by Nancy Mlinarik
In today’s environment, growth is essential as an offset to low margins and rising costs. Many pharmacies ask themselves: How do we approach analyzing and winning market share?
STEP 1 – Analyze your current business
The first step in planning for growth is to analyze your current business. Review your business metrics to evaluate profitability by facility, by payer, and by location.
STEP 2 – Identify your target market
Use those data driven results to hand select a target audience that makes sense for your pharmacy operation. It should include a mix of facility types, a minimum number of beds for each type of business, and a certain proximity to an existing delivery route.
STEP 3 – Understand the needs of your target market
Understanding what your prospective facility customers expect from their pharmacy is key to winning their business. Ask yourself and your existing customers what criteria are important in selecting a pharmacy partner?
Key areas to consider
- Connectivity to particular EMARS/EHRS
- The use of technology to reduce errors
- The percentage of medication orders that are delivered according to the pharmacy cut off and delivery schedules
- A facility’s ability to track orders from inception through to delivery
- Customized offering: dispensing, forms, labels, and reports for the facility
- Survey and regulatory requirements
Document your customers’ key decision making criteria and commit to actions that support your pharmacy’s ability to address each of those areas. Look to your pharmacy for tools that may be customized to support your marketing initiatives.
STEP 4 – Sell yourself!
Meet with the staff responsible for talking with facilities to ensure you’re on the same page with the above key areas. Review what makes your pharmacy special, and be sure to include that in your pitch.
Nancy Mlinarik is a Sales Consultant at SoftWriters, a Pittsburgh-based company that offers pharmacy management software solutions to pharmacies serving the long-term care community. Nancy has spent 25+ years in LTC pharmacy, many of which focused on the sales and marketing aspect of growing the LTC pharmacy business. She has successfully deployed strategy to increase business 5-fold in two different LTC pharmacy organizations.