February 8, 2018
Inside: Dramatically increase the perceived value of your pharmacy. Make your pharmacy look more professional by fixing the most overlooked areas that affect how patients see your business.
The way your independent community pharmacy looks says a lot about your business.
Everything from the layout of your front end to the signs outside your building influence how patients perceive your business.
For example, trash on the sidewalk leading up to your pharmacy tells patients that you don’t care.
And those perceptions lead to actions. A dingy waiting area might make patients transfer their prescriptions elsewhere. Or, a clean, open front end may make a patient consider getting a flu shot at your pharmacy.
These visual representations can affect your pharmacy’s ability to gain new patients and to keep current ones.
But you likely already know that. What’s keeping patients from coming through your doors is what you aren’t seeing.
The little things that you overlook but that still make a big difference to patients when choosing a pharmacy.
In the highly competitive retail pharmacy market today, patients are bombarded with choices.
National chain pharmacies. Mail order. Online pharmacies. Other independent pharmacies. Big box stores. Patients have a lot to choose from.
A professional pharmacy image can help consumers narrow down those choices, so they see your pharmacy as the best and only choice for them.
Would you choose to use a dentist with threadbare chairs in the waiting area? Or, would you want to get your teeth cleaned at the dentist’s office with crisply painted walls, soothing music, and clean counters?
You have to look at your business through fresh eyes before you can make your pharmacy look more professional.
When it comes to their health, patients want to know they’ll get taken care of. And they look for credible healthcare providers.
You know your pharmacy is credible. You have the right licenses and you meet all state, federal, and board regulations.
But those credentials won’t matter to patients if your pharmacy’s brand and your physical building don’t look reliable, trustworthy, or sincere.
Many factors make up your pharmacy’s image, but these areas are the most often overlooked by independent community pharmacies.
As a representation of your business, your pharmacy’s logo should show off what makes your business unique.
A custom-designed logo looks more professional than an unoriginal logo.
And if you haven’t updated it in 10 years, you may want to consider getting a fresh logo designed.
The best logos have a polished, current look that combines originality, style, and creative design elements. Well-thought out logos will also include symbolism and subtle cues to convey health and wellness, friendliness or any other factors that your pharmacy wants to achieve.
As such an important representation of your business, don’t skimp. Hire a professional design or marketing agency to create a one-of-a-kind logo.
People today are more likely to punch “pharmacy near me” into a search engine than to look up local pharmacy listings in the phone book.
If you don’t have a pharmacy website, you’re missing out on gaining new patients.
But an unprofessional online appearance can hinder your ability to grow your patient base just as much as not having a website.
Consumers today expect an easy-to-navigate website that clearly displays the information they’re looking for.
Your pharmacy’s website should include information about your products and services, contact information and updates about your pharmacy—all in a well-designed format that clearly indicates who you are.
Investing in a website will instantly make your pharmacy look more professional.
Bet you didn’t think your email address could affect how patients view your business.
But it does.
For a professional look, your pharmacy’s business email address should match the domain name of your website. For example, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Avoid using web-based email addresses such as email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also, steer clear of dashes, underscores or numbers in your email addresses.
You’ll find that a simple email address will make your pharmacy look more professional. And, it will help patients, business partners and other healthcare providers feel more comfortable about contacting you.
Independent community pharmacies tend to lean more toward the casual side when it comes to the pharmacy team’s attire.
But the clothes your team wears say something about your business. What does your pharmacy team’s clothing say about yours?
If you want to project an image of expertise and credibility, then your pharmacy team needs to look the part.
But professional attire doesn’t have to mean squeezing into button down shirts, ties, and white coats every day. A logoed polo shirt or even a nicely printed T-shirt will reinforce your pharmacy’s brand. And it will look sharp.
Nobody necessarily wants to fork up the cash to remodel or renovate. After all, it requires a significant investment to renovate a brick-and-mortar store.
But when it comes to your pharmacy’s building, is it about time for an upgrade?
Check out this guide to weigh the costs versus the benefits of renovation from QuickBooks.
It may require an initial investment, but over time a remodel can enhance how patients perceive your pharmacy.
PBA Health is dedicated to helping independent pharmacies reach their full potential on the buy side of their business. The company is a member-owned organization that serves independent pharmacies with group purchasing services, expert contract negotiations, proprietary purchasing tools, distribution services, and more.
An HDA member, PBA Health operates its own NABP-accredited (formerly VAWD) warehouse with more than 6,000 SKUs, including brands, generics, narcotics CII-CV, cold-storage products, and over-the-counter (OTC) products.
Want more pharmacy business tips and advice? Sign up for our e-newsletter.