Digital Pharmacist Blog

Challenges Independent Pharmacies Face (Part 1)

Last updated May 20, 2020 | Pharmacy Management

By Digital Pharmacist Staff

Let’s face it, owning and managing any business is not easy. Owning an independent pharmacy can even be more demanding and difficult.

Here are five issues all independent pharmacies face with solutions to help you solve them.

1) Generating Revenue

As with any business, generating revenue is key and a priority. If you feel like your sales cycles are not moving in the direction you are anticipating, you are not alone.  

Just like you focus on keeping your patients healthy do not forget about keeping your pharmacy financially healthy.

First step, continue searching for new methods to grow your business. If you are not already offering services like e-commerce, vaccinations, delivery, compounding, or education classes — now is your time to start.

Already offering these services, let your front end come to the rescue.

2) Financial Growth – One Basket at a Time

Evaluate is how your front end is doing. A well managed front end can actually offset profitability challenges. Those pharmacists who saw front-end growth knew the importance of carrying the right products, in the right places and with the right price and promotion.

Research has shown those customers who spent 15 minutes in the store made the most OTC purchases. This being said, the lesson to take from this is ensure these 15 minutes are “productive time.”

What does this mean? Take steps to link back prescription and non-prescription sales as product recommendations is the missing puzzle piece.

Start by training your staff regarding the types of recommendations you are likely to make. This way they can encourage your patients to talk with you about products they may benefit from. In addition, keep highly recommended products in stock. Nutrient depletion print-out and shelf-talkers do not hurt either.

Next, re-organize your shelves to match market basket purchase behavior. For example: products for cold/allergy and pain relief are typically found in the same basket and are purchased together.

3) Lack of updated technology

Being up to date on technology is critical in remaining competitive.

For many independent pharmacies, implementing new technology can be very difficult for many reasons. You may have a smaller budget than most chain pharmacies — and that is okay.

Start small. If you can not invest in a pharmacy robot, look for ways to get your technology up to date like getting a custom website and mobile app, offering an online refill option and utilizing an interactive voice response (IVR) system.

Stay tuned for more info on Challenges Independent Pharmacies Face (Part 2) next week. For help building digital solutions for your pharmacy, please give us a call at 877-959-7550 or email help@digitalpharmacist.com.

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