Build a plan for opening your new pharmacy

We are here to provide you with the tools and resources you need to plan for the successful startup of your own pharmacy. The freedom and responsibility that come with owning and managing your own pharmacy are unmatched in our industry. However, the process of starting a pharmacy from the ground up can be extremely complex. Take advantage of our expertise to help you build a plan to succeed.

RxOwnership® offers practical advice and confidential support to help you:

  • Understand your options
  • Find the information you need about the process
  • Identify the best financing for you
  • Identify potential locations
  • Find business consultants who can support you along the way

How to open a pharmacy

When you’ve made the decision to become an owner, you have much to consider before you open the doors of your pharmacy business. The steps you take at the beginning of this process will influence your ultimate success as a pharmacy owner.

Essential steps include:

Get advice

Understand the economic landscape by analyzing financial trends in the industry, evaluating your personal financial status and talking to current independent owners. Start thinking like an entrepreneur by gaining general business knowledge; our Business basics section is a good place to start.

Choosing to open a new pharmacy requires evaluation of a range of criteria, including:

  • Availability of physical properties that fit where you want to be
  • Financial options
  • Personal interests and goals for the future
  • Competition both in the region and from alternative distribution

Locate colleagues who have recently opened a new pharmacy or bought an existing one. Our ownership advisors can make suggestions, or contact your state pharmacy association or local pharmacy school for references.

You may also want to consider taking a course on pharmacy ownership, such as the NCPA Ownership Workshop, to learn from experts and talk with other pharmacists who are considering independent pharmacy ownership.

Develop a business plan

Your business plan and financial projections for your pharmacy can help determine your success. Use our checklist for identifying the critical areas to cover.

Find a sample business plan and helpful information from the U.S. Small Business Administration.

When you are starting a pharmacy, our ownership advisors can arrange for a profitability analysis for the type of pharmacy that meets your goals. This will help you determine how your pharmacy’s financial performance goals compare with industry benchmarks.

Assemble the team that will help you succeed

No successful pharmacy owner does it alone. Align yourself with a team of trusted advisors who know the pharmacy business and how small business works, and who can help you navigate through legal and/or business processes. Team members include:

  • Accountants
  • Attorneys
  • Financial advisors
  • Insurance agents
  • Franchise representatives

Accountant: Identify and consult with a Certified Public Accountant who is knowledgeable about different accounting systems, retail bookkeeping, financing and taxes, especially one with current retail pharmacy clients.

Legal counsel: Identify an attorney specializing in commercial and retail small businesses, preferably pharmacies.

Financial advisors: Evaluate your financing options through local banks, associations, suppliers and distributors and through referrals from existing owners.

Insurance agent: Find an insurance agent who will identify the various insurance policies and protections you will need in order to minimize your risk. It’s important to have insurance that covers you for traditional business liability as well as pharmacy malpractice.

Franchise representatives: Being part of a regional franchise, such as Health Mart®, can provide access to an array of services from automation to marketing tools.

Location, location, location

Where you do business can make all the difference in your success. Identify a potential pharmacy location based on local economic outlook, regional competition and the costs of doing business. Use these steps to help guide your selection process:

  1. Identify opportunities

    Identify, analyze and evaluate potential locations. Use local real estate resources to discover available retail or other properties that meet your criteria.You can also identify opportunities through contacting:

    • Our ownership advisors
    • Pharmacy associations, including NCPA and your state pharmacy association
    • Local chambers of commerce
    • Commercial real estate experts
  2. Research your location

    Once a location is identified, assess its viability through:

    • Market and competitive analyses
    • Demographic surveys and projections
    • Recommendations from local business owners and residents
    • Connecting with local physicians and other healthcare providers

How expert advisors can help new pharmacy owners

Starting your new pharmacy requires a team of trusted experts. You’ll need financial support to ensure that your bottom-line issues are addressed, and legal support to ensure that your long-term interests are protected. Partnering with advisors who have been through the process, and know it well, is invaluable. That’s where RxOwnership® can help.

Our ownership advisors:

  • Address your questions and concerns from the planning stage to after you open the doors of your pharmacy
  • Keep your conversations in absolute confidence so you can start planning well in advance of your eventual purchase
  • Provide you with resources and options that can save you time and money
  • Can assist you in finding available pharmacies that meet your specific requirements
  • Assist with identifying financing options for your new independent pharmacy

Talk to one of our ownership advisors for confidential advice and answers to your specific questions.

Financing your independent pharmacy

McKesson can help you identify and evaluate financing options available to you. We have a long tradition of providing financing support to independent retail pharmacies. McKesson credit managers have experience with supporting over 7,000 independent pharmacies.

Through RxOwnership, McKesson has financed millions of dollars in loans in place with customers. We evaluate and review loan requests against industry-standard requirements. Using these time-tested standards protects both you and McKesson.

Find detailed requirements for financing here.