrong talent) will help you build a stronger reputation for yourself as a pharmacy owner. Word will quickly get out that your store is the premier pharmacy with the best customer service in town.
If you need more help with hiring the right talent or leading your team, PDS can help, simply click below to schedule a call with an expert Business Advisor.
This guest post was written by Dr. J. Murray Hockings, founder of Help Your Diabetes and author of Imagine Living Without Type 2 Diabetes.
Currently, there are 33 million Type 2 Diabetics and 84 million Pre-Diabetics in the United States. That is 117 million people, which is 50% of the adult population… and climbing? (according to JAMA 2016)
A lot… that’s how many. And it’s projected to be over 60% by the year 2020. The pharmaceutical industry made over 200 billion in 2015 just selling Americans diabetic medications and that number is projected to be over 500 billion by 2020.
In the United States, Type 2 Diabetes is the #1 cause of…
- Blindness (after having diabetic retinopathy)
- Dialysis (after having kidney damage)
- Kidney Transplants (only about 12% are lucky enough to get one)
- Amputation (after having neuropathy that progresses to gangrene)
Diabetes is a nasty disease, as you know and close to 100% of the population either has it or knows someone who does, and the complications aren’t pretty. The traditional medical approach is to prescribe diabetic medications, give some basic eating tips and hope the disease can be managed without the development of severe complications, the key word here being “hope.”
Many people wonder why there has been such a rise in Type 2 Diabetes the past 50 years and some blame a conspiracy between the food manufacturers and pharmaceutical companies. This idea is false. Yes, the pharmaceutical industry is profiting enormously from the rise of Type 2 Diabetes, and the epidemic of carb addiction in our country is growing rapidly, but there is no conspiracy.
I get asked this question a lot in seminars I give all over the world.
“Why are eating bad carbs like bread, rice, cereals and pasta so bad for us now when 100 years ago people ate them and diabetes was rare?”
The answer is simple and explains the main reason for the Type 2 Diabetes epidemic that is expanding in our country and around the world. One hundred years ago we weren’t sedentary like we are today. Most people today, are sitting on their rear ends for 16 hours a day instead of farming or working in a factory where you would burn off 5,000-10,000 calories per day. Back then you could get away with not eating optimally because you burned off all the “bad stuff.”
This epidemic of being sedentary has started in children now where they play video/computer games five to ten hours per day instead of getting outside and playing hide and seek, climbing trees, riding their bicycles every where they go, etc. This has caused an epidemic of obesity in children that has never happened in our country before and I’m now seeing children with Type 2 Diabetes, which never happened until recently.
This sedentary lifestyle has also crept into the choices we make for what we eat. It is much easier to microwave something or eat it out of a box then it is to prepare a salad from scratch or make a nice meal. Most people lead very busy lives and they sacrifice convenience over good food choices.
Most Type 2 Diabetics know there are foods they eat every day that they shouldn’t, but they do it anyway and depend on their medications to balance everything out. This is not a good plan and causes them to live with a false sense of security.
For those people that want to actually reverse their Type 2 Diabetes, there is a solution. There is a program that is proven to reverse Type 2 Diabetes naturally (provable with pre and post labs) and you can now offer this program in your pharmacy for your patients.
PDS has invited me to host a free webinar on Thursday, August 4 at 8pm Eastern where independent pharmacy owners can learn how to help patients get their bodies back to true health by losing weight with a natural approach.
On this webinar, we’ll discuss…
- Evidence on how Type 2 Diabetes can be reversed naturally
- How to become foremost diabetes expert – the “Red Zebra” – in your community
- Why offering a solution to reverse Type 2 Diabetes can dramatically grow your business
Register for the exclusive webinar teaching pharmacist how to implement the same program for their patients and achieve remarkable results.
As social media becomes increasingly effective as a marketing tool, it is little wonder that small businesses as independent pharmacies are starting to take advantage of this convenient and cost-effective medium. Without a huge brand name or giant marketing budget, independent pharmacies need to get creative in engaging with customers and social media can be a great way to keep the relationship going beyond your store’s four walls.
However, many independent pharmacy owners and managers, find the thought of tackling social media confusing and overwhelming. Pharmaceutical marketing doesn’t have to be intimidating and in fact, here are a few easy ways to start using social media for business:
- Create a dedicated Facebook page for your pharmacy
By creating a simple Facebook page online, you will be able to post helpful information for your store, such as business hours, dates you will be closed, special events, disease-specific information, tips and more. Simply think of this as a modern day interactive phonebook, where people can look you up and stay in touch. You can post messages, answer questions and interact with customers and patients to help them find what they are looking for. Facebook provides easy instructions and best practices for getting started on their site.
- Consider setting up a Twitter account for your pharmacy
Pick an easy to identify Twitter handle (account username) for example @A1Pharmacy, which can be really effective for driving awareness to your store. Twitter is an easy and simple way to communicate with customers and prospects in real time. It can be a great tool to spread “short and sweet” messages about sales, vaccination clinics, CDC updates, awareness campaigns, educational seminars and so much more. Twitter can also be utilized for sharing information or suggestions either “live” or prescheduled at a later time that you designate. For example, you might tweet (a “Tweet” is a Twitter message in 140 characters or less) “Stop by our store today to get your flu shot before the season kicks into high gear.”
Regardless of what social channel you use, remember to create posts that lead to conversations rather than simply provide information. Negative comments should also be addressed on social media quickly and honestly. Complaints are a part of any business, but managing the issue and repairing your pharmacy’s brand with quick explanations or apologies will go a long way in increasing customer loyalty.
- Providing critical information to customers on your website
Although Facebook and Twitter can be easy ways to engage in online conversations, it is equally important to provide helpful information to customers via your website and follow-up with social media posts. This can include policy changes, medication recalls, emergency information after a natural disaster, job openings, disease education, government regulations, vaccine reminders and other important details about your pharmacy that customers should know and be able to learn about quickly. All information should be presented in a professional and knowledgeable manner, representing your pharmacy’s brand. Simply think of this method as another tool to engage and delight customers and reach those people who may not be responding to traditional direct mail or advertisements.
Both your website and social channels should be activated for promoting sales, seasonal events, invitations to customer appreciation days and other local community events.
Finding new methods to drive awareness to your store may seem challenging, but using a combination of traditional and new media marketing methods, will help your independent pharmacy thrive and grow.