The Community Pharmacist Blog

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6 Things it Takes to Be a Successful Young Community Pharmacy Owner

Posted by Benjamin Coakley on Wed, Dec 04, 2013 @ 03:25 PM


I remember from a few years back a conversation we had with a prominent representative of ourCommunity pharmacist state pharmacy association.  This person mentioned how young people in pharmacy school were not being adequately prepared to become community pharmacy owners. We discussed some of the key underlying issues for this.  The root of the problem appeared to be a lack of education in areas of business ownership and entrepreneurship.  To be fair to all parties involved, it is hard to teach someone how to be an entrepreneur and business owner.

He then asked me a simple question, "What does it take to be a successful young community pharmacy owner?"  I told him that I didn't know that answer at the time, but I felt that it needed to be answered.  I remember saying that if we can identify what it takes to be successful as a young person in pharmacy, then we could really start making progress towards a solution.

We did what we know best in these situations.  We picked up the phone and started calling pharmacy owners.  We asked them what it took them to be successful.  They all gave us six things that are very important for the success of young pharmacy owners.

But, before we address these six things, it think it is important to start with a fundamental question.  When we speak with young people all over the country, we always mention that a life in community pharmacy ownership always begins with asking the question, "Why do I want to be a community pharmacy owner?"  The reason this question needs to be answered is there has to be a compelling reason for you to keep getting up every day and going into the pharmacy.  If there isn't, then this will become like any other job you have had and your job satisfaction will not be very high.  Being a community pharmacy owner is not for everyone and it is best to be honest with yourself up front.  It can save you money, time and energy if you determine it is not right for you.

However, if you make the determination that this is right for you, then the following six things can help you become a successful community pharmacist/pharmacy owner.

  1. Start with the big picture(begin with the end in mind) and then focus on the specifics (i.e. think about where they want to be over the next 5, 10, 20 or 30 years)  - This can help you narrow down your list of opportunities and choose the one that best fits you.
  2. Take time with this strategic decision - there are going to be plenty of opportunities in the marketplace over the next 5 - 10 years.  There is simply no need to jump at the first opportunity unless it is your dream pharmacy.
  3. Build a support network (other pharmacists, advisors, etc.) and don't be afraid to ask for help - This can shorten the learning curve of ownership 
  4. Consider buying rather than building - most owners tell us that buying is easier than building.
  5. Never lose faith in pharmacy - there are going to be great things that happen because of ownership, but there will also be days where you feel like quitting the business.
  6. Evaluate all your financing options - if you are going to look to own, there are more competitors for your business today than ever

Whether you are an established young community pharmacist or a pharmacy student, if you are interested in ownership, you have to begin with asking yourself, "Why do I want to be a pharmacy owner?"  Our Young Pharmacist Prosperity Kit can help you begin to answer this question as well as many more.  Click below if you want to begin to answer these questions.

Get the Young Pharmacist Prosperity Kit

Where does this wisdom come from?

The content of this blog is inspired and verified 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, self-assessment and strategic planning tools (like The Helping Community Pharmacy Survey), 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 Pharmacist Advisors, we take care of you!

Topics: community pharmacy owner, community pharmacist, Young community pharmacist