Starting a Drugstore Business in the Philippines

A drugstore is one of the most stable businesses because medicine is a necessity, and demand continuously increases as the population grows. The majority of those who enter this business are pharmacists or doctors because they know a lot about medicine.
However, while knowledge of medicine is a plus factor when starting a drugstore, you must know the business side of drugstore operations to be successful. Here are some useful tips:
Hire a reliable and hardworking pharmacist. It is a requirement that you must have a pharmacist to operate a drugstore unless you are a pharmacist yourself. This is one of the most difficult tasks to accomplish as most pharmacists would prefer to apply at established companies where there is a good chance of better compensation and stability. Since it is not likely nor feasible that you offer more than the large companies, you could try offering flexible working hours.
Invest in the best location you can afford. A good location is the most critical success factor for a drugstore. Learn to compute how much rent you can afford to pay based on your projected sales on the potential location. You may also be limited in your option if you are lacking in capital to buy the stocks needed to support the estimated sales. Note, too, that the location must be at least 25 square meters in floor area to be approved by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration).
Plan your product assortment. You should have the right items on stock. Start first with researching the major product categories you should carry, along with how much you would budget per category. For the particular items and quantities to stock, you need to consult with a person well experienced in the type of drugstore you plan to start.
Focus on generic medicines. The overwhelming majority of profits in selling medicine come from generic items. With this in mind, you must stock all the generic medicine you can sell even if it is not fast moving.
Have a good control system. While you should try to get trustworthy employees, you must set up a control system to minimize opportunities to commit theft since almost everyone will be handling cash and valuable inventory. A good accountant with experience in retailing may be consulted to assist you in this matter.
Try to have a complete product assortment. Customers prefer to go to a drugstore with a complete line of items because they do not want to be inconvenienced by having to go to another drugstore to complete their needs. However, balance trying to have a complete assortment against the disadvantage of needing a high capital to finance the inventory.
Starting a drugstore can be a very profitable venture. But you must know how to manage and operate one before risking your capital.
To know more about this business, BusinessCoach, Inc., a leading business seminar provider, conducts an excellent seminar on this entitled “How to Start a Drugstore Business.” Contact (02) 727-5628, (02) 727-8860, (0915) 205-0133 or visit for details.

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*Originally published by the Manila Bulletin. C-4, Sunday, September 23, 2012. Written by Ruben Anlacan, Jr. (President, BusinessCoach, Inc.) All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or copied without express written permission of the copyright holders.