As The Pharmacy Sage, I often write about solving your most brutal problems by asking the right questions. They are so basic and fundamental that I am presenting to you the 5 most powerful ones that I have discovered for helping create a far more profitable and successful pharmacy than ever before.
“Have I differentiated my pharmacy in the marketplace?” Differentiation is the essence of strategy and the prime source of competitive advantage. You do not earn money just by filling regular scripts for your patients. You earn a lot more by being different from your competitors in many ways. The more ways you differentiate, the greater you’re pulling power—as long as these differences are beneficial to both current and future patients. In this manner, you serve your core patients better and more profitably.
“Is what got me where I am today going to get me where I want to go tomorrow?” This is the first and most basic question that needs to be answered. Things that worked in bygone years just simply do not bear fruit in today’s fast changing marketplace and economy. You need new tools and new strategies. New tools like a more comprehensive demographic study of your surrounding population, as well as a new business model. You also need new strategies regarding where you market, how you market, and which media you choose to dominate for your particular niche. Without these new tools and strategies, you may continue to flounder—at an even worse level.
“Am I organizing my time, effort, and other resources around winning strategies and great marketing to build the future I want, or am I still clinging to the status quo? Make certain that everything that you do each and every hour of the day is organized around all of your marketing, including your training and selling. Do not spend one hour doing anything that does not lead to your enhancing your cash flow. Make marketing paramount because marketing is the engine that drives your business to greater heights of success. Other people can fill prescriptions. Other pharmacists can put their seal of approval on them.
“Am I focusing my time on those few activities that contribute the most to increasing cash flow and profits?” Indeed, how you prioritize every hour of your time is critical. Every hour of your time at work is precious. If you can’t control the use of your time, you can’t control money. It’s that simple. Let me give you some examples of where you SHOULD be spending your time: setting goals, setting priorities regarding the use of your time, and organizing your time around physical activities during the course of each and every day. Do not allow time wasters to erode where your time is to be spent.
“What do patients and nonpatients alike value the most that they’re not finding here and are seeking from our competitors?” Finding out what patients value the most can be one of the most important pieces of information you could acquire. This action helps to build patient trust, and feeds your bank account as a consequence. Addressing what patients value the most can create a strong bond between you and your existing patients. For others who are not yet your patients, it can drive a wedge between them and your competition.
The question is “how do you disrupt the marketplace and drive a wedge between large numbers of people and your competition, even chains?”
Find out what they value most and give it to them!
If they’re currently doing business with another pharmacy, ask them 2 questions:
- What do they like about the other pharmacy?
- How could that other pharmacy improve its customer service?
Once you have these two pieces of information, you can formulate a dialogue that shows them how you measure up to what the other one is doing well, and how you overcome or compensate for what they need to improve. Thus, you give your prospective patient far more reasons to do business with you than staying with the other pharmacy.
What you think about determines what you act on. And your actions lead to results. Therefore, if you’re thinking about establishing true wealth in your pharmacy, then you need to think about the information you want and the questions that will lead to it.
Those are the most basic questions. In fact, they are so fundamentally sound, they need to be asked and answered soon to determine what needs to be done with your pharmacy to create more cash flow, more profits, and ultimately more wealth, not only for yourself, but also for your family.
The answers to those questions may also lead you to more financial freedom, which means that you can come and go as you wish, and your pharmacy will always run like a well-oiled machine.
The Pharmacy Sage can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Those interested in a copy of my free report “Entrepreneurship, Leadership, and Marketing for Pharmacy Owners" should contact that email.
A powerhouse in the world of independent pharmacy, Lester offers free business resources for Pharmacy Owners on his website, ThePharmacySage.com. Offering insight, wisdom, and strategy, Lester Nathan, MS, is an esteemed voice in pharmacy business. Lester helps his clients increase patients and profits in spite of the 3rd party payment fiasco.