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Exiting Your Pharmacy: Can You Leave It AND Keep It? (Part 1)

Posted by Rick Coakley on Wed, Aug 08, 2018 @ 09:40 AM


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thinking pharmacistIn my work with pharmacy owners over the past several years, I have found that, more often than not, people are mentally ready to leave before they are financially ready to leave.


Once they reach the point of being mentally ready, they will say something to me along the lines of,

"I need time to just get away." or "I would be happier if I could reduce the amount of time that I have to be in the pharmacy."


In other words can I leave it and keep it too?


I have to say that depends on several factors.

  • First factor is your willingness to delegate
  • Second, do you have an employee driven pharmacy or an owner driven pharmacy?
  • Third, your pharmacy culture
  • Fourth, the strength of your systems
  • Fifth, your financial controls

We will be deep diving into each of the factors above over the next several months.


To start, let's address your willingness to delegate. Delegating tasks is something that a lot of pharmacy owners struggle with. Whether it is due to lack of trust of employees, an unwillingness to relinquish duties, or a desire to keep the pharmacy team as unburdened as possible - it is something that needs to be addressed. This is especially true during times of transition. By avoiding or refusing to delegate your tasks, you run the risk of over-burdening your employees and/or you successor when the time of transition takes place. 


Steps to take to help develop your willingness to delegate.

  1. Write down what you do every day, week and month on a sheet of paper.
  2. After this has been completed take each item and ask yourself; "How often do I do this? How much time does it take? Is it creating value to the success of the pharmacy?" 
    1. If the answer to any of the questions above is "No" then your next step is to figure out who in your pharmacy has the skill set required that can you delegate each task to. Your time is too valuable to spend on tasks that aren't creating value.
    2. If the answer is "Yes" then give it a rank, based on its importance (1 = important - 10 = less so).
  3. If you have no one that has the skills, can you train someone and what training would be needed?
    1. If so, Do it. If not, hire someone.
  4. You should only be working on the tasks that have the highest value to your pharmacy, and be doing no more than 20% of the work. In addition to handing off those tasks that don't add value, consider also finding a way to delegate your value adding tasks whose rank is 8 - 10 on your list.  How much time would that free up?


We worked with a client who was in the process of selling the pharmacy to one of his pharmacists. The goal was to have the pharmacist take over, but he would remain in the pharmacy to help for the first few weeks to ensure the transition went smoothly and to assist the new owner with questions as needed. Unfortunately, the current owner was unwilling to delegate certain tasks to the new owner, causing a rift in the relationship and leading to a less than pleasant work environment during the transition. Additionally, the time it took to complete the transition was longer than what anyone wanted, because of the now strained relationship.


Next month, we will be examining if you have an employee driven pharmacy or an owner driven pharmacy. In the mean time, we recommend downloading our Contingency Planning tool to help you with the process of delegating your tasks. 


Download the Contingency Planner


For questions or help getting started, feel free to contact a Waypoint Advisor today.


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We have also developed several tools to help you prepare yourself, your team, and your store. Click on the Visit The WaypointRx Store button to download the tools. 

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Topics: life after pharmacy, pharmacy exit strategy, exit planning, Blog, getting organized, transition planning