Inside: Goals keep your independent independent pharmacy moving forward. Here are 20 goals that your business can’t grow without.
“The first step to getting anywhere is deciding where you want to go,” Heidi Grant Halvorson, Ph.D., wrote in her book, Succeed: How We Can Reach Our Goals.
Goals give your pharmacy a destination. They also provide the tracks to travel on, so you always stay in line with your vision. And, they give you a way to measure the progress of your independent pharmacy business, so you always know where you are.
That’s why every goal matters. Whether it’s a big 10-year vision or a small daily achievement. If you’re aiming for the next big stop but the individual tracks aren’t laid out, you’ll never reach your destination.
Every pharmacy—big and small—should set their sights on these 20 goals. These are the goals that will set your business on track for success.
1. Increase revenue every year
You’ve heard it before. If you aren’t growing, you’re dying.
Although you can get away with periods of stagnation, zero revenue growth in a year is disconcerting for any business.
Aim for making more revenue each year to ensure you’re growing.
What to do: Try these surprising ways to increase revenue.
2. Increase profit every year
Profit’s the icing on the revenue cake.
Profit is the point. (From a business perspective.)
Revenue alone can’t keep your doors open and your pockets full. Aim for more profit this year than last and you’re on the healthy path to growth.
What to do: Improve your profit margins right away.
3. Increase patients every year
You exist to serve patients. Patients are the pulse of your business.
If you aren’t gaining new patients, it’s time to re-evaluate your business.
Are you offering what they need? Are you keeping up with the competition?
4. Diversify your offerings
One-trick ponies may look cute, but they aren’t successful.
Your pharmacy should always strive to expand your services to meet the ever-changing needs of patients. Especially as the pharmacy industry shifts toward a value-based care model and reimbursements continue to drop.
5. Lower your overhead
Overhead often gets the short stick on your pharmacy’s task list.
In light of the more important decisions and activities you have to do, worrying about operational issues may seem like a waste of time.
But don’t forget that overhead is a profit pit. Every cent you spend on overhead is one less cent in your pocket.
What to do: Slash your pharmacy overhead costs right now.
6. Make employees happy
Happy employees make better employees. People who genuinely enjoy their work are more efficient and productive.
And happy employees want to stick around, which reduces turnover costs and strengthens your pharmacy team big time.
What to do: Keep your employees happy with these tips.
7. Provide the best customer service in town
Consumers rate great customer service as the most important aspect of retailers, even over prices and products.
And 80 percent of brands say they provide “superior” customer service even though only 8 percent of consumers think they receive it.
Set a goal to make your customer service truly superior.
What to do: Provide the best customer service in town.
8. Be active in the community
As an independent community pharmacy, you should make it your goal to get involved in the community.
Being active in the community provides many benefits including:
- Personalizes your pharmacy
- Increases awareness about your business
- Builds trust in your pharmacy
- Connects you to patients
9. Increase prescription volume every year
Prescriptions make up the most of your pharmacy’s profit.
Even as you diversify your services, you should still aim to increase your prescription volume each year. Doing so is your best bet to reach your annual profit and revenue goals. And to improve patient outcomes.
What to do: Use these methods to increase script count.
10. Buy competitively priced pharmaceuticals easier and faster
Buying pharmaceuticals is a necessary hassle. The price you pay for your inventory directly determines the amount you’ll make on that inventory.
Spending too much time ordering pharmaceuticals and paying too much for them brings down your bottom line.
11. Train your replacement
You want your pharmacy to last. But you’re not going to work forever.
Make sure your legacy continues by training someone you completely trust with your business. Make it your goal to fully prepare one person before you retire.
12. Spend more time with patients
Pharmacists all too often get caught up churning out prescriptions, and they never look up from the labels.
As the market demands more of your time, you need to get more intentional with how you use your time. Work on making time for your patients. Because those one-on-one relationships are what keeps patients coming back.
What to do: Delegate certain tasks to free up time.
13. Learn something new
You’re never too old to stop learning.
And there’s always something you can discover to improve your pharmacy business or your patient care. Keep growing in knowledge to keep growing your pharmacy.
What to do: Join these pharmacy organizations to keep learning.
14. Earn five-star reviews
Online reviews are the new word-of-mouth. Ninety percent of consumers read online reviews before visiting a business.
You always want to give patients an experience they’ll rave about, but you want to make sure they’re taking those comments online.
15. Advocate for independent pharmacy
If you want your pharmacy business to truly thrive, you must advocate for independent pharmacy.
Policy changes can potentially eradicate retroactive DIR fees, increase PBM transparency, and expand patient access to independent pharmacies.
What to do: Take these steps to become an effective advocate.
16. Keep innovating
If you don’t innovate, you’ll stagnate.
If you only stick with the proven strategies, eventually you’ll get left behind. Keep this goal in your sights at all times. Partner with other pharmacies, attend conferences, and keep up-to-date on the latest trends to stay sharp.
What to do: Learn how to think like an innovator.
17. Grow your network
Networking is essential for growing your business and attracting new patients.
Networking benefits everyone involved. Here’s how it helps your business:
- Broadens your reach (reach more patients)
- Increases conversions (turn prospective patients into customers)
- Gives you new ideas
- Encourages and inspires
To make this goal effective, set a number of people you’d like to add to your network every year. Then, get to work.
What to do: Grow your professional network with these ideas.
18. Become a better leader
Pharmacy owners and managers must master many roles.
And, pharmacy school didn’t train you to lead a team or run a business. Challenge yourself to grow as a leader each year to direct your pharmacy where it needs to go.
19. Revamp your physical location
Independent pharmacies practice health care. But unlike dentists, primary care physicians, and optometrists, your pharmacy is also a retail business.
And consumers care what the businesses they use look like.
Make it your goal to reassess the outside and inside of your pharmacy from top to bottom. Create a physical location that meets your business’s needs and keeps patients coming back.
20. Improve patient outcomes
This is the golden goal. It’s why you do what you do.
When competition heats up and your day-to-day gets overwhelming, you can easily lose sight of this goal. All the money in the world won’t matter if you don’t improve your patients’ outcomes.
What to do: Use this guide to improve patient outcomes.
A Member-Owned Company Serving Independent Pharmacies
PBA Health is dedicated to helping independent pharmacies reach their full potential on the buy-side of their business. Founded and run by pharmacists, PBA Health serves independent pharmacies with group purchasing services, wholesaler contract negotiations, proprietary purchasing tools, and more.
An HDA member, PBA Health operates its own NABP-accredited warehouse with more than 6,000 SKUs, including brands, generics, narcotics CII-CV, cold-storage products, and over-the-counter (OTC) products — offering the lowest prices in the secondary market.