Local pharmacies are essential parts of small communities, and even though it might be difficult for your small pharmacy to compete with the other chain stores that pop up everywhere in the country, it’s important to remember that you’re providing a valuable service for countless neighbors, friends, and patients. Here are just a few points about how you play an important role in your community’s healthcare, just for a small pick-me-up if you’re feeling stressed out or overwhelmed by the competition:
- Small pharmacies, like other independent businesses, are important for local communities because they keep jobs and money in the community. When customers shop at their Main Street pharmacy, their money doesn’t just pay for the items bought; it pays for the pharmacy to keep people employed, and some of it ends up being tax money (which is collected by the local government and then redistributed to pay for things like road maintenance, infrastructure repairs, and funding for local organizations and activities).
- The personal relationships between pharmacists and their patients is another aspect of small pharmacies that tends to be nonexistent in chain stores. When your pharmacists get to know their patients well, they can provide expert recommendations on health and medical products, and they’ll be more likely to notice if something is wrong (e.g., if a regular customer brings in a prescription that wasn’t written out correctly).
- Last but not least, convenience may not seem like a big deal, but it’s something that really benefits local stores; when residents need last-minute cough syrup, or if they have mobility limitations and simply can’t travel to a pharmacy in the next town over, the fact that they have a reliable store with quality products is a big deal — and once they realize how much they appreciate the convenience, they’ll be more likely to continue supporting your business even when they’re able to go somewhere else.
Sure, it might be difficult to compete with the big loyalty programs that the POS systems in big stores can handle, and you probably don’t have the resources (i.e., shelf space) to carry nine different brands of throat lozenges. But you can optimize your space and your finances with things like retail pharmacy POS systems, which are affordable and accessible for even the smallest of pharmacies.