Drug Store Business Ideas: How to Open a Pharmacy Business


Pharmaceutical drugs account for over a billion dollars in sales worldwide. Everybody needs some form of medical intervention in their lives.  Common health issues such as headaches and other serious ailments need pharmaceutical drugs to manage the illness.
Pharmacy business provides a valuable service while earning huge income for the owner. The enterprise is large and since it deals with healthcare it is highly regulated.
Starting a drug store is very challenging more so in advanced countries. There are strict laws of compliance, certification, and state/local government regulations guiding the enterprise.
You need to climb lots of hurdles to successful get a license. Opening your store is challenging because you need lots of finance, research and qualified staff such as a pharmacist.
If you want to serve your community and provide a valuable service then drug store ownership is a good endeavor.
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Funding your Drug Store
Funding is very crucial to the success of any business. Before applying for loans and grants first write a business plan.
Develop a Business Plan
A well written business plan will help secure the loan and attract investors. Write a comprehensive plan and give the document to potential investors.
This will help them see your vision and company structure. A business plan has current and future projections, profit and loss including long and short term calculations.
It focuses on core issues like management structure, cost, promotion, legal and startup capital.
Bank Loans
To start your venture you need lots of funding. Reach out to commercial and trade banks for loans to purchase drugs, rent space and pay licenses.
Banks require some form of collateral such as property, cars or share certificates. You also need to come up with 25% of the amount you want and open a company account in the bank.
Present a business plan to show sound investment opportunity and profitability. They will study your management structure and experience before making an offer.
You can seek funds by selling equity in your startup company or a partnership arrangement. Don’t forget asking family and friends for soft loans.
Another way is seeking venture capitalists or core investors. Some business owners looking to diversify portfolio might be interested in your business. What ever funding method you use make sure all legal provisions are properly documented.
Insure your Drug Store
When you register your business name make it a limited liability company. This provides some cover in case of litigation or prosecution. It is important to take out insurance on your business to cover accidents, fire and staff
Regulations and Licensing
There are lots of regulations and licensing to guide the pharmaceutical industry.  The first step is registering your drug store at corporate affairs commission. Then you head up to the chambers of commerce and local health departments.
You need a state pharmaceutical license in your immediate jurisdiction. Other regulators are the national drug agency or drug enforcement agency accreditation.
You might need a NAFDAC number or national association board of pharmacy number. Other is employment identification number, health insurance, standard organization information and other certification/ licenses.
Membership of certain organizations and bodies is mandatory.  To reduce the stress hire a professional involved in startup drug stores or a licensed attorney.
Buy, Rent or Build
You have three choices to build a drug store from scratch buy an old one or rent a store. Your finance determines the option you choose. Many drug stores pay rent and start their venture with a view to build in the nearest future.

Buy an Existing Pharmacy
Buying an existing pharmacy might have lots of challenges. The question is ‘Why are they selling the business if it’s profitable? Study their business template, customer base, sales records, staff strength and location.
Buying an existing drugs store costs more than establishing one from scratch. The seller will factor in the drugs, furniture and property value.  Buying an existing store is capital intensive and it will take time to start making profit.  
Building your Store
However, building a new pharmacy is cheaper than buying an existing one. The building is purposely structured for a pharmacy making it more appealing and user friendly. Owning your own property gives you are great advantage to get it right.
Rent a Store Space
The fastest way to start a pharmaceutical store is renting a shop space. You will be up and running in a few weeks once the drugs and furniture are in place. You spend less startup capital and start making profit within a year.
Also need to determine the market for certain sales and services you want to offer.
Location
One of the most important considerations is where to locate your store. If you choose a bad location your company will struggle to make profit.
There are a few things to look out for before determining a good location. The location should be visible and in a residential area.
Other good locations are office buildings, near a hospital or clinic. Locating your business close to your market is the best location.
However a good location is not the only determining factor to success or failure. You should offer better service, hire competent staff, sell only certified drugs and show competence.
Hire Staff
If you hire the wrong staff it will impact negatively on your business. You staff might engage in unwholesome practices like stealing, bad manners and poor knowledge of company policy.
Write a company policy that guides your staff behavior and work ethics. This should include customer service, efficiency, image and branding.
Do some investigation on staff especially cashiers. Check their background, former employees and recommendations.
Hire a Pharmacist.
If you are not a pharmacist then you need to hire one. In most countries by law every drug store need a qualified pharmacist.
The licensed pharmacist is an integral member of staff. The pharmacist is the only person qualified to dispense drugs prescribed by doctors.
Hire Cashiers
Every drug store needs at least one cashier. Once the prescribed drugs are provided by the pharmacist the cashier collects the payment and gives a receipt.
Hire Staff
Other staff members include cleaners, security and helpers. The tech helper’s duties include taking phone calls, counting drugs, ledger and typing out prescriptions.
Stock workers clean shelves and arrange the store. A small drug store needs 1 cashieer, 1 pharmacy, 2 tech helpers and 1 security guard.
Setup a good security system by introducing surveillance cameras, guards, alarms including secured windows and doors.
Acquiring equipment
You drug store need proper equipment to function optimally. There are basic items you need to jump start your enterprise listed below are a few things you need.
You definitely need a good cash register and dedicated phone line. Buy a desktop computer and printer. Other things are vials, pill bottles, and store inventories like cleaning agents, paper towels and branded packages.
Build sturdy shelves, counter, chairs and get in touch with pharmaceutical companies to source your drugs. Only use accredited and trusted companies that have government certification and approved products.
It is proper to have a good relationship with pharmaceutical companies you patronize.
Write a List of Medication
Write a list of medication you plan to sell and follow regulations applicable to the type of drugs. To get a comprehensive list include product description, dosage, price and pharmaceutical company.
The Store Arrangement
The layout of your store is important for optimal efficiency. The cashier station should be in front of the store close to the exit door. Make your aisles wide for free movement and keep drugs and shelves behind a counter
Arrange your aisles by product, function and manufacturer.. Every drug should be within reach of a qualified pharmacist.
Market your Drug Store
Marketing your store is important to attract people in your area. Print handbills, banners, billboards and business cards to distribute in your location. Use social media adverts a website and social pages.
Have a grand opening and contact news outlets in your locality. Join organizations that have to do with healthcare in your area and partner with hospitals, clinics, diagnostic centers and medical professionals.
Related Reading 14 Healthcare Business Ideas



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