Today’s healthcare market is volatile. The U.S. pharmaceutical market remains the most competitive in the world, but cutbacks on healthcare funding, stronger roles in ensuring positive patient outcomes, and trying to remain as efficient as possible has strained even the best of resources.
Now it’s time to discuss how independent pharmacies can get the most out of the social media platforms they have chosen to
You’re watching profits shrink from multiple sides – large retail chain competition and DIR Fees are just two of many hurdles independent pharmacies must deal with daily. And, while your pharmacy may be working with less while trying to accomplish more, and doing it all with a smaller profit margin, it doesn’t need to stay that way. There are steps your pharmacy can take to ensure profitability without overtaxing your already strained budget.
Expanding Services Can Reap Big Rewards
Independent pharmacies are already far more likely to offer a range of services that can take care of all a customer’s needs -- the most popular need being the ability for a customer to save money. But sometimes saving a customer time or offering a convenient – if higher profit service – can be just as, if not more, enticing.
For example, if your pharmacy offers vaccinations, consider offering a co-vaccination option as well. This option saves the customer time and, if they weren’t aware that they could receive both vaccines in one visit, you’ve just secured an additional sale for your pharmacy and increased your odds of earning a return customer.
While we’re on the subject of vaccinations, offering travel vaccinations is always a big draw for travel-savvy customers, and can give a nice bump to your bottom line – especially if you position your pharmacy as the go-to place for local globetrotters.
Healthy patients are happy patients. When patients don’t adhere to their medication regimens, they don’t keep up with refills, and they’re not as healthy, or happy, as they can be.
Additionally, unfilled prescriptions aren’t going to make your pharmacy happy because they result in lost profit. So what’s a pharmacy to do? Start a medication adherence program.
Something as simple as implementing dose packaging can help a customer stay on track with their medication regimen and keep the refills steady, predictable, and profitable.
Streamline Your Pharmacy
Reduce your overhead. Every pharmacy spends more money than necessary on overhead that chips away at profit. Finding ways to reduce overhead can be as simple as:
- Changing out light bulbs to energy efficient options – an up-front investment that can realize some big savings
- Switch out higher cost cleaning products for lower-priced selections of comparable quality.
- Utilities – phone service and cable and internet subscriptions usually have departments dedicated to customer retention. Give them a call and see how they can help you reduce your expenses.
Every small reduction in expense will help keep more money in your bank account.
When It’s Time to Reinvest: Choose Wisely
You need a decent profit margin in order to reinvest in your pharmacy. It’s imperative to invest wisely to compound your return.
For example, investing in IT upgrades, additional staff training, advanced software, modernizing your location, updated landscaping, or even something as simple as a kids’ corner for customers waiting on a prescription can be the difference between a customer choosing your establishment or the big chain store down the street.
Local, independent community pharmacy owners may have their work cut out for them. Yet maintaining and ensuring profitability doesn’t have to be overly expensive or taxing. With some creativity, thoughtful and honest approaches, and strategic reinvestments it is possible to boost independent pharmacy profit.
What steps has your pharmacy taken to increase profitability? How has your pharmacy benefited – or not – from changes made? We’d love to know and may even share those experiences in future blog posts, white papers, and e-books. If you’d like to add your experience, please contact BB Drake.
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