New horizons – how to make the most of change

New Horizons
article published in “Bellezza in Farmacia” Octobre 2007

My name is Guido Sartoretto Verna, owner of the pharmacy design company of the same name which has been furnishing pharmacies with design solutions since 1965.

This article is going to be about a theme that is of fundamental importance for all small and medium-sized pharmacies that have seen there business slow down in recent years, in part caused by the recession but mainly due to the increased competition from supermarkets.

Supermarket pharmacies represent a real challenge and a shock to the system of most pharmacists who have a well-established business and, up until very recently, little or no competition and a loyal clientele.

There are 2 alternatives:
– Defence: reduce costs and cut investment to compensate for reduced takings, thereby accepting the new status quo. Your business will become smaller and you will loose your standing in the local community.
– Offence: accept the challenge and take the necessary counter measures. Keep flexible and go on the attack, investing in training, expanding your pharmacy, increasing the range of services and products on offer and your capacity to assist customers.

The question you have got to ask yourself is not “Do I believe in the future of small pharmacies?” but “Do I believe in the future of pharmacist as an independent professional?”. There are many reasons for seeing the glass half full rather than half empty, such as the aging population and growing concern for well-being and living healthily among the population. To know how to make the most of these new opportunities, pharmacists must be well informed, imaginative and consummate professionals, able to ride the winds of change and not be blown over by them. It’s all comes down to your ability to be an insightful manager as well as a pharmacist.