The Community Pharmacist Blog

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Is community pharmacy succession planning just replacement planning?

Posted by Benjamin Coakley on Wed, Jan 29, 2014 @ 04:34 PM

succession managementThe value created by succession planning is diminished when it is used synonymously with other planning concepts. In fact, most of what is being called succession planning is really only advice about making sure pharmacy owners have a replacement plan.

Despite what they call their work, many advisors are only compensated when a transaction occurs and you are replaced by another owner/pharmacist or you sell to a chain. This means the natural focus of replacement planning is ensuring these transactions are as substantial as possible.

No one will argue that receiving top dollar when you sell your business is a bad thing. But what is very apparent is this type of end-game-only thinking often leaves a lot of opportunity unrealized and a lot of money on the table. And, in the event of a sale to a big-box chain, replacement planning can cause significant and permanent harm to your community.

Here is where we have to admit our bias: we believe independent pharmacy owners are a unique group of caring entrepreneurs. We also believe independently-owned pharmacies play a unique, vital and irreplacable role in the communities they serve. Because of our beliefs, we have made it our mission to take care of independent pharmacists so that they can take better care of themselves and their families, clientèle and communities.

Which brings us back to succession planning. True succession planning is a continuous process that begins the day you first open the doors of your pharmacy and continues long after you are gone. True succession planning enables pharmacy owners to realize their most important goals while creating the best possible chance for the success of their business across many generations of ownership.

Our next five blogs will present and explain a new way of approaching succession planning called Succession Development. In the meantime please keep in mind that while replacement planning may be an option for you, it is just one of many. Here are the tell tale signs you are being led down the replacement planning path:

  1. The first thing requested is your pharmacy financials
  2. The planning involves signing a brokerage contract
  3. All your options for succession are not explained at the beginning of the process
  4. Your succession goals are never discussed and written down

If you would like to get a more complete picture of your succession alternatives and opportunities, click the button below.

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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 inside, outside 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, we invite qualified pharmacists into our formal discovery process.

The first step of the process is completing The Inspired Goals Workshop. This complimentary 90-minute session enables us to deliver a detailed and personal Inspired Independence Blueprint. The blueprint provides a 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, pharmacy succession, community pharmacy exit stratagies