Make preparations to recharge this summer


Prepare your pharmacy staff for your vacation

In brief:

  • Taking a vacation can recharge you and strengthen your business
  • Train your staff to handle the business in your absence
  • Once your staff can run the pharmacy smoothly without you there, you will be free to work on growing the business

Benefits of a vacation — for your pharmacy

Small business owners rarely take time off, particularly if a business is young or has few employees.

This may surprise you: one of the best things you can do for yourself and your business may be to take a vacation. It can refresh you, and more importantly, force you to establish processes and systems that will enable your pharmacy to grow.

Putting basics in place

To step away from your pharmacy with confidence, follow these steps:

  • Scan the schedule. Identify slower times of the year or month. Programs such as med sync can create a more predictable workflow.
  • Distribute the workload. Identify tasks other team members can be trained to handle. (See “Delegate (to Technicians) to Grow Your Business.”)
  • Document your processes. Successful businesses don’t rely on one person having all of the knowledge; they have repeatable processes that are easily understood and used. Planning to be away provides an opportunity to double-check your processes. Is everything documented? Are all of the steps clear? Can anyone step in and not miss a beat?
  • Find a fill-in. If there is not another pharmacist on your team, reach out to your network to find a colleague to cover for you. Contacts at wholesalers, buying groups, associations and pharmacy schools may be able to recommend a relief pharmacist. You may want to enlist a pharmacy staffing agency.
  • Take time to train. When you bring in a relief pharmacist, schedule a few days to work with that person. Create checklists for everything they will need to know. Be sure this pharmacist understands your pharmacy’s culture as well as the logistics and pharmacy software. Introduce that pharmacist to key customers, so customers will be comfortable in your absence.
  • Practice not being there. Give staff members confidence they can handle situations without you. Instead of giving answers to questions, ask, “What do you think you should do?” Coach staff on how to approach various situations. Also, provide key contacts, so staff will know who to reach out to if a need arises.
  • Schedule a check-in. You don’t want staff to rely on you or constantly ping you with questions. To provide peace of mind for you and your staff, schedule regular check-ins while you are away. Set a time when you will call a key staff member to address questions only you can answer.

Business leaders often repeat the advice:

“Work on your business, not in it.”

These tips apply to any pharmacy owner gearing up for a vacation. Also, when you know that your staff can manage your store without you, it allows you to focus on other priorities that can take your pharmacy to the next level, like driving growth.

Vacation idea: McKesson ideaShare 2018

Combine relaxation, networking and learning.
Attend McKesson’s ideaShare 2018 in Las Vegas, July 8–11


1 “On Deck Vacation Study,” OnDeck, LINK

Note: The information provided here is for reference use only and does not constitute the rendering of legal or other professional advice by McKesson. Readers should consult appropriate professionals for advice and assistance prior to making important decisions regarding their business. McKesson is not advocating any particular program or approach herein. McKesson is not responsible for, nor will it bear any liability for, the content provided herein.