As a newly minted pharmacist, or one considering a career change, you may be trying to decide what type of setting you would like to work in. You could work in a pharmacy that is part of a chain or run your own operation. What are the advantages and disadvantages of each? Here is a breakdown of the differences.
If you run an independent pharmacy, you shoulder all the risks, but you get all the rewards. You are in charge and can operate the pharmacy however you want.
You can build your independent pharmacy from the ground up, establishing a new business, or buy an existing pharmacy. Buying one is usually more expensive than starting one. However, if you are taking over an existing operation, you have a built-in customer base as well as staff. In addition, you also have a pre-established network of vendors and drug wholesalers, as well as inventory.
Taking over a chain pharmacy can provide an easier path because you are not the primary driver of the business. You have the advantage of working with a well-known brand; a partner, so to speak, that can help you with a variety of business challenges, such as obtaining financing, finding a good location, hiring staff, and making contacts with vendors, equipment distributors and drug wholesalers.
Moreover, the chain has accumulated a great deal of experience over the years in starting up new pharmacies and will provide the knowledge gained to help you, and as the business grows, provide ongoing assistance.
However, because your pharmacy is a franchise, you won’t have the authority you would with an independent pharmacy because the chain will want to have a voice in how the pharmacy is run.
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