Running a successful pharmacy is not all fill and bill. There are many more factors that determine the health not only of your patients but of your overall business.
#1 Delegate and give confidence to your staff. My staff are familiar with a principle we call “independence.” If you need a toner, don’t wait for me to order it. If you face a grumpy customer, don’t ask my approval to give him/her a discount. Feel confidence to empower your staff to make such judgment calls.
#2 Beware of expenses. There’s only one way to go for most expenses in a pharmacy –up. Once or twice a year, I regularly check and analyze my expenses in terms of human resources, utilities, repairs and supplies. Controlling expenses is a strong and easy way to improve your profitability without increasing sales.
# 3 Don’t let your values and standards drift away from the ideal. It’s the shiny car example. If you buy a new car, the first scratch or dent always hurts you. After a few years, and more scratches, they don’t hurt so much anymore. Beware of this tendency in business. If you have certain standards and rules in the business, don’t let them drift away with time. Make sure you stay focused on maintaining your business standards.
#4 Be a good role model. Your pharmacy business is only as good as the owner. Know everything (and not just about pharmacy!), from fixing the printer and installing computer antivirus software to managing marketing activities, accounting and finance.
#5 Communicate your goals effectively. I set up certain parameters and criteria to grow the business. I clearly communicate these parameters at least once a year with my staff. If I don’t do that, my staff will not know what I am looking at when I am assessing their performance. Everybody must be on the same page in your business.
#6 Criticize the issue not the person. A good owner has the skills and the courage to communicate the issue without any insult and without pointing fingers at the person.
Ahmed Metwally BPharm, MBA, who started his pharmacy business operation in 2009, is the owner and chairman of iPharmacy group, with six branches across the Edmonton area.