When you started your pharmacy, you worked hard to lay the foundation for your business, and at times, that meant putting some ideas on the backburner. Instead, you focused on what was important at the moment, all while keeping a mental note of the programs you hoped to some day implement. There comes a time when you need to make decisions about the growth of your pharmacy. Sometimes, that means deciding what new programs to implement and when to do it. However, with all of the different factors to consider, knowing where to start may seem impossible.
If you think that it’s time to grow your list of services, here are a few questions to ask yourself before you get started:
How will this benefit my customers and community?
If you want your new program or service to be successful, you need to think about your customers and your community first. Identify your main customer base and think about all of the different programs and services that those customers would benefit from. Think about the same thing from your community’s perspective. Ask yourself:
- What types of services is your community lacking?
- What programs would your customers benefit from?
- What would make my pharmacy better for my customers?
Think about all of the ways your customers and community will benefit from your new program. For example, if you’re thinking about implementing an off-site vaccination clinic, some of the benefits are that you’re making getting vaccinations convenient and accessible for your community. No matter how beneficial a new program may be for you, it’s important that you think about how it can and will benefit your current and potential customers.
Does this new program align with my goals?
All of the most successful businesses and business owners set goals, so if you haven’t already set goals for your pharmacy, now is the time to start. Setting goals for your pharmacy gives you direction for the future of your pharmacy, but it also helps give you the motivation to see that vision come to life. Goals help you focus your resources, manage your time, and they give you a plan of action for moving forward.
Before you implement a new program in your pharmacy, such as bedside delivery or an immunization program, ask yourself, “Does this program align with my pharmacy’s goals?” Remember: goals change over time, so even if a program doesn’t align with your goals right now, it may fit in with your goals in the future.
What is my strategy?
Trying to implement a new program without a strategy in place is like driving a car without a destination in mind. Sure, you’ll get somewhere, but you’ll never get where you want to go. You can’t move ahead if you don’t have a direction in mind. Before taking on this new endeavor, think about the big picture and the end goal. Some questions to ask yourself are:
- How does this program fit in with your goals?
- Who is your target audience, and who are you trying to reach?
- What steps do you need to take to get this program up and running?
- What training is involved?
- How will I market this program?
It’s a lot to think about, but having a solid implementation strategy in place before getting started will save you a lot of headache in the future.
What do I need to do to help my team prepare?
Implementing a new program means enlisting the help of your team. After all, they’re the ones working day in and day out to make things happen. If your team isn’t prepared for the implementation of a new program, there’s almost no way that it will be successful. It’s not only important that you get your team on board with all of the ideas you have for your pharmacy but that you also provide your team with the training they need to be successful. Take the time to sit down with your team and let them ask you any questions they have. You may not have all of the answers right away, and that’s okay. Write down their questions, figure out the answers, and then meet again to continue the discussion. Your team will appreciate that you took the time to think about their needs, and they’ll be better prepared for when you start the implementation process.
Thinking about implementing a new program in your pharmacy but need some direction on how to move forward? Download our free eBook, The Pharmacy Owner’s Guide to an Exceptionally Effective Implementation