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The Burn Out Blues

Posted by Rick Coakley on Mon, Apr 09, 2018 @ 01:00 PM


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A WaypointRx Company 

WARNING: Do not read this blog if you don’t care about keeping your pharmacy or pharmacies independent. If you think selling to a big box store or large pharmacy chain is just as good as selling to another independent pharmacy owner, read no further.


But, if you are committed to keeping your pharmacy business independent, please read on!

Imagine you are at that point in time when you always thought you would be transitioning into life after pharmacy. Now imagine you are emotionally ready to sell but you are not ready financially. That is, you are not in a position to sell when you want, to whom you want, on your own terms.


Unfortunately, this is the situation we are asked to help reverse for too many of the pharmacy owners we work with. They come to us are trapped between the desire to ensure their pharmacy remains independent and the burn out that comes from not having enough financial means to do so.

That’s the burn out blues.


And, that’s when independent pharmacy owners are most vulnerable to selling out to a big box store or large chain. Worse yet, that’s when they are vulnerable to accepting less for their pharmacy than they need to achieve their life after pharmacy goals.


one dollar


There is a single strategy that is never too late or too soon to implement that will help you avoid or escape the burn out blues.


Before I share it with you, let’s consider the resilience, grit and perseverance independent pharmacy owners must possess to merely survive, let alone thrive in today’s corrosively competitive, ridiculously regulated and under reimbursed environment. It seems that if the PBMs are not eating away profits, the need to pay staff pharmacist and technician salaries that match or better the big box employers is. And, offering competitive benefits – including retirement savings plans – often means gutting the pharmacy’s cash flow and leaving little if anything for the pharmacy owner. If it is not one thing it is another; there’s always something new eating away at your profit margins.


But, despite everything, owners rise to the challenge and figure out new ways to shore up sales, protect profitability, and continue delivering the level of service and care only found in independent pharmacies. Sure, it sounds heroic but bad news, it’s also backwards.


There’s an old story about feeding cows that I always think of when a pharmacy owner tells me they can never save enough to afford the luxury of selling when they want, to whom they want, on their own terms. The story goes like this: A farmer has two dozen cows he feeds using a trough with a conveyor belt in the bottom. The feed is dropped into one end of the trough and the conveyor belt moves it down the line of cows. The first cow gets as much as she can eat. The last cow… well, the poor creature needs to figure out how to get nearer to the front of the line or she will starve.


Far too many independent pharmacy owners place themselves at the end of the line when it comes to saving for life after pharmacy. Everyone and everything else gets paid first.


Here’s the challenge I wish to make: if you are able to always find new ways to cut costs, increase sales, and shore up your margins, why can’t you find a way to pay yourself first? Why can’t you make sure you contribute to your life after pharmacy savings before anything else?


By putting your savings for life after pharmacy last, you are setting yourself up for years of the burn out blues. Worse yet, the odds are you will find yourself accepting an offer from a big box store or large chain; an offer that is on their terms not yours.


If you want to escape or avoid the burn out blues, we would be happy to spend a few minutes with you to suggest steps you can take immediately… steps you can take on your own or with our help.


Let’s talk.


Contact TransitionsRx


At TransitionsRx (a WaypointRx company), it is our mission to ensure you enjoy the greatest possible personal, ownership, and financial success. As champions of independent pharmacy ownership across America, we have amassed a tremendous amount of experience along with the most comprehensive toolbox of resources and solutions you can imagine. Our Inspired Independence Program has helped hundreds of pharmacy owners take full advantage of all their opportunities inside, outside and after their life in pharmacy.


Topics: life after pharmacy, exit planning, Blog, selling the pharmacy