Medicine is one of the basic needs of every society. This explains why drugstores continue to flourish in sales despite the economic crisis. In the Philippines, for instance, the market for pharmaceuticals is over P110 billion.
You will notice, too, that drugstores nowadays are not exclusive to medicines but have expanded to selling health and hygiene products, as well.
If you’re one of those who are interested in starting a pharmacy business, here are the simplified procedures for an easy take-off:
1. CAPITAL. It is possible to start with only Php 100,000 if you own the location and if renovation would be minimal. But, this amount will only be sufficient if you will stock mostly on generic drugs. In most cases, the minimum start up requirement will be at least Php 300,000 for a small drugstore.
2. STOCKS. Plan the product assortment you will be carrying. What other items besides medicine will you be stocking? This will depend on your marketing strategy and capital available. Take note that branded medicines have very low margins. You get most of your profit from generic medicines where the mark up is extremely high.
3. LOCATION. Invest time and money in selecting the best location for your business. This should be where there is a high pedestrian traffic. Observe the location for at least one week and walk around the neighborhood to get more information. The legal minimum area requirement is 15 square meters.
4. REGISTRATION. If plan to set up a single proprietorship, register with the Department of Trade and Industry. For corporations, register with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
5. STAFF. You must then hire a licensed pharmacist as this is one of the FDA requirements before you can even apply for a license with them. Among the facilities that will be checked is that you must have a sink with water source. It would be best if you hire sales clerks that already have extensive experience in a drugstore. Remember that you are selling products that may cause serious injury if improperly dispensed.
6. CLEARANCE. Apply for a barangay clearance before going to the city or municipal hall for the mayor’s permit. Apply for certificate of registration and other permits from the BIR. You may then use printed receipts or POS (point of sale system). Having a POS is recommended because you can easily track your inventory and purchases besides other critical control functions.
7. SUPPLIERS. Scout for the best suppliers not only in terms of price but also in reputation and support. For a start up, it is recommended that you first use the services of a wholesaler for most items instead of going to a direct supplier. This is because wholesalers allow you to buy a portion of a box instead of forcing you to buy an entire box which is very costly and may take too long to sell. in Metro Manila, there are several reputable wholesalers in Divisoria who also deliver to the provinces.
It would be best if you hire sales clerks that already have extensive experience in a drugstore. Remember that you are selling products that may cause serious injury if improperly dispensed.
Want to know more about this promising business? BusinessCoach, Inc. conducts seminars on how to start and operate your own drugstore.
Business Coach Column by Ruben Anlacan, Jr. (President, BusinessCoach, Inc.) from the Manila Bulletin. Re-posted with permission. Photo from freedigitalphotos.net