Guide to Opening a Pharmaceutical Store
The developments done in the spehere of scine are so extensive that it literally can bring the dead, back to life. Medical conditions and diseases which earlier were the keyfactors for the deaths of millions of people are now close to getting extinct and science is solely the credit bearer here.
However, there is a contradiction to this as well. Even though few diseases are leaving the face of the Earth, there are plenty of new ones that are emerging. Though medicines are being developed for them, there is always going to be a shortage of the suppliers who take that medicine from the manufacturere and deliver them to the common people.
In wake of this hour where such contition is previlant, if you are opting to open a pharmaceutical store then you are in a total win-win situation. But, there is a certain procedure you have to take up so as to ensure your venture launches and functions smoothly. Read further to know about it in detail.
Decide Old or New
While opening a new pharmacy, you have two options; either you take over an already existing pharmacy or build one of yourself, entirely from scratch. Both of these options have their own pros and cons. So, lets take an account of it.
When you take over a pharmacy, you get an already established facility loaded with proper infrastructure and other useful equipments. This indicates the reduction in the load of arranging for all of this, that you would have to bear if you opt opeing a new pharmacy by building it from scratch.
Not just this, you also get an already achieved and established customer base who used to make rounds of the previous pharmacy. This reduces your efforts of marketing as people are already aware about a pharmacy being in the place where you are establishing your new drug store. You might just be required to make few changes here and there and you will be fine to get fullly operational.
If the person from whom you buy the existing facility gave up operating it in order to take retirement then there are very high possiblities that you might get the staff of their old facility as well, to work for your store as your staff.
However, the whole downside of this entire concept is that you cannot get the structure of your pharmacy, to mould in your desired manner. You will just have to manage and work with what the previous owner left. You can merely consider doing a bit of modification but cannot have a significant change in the infrastructure.
While building a pharmacy from the scratch you have to work ten times more and harder than what you would work while taking over an existing pharmacy. Firstly, you will have to design the infrastructure of the facility such that it reflects your personality.
You have to ensure that the interiors are made such that they make your facility look as the best pharmacy in the town to grab mnay customers. You will also need to buy new boxes, roll containers, trolleys and many more things required for the sake of storage. Being a medicine store, you will also need storage equipments. If you are on a lookout for plastic storage lockers then you should buy from the very best plastic locker supplier.
Not just storage and beautification of your store, you will also have to market yourself extensively so as to build a fresh customer base. However, since you are building it all from scratch, you have the advantage to build everything in your unique way.
Decide the Location of Your Pharmacy
One of the important aspects of any business is its location. A business established in a location which makes it conviniently accessible for its customers endows it with success. So, you too have to be quite careful while deciding the location of your storen and for that here are few things, which you should take a look at.
- Firstly, know the competition in the area that you have chosen for your pharmacy. If, there are several pharmacies within a few blocks in that area then you will have a tough time building your business. It isn’t impossible however, of course. Independent pharmacies can compete with chains also, if they offer better service or a higher level of expertise than the competitors. However, for this, you will have to work very hard to build a successful pharmacy if there are competitor chains close by.
- Is the area visible? Will people walking or driving by be able to notice your pharmacy? It is crucial to find answers for these questions when you are just starting out, so that you will want to pick an area that is visible to the local population residing in the vicinity of your store.
- Look out for nearby businesses. Office buildings and businesses are not only a potential source of customers, but are also an indication to reflect if the area is good for business or not. Large chains like McDonald’s usually conduct extensive research on a location before opening. If, there are some of these nearby, then this reflects that other businesses have marked this place as a profitable area and so there are high chances that your store too will work great there.
- Consider the accessibility factor of your store. It is always good to have room for a parking lot or lots of street parking near your store. Since many of your customers may be elderly, you will also want an area without stairs or long walks. Do not forget to consider accessibility for those with disabilities as well since they too will form a big part of your target audience.
So, after you decide on the place and ready your business plan stating what all you will do to maintian the growth of your business and how would you market it time to time after which you reach a stage wherein you get things started for real.
No business runs without money. Therefore, to buy a business place, other supporting equipments and materials, to hire staff and for a long list of things, you nede to first arrange for finances.
There are many options through which, you can arrange for getting your business financed. You can apply for getting a loan, have a financer on board, keep an asset for mortgage or sell an existing asset.
While applying for a loan remember, you have to ensure that your business plan is perfect and has no loop holes. This is because banks don’t provide loans to any business that would not have a good future.
If you plan to take an investor onboard then make sure that they just remain as the investor and don’t end up taking over the facility without even you knowing about it. If, you are thinking of selling an asset to arrange for more money then watch out for Capital Gains Tax or Inheritance Tax.
Pharmacy is a sensitive place as it sells drugs that can improve someone’s health or deteriorate the same if wrong medicines are dispensed. So, for running a drug store you are required to take some licences.
Your drug store must be issued under that National Health Service and should be included in the pharmaceutical list that is related to a Health and Wellbeing Board Area, maintained by NHS England.
The process for making application for this is set out in the NHS (pharmaceutical and Local Pharmaceutical Services) Regulations 2013 and forms for it are available from NHS England.
Insure your Pharmacy
Just like all the other businesses, you will need to insure your drug store to prevent financial loss that you may incure because of any form of adversity. Some insurance, like theft and fire, are standard for small businesses. Others, like public liability insurance, are more unique. Be sure to talk to your accountant, an insurance agent, and perhaps a lawyer to find out all the kinds of insurance that you may need for your business to run smoothly.
While hiring the staff be careful with checking their profile. Not just check their qualification but also check if they are good at multi-tasking, communication, memorising medicine names, solving customer grievences, etc. Even make a run through with their management skills if ever you have to rely on them during your absence.
If, you are hiring a manager check their team leading skills, their efficinecy in managing a difficult situation, their dedication towards checking if the store runs smoothly or no, etc. You may even find a need to hire a chashier to deal with the cash that will get collected everyday, security if your medicine store is situated in a place where crime rate is considerably high.
Remember that these days many people break into pharmacies to have an access to the drugs stored in there. So, be careful and hire security that will provide extra protection to your drugs and collected cash also. Last but never the least, you may also want to take a pharmacist on board so that they act as a backup for you during your absence.