April 6, 2017
Congratulations, you’re starting a pharmacy. Or, you’re ready to add a new pharmacy location.
Before you start improving patients’ lives, you need a building.
Selecting the best pharmacy location may seem as simple as picking a space at a busy intersection in a thriving part of town.
But that’s not enough to make your pharmacy flourish.
Several surprising factors can affect the success of your pharmacy. Make sure to consider all of them to choose the best site for your pharmacy.
The location of your pharmacy is crucial.
There’s plenty of advice on finding the best pharmacy location, but here’s some you probably haven’t heard.
Pick a spot next to a national chain pharmacy.
That seems counterintuitive, but it could be your best option.
Why you should pick a site next to a national chain pharmacy:
Even if hitching up next to a national chain pharmacy isn’t your best option, you need to consider the anchor tenants of the area. These are the big players (often retail chains) that drive traffic, so their success will affect yours.
The bigger they are, the more traffic they’ll bring, which will expose your pharmacy to more people and make your location a convenient stop.
Other effective pharmacy site choices:
Even in a digital age, many people only discover retail stores by sight. If people can’t see your building and your sign, they’ll never know you exist.
But you don’t just want people to know your pharmacy location is there. You want to remind them every day.
You want the bikers, walkers, commuters and local residents to see your pharmacy from every angle.
Consider the visibility of a pharmacy site including:
No matter how great the area is (or how visible your building is), if people can’t easily access your pharmacy and find a parking spot, they’ll turn away.
(CVS always has plenty of parking…)
So, even if there’s a prime spot downtown with high traffic and great visibility, you want to consider whether your patients will have to park on the street.
Also, consider whether the location allows a drive-through.
Customers value convenience and like the option of picking up their prescriptions from the comfort of their car—especially in the winter.
The layout and square footage of the building needs to accommodate your pharmacy’s needs.
So, before you purchase, it’s best to know exactly what you plan to offer and the space it will require.
For example, will your pharmacy need an immunization room or a consultation area? Will it need a large front end for over-the-counter products and other merchandise? Will it require a large storage area?
Find a balance between what you need now and what you’ll want later.
Consider whether the space allows for:
Zoning ordinances and regulations dictate how you can use your property.
City restrictions may not permit a pharmacy in some areas. Or, in some cases, a neighboring pharmacy may have a non-compete agreement in the purchasing contract.
Other restrictions might address development standards, such as:
Do the due diligence before you spend precious time and money investing in a property you can’t legally inhabit or one you’ll have to drastically alter.
Non-rent or non-mortgage costs can vary greatly depending on the location.
Before you choose a place to set up shop, consider the total annual payments for the building.
For example, you might settle on a spot because the rent is lower, but taxes and utilities for the building could make your total annual payments similar to a better location with more expensive rent.
Consider all your location-related expenses and factor them into your decision.
Costs of operating a pharmacy building include:
Even if these costs don’t change your mind about where to build or rent, they’re important to set the budget you’ll need.
Your real estate agent could be the difference between finding a good property and a great one.
As area experts, they’ll recommend pharmacy locations with high traffic and easy accessibility that you wouldn’t have considered.
And their negotiating skills could save you money.
Make sure you pick someone you trust and who has brokered pharmacy real estate before.
Follow these tips to choose the best real estate agent:
Don’t miss out on the perfect property. Use these tips to pick the best pharmacy location.
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