Opening up the doors of a pharmacy is not like any other kind of business. The aim of a pharmacy is genuinely to assist the clientele that walks through the doors with sometimes the most personal of needs. Those needs can range from the medications they need to stay alive and at their healthiest, to lighter and more topical needs like a new package of Band-Aids –and everything in between.
When first starting up your independent pharmacy, there are quite a few options you have in how you may want to market your new business to the surrounding community. Below are some methods you may want to consider to get your new and independent pharmacy off to a running and sustainable start.
Cater to the Needs of Your Community
Before you can do much else in the way of planning, you need to know and understand your future clientele. Like any business, learning everything you can about your customers is the strongest way to being able to serve them best. Find out what kind of needs they are looking for in the way of a local pharmacy. If there was an independent pharmacy before you set up yours in the area, what were their strongest points of service? What where their weakest? Is that previous pharmacy still in business? If it isn’t anymore, find out why.
These are the points of understanding that you as the founder of your community’s new independent pharmacy should be going after. The more you know about the area and its resident’s expectations for you and your new business, the better you can set yourself up to serve them and also create lasting and loyal relationships.
Set Your Pharmacy Up to be Referred and Recommended by Doctors
A strong move to make as the new pharmacy in town is to get recommended by the local doctors and medical professionals. If you can forge bonds with the leading the doctors in the area as the one that they refer patients to for specific medications and supplies, that is a great way to secure regular customers. Do some research and reach out who the leading doctors and hospitals are in your area so that you can start working on building those referring relationships.
Past that, find out what you can about the residents in the area of your pharmacy and if there are any trending ailments that they may have. If you live in an area where diabetes is very common with the local residents, then be sure to have a wide selection of diabetes medication so that your pharmacy is the go-to location for local residents. If heart conditions are the leading medical ailment for the residents nearest your pharmacy, then stock the meds that they need most. Do your homework on the local area for what medical ailments are most common nearest you and use your pharmacy to meet that need. This will create your pharmacy as the go-to location for the most common medical needs.
Offer the Best Service and Individual Customer Care Possible
For the customers who come into your store, try and cater your service to them on a one-on-one basis. Try to remember things about them so that you can have a personal relationship with them rather than just a business-customer relationship. Remember their name, and if they come in at a regular time to your store, try to have what they usually ask for ready for them. This extra step helps them feel that you truly care about them and their business, and this creates loyalty and a customer experience that they more than likely do not get from a chain pharmacy. According to this post on Pharmacy promotion, every retailer should be aiming to make each customers experience as enjoyable and memorable as possible.
Aim to personalize the experience of all your regular customers. It will keep them coming back again and again, and even have them referring their friends and family to your business as well.
Keep the Community Updated on What You Have to Offer
Never underestimate the power of the flyer. You can send out flyers in the traditional manner of handing them out on street corners and posting them up on telephone poles, but here in the digital age, you can save the time it takes to hand them out one at a time and send out an email blast.
Have your customers leave their email addresses with you (if they desire to do so) so you can keep them updated on the latest sales and newest items in stock at your pharmacy. Chances are that your pharmacy sells more than just prescription and over the counter medications, so don’t be afraid to tote what you have in stock in front of your customers. Let them all know what else you sell besides medications, and let them know though your digital flyers.
If you are having a hard time getting ahold of a list of email addresses that you can send out your pharmacy’s updates through, then try and get in touch with the leading community updater. This can be the local church, or chamber of commerce, or even town hall. Get in touch with whomeveroversees the newsletter and see how you can get your ad or update slipped in. It might take some creativity to get featured, but it’s worth the effort.
Have You Considered a Delivery Service?
A great way to get your pharmacy to stand out and be remembered by is to offer a delivery service. Being able to scratch an item off of someone else’s to-do list is always going to be met with a smile and a fond memory, and having your pharmacy be the provider of such a service is a great way to set yourself up for a win with the community.