December 30, 2014
As an independent community pharmacist, you likely know many of your patients by name. But how well do you know the businesses and organizations that surround you?
Being an active, known member of your community can be just as important to your business as filling prescriptions, stocking your front end and talking with your patients. Connecting with other local businesses and health experts—and creating lasting partnerships—can build positive word of mouth about your pharmacy.
Don’t wait for new patients to come to you. Reach out into your community to strengthen your relationships with existing patients, and establish ties with new ones. Here are some tips on what individuals and organizations to target, and how.
Building relationships with local physicians is essential for optimal patient care, but it’s important for your business, too. Creating a positive working relationship with the physicians in your community will build your reputation as a member of the health care team, win your patients’ trust and garner well-deserved recommendations.
Show the physicians in your community how your pharmacy is different—and better suited to manage their patients’ care, and they’ll be sure to send new patients your way. Start by giving them a call to introduce yourself and your business, and follow up with a letter or a visit to further explain the benefits your pharmacy offers to patients.
Pharmacists play an important role in public health today, and if you aren’t already working with your public health office, now’s the time to start.
Public health departments are eager to work with pharmacists because of their ability to reach underserved communities and because they’re important when responding to health emergencies. But collaborating with your public health office need not be limited to pandemics or other disasters.
You can start by partnering with your local public health department for public health campaigns and disease screenings in your community. They can provide you with educational materials for your pharmacy and some training sessions. By having a relationship with those in the public health department, you can take advantage of all opportunities, while creating more opportunities for your pharmacy to get noticed.
Establish your pharmacy as a local “health expert” to businesses and school administrators. Hand out flyers and freebies that promote your services at health fairs and local events. You can also demonstrate that you can be a valuable resource by offering to speak about health topics to classrooms or at employee events.
By introducing yourself to these organizations, you stand to be at the top of their minds when they’re considering partnerships or pharmacies to recommend.
Partner with a local charity or not-for-profit organization to give back to your community. Your pharmacy could donate money or set an employee volunteer day.
You can get your patients involved, too. Host a food drive or collect donations for a charity at your pharmacy. This could even bring in new patients, if people come into your pharmacy to drop off donations.
In addition to expanding your pharmacy’s network, partnering with a local charity can also win increased publicity for your pharmacy through the media or through the charity’s promotions. Those who support the charity’s cause might even be persuaded to support your pharmacy, too.
Establishing these partnerships is good for your pharmacy business and your community. Don’t hesitate to reach out!