The Pharmacists First Guardian

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

Selling a Community Pharmacy vs. a Pharmacy Junior Partnership

Posted by Rick Coakley on Thu, Apr 25, 2013 @ 12:57 PM

There has been much debate recently about whether selling a community pharmacy outright or creating a pharmacy junior partnership is the optimal route in exiting a pharmacy.  

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Tags: community pharmacy owner, pharmacy exit planning, life after pharmacy, pharmacy exit strategy

My Pharmacy is My Retirement: 3 Lessons in Pharmacy Exit Strategies

Posted by Benjamin Coakley on Wed, Dec 12, 2012 @ 01:51 PM

We just arrived home from the Pharmacy Growth Conference in Orlando last weekend and the first two days back brought two significant snow storms. As I woke up the morning of the second storm, I told my wife that I would love to just go out and play in the snow all day without having to worry about work. It made me realize that one day I would want to have the option of working or not. If that's the case, then I better start working on my exit strategy. Speaking of exit strategies...

Pharmacy exit strategies are being discussed more and more in today's pharmacy world than ever before.  The reason is a tremendous transition has begun to take place in the pharmacy world.  In our 30 plus years of work of helping community pharmacists navigate their life in pharmacy, we have heard many ideas and goals for life after pharmacy.  There are a few lessons that we have observed and community pharmacists have learned (sometimes the hard way).

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Tags: pharmacy exit planning, life after pharmacy, pharmacy succession

3 Unique Tips for Your Successful Pharmacy Exit Strategy

Posted by Matt Coakley on Thu, Nov 15, 2012 @ 07:14 PM

The whole idea of succession planning and exit strategies is becoming almost a cliche in our economic environment at this point.  The reason for this is the transition occuring with the baby boomers.  They are slowly beginning the to retire and sail off into the sunset.  This is being compounded by the state of the economy in the world right now as well.  The pharmacy world is no different and the beginning of a huge transition is starting to happen.  Below are some extremely unique tips that we think can help you being executing your exit strategy.

There are numerous ways a pharmacist can exit his or her pharmacy.  They range from bringing in a pharmacy junior partner to, as we say in the south, going out with your boots on.  No matter which path is chosen, there are some common issues that need to be planned for before a pharmacy exit strategy can be executed.  The tips below are designed to address some of these common issues.

  1. Determine the correct definition of money - money means different things to different people.  Waypoint believes that money equals life energy.  If you believe this, then you can start to determine how much life energy you want to spend building wealth.  Then you can determine how much is enough and come up with a game plan to achieve that.

  2. Don't be like Lucy from Peanuts - the story of Lucy consistently fooling Charlie Brown by pulling the football back as he is about to kick it is a great analogy to what happens with pharmacy exit strategies.  You must prepare yourself mentally and financially to exit your pharmacy.  If not, you will get to the day you have in your mind and nothing will happen.  We have even heard stories recently from some young pharmacists about the senior pharmacists not living up to their promises.  These young pharmacists feel like Charlie Brown when this happens.

  3. Money doesn't grow on trees - there is a great commercial out right now depicting a guy made of money riding a motorcycle across the country.  The catch line says since no one is actually made of money, call us today and we can save you some.  You must work with the person looking to buy your pharmacy.  Almost all pharmacy transactions have some form of owner financing component built into the transaction.  You may be the lucky one that doesn't have to do this, but you must be prepared.

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Tags: pharmacy exit planning, pharmacy exit strategy, pharmacy junior partnerships

Your pharmacy exit strategy, San Diego weather, and boiled peanuts

Posted by Benjamin Coakley on Wed, Oct 24, 2012 @ 09:23 AM

The Waypoint team recently took a trip to San Diego and the weather was out of this world.  It inspired a discussion on what the advisors' lives would be like after working at Waypoint.  One of our advisors mentioned that he would love to be able to travel to places like San Diego without having to worry about being on a budget.  Another one of our advisors said he would love to sit on his back porch, watch the sunset and eat boiled peanuts.  The third advisor mentioned that he had no idea what he would do when his working life ended.

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Tags: pharmacy exit planning, life after pharmacy, pharmacy succession

Pharmacy junior partnerships: 2 ideas to kickstart the process

Posted by Benjamin Coakley on Mon, Sep 24, 2012 @ 08:56 AM

There are many issues and concerns involved with implementing a successful pharmacy junior partnership.  However, there are a few primary issues. One of the main primary issues is the lack of communication between the senior pharmacist and the junior partner candidate.  The following story plays out time and time again when we ask about potential junior partnerships.

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Tags: pharmacy exit planning, pharmacy junior partnerships, pharmacy junior partners, succession

Pharmacy Junior Partners and Penguins

Posted by Benjamin Coakley on Fri, Sep 14, 2012 @ 11:14 AM

Many years ago we ran a marketing campaign titled "When is an independent community pharmacy like a penguin?"  The thought process behind this was that many community pharmacists have a patented response when asked what makes their pharmacy different and successful.  They all say "We treat our patients better than anyone else."  This is why we chose penguins as a metaphor for this issue.  They all look exactly alike and it is almost impossible to pick one out from the others.  We actually issued what we call "The Penguin Challenge" because it is imperative for community pharmacists to know what makes their pharmacies uniquely successful.

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Tags: pharmacy exit planning, pharmacy junior partner, pharmacy junior partnerships, pharmacy junior partners

Pharmacy Junior Partners: 4 Benefits to the Community Pharmacy

Posted by Benjamin Coakley on Fri, Aug 10, 2012 @ 05:30 PM

When it comes to exiting the pharmacy, there is no shortage of options.  These range from transitioning to a pharmacy junior partner to selling to a chain store.  Most community pharmacists would rather keep the pharmacy independent, so selling to the chain typically is the last option chosen.  This article will be focused on the pharmacy junior partner and the benefits associated with them.  If executed properly, transitioning to a junior partner can be extremely positive for the pharmacy, current staff of the pharmacy, and the surrounding community.  This is such a viable option that the National Community Pharmacists Association is actively promoting this as an option for exiting a pharmacy. 

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Tags: pharmacy exit planning, pharmacy succession, junior partner, exit planning

3 Helpful Hints to Pharmacy Exit Planning

Posted by Benjamin Coakley on Wed, Aug 01, 2012 @ 10:17 AM

Pharmacy exit planning (pharmacy succession planning) is a natural stage in the Community Pharmacist Lifecycle.  However, this also happens to be one of the scariest and most challenging stages community pharmacists face.  The reason this is challenging is because everything has to come together at one time in order for a community pharmacist to successfully exit the pharmacy.  This creates uncertainty because most pharmacists are trained at helping patients rather than being trained in exiting the pharmacy.  The following are some helpful hints to help think about pharmacy exit planning and to reduce some of the uncertainty associated with this stage of the lifecycle.

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Tags: community pharmacist, pharmacy exit planning, vision, exit planning