Many small business owners dream of the day they can expand their reach: it’s the next step following comfortable success. For independent pharmacies, it can happen rapidly. But it’s not without risk. Growing a business comes with a range of potential pitfalls and it is not uncommon for small businesses to make mistakes as they attempt to expand. While there is no perfect recipe for success, identifying and addressing potential challenges can help you to be appropriately prepared as you navigate the expansion of your pharmacy. We take a look at 10 common mistakes that pharmacy owners can make when trying to expand their business:

 

Using Their Heart, Not Their Head

It can be tempting to jump at the opportunity to expand when the opportunity arrives. Many small business owners are overwhelmed by excitement at the prospect of expanding and may fail to plan appropriately.

 

Failing To Manage Your Finances Appropriately

Cash flow is the biggest limiting factor in expanding your pharmacy. It is vital to take overheads and associated costs into account as well as carefully managing credit and any new or existing debt repayments in order to successfully grow your business.

 

Expanding Because They Can, Not Because They Should

Many small businesses see expansion purely as an opportunity to increase their profits and fail to assess their readiness to expand to larger markets. Following cash flow, a lack of dedication is one of the main reasons your growth can fail.

 

Failing To Have a Sustainable Plan

Like any venture, expanding your pharmacy requires a solid plan that takes into account current and projected revenue and other growth requirements including additional staff and space.

 

Sticking To A Plan That Isn’t Working

Making a plan doesn’t mean it has to be stuck to. If your plan starts to stagnate or expansion overtakes your planning, being flexible and evolving your strategy to suit your current circumstances is vital.

 

Doing Market Research Once – And Only Once

Failing to continually take into account changes in market trends and requirements can result in your business operating and making decisions based on out-of-date information.

 

Not Listening To Local Demand

In addition to general market trends, knowing what your current customers want can help when expanding to other markets. Customer interviews can help pinpoint areas where your pharmacy does well and where it needs improvement.

 

Not Taking Changing Patient Needs Into Account

Whether you’re expanding to a new location or growing your current one, expansion can attract different new patients with different needs. In order to succeed, these needs should be reflected in your business plans and strategy.

 

Not Hiring The Right People

Inexperienced workers may be cheaper to hire, but managing a growing company requires careful change management and skills that may come only with more experienced candidates.

 

Using Inappropriate Systems

Without an effective and reproducible workflow in place, managing greater numbers of patients will be impossible.

 

Growing your business may also involve challenges unique to you and your customer base. Like any venture, expanding your pharmacy requires a great deal of planning and thought. Getting advice from experts in the field can be massively helpful when you begin considering expansion.