Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Buy Something!!

Yes I know it is difficult to compete with the big chain companies.  Yes I know that they have a store relatively close by.  Yes I know I am taking a risk.

Why is it that people feel the need to come in to the store to say those things to me.  Would you like to know how I can survive and keep helping the community and providing people with better service and improve overall health?  Instead of walking in the store to just ask me what I was thinking opening a pharmacy, maybe you should actually buy something.  Maybe you should transfer your prescriptions to my pharmacy.  I've had to hold my tongue so much because I just want to cuss out those people that don't understand why I would open a business.  Thanks for coming in the critique the place and my decision and buy nothing and leave.  You are a real asset to me.

When I worked at a chain, I was amazed by how much people complain about every little thing.  I once had a customer that had a problem with our service every single time he came in, and for some reason, he came month after month after month to fill his scripts.  I'm not sure the way his brain works, but in my brain, if I get bad service every month and every visit for 3 years, I'm probably going to start looking for a new pharmacy to start getting my prescriptions.

I'm a little biased towards small businesses.  My father owns his own business and was able to put me and my 2 sisters through college with that business.  So even before I started my business, I was always a supporter of the little guy whenever I got the chance.  I have a ton of respect for all those that risked a big chunk of their money to open a store front and not know what the future will hold.

Friday, June 7, 2013

To Compound or Not To Compound...

To compound or not to compound, that is the question.  I've been going over in my head what I can do to attract more customers to my pharmacy.  I keep thinking that I need some kind of hook.  I've tried the whole excellent customer service and family pharmacy angle but the neighborhood I'm in doesn't believe it's worth the extra $5-10 dollars on their copays for using a "non-preferred" pharmacy.  And I don't blame them, a penny here a penny there starts to add up, especially when you take about 6 medications a month.

So I've been contemplating getting into non-sterile compounding.  It seems like a sound idea.  For those that may not know what a compound medication is, it is basically a medication that is specially formulated for the individual which pharmacists create at the store.  It was best described to me by one of my customers, "gourmet pharmacy."  The other thing I thought of getting into was durable medical equipment (DME) like canes, walkers, wheelchairs, etc.  The problem I see with this is that dealing with medicaid is like dealing with an older idiot brother who still thinks he's in high school and takes advantage of you ALL the time.  With the amount of audits and hoops to jump through just to give someone a box of test strips or give a cane, it's just not worth my time and patience.  So I figure I can start compounding.  With no real set prices on custom drugs, the profit potential seems limitless.  And with the majority of insurances not covering them means better margins and less audits.

Hopefully, I'll get some of these people in the door with this because daddy's gotta eat!