The Community Pharmacist Blog

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The Two Most Vulnerable Times for a Pharmacy Owner: Your Exit Strategy (Part 1)

Posted by Benjamin Coakley on Fri, Oct 28, 2016 @ 10:28 AM

Being a pharmacy owner requires a person who is not afraid to take risk.  Combine the risk of just being a business owner with current dynamics of the pharmacy world and it becomes easy to see this risk can be significant. In the past 40 years of studying and working with pharmacy owners, we have discovered that the risk of pharmacy ownership varies throughout the lifecycle of the pharmacy owner and pharmacy itself.

We have discovered the two most vulnerable times are during the startup phase and the contribution phase. The startup phase is somewhat self explanatory but the contribution phase sometimes can be a little confusing to understand. We are going to discuss the contribution phase in more detail today and the startup phase in more detail next week.

What does it mean to be in the contribution phase of your life in pharmacy? This is the time in your life where giving back becomes a high priority. This is the time where you are actively in the process of emotionally, financially, mentally and physically separating yourself from your pharmacy. Therefore, you are actively participating in your community pharmacy exit strategy. There are many moving parts at this stage of the game and that is what makes this an extremely vulnerable time for you and any other pharmacy owner.

Below is a copy of our proprietary concept known as the Community Pharmacist Lifecycle. This helps pharmacy owners identify the key things they should work on at the different stages in their life in pharmacy.


Notice that the two most vulnerable times are at the beginning and end of your life in pharmacy. Share this post with your friends who are either at the beginning or end of their life in pharmacy.

Below is a list of the moving parts that must be addressed in the contribution phase of your life in pharmacy:

  1. Your financial independence
  2. Letting go emotionally and mentally
  3. Protecting the pharmacy from the loss of key employees
  4. Addressing the scenario of you dying or getting hurt/sick during the process
  5. Addressing what your successor needs to be the next successful owner
  6. Finding the right successor for the pharmacy
  7. Getting the right agreements in place
  8. Finding the right advisors for your team
  9. Addressing your legacy plans for your family, community and pharmacy
  10. Converting accumulation assets into income generation assets

This is by far not an all inclusive list. We feel it does show you many of the moving parts that must be addressed and coordinated to have a robust contribution phase of your life.

You may be wondering how some owners get the things they want at this point in their lives and some do not. The reason is simple. The ones who get the things they want have a system. This system typically results in more robust lives after pharmacy and the achievement of the goals they want for the end of their life in pharmacy. This system is a requirement if you want to reduce the vulnerability you have at that time of your life.

We challenge all of you who are at the sunset of your life in pharmacy (sunrise of your life after pharmacy) to get a system in place to manage this process. This will give you a better chance of having the life after pharmacy you want and give your pharmacy the best chance to survive to the next generation.

Click Here to Explore if an Exit Stategy System is  Right for You


Topics: community pharmacy, pharmacy exit planning, pharmacy exit strategy