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Pharmacy Junior Partnerships: 3 Essentials of a Pharmacy Career Path

Posted by Rick Coakley on Wed, May 22, 2013 @ 03:54 PM

Pharmacy junior partnerships can be great opportunities for increasing the chances of your pharmacypharmacy junior partnerships surviving long after you are enjoying an inspired life after pharmacy.  However, many community pharmacy owners think simply finding a junior partner is all it takes.  The fact is, finding one is just the beginning.

Once you have identified and hired a potential junior partner candidate, it is important to set benchmarks that he or she must meet before becoming a junior partner. A few examples of benchmarks are no customer complaints over a 6 month trial period, showing up to work on time, and always being professional with the pharmacy staff.  

You can choose benchmarks specific to your store and what you are looking for in someone. (Caution: Your are never going to find someone just like you, so do not hold that against a potential candidate).  It is recommended that you keep these benchmarks private so the candidate is not influenced by them and you get a chance to learn their natural tendencies, skills and attitude.  Essentially, you want to know how this person is a good fit with all aspects of your pharmacy before offering a junior partnership.

(Note: NCPA Director of Management Affairs, Lisa Schwartz is currently working on a How To Guide for Pharmacy Junior Partnerships which describes in detail how to  locate potential junior partner candidates.)

Once this person achieves the benchmarks you set, it is important to approach them in a professional way.  We recommend you use a junior partnership proposal to spell out your long-term plans for the pharmacy.  This is one of the things we see neglected the most often in pharmacies with potential junior partners.  

We have actually had young people interested in a junior partnership tell us the owner has never approached them. And in the same pharmacy, the owner says the potential junior partner has never approached them.  We feel it is the owner's responsibility to approach the potential junior partner after the benchmarks have been achieved. 

The junior partnership proposal should include a specific career path for the junior partner.  By observing the candidate over a trial period, the owner will be able to give candidates specific action steps with deadlines. This will help the junior partner see the path to full ownership and what he or she needs to do to increase his or her chances of success. 

In addition, the career path should have the following three essential elements:

  1. Most Important Tasks to Run the Pharmacy: The junior partner will most likely not have much experience running a pharmacy.  It is important to help identify the things that must be done to make sure the pharmacy can continue to operate (i.e. reviewing financials, payroll, etc.)
  2. Leadership Skills Needed: Some people are naturally born leaders that can motivate people in the right way.  Hopefully, your junior partner is one of these people.  If not, it is important to identify the skills and resources that will improve his or her leadership in the pharmacy.
  3. A List of the Key Employees: It will be very important that the junior partner develop a relationship with the key employees.  Your pharmacy value may be dependent on him or her being able to keep those key employees from leaving after you are enjoying life after pharmacy.

There is no magic pill for a pharmacy junior partnership to work.  The key is to constantly work at it.  When Dwight D. Eisenhower created the plan for the Normandy Invasion in Europe during World War Two, he immediately realized his plan was not going to work the way he had hoped. Even though it was a good start, Eisenhower had to include continuous planning in his plan to address a constantly changing situation.  As you begin the transition out of your pharmacy utilizing a junior partnership, you will discover that things are not always going to go as planned or things may even get off schedule. Constant review and revision of your plan will become a natural part of your life and will increase your chances of success.

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Where does this wisdom come from?

The content of this blog is inspired and substantiated by our experience helping independent community pharmacists enjoy financial independence during and after their life in pharmacy. When a pharmacist reaches out to us for information and help, we endeavor to give them as much free value as is possible. In addition to providing educational and strategic planning tools (like The Career Path Builder), we invite qualified pharmacists into our formal discovery process.

The first step of the process is completing The Inspired Goals Workshop. This 90-minute session enables us to deliver a detailed and personal Inspired Independence Blueprint. The blueprint provides a personalized roadmap for achieving your goals and enables you to fully understand the value of joining The Inspired Independence Program.

If you wish to learn more about any aspect of our work, the free value we offer, or to be considered for The Inspired Goals Workshop, visit our web site at or call 843.873.4420 and ask for Ben or Matt Coakley.

At Waypoint Pharmacy Advisors, we take care of you!

Topics: community pharmacy owner, life after pharmacy, junior partner, pharmacy junior partner, pharmacy junior partnerships