Are you Bold Enough to Dream?
I have spoken to many pharmacy owners, and one common thing that surprises me is not many can answer the question “Where are you going to be in 3 years time?”.
There are not many pharmacy businesses that have a well defined vision, goals and dreams. As you may have heard me say before, “aiming at nothing and hitting it with surprising accuracy”. To be honest it is not surprising at all. But considering the size of the investment in these businesses, and the size of the debt some are carrying, I find it strange there is a lack of vision in the future of community pharmacies.
It seems to me for some owners there is too must reliance placed on others for their own success. Reliance on government policy, reliance on Guild support, reliance on the brands etc. I have a strong view that pharmacy owners need to start being in control of their own businesses and own future. One of the most critical steps a business owner must undertake is to be crystal clear on where their business is heading, and what it is they want to achieve.
It is not necessarily an easy process, and can be quite challenging but it is a process you must undertake. Why?
- Clarity of the dream is vital for you to have a greater emotional connection to your business. Operating a business without that connection can be very difficult, especially when times get tough like community pharmacy is now.
- Clarity of decisions. Knowing where you are heading and why provides the ideal framework with which you can solve problems and answer question. How do you know if you are making the right decision or taking the right action if you don’t know why or what for?
- Team and Culture. The culture of any organisation is a very critical component, and particularly how the outside world interacts with that organisation.
I have listed for you the steps you need to undertake to create the dream. A couple of points here first. Dream first, don’t go into problem solving mode just yet.
Dream big dreams and allow yourself to envision what you would like to become. Now is not the time to determine how. That comes later.
- Make sure you have all your partners and your senior team together. Each of their views is just as important and the ideas that people can generate is amazing. The important thing is having a dream thrust upon them is one thing, but having them involved in the process allows them to be emotionally connected to the concept. Meaning they want to go on the journey and be part of it.
- It’s a good idea to have a facilitator involved in this process. Someone who is separate from the business, who is independent. This helps to lead the discussions, ensure the discussions remain focussed and on track, and ensure the team achieves the outcomes they are seeking. Having done this before I feel this is very important.
- Determine what problem do you want to solve?
- Clearly articulate where we are going?
- What do you want to achieve?
- Identify your core values.
- Identify the culture of the business.
- Who is your ideal customer base?
- What will success look like? How will you know if you have achieved it?
- Determine the steps it will take to achieve this dream.
- Communicate your vision to the rest of your team and get them aligned.
It is important you allow yourself to dream, allow the passion and the emotions to flow through. And allow everyone’s views to be heard. It is amazing what happens during this process and the ideas that come up.
If you think of a bus travelling on a particular route, the owners are the ones driving the bus towards its destination. What you will find though is some people will want to get on the bus as they want to go on the same journey and reach them same destination. Others will get off the bus as they don’t want to go on the same journey. Where is your bus heading and what people do you need on what seats on the bus? Some people will want to get off. That is quite okay. Going through this process quickly identifies who wants to go on that journey and who doesn’t. That is quite okay.
Be bold, dare to dream and take your pharmacy on a journey to become something bigger and better. One of our goals here at Peak Strategies is to help as many community pharmacies around Australia achieve their dreams. Having gone through this process ourselves we can help you and your team through this process to ensure you can clearly articulate the vision for your pharmacy, and help you and your team on the journey towards growth and success.