Starting a pharmacy is a complex undertaking. The industry is highly competitive, and it’s often difficult for a newcomer to break ground. However, it’s definitely possible, especially these days, when customers are less interested in chain pharmacies and look for a more personalized experience.
That’s why there’s such a palpable need for independent pharmacies. Before you open an independent pharmacy and start ordering blood pressure and nausea medications, you need to lay some of the groundwork. This can include finding real estate, determining insurance plan partnerships, and sourcing customers. Here’s what you need to know.
Find the right location.
Since chain pharmacies are all about convenience, you need to find a way for your independent location to compete. Often, this means scoring some prime real estate. You definitely want to find a space that gets a good amount of foot traffic and is closer to residential areas. This helps to entice local customers. It would help if you also thought of ways to broadcast your location more effectively. Inconspicuous signage, hard-to-spot trademarks, and hidden logos make it hard for customers to connect with your business.
If you have patio space or your front windows need some weather armor, you should consider an awning install. When you install an awning, you can place your logos on the fabric to more clearly announce your presence. Finding the right retractable awning isn’t all that difficult, either. To find someone to install your awning, use the internet. Do location-specific searches to help you find the right retractable awnings company. For instance, if you live in central Ohio, search for something like “retractable awning Columbus Ohio.” It’ll help you narrow down your choices and find the right fit for your pharmacy. You can also talk to the sales reps to get further information.
Build your customer base.
For this step, you’ll need a bit of demographic information. Find out who lives near your pharmacy and what kind of medical help they often need. For example, if you live in an area that’s populated by senior citizens, you may want to consider offering deals on medicine that treats high blood pressure, dizziness, or erectile dysfunction. Your pharmacist can offer Viagra or Sildenafil coupons. You can discuss a doctor’s medical advice with the patients and answer questions about discount eligibility. With the right demographic information, it’s that much easier to connect with your consumers.
While it’s hard to tell if local homeowners are dealing with chest pain, heart problems, or pulmonary hypertension, you can use demographics in other ways. By looking at median ages, gender breakdowns, and income levels, you can also determine your insurance and Medicare policies. This, combined with a discount program, can raise your curb appeal and should be a top priority.
Prepare for stiff competition.
Even if you offer a discount price or a Viagra coupon as part of a membership fee, or you’re an authorized dealer for a certain product, you need to be ready to compete. This means investing in smarter marketing and advertising affiliates that can help you succeed. You can also find ways to cut energy costs, leverage outdoor space, and reach more customers, so you can improve your profit margins.
By finding ways to connect with your community, it’s often easier to establish your brand. After all, many customers are becoming more inclined to shop local instead of patronizing chain businesses. It can help you compete, but you need to be prepared to put in the work.
Starting an independent pharmacy requires a game plan and the right resources. Plus, providing medical help to a community is a big responsibility, whether dealing with eye problems and abnormal vision, or heart failure. It takes time to find your feet, but it’s worth it over time.