The Pharmacists First Guardian

The Two Most Vulnerable Times for a Pharmacy Owner: The Startup Phase (Part 2)

Posted by Benjamin Coakley on Mon, Nov 07, 2016 @ 02:33 PM


Being a pharmacy owner requires a person who is not afraid to take risk.  Combine the risk of just being a business owner with current dynamics of the pharmacy world and it becomes easy to see this risk can be significant. In the past 40 years of studying and working with pharmacy owners, we have discovered that the risk of pharmacy ownership varies throughout the lifecycle of the pharmacy owner and pharmacy itself.

We have discovered the two most vulnerable times are during the startup phase and the contribution phase. We discussed the contribution phase (pharmacy exit strategy) in great detail last week. This week's blog is about the startup phase of your life in pharmacy.

The startup phase applies to you as the pharmacy owner and to the actual pharmacy itself. The risks associated to the pharmacy are typical of most businesses starting up. We are interested more in the risks associated with the new owner and his or her family. These are often the most overlooked in the process. So, let's dive in to some examples.

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Tags: community pharmacy, Community Pharmacist Lifecycle, pharmacy startup, pharmacy startup phase

The Two Most Vulnerable Times for a Pharmacy Owner: Your Exit Strategy (Part 1)

Posted by Benjamin Coakley on Fri, Oct 28, 2016 @ 10:28 AM


Being a pharmacy owner requires a person who is not afraid to take risk.  Combine the risk of just being a business owner with current dynamics of the pharmacy world and it becomes easy to see this risk can be significant. In the past 40 years of studying and working with pharmacy owners, we have discovered that the risk of pharmacy ownership varies throughout the lifecycle of the pharmacy owner and pharmacy itself.

We have discovered the two most vulnerable times are during the startup phase and the contribution phase. The startup phase is somewhat self explanatory but the contribution phase sometimes can be a little confusing to understand. We are going to discuss the contribution phase in more detail today and the startup phase in more detail next week.

What does it mean to be in the contribution phase of your life in pharmacy? This is the time in your life where giving back becomes a high priority. This is the time where you are actively in the process of emotionally, financially, mentally and physically separating yourself from your pharmacy. Therefore, you are actively participating in your community pharmacy exit strategy. There are many moving parts at this stage of the game and that is what makes this an extremely vulnerable time for you and any other pharmacy owner.

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Tags: community pharmacy, pharmacy exit planning, pharmacy exit strategy

Pharmacy Owners: What Does Your Fortune Cookie Say?

Posted by Benjamin Coakley on Wed, Aug 31, 2016 @ 08:44 PM


Pharmacy owners often leave things up to chance. Sometimes it is a result of not having enough time to focus on them. Sometimes they simply have put important things on autopilot and they hope they end up some place they can live with. They're often like the airplane pilot who radios the control tower and says, "I'm lost, but I sure am making great time!"  Here is a brief list of things that we have seen put on autopilot: retirement planning, exit/succession planning, contingency planning, personal/family planning, etc. Isn't this like trusting a fortune cookie to make decisions? Aren't these too important to leave up to chance?"

I actually got a fortune cookie message a few weeks ago that said, "The Future is Yours." I immediately began thinking what that actually meant and if I needed to do anything to get this future the little white piece of paper promised. I then realized that it is what it is. It is a little white piece of paper with a saying on it that means nothing unless I take action.

This means taking my future and the important things off autopilot and assume some responsibility in my future success.

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Tags: community pharmacy, pharmacy owner

Pharmacy Owners: It's Time to Go Back to School

Posted by Benjamin Coakley on Tue, Aug 16, 2016 @ 09:57 PM


It's that time again. It's time for the kids to go back to school and for your life to go back to normal for the next 9 months. Speaking of normal, what is normal for you? We did a marketing campaign a few years back where we asked pharmacy owners if they were normal. Some of the responses were humerous.

One owner said if "Running around all day like a chicken without a head is normal, then I'm normal." Another said, "I get up do my family duties and then head off to the pharmacy with the thought that I won't see my family again until the next morning. If that's normal, then I guess I'm normal." Finally, a young lady said to us that "If being able to spend time the way I want to is like chasing rainbows and unicorns, then I'm pretty much normal."

All of these examples are humerous, but they are sad as well. The questions that come to my mind when I think about this are: Why don't most pharmacy owners have the time for the things they feel are most important? Why can't pharmacy owners have their proverbial cake and eat it too? Is it too much to ask for pharmacy owners to have the life they want to live?

I think the answers to this require pharmacy owners to go back to school.

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Tags: community pharmacy, community pharmacy owner, community pharmacist success

3 Tips for an Effective Pharmacy Golden Handcuffs Plan

Posted by Matt Coakley on Wed, Aug 13, 2014 @ 09:50 AM

Pharmacy golden handcuffs planning is critical to protect your pharmacy. And, if you are like most pharmacy owners, your pharmacy is your "Golden Goose." It is the asset that drives the financial engine for you and your family, as well as, your employees and their families.

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Tags: community pharmacy, pharmacy golden handcuffs plan, community pharmacy benefit plan

Community Pharmacy Owners: We are not in Kansas anymore!!

Posted by Benjamin Coakley on Mon, Jun 23, 2014 @ 12:58 PM

These past few weeks have been very busy for our advisors at Waypoint. We have travelled many miles and spent countless hours on the phone working with our clients. We have also gone to several meetings to support community pharmacy owners (these will be detailed in a series of blogs called From the Front Lines of Community Pharmacy). A common theme keeps arising from these meetings, the battle for the future of community pharmacy is just beginning.  

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Tags: community pharmacy, community pharmacy owner, community pharmacist

What do March Madness and Community Pharmacy have in common?

Posted by Benjamin Coakley on Fri, May 02, 2014 @ 09:15 AM

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Tags: community pharmacy, community pharmacy ownership

3 Governance Ideas for Family Pharmacies

Posted by Benjamin Coakley on Wed, Apr 16, 2014 @ 08:56 AM

Family pharmacies are a unique entity in America.  They combine the challenges of pharmacy with the challenges of being family owned and operated. This combination can create some very interesting experiences, situations, and confrontations.

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Tags: community pharmacy, family pharmacy, family pharmacy owner

The Family Pharmacy Paradox: What's in it for me?

Posted by Benjamin Coakley on Tue, Mar 25, 2014 @ 03:14 PM

Family businesses and, subsequently, family pharmacies are often great at promoting the fact they are family owned and operated. They are proud of the fact they work as a family team to help fulfill the mission of the family and the business.  We share that passion at Waypoint because we are also a family owned and operated business.

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Tags: community pharmacy, family pharmacy, family pharmacy owner

Community Pharmacy Successors UNITE!!!!!

Posted by Benjamin Coakley on Fri, Mar 21, 2014 @ 08:18 AM

Several popular cartoons feature a group of individual super heroes who unite when a supervillain can only be defeated with their combined strength. For community pharmacy owners, there are no shortages of threats and supervillains (insurance companies, PBMs, large box stores, etc.). Combating these threats is going to take unity between all the forces for good in pharmacy. Only then can we begin to turn the tide of this war.

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Tags: community pharmacy, pharmacy successors, pharmacy succession planning