Four goals to set in your independent pharmacy to increase growth

If we don't set goals, we can't celebrate our successes. Here are four goals for the independent pharmacy to set, meet and celebrate.

Four goals to set in your independent pharmacyBack slaps, fist bumps, high fives, bear hugs, chest bumps, and the inevitable touch down dance.   Yes, it’s football season.  And while every game has its share of incomplete passes, fouls, fumbles, unsportsmanlike conduct and questionable calls, there is one thing that every football player always seems to get right. They celebrate everything! They encourage each other and they work towards a common goal.

I’ll probably be ostracized from the RMS fantasy football league for saying this, but if those players can celebrate that much about gaining a few yards on the field, why can’t we celebrate our successes and achievements in our businesses every day?  And yes, I’m already hearing the resounding objections because you don’t think it’s as exciting or because football players tend to make millions of dollars, so of course they celebrate, or maybe you think you’re just too busy. But perhaps a more basic and much more realistic reason for not celebrating our successes is that we just don’t know when they actually occur.  

So it’s time to set some goals in your pharmacy and give yourself and your staff something to celebrate.  But setting reachable, practical goals that you can actually see results from can be difficult.   (Just ask me how long it takes me every month to do my own goal setting and evaluation).  To get you started, here are four of favorite ideas for setting goals.

Increase sales of your private label products: This may sound like a challenge, but with a little staff education and a few tricks from your pharmacy POS system, you can start to drive sales of private label products over brand name products.  Check out this article on some easy ways to drive private label sales.  I love this goal because it can easily be turned into a sales challenge for your staff to try to get those private label sales up every month.  Just make sure to share the results so that your staff can be a part of the success.

Four goals to set in your independent pharmacy will call resized 600Reduce the amount of inventory sitting in your will-call:  How many prescriptions are sitting in your will-call bins that will never be picked up?  If you aren’t actively managing your will-call, there could be quite a bit of money tied up in that inventory.   The hardest part of setting this up will be figuring out what the right timeframe is for returning prescriptions to stock and it may take some trial and error. Once you’ve got your time frame, just run a report to figure out what prescriptions haven’t been picked up and return them to stock.  Take it up a step and call patients with outdated prescriptions to remind them to pick up before the order is returned to stock.  Either way, the prescription will no longer be money sitting on your shelf. Make this a daily or weekly habit depending on your prescription volume. 

Maximize your front end shelf space: Tackling this may seem like a big project at first, but when you take a look at the smaller slice, it actually comes down to carrying front end product that sells.  So get rid of the product that isn’t selling and identify what is.  Reports can easily be run through your POS system to provide detail on what product isn’t moving.  Different items will have different acceptable no-sale ranges depending on the season so keep that in mind when reviewing your movement reports.  For more tips on Inventory movement and holding, click here

Bring back missing customers:  This may be the most important goal you can take on, but it also may be the most challenging.   And of course, before you can try to bring a lost customer back into your store, you have to know who they are.  If you have an active loyalty program you may be able to identify those customers that haven’t been in for a while, but perhaps the more reliable measure would be to utilize your pharmacy management system to identify those customers who are overdue for prescription refills.  Once you’ve identified your missing customers, a good loyalty program or promotional offering can be brought into play or you can simply make a call to those customers to remind them of the overdue refill as part of a patient adherence or active reach out program.  You can also make this a challenge for your staff to reduce the number of patients on that past due refill list and bring lost customers back to the store.

I hope that setting some goals will help you find some reason to celebrate like you just scored the game winning touch-down and that you’ll use these ideas to dream up some new goals that are just right for your pharmacy.  (Of course you might want to save the dancing until after the store closes for the day).    If you have special goals of your own that you’d like to share, please feel free to comment below!

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