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The Top 5 Challenges of Owning an Independent Pharmacy

The Top 5 Challenges of Owning an Independent Pharmacy by Elements magazine |

June 9, 2016

Running your independent community pharmacy requires a lot of hard work.

At times it may seem as if you’re facing unending obstacles, but it’s possible to run your small business both smoothly and successfully. In fact, your pharmacy’s smaller size can be an advantage in many ways. For example, your employees can more easily get to know your patients on a personal level and you can offer niche services that national chain pharmacies may not be able to pull off.

Here are five challenges of owning an independent pharmacy (many of which all small businesses face) and ways you can work to overcome them.

Challenge 1: Attracting new patients

Your current loyal patients already know about the personalized care your independent pharmacy provides, but it can be a challenge to get new patients to try your pharmacy.

Solution: Get patients’ attention

Luckily, there are many things you can do to find new patients and encourage them to use your pharmacy. Here are some options:



Challenge 2: Managing multiple roles

As the owner or manager of an independent pharmacy, you take on many roles. You’re in charge of managing financials, marketing your pharmacy and being a leader to your pharmacy staff. But taking on too many jobs can lead to stress, tiredness or job burnout.

Solution: Delegate

Cope with your hectic schedule by delegating some of the pressure to your talented team of pharmacy and non-pharmacy employees. Even just taking a short break during the day can ease your mind and help you work more effectively.


Challenge 3: Innovating on a limited budget

Just because your pharmacy doesn’t have an unlimited budget doesn’t mean you can’t innovate. It may seem like a risky venture to adopt new technology, begin offering a new service or opening a new location, but you have to stand out in order to beat your competitors.

Solution: Set a budget—and stick to it

If you find it challenging to implement innovative services or programs, start by developing a budget. Figuring out what you can or can’t afford can help you decide where to devote resources. For example, cutting expenses in some areas can help you afford that new robot you’ve wanted to add to your pharmacy.


Challenge 4: Monitoring your finances

You probably didn’t take an accounting class in pharmacy school, but monitoring your pharmacy’s finances is likely a task you handle—even if you have an accountant.

Solution: Use the right tools

If you’re juggling focusing on patients, managing your staff and researching new ways to grow your business, utilize accounting software such as QuickBooks™, so you can keep your finances in order year-round. With the right financial tools, your pharmacy’s finances won’t be as great a challenge to deal with.

If you have an accountant, but still need to regularly monitor your finances, check out these metrics all pharmacy owners should know, so you’re tracking the right information.


Challenge 5: Managing your staff

Employees are your most valuable assets, and are key to improving your business and increasing profits. Like yourself, even your employees may feel the effects of stress or job burnout.

Solution: Motivate employees

Empowering your employees and working to create a comfortable, positive and supportive work environment will help improve your pharmacy business. Boost employee morale and productivity by providing recognition or rewards. Taking steps to promote a positive work environment will keep both you and your pharmacy staff happy.

Discover the benefits of social cohesion at your pharmacy workplace.



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