When you ask most independent pharmacy owners what their top priorities are, improving margins is usually high on the list. There are many pharmacy ideas businesses can use to help develop their business and improve margins.
The question is, which unique pharmacy ideas will work for you?
To help get you started, we’ll share some independent pharmacy business ideas that you can begin testing to see if they’ll work for you. Some will and some won’t. Try them all, measure the results and keep what works.
Here are 5 pharmacy business ideas you can use to improve margins:
Track All Expenses and Tie to ROI
The first step towards making use of any kind of pharmacy business plan ideas is to carefully track all of your expenses and be able to tie those expenses to a clear return-on-investment. Especially with pharmacy marketing expenses, it can be easy to try many different strategies without really understanding whether they are drawing in business. Tying every dollar you spend to a dollar you earn is the only way to take advantage of the other pharmacy business ideas listed below.
Increase Front-End Sales
A Hamacher Resource Group report found a 38% margin on front-end sales. Increasing these sales is a great way to improve your margins, increase how much each customer spends and grow your business. There are a number of ways to do this:
- Store Layout – Constantly optimize your store layout to highlight high margin and top selling products.
- Make Product Suggestions – Suggest products to your customers based on their prescriptions or other needs.
- Offer New Products – Natural or organic personal care items, gluten free products and other new trends are all excellent pharmacy business development ideas.
Focus on Your Best Customers
Another benefit of carefully tracking your sales, inventory and expenses is getting a better idea of who your best customers are. The 80/20 rule says that 20% of your customers are responsible for 80% of your business. By understanding who these customers are you can begin to tailor your pharmacy experience to their needs. Customers like them should also be who you target with your pharmacy marketing materials.
Improve Pharmacy Workflow and Buying Process
One thing you may learn about your independent pharmacy is how much time and money you are wasting with really simple tasks and processes. An inefficient inventory management or order fulfillment process could be costing you thousands of dollars. On the buying side, do you make pharmaceutical purchases every day or once a week? Improving the buying process allows you to more easily take advantage of overstock and short-dated Rx, which can have a major effect on your pharmacy margins.
Train Your Staff
These may seem like an obvious pharmacy business idea, but it is too often overlooked. Your pharmacy staff should do more than ring up orders at the register. They should help:
- Increase sales by being knowledgeable about products and making good recommendations
- Improve customer service with added knowledge and services
- Streamline inventory management by following an inventory management system
Looking for more independent pharmacy business ideas? Check out our 2018 Buyer’s Guide for Pharmacy Owners.