What Every Independent Pharmacist Ought To Know About Being Flexible

by Cindy on November 25, 2009

in Successful Habits

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In How to Become a Self-Employed Pharmacist – part 2 of my husbands coaching series.  He focuses on the key traits to internalize as a successful entrepreneur (and independent relief pharmacist).

But, I’d like to talk about another important part of success in this venture is being flexible. Many aspects of being flexible are important, but I want to focus on ‘distance’ today.

All of us want that perfect 9 to 5 job at a nearby pharmacy. We want to spend as minimal time on the road as possible. Even more important to us is, we want to spend less time at work and be home at a decent time to have dinner with our loved ones.

If this is something you don’t have, but want, I am here to tell you that it can happen. But, first you must be flexible with accepting clients.

How I started looking for clients

When I first started contracting myself out, I provided only relief services. I didn’t mind the variety of places I would be traveling to, nor did I mind traveling within a 50 mile radius.

I knew in order for this business to succeed, I needed a large client base and in order for me to have a large client base, I needed to be more flexible with the distance.

However, I did avoid downtown Los Angeles and highly congested areas. I did my research and I made sure my marketing targeted nearby pharmacies first. Then, I marketed my services to pharmacies a little farther.

My client base grew quickly and before I knew it, I was covering vacation days, sick days and other days pharmacists wanted off for more than 25 pharmacies. I was booked months in advance.

My clients also started referring me to other pharmacy owners. This was key because it allowed me to network with other pharmacy owners.

Eventually my priorities changed

My husband and I became parents and I no longer wanted to travel as far and I wanted consistency. I wanted to be home faster and be with my baby.

I let my clients know that my services were now available for a regular, continual schedule. This meant I had to pick which pharmacies I wanted to work with exclusively. The only downside was I could no longer give myself a month off whenever I wanted, but it was worth it for me.

Where I am now

You’d think I’d pick the closest pharmacy to home, but I didn’t. I chose a few pharmacies I exceptionally liked. My preferences were based on a combination of quality of pharmacy staff, the owner, the hours, distance and overall feeling of how much I liked being there.

Right now I am providing my services on a continual basis with 4 different clients. I am happy with the places I choose. I like all the owners and their staff!

  • I chose one place because the pharmacy overall is so efficient, making my day minimally stressful.
  • I choose one place which is a little farther, but the owner and staff is just so wonderful!
  • Finally I did pick one place because it was near home (but not the closest) and there was no need to get on the freeway.

So, you might be saying to yourself, ‘Well hey she picked one that was close to her house. Why can’t I just do that up front?’

Well of course you can. But you’d be limiting the possibilities of potentially great places to work. There may be farther pharmacies with better hours or like in my situation, a low stress pharmacy with a well trained staff.

And you might not find these pharmacies at first. Sometimes satisfied clients will refer you out with high recommendations.

In fact 2 of the clients I’m now working with, were actually referred to me. I wouldn’t be in this situation if I wasn’t flexible with distance.

As you start on this venture, my suggestion is not to have so many restrictions up front. Especially a restriction on distance.

Consider targeting pharmacies near and far. Try to provide your services to the first couple of requests, even if it is a little farther than you would like.

Build rapport and a steady stream of clients. The more clients you have the more options you will have later.

Then choose among your clients the ones you most like based on what’s important to you. Before you know it, you may find yourself happy at a pharmacy nearby home and dinner at 6:30 with your loved ones.:)

If you liked this article try something new be flexible and leave us a comment or better yet sign up for our newsletter it’s 100% and you can get our articles by email!

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December 11, 2009 at 4:59 am

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1 wheb there is a will there is a way. April 12, 2014 at 2:12 pm

I had my own pharmacy at the age of 24yrs. I had been a delivery boy at Pan American Drug Store in Brownsville, Texas making 4.50 pser week. 10 yrs. later I bought the pharmacy from Leopopld Madrazo Larraquitu. I will be 50 yrs with this in Brownsville,Texas.

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