Becoming a Pharmacy Owner
Pharmacy used to be the study of choice for those who could not decide between commerce and medicine as a career. It remains the best of both worlds: provide medical assistance while running a business. However, many graduates nowadays are attracted by the high salaries offered by the big pharmacy chains.
America, land of the free: have we forgotten the freedom of being our own boss?
The "old-fashioned" independent community pharmacy is still very much around. There were about 24,000 independently owned pharmacies in the United States in 2002. Together, they employed over 62,000 pharmacists. This shows that the special brand of service and community feeling which can only be provided by the local corner pharmacy is still appreciated! For instance, you could offer tailor-made products or disease management. About 62% of independent pharmacies provided a blood pressure monitoring service and 41% gave diabetes workshops to their patients in 2002.
Many independent community pharmacies are a single pharmacy owned by the pharmacist who runs it. Others are a network of two or more stores owned by an individual or small group. If the store count is less than four stores, the pharmacy is generally considered independent. Four or more stores are seen as a pharmacy chain. However, small chains of four or more stores can react just as fast as a traditional independent pharmacy if the owner(s) want that. Regardless of how many pharmacies they might own, independent pharmacists are known to invest in the community they serve.
It is most rewarding to own an independent pharmacy business.
What if you could implement your own ideas on how best to serve your clients: which specialty services to offer, what niche to fill in the community? Imagine you could change what you like without needing to consult a chain of command. Accept the challenge, buy a pharmacy and apply yourself as an entrepreneur, not just as a (clinical) pharmacist. Take charge and get involved in merchandising and marketing. Manage your pharmacy as you see fit. If the pharmacy consists of two or more outlets, you might start off as assistant manager. Even so, your input will have more direct impact on policy than at a big chain. With ownership come demands particularly on your time, but the satisfaction grows exponentially!
How does one get such an opportunity? Most independent community pharmacy owners are nearing retirement (over half are over 50 years old). They might decide to have someone else take over the management side of the business or sell their business upon retirement. Many of these owners would like to train a young pharmacist to take over the business from them. If owning your own pharmacy appeals to you, feel free to contact one of our pharmacy brokers at Aventine Group. We look forward to working with you closely.