• Business analysis review
Conduct a full business review, including financials, competitors, staffing levels, internal and external pharmacy environment, pharmacy strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. “Having this information will allow you to plan for growth,” says Mr Nutan.
• Pharmacy team
Involve your pharmacy team. “It may be your business, but you are not the only one in the business. A shared goal is crucial for a successful business.” When was the last time you had a staff briefing? Something as simple as a whiteboard in the dispensary displaying the main objective for your business shows your team that you are focused on customers, numbers and developing your business – as a result they will be as well.
• Time for services
Review the balancing act between service delivery and dispensing prescriptions – there are income streams that you can access, whether they are intervention programs (eg, MURs or CMS) or more enhanced services commissioned from other bodies. “I am a strong believer that independent pharmacy can deliver quality outcome based interventions.”
Be proactive and book an appointment with your commissioner, your GP surgeries, your practice manager, etc. The biggest hurdle to overcome is the first step. Talk to your GP about their priorities and policies and how you can help, talk to your commissioners about the services that are needed within your locality. And then plan, together with your team, for business innovation and growth.
Businesses can only exist with customers. Pharmacy customers are varied; they are your pharmacy team, your patients (both current and new), local GPs and surgery teams, your local commissioners, local groups and businesses, etc. “Understand who your customers are and identify their needs.”