5 Reasons Your Pharmacy May Be in a Rut – and How to Get Out of It
Posted on Feb 06, 2024
It’s not always easy to recognize if your independent pharmacy is in a rut. However, if you’re noticing decreased morale, productivity, or growth, it’s often a strong indication that it’s time to shake things up. Here are five reasons your pharmacy may be in a rut – and how to get out of it:
1. You’re in a “comfort zone”.
Often, pharmacies tend to coast once their business is profitable and stable. Rather than finding ways to continue to grow, they settle for maintaining the business they already have. The problem with this is that the industry and your competition are constantly evolving. Although you may be hesitant to try something new, not pushing yourself out of your comfort zone and expanding your business can cost you in the long run.
Fortunately, there are several ways to ensure your pharmacy doesn’t become stagnant, including:
- Keeping up with legislative changes that expand care capabilities for pharmacies, like vaccines, point-of-care testing, diabetic education and more.
- Evaluating your competition and the needs of your community to identify gaps in care and/or opportunities to make your pharmacy stand out. This could be anything from offering delivery services and remote payment options to extended hours.
- Joining pharmacy associations and other networking groups, to connect with your peers and stay on top of trends in the industry.
All these options can help you expand your business, learn how to implement new services successfully and feel more confident about the path forward.
2. You don’t have a plan.
One of the biggest reasons pharmacies end up in a rut is because they don’t have clearly defined business objectives and goals to work towards. That’s why it’s essential to spend time reviewing your store’s current numbers, including prescription volume, OTC sales, acquisition costs, reimbursement rates, inventory, and staffing expenses. Then, identify areas you’d like to see your business grow and set SMART goals for each area. (SMART goals are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time focused.)
Once your goals are established, be sure to monitor your progress and adjust your approach when needed. This will ensure you stay focused on growth, rather than getting lost in the day-to-day tasks at your pharmacy.
3. Your team isn’t engaged.
Every business is only as strong as its staff – your pharmacy is no exception. That’s why it’s important to monitor your team morale and engagement. If your team is complacent, apathetic, or resistant to change, it can negatively impact the patient’s experience and your pharmacy’s performance. Sometimes, morale dips when you’re overly focused on setbacks, rather than successes. The emphasis on the negative can affect everything from your productivity to your employee’s confidence.
To prevent this, it’s important to check in with your team periodically, to talk about recent wins and brainstorm ways you can continue to build upon your successes together. You can also evaluate productivity and the current atmosphere at work. When meeting with your staff:
- Lead with positivity, gratitude, and transparency. After all, a simple thank you goes a long way, and everyone likes to feel appreciated and in the know at work!
- Look for educational and growth opportunities to keep everyone engaged and challenged.
- Encourage your staff to take breaks, even when you’re busy. This will not only keep everyone focused throughout the day, but it can prevent burnout in the long run.
4. You’ve lost sight of your “why”.
Sometimes pharmacies end up in a rut because long hours, stress, and frustrations have piled up over the years and owners become disconnected from the reason they opened their store in the first place. When this happens, take a step back and think about what your motivations were when you started, and what they are today – and be specific! Compiling a list of your “whys” will help you rediscover your purpose and the things you’re passionate as a pharmacy owner.
5. You don’t have the right support.
Your network, including the companies you do business with, also plays a significant role in your pharmacy’s success and ability to grow. If you surround yourself with people who are resistant to change, odds are you won’t push yourself to try new things either. On the flip side, working with innovators and staying informed on new trends and best practices will ensure your pharmacy is adapting to the changing needs of your patients and the industry.
Evaluate what’s working – and not working – at your store too. If you’re still utilizing time-consuming manual processes, old equipment, or any outdated system, get rid of them! Don’t hold on to anything that’s inhibiting your growth. We’re willing to bet you’ll find that you’re happier and more productive once you do.
Whatever might have gotten your pharmacy into a rut, BestRx has the tools, integrations, and support to help you get out of it. Request a free demo to learn how BestRx can help your pharmacy grow.