If you ever feel like you’re going it alone as a pharmacy owner, joining your local chamber of commerce can help you get out of your bubble.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce was first established in 1912 to advocate for the interests of businesses, and since then, around 4,000 local chambers of commerce have been established throughout the country. No matter where your pharmacy is located, there is almost certainly a chamber of commerce that can connect you with other local business owners.
When you join, you automatically become part of a network of people trying to succeed in an unpredictable business landscape. Membership, which typically costs around $400 a year, can help you establish strong roots. Plus, it gives you access to exclusive resources and perks.
Here are a few compelling reasons why joining a local chamber of commerce can help your pharmacy and make you a better business owner.
Joining your local chamber of commerce can make you more visible to the consumers in your community, and it instantly gives you a leg up in terms of credibility.
In a survey by The Schapiro Group, consumers reported that they were 44 percent more likely to think favorably of a small business if they knew it was a chamber of commerce member. They also said they were 63 percent more likely to purchase goods and services from that business in the future.
When you’re a chamber of commerce member, you communicate to potential patients that you’re invested in the community and that you use good business practices.
Small business advocacy
As a small local business, legislation happening at a state and national level may feel very far away. But the decisions of lawmakers in far-off capitals can have a big impact on how you run your pharmacy.
Chambers of commerce advocate for the needs of small businesses to lawmakers. You don’t have to be a member of your local chamber to reap these benefits, so why join up?
If you have specific issues that affect your pharmacy, joining the chamber of commerce can ensure your two-cents are heard and accounted for as the chamber establishes its legislative priorities.
Many chambers of commerce have programs to connect you with a business mentor. If you’re just starting out, a business mentor can be a critical support person to help you clear the hurdles of running an independent pharmacy.
With a mentor, you can learn from others’ experiences and avoid their past mistakes. A mentoring relationship can help you find long-term success — a survey from UPS found that when business owners have a mentor, their business’s five-year survival rate is 70 percent. That’s double the survival rate for those who don’t have a mentor.
If you have been in the business community a long time and are looking to give back, the chamber of commerce can help you become a mentor to a newer business owner in your community.
Joining your local chamber of commerce gives you unprecedented access to other business owners in the community.
At networking events and mixes, you can chat with other owners about business strategy and develop partnerships that are mutually beneficial. When you create strong connections with other local businesses, it can help generate positive word-of-mouth publicity for your pharmacy.
You may also be able to connect with professionals that can fill in some of the gaps in your business strategy, like finding an accountant that can take care of your taxes or a marketing professional to help you put together a new campaign.
Extra resources and benefits
In addition to improving your reputation in the community, many chambers of commerce offer a slate of extra perks to members. Here are a few of the resources that might become available to you if you join:
- Health plan discounts
- Access to local mailing lists
- Event facilities
- Financing assistance
- HR consulting
- Employee referrals
- Reduced utilities rates
- Exclusive advertising opportunities
Not every chamber of commerce will offer every one of these perks, but even a few of these perks could make the membership fee worth your while.
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 owned 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 secondary wholesaler 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.