“Pharmacy is my passion,” you say. “All I want to do is serve people by giving them the best possible medicine for their condition.” You’ve got the heart for the job. But if you don’t have the know-how, starting a pharmacy franchise here in the Philippines can be a bit daunting.
It’s nice that you want to offer medicine for diabetes to every insulin-challenged John and Jane you know. The larger question looming over your head is: “How do I set this up?” In this article, we’ll look at 5 things you need to know about how to start a pharmacy business.
1. Research must be your starting point.
As with any business, you’ll need to do your research before committing and beginning the journey. You need to be fully informed about all the things you’ll need to submit, the certifications the business will require, the potential return on investment (ROI), and how much capital you’ll need to start a drugstore business. The Internet is a vast resource on a LOT of things, including opening your own pharmacy. Another idea you can look into is to check out the market. If you see that there is a certain need not being met by any other pharmacy out there, you can leverage on that and make it your niche. This, then, becomes your unique value proposition to your clients. But again, you’ve got to do your homework. Opening a business, no matter what kind, will involve a considerable amount of money, so you want to make sure you make your decisions based on facts and not just guesses.
2. Know what kind of pharmacy you want.
When starting a pharmacy business, you have two options: create your own brand or start a franchise.
With a franchise, you are given the necessary tools to begin, plus a good location, employees and connections to keep your business afloat. While in creating your own pharmacy, you do all the legwork: from hiring, funding, finding a good location, and making connections. The choice is entirely up to you.
3. Consult with an attorney
This is something that should not be overlooked. A legal advisor will guide you properly so you don’t break any government laws, even out of omission. As your business grows, always seek the guidance of your attorney. This will include consulting with them about the legal requirements to open a pharmacy, titles and certifications you (as the business owner) as well as members of your staff will need, and how often these need to be renewed.
4. Location, location, location
When drafting your pharmacy business plan, make sure you do your research about the location you’re eyeing. Sure, pharmacies are important businesses in the sense that people go to you when they need medicine. But if you have a lousy location like, let’s say, on the outskirts of the city, don’t be surprised if business doesn’t pick up. No matter how valuable your product is, customers won’t go to your store if your location is inaccessible.
When starting up a pharmacy business, you’ve got to scout for a hot spot where people converge so it’s convenient for your customers. Ideal places to set up shop are in malls, in front of condominiums, or even right across a hospital.
Take as much time as you need when searching for a location. Unlike other elements of your pharmacy like the layout, signage, and interiors, you can’t easily change the location once you’ve committed to it. Give yourself a few weeks or even months to look for the ideal location. Don’t limit yourself to one option. Start with five options then narrow it down from there. Pay attention to the foot traffic the location receives, what other establishments are nearby, and how much the rent will cost. Yes, having a prime location is important but it doesn’t make good business sense to pour all your money into a location you can’t afford as well. Compute for how much the space will cost against how much potential money the foot traffic will bring. If it proves to be a good return on your investment, then you can begin locking in your location.
5. Don’t be afraid to loan money from the bank
Owning a pharmacy, while potentially a very profitable business venture, will cost a considerable amount of money to set-up. Apart from spending on the location, attorney, and documents processing, you’ll also need to invest in multiple cold storage units for medicines that need to be temperature-controlled, possible importation charges, and medical-grade storage units. Unless you have your own capital to fund your venture, a bank loan is an interesting idea. If you really want your business to succeed, you’ll need one. If your pharmacy takes off, you’ll be able to pay that debt off. You can also negotiate with the bank for a flexible payment scheme as well.
Wanting to provide Filipinos with easy access to affordable and quality medicine is a noble goal. While setting up a pharmacy may seem overwhelming and expensive at first, with proper research, you can soon get a return on your investment and even multiply whatever money you shelled out in the beginning. Just remember our 5 tips on how to open a pharmacy business in the Philippines so you build a foundation for successful for your business right away.
We hope you all learned something new today. As always, let yourself be heard in the comments section below if you have any information or opinions to share.