May 14, 2022

News, products, marketing and merchandising tips for the
front end of community pharmacies

Designs for Health

Remember my story from the last edition about how wearing red sneakers with my suit hurt my image, and how business can have their own pair of red sneakers? Well, I'm back this week with more red sneakers to watch out for in your pharmacy.

* Gabe's Tips: *

If you're happy and you know it...check on your staff

An unhappy employee can damage a store's future more than competition opening up down the road! I was a HR person for nine years; I was horrible at it. I was constantly giving employees a second or even third chance. It's not easy firing someone. However, it's a horrible business practice to allow an unhappy employee to ruin your business. I learned over the years that nearly every person I had to fire was indeed unhappy with their job. I also discovered that firing the unhappy employee made the remaining staff happier! Think it over; is it time to make someone happy?

Sometimes you need to spend to save

Cutting expenses and slashing inventory from reasonable levels are red sneakers that will never save a business. My first boss asked me to have two tubes taken out in every 4-tube fluorescent light fixture in twelve stores. He then asked that prescription and OTC reorders be first approved by a member of his family; they never approved. We were forced to transfer from one store to another. He stopped advertising, closed early, stopped turning the lighted signs on, and did not replace anyone who left the company. This move cost 150 employees, including me, to interview to get their old job back from a new owner. The real problem started when he refused to change and thought we couldn't be touched by competition.

Bust myths on buying habits

At one of the first stores that I visited, the owner told me that no one in their town has any money, and the store can't sell anything that retails for over $20.00. He said that if his customers found a quarter in their pocket, they knew they had someone else's pants on. Believing in myths are red sneakers. I had the owner join me outside to watch the many cars and trucks drive by; I asked if all the nice vehicles were stolen. If as little as 10% of your customers have ancillary funds, then you need to carry pharmaceutical-grade supplements, compression socks, and DME.

Professional is the new Black

Here is a test to see if your business has a pair of red sneakers. By considering only how the staff is dressed, would it be easy to pick out who is working in your store? I have heard the argument that "staff can't afford anything but jeans." I'm guessing management hasn't checked the price of jeans lately. I've also heard, "We do not want to look fancy or stuffy." My reply is, "How do customers feel about staff looking professional?" A dress code in writing to regulate employees' appearance is a good idea. Your business can only look as professional as the least professional dressed staff member.

Illuminate expectations

Weatherworn exterior signage is red sneakers. I visited a friend of mine's store. None of the bulbs in light above the huge sign that hung above the entrance worked. The sign was faded by the sun and had cobwebs attached to every side of the sign. When he saw the frown I made while looking at his sign, he quickly said that he couldn't find the time to clean the sign or change the bulbs. I reminded him that the looks of his store sign are a reflection of what people should expect when entering the building. Take a minute out today and step outside. Does the signage and lighting set the right expectations for what customers see inside?

Thank you for being a member of NCPA!

Front End Resources for NCPA Members

Being a member of NCPA means you have access to a treasure trove of helpful hints, tips, and resources to make your front end more profitable! Download One-Pager Tips on a variety of topics. The Overhaul of Fame galleries contain hundreds of photos to inspire you, from effective signs to successful end-caps and everything in between. Finally, you and your staff can access several staff training videos that will help you take an objective view of your store, both inside and out!

This wealth of knowledge is due to the fantastic photos, ideas, and suggestions we receive every day from NCPA members like you.

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