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Top 7 Tips for Individuals Starting a Pharmacy Business

By: Heather Legg



Years ago, the big box stores were all taking over the mom and pop businesses. Now we are starting to see a trend of individual businesses taking back. Pharmacies are one area where this is becoming lucrative. Many people are tired of the chain pharmacies and want more of a personal feeling. With a small, independent pharmacy business, the pharmacists can get to know their clients, and the clients can feel a bit more confident that they are being taken care of.

So how does someone start a pharmacy business? It can’t be easy, with so many rules and regulations governing pharmaceuticals. How do you begin? Though a lot is involved, it is something that more and more pharmacists are leaning towards, and the key is to do it right. Here are some tips to help you get started.

Research, Research, Research

Before anything, take the time to research (like you are doing now). Get the facts before anything else. Go to sites that offer tips, talk to current pharmacy owners, and find organizations that help directly in this field. Learn what you are taking on before you start.

Decide What Kind of Pharmacy to Open

Do you want to buy a franchise? This is an easier option because you’ll have help getting started and a brand name that people recognize. Do you want to buy a pharmacy that already exists? Just like some doctors take over practices, you can take over a pharmacy and you’ll already have an established customer base and vendor relations. You can also begin from scratch, and though it may take more work, you’ll nurture it from the beginning.

Meet With an Attorney

This will get you in the right legal direction, as you will need to know all the legalities this business entails. An attorney can guide you through this and then be on hand as your business takes off if you have further needs.

Check into Business Loans

When starting any small business, most individuals will need to take out a business loan. Look around for the best option to meet your needs. You will need some capital to begin with to help out with the store, staffing, and supplies.

Hire Appropriate Licensed Staff

This isn’t the time to hand out jobs to needy friends and family members. You will need a licensed pharmacist (you, if that’s your occupation). You’ll also need other support staff, and these should all be trusted, accountable, trained people. An accountant and insurance agent are valuable assets as well.

Click here to read more about support staff

Build Your Product Base

Get to know pharmaceutical companies and decide how you will stock your product. Think about quantities, needs, and how quickly you can get something that you don’t regularly stock.

Get Licensed

Besides having a licensed pharmacist, you will need a pharmacy license, a DEA number, a National Association of Boards of Pharmacy number, and a number for the NPI.

These are just the basics of getting started. Pharmacies are intricate businesses that need careful maintaining and adhering to inspections, state boards, and federal regulations. But these implementations are there for a reason, to keep your customers safe; don’t let them scare you. Owning your own pharmacy can be a lucrative and satisfying business.

Published: June 4, 2013

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