A pharmacy business is very lucrative and you earn big if you understand the basic startup requirements. Pharmacy establishments are important because they provide medical supplies and drugs. Due to the necessity of the products sold, you should consider operating your pharmacy for longer hours. You are rest assured of clients because health is a very sensitive issue that people put first and always seek means to cure.
What you need
Location of your Pharmacy Business
Analyze the population in the area you wish to establish the pharmacy business. Familiarize yourself with pharmaceutical representatives and the health care facilities such as hospitals and clinics. Create networks and relationships with all these institutions and with all the drug companies. If you can be able to create relationships with the above, then that is the perfect location for you to establish your pharmacy.
Depending on your mission, location may influence whether you will be able to achieve it or not. For example if your mission is mainly to do with malaria awareness and treatment then you will have to locate your business in malaria infested areas such as Victoria Falls, Hwange and rural districts in Matabeleland. Usually highly populated high density areas such as Kuwadzana, Warren Park, Chitungwiza, Glen Norah and Glen View are good locations for pharmacies.
License and requirements
Get a suitable business name and apply for the necessary licenses and certificates required. This takes time and this business has a lot of certificates and licenses that are required. You will need a City Council license, a Pharmacist Council license, Health Professions Authority license, a Medicines Control Authority of Zimbabwe license, a pharmacist practicing certificate, a pharmacist personal license. In order to practice as a pharmacist in Zimbabwe, it is mandatory to register with the Pharmacists Council of Zimbabwe
To operate a pharmacy business in Zimbabwe, at least 51 % of the company should be owned by a registered pharmacist. This means that if you are not a pharmacist then you will need to go into a partnership with someone who is a pharmacist. A pharmacist’s job is to offer the correct prescription made by a medical doctor or professional and also offer advice to walk in clients who have no idea whatsoever of the type of illness they have and the necessary prescription required. According to his discretion, the pharmacist may also give our other medications which do not need a prescription for example for headaches, constipation and flue.
A pharmacist is very expensive to employ, you need to offer a very competitive package. Given the risks that the job come with, a salary package ranges from $2 000 and above. One pharmacy should have at least 1 pharmacist.
The number of employees you need will depend on the size of your pharmacy business. Besides the pharmacist you need dispenser assistants and front shop assistants. The employees should be customer friendly. You can also take interns who will be studying Pharmacy at University of Zimbabwe to work for you. You may also require part time pharmacist to work at your pharmacy from time to time. An accountant is required to manage the financials of your business. If the business is still small, you can hire a part time accountant.
Marketing your Pharmacy Business
Once the pharmacy business is established, you need to market it well. In Zimbabwe, legal provisions exist to control the promotion and/or advertising of prescription medicines. Thus you have to market your pharmacy business within the legal framework of Zimbabwe laws. We have already gone through the channels you need to achieve what you want. Drug and pharmaceutical companies are your suppliers whilst clinics, hospitals provide you with the clientele base.
In the case that the clinic or hospital does not have the medication prescribed they can refer patients to your pharmacy. Pharmaceutical representatives are the most influential and if you can get their attention then its easier to operate and get supplies at affordable prices. Have a website. Be efficient at serving clients. Have a wide range of drugs at affordable prices. Have arrangements with various medical aid societies. Most of the clients prefer buying drugs from pharmacies using medical aids.
Organize your pharmacy and arrange the medicines in the appropriate categories. Use a method of arrangement that works for you for example, you can arrange according to the drug maker or equipment. Employ and use one technique in stocking, shelving and retrieving the medicine. This improves your service delivery speed and you can work at much faster pace and get to serve more patients. Usually public hospitals and clinics are very slow and patients would appreciate a much faster service.
Capital for Pharmacy Business
This is by a capital intensive businesses to run. A pharmacy would require at least $20 00 capital outlay. Some pharmacists would opt to look for grants and loans in order to start a pharmacy business. Besides that you have to put aside a chunk of funds in order to process your licenses.
Profitability and costs
Make sure your pharmacy always has various medical stock items. It boosts sales and also the confidence of your patients. They trust that they will always get assistance and help at your pharmacy thus try not to run out of supplies. Operational costs consist of rent, salaries, stationery, license renewals. For supplies you can buy from registered pharmaceutical wholesalers. To increase your profitability, you may also venture into the business of importing medical supplies and drugs from India. You will be supplying the drugs to your pharmacy and other pharmacies in Zimbabwe.
For a small pharmacy business, you can make monthly profits of $2000-$5000. You should reinvest the profits into your pharmacy business in order to push growth.
Tips for running the pharmacy business
Speed of service
The medical profession needs a lot of caution and one needs to follow through the procedures accordingly. However this does not mean that speed of service is not important. Some patients may come in a very critical state and these should be served as quickly as possible to avoid death or other negative side effects. Always try to make sure that your pharmacy continuously works towards speed of service and offers patients and clients all the attention they need. Employ very efficient assistants who are sharp and understand that patients are the key source of survival for the business.
You need to properly manage your income versus costs. By all means try to reduce costs effectively. Properly account for all transactions and even stock management will help you stay in the loop and properly run your business without much challenges. A good idea would be to try as much as possible to channel back all your profits in the first year or two to boost your pharmacy business.
Always stay in the loop by keeping yourself up to date with local and international news. There are so many new medical challenges and breakthroughs that are made every day. This will help you know to best to serve your clients and patients and also even find ways of improving your pharmacy. Increase your network and join various medical associations in order to know of any changes in the laws or requirements of operating your business.
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