Things You Should Know Before Starting a Pharmacy Business

Updated on September 15, 2021

Starting up a pharmacy can certainly seem like a profitable business adventure. Not only do you have the potential to make a high income, but you are also helping those in need.

However, unlike some other business types, those in the medical field require a little more planning. Therefore, you need to prepare well in advance to ensure your success. 

Below we are going to go over some of the different things you should know before starting a pharmacy business.

Let’s begin!

Start-up Costs

Unlike some other companies, pharmacies have quite an extensive range of start-up costs. This is because you’re paying for a lot of different areas upfront and can’t exactly ‘ease into them’ over time. 

Before beginning, you need to establish a budget, look into what you can afford, and think about your loan options. Depending on size and location, you may need between 1-2 million dollars of your own money first.

Some of the different start-up costs you’ll need to consider include:

–       Stock: You’ll need to look into pharmacy supplies wholesale to get the best prices.

–       Utilities and Rent: The cost of your location as well as water, power, and gas.

–       Employee expenses: Your staff wages as well as any benefits.

–       Technology: Software, internet, phones, computers, and other pharmacy equipment.

–       Advertising and Promotion: Digital marketing as well as print.

–       Outsourcing: Includes things such as cleaners, HR, payroll, IT support, etc. 


Yep, there is no getting out of it. Starting a business requires extensive research, and it’s something you’ll need to do before you even think about spending any money. 

First, you’ll need to analyze the market and population, understand what your customers really need, and ultimately know how to run a pharmacy. There are so many different things to take into consideration, and they will all impact your plan.

Without doing the proper research, you’re going to face a lot of different challenges. It’s always better to be one step ahead.


The legalities are one thing that you most certainly don’t want to mess up. So look into contacting an attorney as early as possible to help you through all the essential paperwork.

Alongside things like insurance, there could be other permits and licensing that you need to obtain depending on your state. Again, it’s best to have this handled by a professional so that your back is covered. 


When it comes to starting any healthcare business, marketing is crucial. You’re not going to have many customers and patients unless people know about your existence.

Try and create a plan that is tailored to your target market and new location. While print advertising such as flyers is excellent, you might also think about establishing social media accounts and creating a well-designed website.

With digital marketing on the rise, you don’t want to get left behind.


Your business is going to need employees, so one of the first things you need to look into is filling positions. Some of these individuals will need to be qualified, while others can be trained on the job.

To make this procedure easier, it’s best to have a firm plan in place. Define your roles, collect resumes and prepare questions for the interview process. This will help you establish a reputable and professional team.

You can find more tips to streamline things here.


If you’re opening a pharmacy in an area where you don’t have any prior connections, you’ll need to think about building relationships. This helps you establish credibility and spreads the news about your business by word of mouth.

One way to do this is by communicating directly with local physicians. The more referrals you have, the more patients will continue to visit your store.


As much as a pharmacy can bring in good profits, it’s also a highly competitive field. To stand out from the crowd, you need to come up with a few strategies.  

Try and think about how your business can differentiate itself from others. For example, you might want to find ways to support the local community or strive to have the best customer service. 


Unless you’re starting an online pharmacy, another thing that you need to think about carefully is where you are going to set up your store. Location is significant and can make or break your business.

For essential services, it’s best to be in an area that is close to other similar things, such as grocery stores and hospitals. It would be best if you also looked into any other competition like we talked about above. 

Rural areas might need a pharmacy, but larger towns may already have multiple stores. Take a look at the population and do your research into each area. This will help you find the most profitable location.


Once you’ve chosen a space, you then need to have an idea of what design you are looking for. Remember, when a customer first walks into your store, you want it to leave a positive impact.

Most pharmacies are known for their clean, modern, and straightforward style, so take this into consideration. You’ll also want to spend extra time making sure that you comply with any rules and regulations.

Don’t forget to create an attractive and catchy logo too. A graphic designer will be able to help here and can design something that backs up your chosen brand image.


Finally, one of the things you need to remember is that starting a pharmacy takes a lot of time. From sourcing supplies to hiring staff, marketing, and taking care of all the legal aspects, you can’t expect to open quickly.

Before you go getting started, you need to make sure that you are ready for the entire process. Assess your current budget, review other financial commitments and have a strategy in place. 

This will help you get through everything without falling before you even begin.

Good luck!

Throughout the year, our writers feature fresh, in-depth, and relevant information for our audience of 40,000+ healthcare leaders and professionals. As a healthcare business publication, we cover and cherish our relationship with the entire health care industry including administrators, nurses, physicians, physical therapists, pharmacists, and more. We cover a broad spectrum from hospitals to medical offices to outpatient services to eye surgery centers to university settings. We focus on rehabilitation, nursing homes, home care, hospice as well as men’s health, women’s heath, and pediatrics.