The end of the year is always a good time to look for ways to improve upon what you did the year before and making a New Year’s Resolution for your business can help you make the most out of the year ahead.
Since a resolution is a decision to do something different to bring about positive change, applying this concept to your pharmacy can create impactful results.
Here are 8 Pharmacy Business Tips to kick off the New Year:
1. Consider Expanded Services
A pharmacy is so much more than just a place to fill prescriptions; considering offering expanded services could open some untapped potential for the new year. By revisiting or possibly expanding your Medical Therapy Management (MTM) program, offering lab testing or clinical services, or even considering pet compounding, you can make the most out of the New Year by thinking outside the box by implementing expanded services for your independent pharmacy.
2. Focus on Front-End Sales & High-Profit Products
While prescriptions may be the primary reason that patients come into your pharmacy, it’s a good business strategy to boost your front-end sales by offering a variety of non-prescription items that entice them in the door. With OTC products growing in importance to shoppers and the recent boom in the natural and organic personal care products category, as well as the need for high-profit products such as nutrient depletion supplements and diabetes supplies, you can’t afford to underestimate your front-end sales potential.
3. Keep Them Coming
Studies show that there is a strong correlation between trust in the pharmacist and patient loyalty; finding ways to cultivate this relationship can mean patient retention that can last a lifetime and even span across multiple generations. Implementing a membership program or a loyalty rewards program where you offer the occasional freebie, as well as hosting members-only special events can go a long way in fostering long-lasting patient loyalty.
4. Invest in Good People
Your staff is quite possibly the first impression that a patient uses when deciding if they will remain a loyal repeat customer. Your employees not only reflect your brand, but they also help drive front-end sales, so a friendly well-trained staff can be the key to the success of your pharmacy. Consider investing in your employees by offering training through continuing education (CE), listening to their ideas, and rewarding them when they perform well. This is a worthy investment that can have big payoffs in the new year and beyond.
5. Incorporate Technology
To remain competitive and continue to evolve, independent pharmacies must reject complacency and consider incorporating some of the various forms of technology that are now available. With the emergence of mobile technology as well as automation, the ability to improve your workflow and streamline patient refills is literally at your fingertips. Incorporate tech into your pharmacy in the New Year by creating a smartphone app, using QR Codes for advertised specials, or investing in robotics to increase your pharmacy’s profitability.
6. Know & Track Your Metrics
Burns’ famous quote – “The best-laid plans of mice and men” teaches that no matter how perfect you plan, things can still go wrong. Knowing and tracking your metrics can avert some of these potential landmines and let you know where you stand while possibly exposing areas that might need improving. Some suggested metrics to track includes; key expenses, overhead, payroll costs, total sales, and total profit. Resolve to learning a new habit in the new year by monitoring these important metrics
7. Know Your Base
Generalizing your base or stocking items that just appeal to you can mean that your pharmacy is not reaching its full potential. Know your patient demographics. If most of your patients are over 60 you might want to consider offering a prescription delivery service. Conducting market research as well as analyzing your POS data are all great ways to familiarize yourself with your base and help you to deploy programs that align with their specific needs.
8. Customer Service is King
In the age of social media and review driven websites a review can make or break a small business. Every pharmacy should adhere to the mindset that everything begins and ends with stellar customer service. Name and face recognition are important to the loyal patrons of the independent pharmacy, this includes the personal relationship they have with their local pharmacist. These preferences rate higher than location convenience and pricing, which goes to show that everyone appreciates a personal touch. Determine to make customer service king in your pharmacy for the new year.
New Year’s Resolutions don’t have to be just a personal commitment, when you set goals by following these pharmacy business tips you can kick off the New Year with renewed optimism and set your pharmacy on the road to success.