The 3 Essentials to Start a Pharmacy From Scratch


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After you’ve been working at a pharmacy for a while, there comes a time when it makes sense to branch out on your own. Owning a small pharmacy can be very lucrative and make you far more money than you ever could if you worked for somebody else for the rest of your career.

It is not easy to open one without knowing what it takes. Luckily, your experience working for somebody else has prepared you for branching out on your own. There are a few things that you need to know as an owner that are different from working for somebody else.

In this article, we will go over what it takes to open your own pharmacy from scratch.

Have a Budget

It is highly unlikely that you will have enough of your own money to open a pharmacy. It is going to take some number crunching to know how much you need to be able to get a loan from the bank or to ask investors.

You’ll need to have money for the building to be renovated, the salaries of your workers, money to buy the drugs from the compounder, and all the specialized equipment to run a pharmacy. You’ll also need to have enough operating capital for at least six months until you have positive cash flow.

Dollar banknotes rolled with the pills on the white background

It will take going over everything with a fine-tooth comb to come up with a final number. You’ll need to go to sites like to find out how much things like your ULT freezers will cost. Then, add in your rent, salary, and how much you’ll need to buy the drugs. The final number will go to the bank so you can get financed to get started.

Develop a Business Plan 

A proper business plan is not just for the banks to decide if they think you have a good enough plan to get started. A business plan is going to act like a roadmap that leads you to success.

One of the things a good business plan should have is an outline of the demographics of the area where you plan to operate. This will give you an idea of how to proceed and which direction the business should go in.

After this, understand what the market needs. If there are already pharmacies in the area then see what it is they are not doing or things they are that you think you could do better. This is finding a gap in the market and knowing what you can do to beat the competition is essential.

Be a Marketer

The people in your area need to know who you are and what you’re about. Having a solid social media presence is key to building a recognizable brand.

Make sure to tell your story through your marketing so the neighborhood knows you’re there and what you can do for it. Don’t try to sell through your social media but, rather, to inform.