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Purchasing an Independent Pharmacy

Written by Craig Wear

What were the obstacles to the actual purchase of the pharmacy and how did you overcome those challenges?
We actually opened our pharmacy from scratch instead of purchasing a pharmacy. We did negotiate the purchase of a store for approximately eight months before it fell through. This deal played a large part in our decision to open from scratch. In doing this, we were able to avoid some of the challenges unique to acquisition.

How difficult is it to obtain funding for a new business from the banking industry?
Obtaining funding for a new business from a bank is often not difficult at all if you know what they are looking for. The key is planning. Show that you have done thorough research and know the market in your area. Bankers also want to see that you have been smart with your personal finances and are willing to share the risk. Ultimately, the bank is investing in the person. If you show that you are an expert in the field and can take care of your own money, they are much more likely to trust you with theirs.

What financial planning resources did you utilize prior to purchasing the store?
Since we opened the store instead of purchasing an existing store, we had different financial circumstances. Instead of looking for a large amount of money initially, we were primarily looking to obtain a substantial working capitol line of credit. We really didn’t utilize any formal resources. We simply cut our personal spending and put everything we could into the business.

What other individuals/companies (i.e. insurance agent, accountant, etc.) did you consult prior to the purchase?
One of the first steps in the business process is choosing the professional team that you will use. This consists primarily of a lawyer, accountant, and banker. Having lived here previously, I had a good idea of who I was going to use. We also talked to insurance agents, but that was after forming the corporation.

What factors did you consider when determining location and size of your pharmacy space?
When it came to location, we chose to put our store inside the local grocery store. They built on for us and we just lease the space. It has worked out great because it kept our start-up costs extremely low and puts us in the highest traffic business in our entire county. One thing that we did not get right was the size of the pharmacy. We now need more space than originally anticipated since we were not initially planning on servicing the local nursing home.