9 Things Successful Pharmacy Owners Do Differently

SEPTEMBER 05, 2018
'Nothing succeeds like success' is an old adage in the education world. Today, it is singularly applicable to the independent pharmacy world. Because success stories may influence your behavior, these 9 things that successful pharmacy owners do can be used as a guideline:

1. They think about what they can do (and become), not what they cannot do. They think strategically—long range. Each year, they set 1 big 'shoot-for-the-moon' goal. They think in terms of what works and adjust their goals only as necessary. They continually think that if a goal is not achieved, they goal is not wrong, only the time element. Hence, if a sales goal is not achieved in 12 months, perhaps it will take 13 or 14 months to get there.

2. They set specific meaningful goals. Obviously, goals are imperative. Goals energize. They also drive performance. Make certain each goal has a measuring unit and a deadline. They fully understand that goals determine their destination. As such, they set a multiplicity of goals throughout their organization. The achievement of which spells success after success. They have well determined that each goal needs to have a measuring unit and a deadline. Otherwise, their statements would be nothing more than pure rhetoric.

3. They recognize their limitations and hire others to fill the gaps. The key: they delegate 1 task after another, especially to someone picked as their second-in-command—otherwise known as their operations manager. Thus, they free themselves up to do more important work, such as building the business bigger and making it infinitely more profitable. In the process they lessen their work load, as well as the daily pressures you must endure. That act of delegating has turned each into a much more successful leader.

4. They train. Training each and every person to constantly perform his or her job better is recognized as an ongoing function. In fact, it becomes a never-ending process, most often done by their operations managers. Training team members to properly inform and educate patients about how they can feel better, live longer, and become more energetic usually is the basis of weekly training systems.

5. They motivate. Motivating team members— getting them to willfully attack problems and help achieve goals— is a necessary characteristic owned by each leader. In order to get them to come to work with a fire in their bellies and anxious to help them achieve their goals, they use motivation tools on a daily basis. This process is critically important and is 1 of the bases of success. Successful owners respond to different personnel issues and people problems fully and positively.

6. They make certain they have a workplace where the best want to come to work—and spend a lifetime—it’s called culture. It’s part of how you build your culture. You can produce a workplace where everybody is happy and content. However, just because a place is a nice place to work doesn’t mean it will attract outstanding workers. It may be popular, but if it leads to weak performance, then the best performers may not want to remain. Mentorship is the answer.

7. They understand the 4 blockages to success and develop 4 habits to overcome them.
The blockages:
The inability to prioritize that which is most important to the business at any one moment in time.
  • Failure of the executive team to grow as leaders in their abilities to delegate and predict.
  • The inability to navigate the increasingly tricky dynamics of the marketplace.
  • Not being organized for success— lacking systems and organizational structure. 
The 4 habits of success:
  • They set priorities and make certain they are the right priorities to help them achieve their goals
  • They became more analytic. They establish a financial reporting system on a weekly and monthly basis that go beyond the details of their accounting system to give them important data they needed to use, especially as relating to marketing results.
  • They establish a rhythm for everything they do, and that rhythm includes getting people to play “monkey-see, monkey-do” so that each and every individual is behaving more and more in the image of the leader, especially when it came to informing and educating patients. They apply the same rhythm to their marketing, especially to their own patients.
  • They understand that they cannot predict the future. However, they learn to create their own futures with careful planning and goal setting
8. They make certain that each hour of work contributes to their aims and goals. They have mastered the art and science of making certain that they get maximum value out of each hour in terms of their aims and goals—to patient satisfaction and producing the most money. The more time they spend doing business-building activities, the bigger and better the results they see. They recognize time is the most valuable asset they have, and that it needs to be protected and controlled. Making certain that each and every hour contributes maximum value to their primary aims and goals is paramount. In fact, they fine-tune it so that their pharmacy runs itself like a well-oiled machine, whether they are there or not.

9. They avoid 'playing it safe' and go for at least 1 Big, Hairy, Audacious Goal each year.
  • They have well learned that setting at least 1 Big, Hairy, Audacious Goals (BHAG's) (sometimes called 'Shoot-For-The-Moon' goals), is basic and fundamental to success. While it caused them to stretch to the limit, they understood that sometimes the failure to achieve such a goal still created enough success to be worth the time, effort, and money devoted.
  • Their targeting at least 1 BHAG a year– can be quantitative or qualitative. (e.g.– to generate sales of $2 million per year by the end of next year. On create the A Team)
  • Occasionally, they choose a common enemy BHAG (David vs. Goliath, e.g.– to totally contrast their pulling power vs. their major competitor).
  • Oftentimes, the role model BHAG appealed to them, that is becoming the obvious expert or 'Go-To' Pharmacy of their communities.
  • And then, there is there the internal transformation BHAG that some adopted (e.g.– becoming the #1 pharmacy in town for health transformation).
Success does not happen by happenstance. It happens with careful planning that involves the above 9 strategies or tactics.


can be reached at (518) 346-7021 or [email protected]

Lester Nathan, MS
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 is an esteemed voice in pharmacy business. Lester helps his clients increase patients and profits in spite of the 3rd party payment fiasco.
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