Resolution: Objectively look at my business

June 18, 2018By Focus on the Pharmacy Front End Blog, Independent Pharmacy, Resolutions for Independent Pharmacies

By Nelson Rodriguez, merchandising analyst, for the Resolutions for Independent Pharmacies blog series

It’s something we all fall into from time to time -- complacency. It’s easy to do, and it happens in different aspects of our lives. If you feel like you’ve been complacent with the status quo at your store, it’s time to take an objective look at your business.

There are a few tactics you can implement to shake up your view and be able to assess your pharmacy with an objective eye. One easy approach is to enter your store from a different door. Most stores have a front and back door and you likely come in the back door. Coming in the front door allows you to see your store as customers do when they visit. If you only have a front door, enter it with the perspective of a customer. How does the store look? What are your first impressions? If you were a customer coming in looking for relief from allergies, how easily can you find that department? Are there directional signs to clearly delineate where departments are? Once in the department, are all allergy items grouped together, next to cold relief products, or are they spread out in different sections of the store?

After you’ve viewed your store through a customer’s perspective, write down what you want to update or change. Prioritize your list and decide how you’re going to begin. If there are larger projects that require more of an investment or will take longer -- like painting or fixture updates -- you may need to tackle them in stages. Consider the disruption that will result, as well as what will have the most impact when setting priorities.

Make sure you set a timeline for completion of the updates otherwise they may get put off. If you’re making significant updates, it might be worthwhile to host an open house once everything is completed so you can “show off” the changes that have been made. Having a goal for completion, such as an event, is even more incentive to make the date.

If you are making any big changes, let your customers and community know. Use your social media presence to get the word out and even document your progress. You can also use social sites to promote your open house and offer coupons or other incentives to encourage people to attend.

My best advice to you is this: be sure you are your harshest critic. Better you than anyone else. In addition, you have to be open to criticism and change. Even though you can’t please everyone, it’s still worth getting other perspectives. Think about installing a suggestion box to get your customers’ points of view. While you might not take every idea offered, you never know when one idea may inspire another.