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3 Governance Ideas for Family Pharmacies

Posted by Benjamin Coakley on Wed, Apr 16, 2014 @ 08:56 AM

Family pharmacies are a unique entity in America.  They combine the challenges of pharmacyfamily pharmacy with the challenges of being family owned and operated. This combination can create some very interesting experiences, situations, and confrontations.

I remember a story of one family pharmacy where the stresses of pharmacy ownership boiled over to the family. The owner of the pharmacy had an extremely frustrating day at the pharmacy and took all the pain and anguish home with him to his family.  It just so happened that this was the same day as a big family dinner. This particular owner had multiple family members and family member spouses in the pharmacy.  When the topic of the pharmacy came up, the owner, being frustrated with the pharmacy, told one of the spouses they she wasn't pulling her weight in the pharmacy.  As you can imagine, this created quite a fiasco with the son that was married to this lady. The trauma from that experience is something this family will deal with the rest of their lives.

We mention this story because these are actual things that can happen in a family pharmacy. There are so many family dynamics that happen in family pharmacies that managing them can almost be a full time job in itself.  Therefore, we think it is important to understand some key things that you can do to help govern the family part of the family pharmacy.  There are numerous things but the below are the three that we think can help you immediately:

  1. Code of Conduct - this document is the code that your family will abide to no matter the situation.  These are the absolute must dos for the family to make the pharmacy successful.  The important thing to remember, in our opinion, is the family is the most important part of the equation.  You can always sell the pharmacy, but you cannot choose to have a new family.
  2. Family Mission Statement - this is a statement that really explains what your family is about.  This helps people understand what it means to be in your family.  This can help bridge the gaps between the generations in the family.  This can also help you make decisions about future direction for your pharmacy.
  3. Family Council - this is a meeting that you can have once or twice a year to keep family members and in-laws abreast of the direction of the pharmacy.  This meeting can ease the tension that can result from family members and in-laws feeling left out of the loop in the pharmacy.  It is important to understand that this is not about the specifics (never discuss compensation or other important topics here). It is about direction of the pharmacy and to make sure everyone knows where the pharmacy is going.

Being a family pharmacy can be one of the biggest blessings and challenges all wrapped into one package.  Understanding this can help you make sound decisions about the family and the pharmacy moving forward.  I have attached a copy of Waypoint's Code of Conduct above so you can see what one looks like.  Remember, you are a key cog in the wheel of the American economy and community pharmacy needs you to survive and transcend generations so future generations of Americans can experience one of the greatest assets our country has.

Click Here to Set Up a Family Vision Meeting

Who are Waypoint Pharmacist Advisors?

Why do we do what we do?

Our vision and mission is to help community pharmacy transition through a life of pharmacy into a life of independence. In order to do this, we have decided to focus on protecting community pharmacies and family pharmacies for future generations.

Our process, The Inspired Independence Process, is designed to help pharmacy owners, no matter where they are in their pharmacy lives, achieve all their goals and dreams, inside, outside and after their life in pharmacy. In doing so, we are helping community pharmacies survive for many years to come.

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, family pharmacy, family pharmacy owner