While a pharmacy’s primary objective should be to provide vital healthcare service to the community, you’ll still need to consider the ways in which you can run and manage it as a successful business.
You’ll need a licence to operate a pharmacy from the General Pharmaceutical Agency and you’ll want to think about how to recruit the right individuals to work for you. You might also want to consider taking out pharmacy insurance, which could help to protect you and your premises should the worst happen.
Another important aspect of running a pharmacy is marketing. You’ll want to know the best ways to get your name out there, grow your business and create a trusted brand.
Here are ways in which you can build your reputation, earn trust and establish a solid customer base.
Attend local events
Use community events and workshops to create visibility and encourage people to engage with your brand. These could be at the local gym, community centre or library. You could also set up a stall at local fairs and festivals, promoting your services and explaining how people can get health advice on various issues such as stopping smoking, diet and medication.
Local events also provide a good opportunity to build relationships with potential customers in your community.
Social media now governs almost every aspect of our lives, so it makes sense to expand your marketing strategy to include new platforms. Engage with customers, sell your services and network with other professionals using a variety of social tools.
Alongside this, ensure that your website is up to date and that your contact details are correct across all content to help to maintain a professional reputation.
Offer more than just medications
These days, pharmacies are much more than a place to get your prescriptions. Identify opportunities to offer a variety of products and services such as wellness and lifestyle advice, self-help books, healthy snacks, and parent-and-baby items.
You could also take it one step further and get feedback from locals about what they’d like to see in your pharmacy. By continuing to engage with the community in this way, you’ll earn a good reputation and maintain an enthusiastic customer base.
Focus on customer service
A good word can go a long way, so commit to only the highest standards of customer service. Make sure that your staff are fully trained and dedicated to providing a helpful and friendly service. Offer a private space for any customers who wish to seek confidential advice and consider providing mini-clinics and MOTs – for example, blood pressure checks – by trained medical professionals. Make your pharmacy somewhere that customers would recommend to others.
Ellen Diamond did her degree in psychology at the University of Hertfordshire. She is interested in mental health, wellness, and lifestyle.