The pharmaceutical industry is one of Canada’s most innovative industries. Projections are showing the pharmaceutical market is set to grow from $22.6 billion to $25 billion dollars by 2021. It’s a great time to get into the industry, so let’s talk about how to buy your first drug store.
The buyer’s profile
If you’re going to own a drug store, you need the right combination of both pharmaceutical and local knowledge. You need to be highly organised and have great time management skills.
Attention to detail is another vital skill, you should be mindful of your supplies and the quality of your products. In addition, preparing regular prescriptions and building trust amongst your community will ensure their continued business.
Communication is also key when running a drug store; helping your customers understand their medications, side effects and instructions for use is a vital part of the service when you’re just starting out. You’ll, of course, have a qualified pharmacist as part of your team; however, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be doing what you can to be able to answer basic questions about your products and services.
What to look for
There’s a number of things you should be mindful of when choosing you’re the business. First and foremost, talk to the seller about the history of the business and their experience with neighbourhood businesses. Independently-owned businesses tend to have a much more personalised service and knowing the kind of customers you’re going to inherit will ensure you’ve every chance of retaining them.
Additionally, get a sense of your location. Conduct some basic market research on what kind of demographics your business will be serving. For example, if the business is an area with residences popular for young families and newlyweds, catering to family planning and infants would be a solid choice. It’s also helpful to get a sense of what kind of competition you’ll be facing.
So, once you’ve spoken to the buyer and heard good things about the location, the next step is to pin them down on the reason for sale.
If it’s such a good opportunity, why are they selling? It’s a reasonable question to ask. It could very well be that something has changed in the market in terms of competition, or there’s some regulation changes or a recent socio-economic shift that’s deterring business. You’d need a plan for combatting these problems.
However, if it’s clear the owner is mismanaging the store in some way or is simply not doing enough to stay competitive, getting a good price and giving the business a facelift would help you secure the business the previous owner had struggled to keep.
Get a second opinion
Whether this is your first time purchasing a business or you’re a seasoned vet, it’s vital you check and balance your perspective with your professional team.
Whether it’s your attorney, accountant, or your business broker, use their knowledge and experience to inform your choice and keep your judgement objective. They can keep you from becoming too invested in the business and overlooking any red flags.
Thoroughly investigating the businesses history, location and current health will give you every chance of securing an excellent business opportunity in your new drug store. Best of luck!