December 31, 2015
As an independent pharmacy, community is at the heart of your business. And to earn your community’s sustained support, you have to reciprocate with support.
Your pharmacy’s front end is an unexpected—but ideal—place to welcome your community, support local organizations, and feature area events. After all, it’s the first place patients enter when they visit your pharmacy.
Stocking products made by area artists or supporting local programs in your front end will show patients how much you get involved in the community. When patients browse your front end while waiting on their prescriptions, they’ll be reminded that your business is an active member of your community, and this support might just be one of the reasons they do business with you.
Here are four ways to show community support in your pharmacy’s front end.
Offer a selection of items that feature your area school’s mascot to show your community support.
Stock T-shirts, sweatshirts, hats or pennants with the school’s name, mascot or logo. Selling these items in your pharmacy demonstrates devotion to your community that big box stores can’t compete with, and it showcases your pharmacy as a supportive fan of area schools.
Consider going one-step further and donating 10 percent of all of the profits from those items to an area booster club to help support the arts, sports or another extra-circular club.
Support local organizations and charities, such as a homeless shelter or a food pantry, by participating in “checkout charity” in your front end.
Checkout charity is when you collect donations for a cause by placing a small collection bin for change on your pharmacy’s counter, or when you collect donated products, such as deodorant, toothpaste and feminine hygiene products, to donate to a local shelter.
Be sure to note that all donations made through your pharmacy support local causes. Patients will notice that your pharmacy is working to help make the community a better place, and they’ll be more likely to support your business in return.
Feature cards, soaps and small gifts made by local artisans in your front end.
Not only will big box store and national chain pharmacies be unable to match your selection of local products, but you’ll also become the go-to retailer for these products.
Giving local vendors a venue to sell their goods not only supports your community, but it also benefits your business and local craftspeople.
Devote space to promoting community news and events in your front end with a community calendar board.
Post a copy of the latest community newsletter, and keep a calendar of the month so people can submit events to be featured on the board. For example, you might include the local high school’s homecoming football game and a community theatre performance in your list of upcoming events.
These boards cost your pharmacy little-to-nothing to make and maintain. Simply hang a corkboard and update it once a week with new events and news. Plus, your patients will appreciate that they can catch up on community news while they’re waiting for a prescription.
To find meaningful ways to support your community, you first have to get to know your community. Check out these resources to help you learn more about the health needs and demographics of your area.