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.
There is a high probability that transitioning to a junior partner will result in the success of the pharmacy well into the future. The reason is many of the patients of the pharmacy will see the junior partner as an insider (whether they actually came from inside or not). This can really enhance the legacy of an owner transitioning out of the pharmacy. Most pharmacists believe that their legacy is one of the most important elements of their transition. If this is the case, then looking at a pharmacy junior partner should be an option because it is the most hands on way to ensure the legacy is protected.
The benefits of a pharmacy junior pharmacy include the following:
Continuity of customer service - The junior partner can learn the level of customer service to which a pharmacy's patients are accustomed. This will give the junior partner a better chance of succeeding once the owner transitions out.
Processes can be already known and understood - The management of the store can be the biggest hurdle for most new pharmacists owning a pharmacy. This allows them to be trained in a real life environment which gives them a better chance of survival.
Same ideals and values shared - This gives the owner the ability to see if the junior partner has the same values system before the store is completely turned over to that pharmacist. If the junior partner does not, then the owner can choose not to move forward with the transition.
Credibility and customer loyalty more easily transferred - This one is fairly self explanatory because a junior partner will have more credibility because he or she will have deemed to been chosen by the owner. The transfer of credibility and customer loyalty will ultimately determine if the pharmacy will be successful into the future or not. This is why some junior partners will want the owner to sign an agreement requiring them to work for a couple of years after the transition.
In summary, a pharmacy junior partner is a great way to transition out of a pharmacy and protect the legacies of independent community pharmacists. With that being said, finding the right person is the most difficult aspect of this type of transition. There are stories of owners working with three or four pharmacists before the right match is found. Even though this is the case in some instances, the benefits of a junior partner transition can be fruitful for all parties concerned.