There are “experts” everywhere nowadays. A new one for pharmacy owners pops up at least weekly. What really makes an expert?
Guest post by Heather Haro.
I have had many jobs, positions, and career experiences; some I hated, but most I loved! In my early 30s, I worked for an auto dismantling company, which was at the height of selling on eBay, and my job was to take the seemingly unwanted parts and sell them on eBay. I was great at it, and I loved it… I even still use the email address email@example.com. For far too many years, I used that email address to signify what an expert I was in the world of car parts!
But was I an expert?
Is being good at a particular position constitute an expert? I knew the parts, sure. I learned how to post the parts, keep inventory, take the most attractive photos, and shoot… I could even move a whole car by myself (it was with a forklift so big it had a smoke stack, and we called her Big Bertha), and I never dropped a single car. But… did I know enough about the car part world as a whole to be considered an expert?
Not even a little bit, but don’t tell 30-year-old Heather this! See the list of what I did not know about the car part business was exceptionally longer than what I did know.
So what’s the point?
Why am I spilling my guts about my silly 30-year-old grandiose self-importance at a job a long time ago? I have seen a growing trend of this behavior in the small independent pharmacy niche. It is worsening daily and driving me crazy!
Now stick with me and let me explain!
Over the years, I have learned a lot about independent pharmacy, the over-the-top unfairness that the industry experiences, and the loving nature of almost every single pharmacy owner I get the opportunity to work with. I have a front-row seat and work intimately with Dr. Lisa Faast at DiversfiyRx and her pharmacy owner journey. I am privileged to have the most influential and knowledgeable pharmacy owners on speed dial, working with exclusive vendors and services in the industry. I have had the privilege to work with many pharmacy owners on projects, from launching new supplements to teaching and executing marketing and even team-building concepts.
But I am 100% not an Independent Pharmacy EXPERT!
I am knowledgeable, and I am dang good at my job. I can create, teach and help with marketing initiatives, teach owners to delegate, and I have even been known to empower the most distracted of owners to get their KPI numbers in order!
Yep! I love my job and all the folks I work with, yet still, I am not an expert…
The dictionary defines an expert as:
- A person who has a comprehensive and authoritative knowledge of or skill in a particular area.
- Having or involving authoritative knowledge.
Having comprehensive knowledge is the rare ability of a true expert. A true expert can simultaneously see the good, bad, and ugly. A true expert draws from their own experiences and has been there and done the very thing you are trying to accomplish. A true expert can see the road ahead, the potholes, and the express lanes.
The comprehensive knowledge of a true expert is the combination of schooling or training, real-world experiences, and a love of lifelong learning.
Now please do not get me wrong; we all need experts!
An expert can be a fresh perspective, experience, and knowledge to take your pharmacy to the next level.
Hiring an expert has numerous benefits for your pharmacy. An expert can:
- Help you identify and solve problems you may have yet to notice.
- Provide valuable insights and ideas to help you grow your pharmacy.
- Save time and money by helping you avoid costly mistakes and streamline your pharmacy processes and workflows.
- Help you stay ahead of your competition by providing the latest industry trends and best practices.
The big question becomes how to find a true expert in this chaotic niche of independent pharmacy ownership.
Define Your Needs
Before looking for an expert, you need to define your needs.
- What are your pharmacy goals?
- What areas of your pharmacy do you need help with?
Once you clearly understand your needs, you can start looking for an expert with the skills and experience to help you achieve the pharmacy of your dreams.
Look for Experience and Expertise
When looking for an expert, you should look for someone with experience and expertise with your exact goals. They should also have a track record of success and be able to provide you with references. Do they know a thing or two because they have seen a thing or two?
Check Their Credentials
You should also check the expert’s credentials. Do they have the necessary certifications, licenses, schooling, and training? Dive in. Did they do the work to gain the needed experience, or are they flashing around a catchy website and business card with no history of being a pharmacy owner or intimately involved with your specific goals?
Importance of Communication and Collaboration with an Expert
Communication and collaboration are critical when working with an expert. You should establish clear lines of communication and provide regular feedback to ensure that you are both on the same page. You should also be open to feedback and suggestions from the expert, as they may have valuable insights that can help you grow your pharmacy.
Tips for Hiring the Right Expert
Here are some tips to help you hire the right expert for your pharmacy:
- Set Clear Expectations: You should set clear expectations before hiring an expert. What are your goals? What are the deliverables? What is the timeline? These guardrails will help you and the expert stay on the same page and ensure you get the desired results.
- Negotiate the Terms: You should also negotiate the terms of the engagement. What is the fee structure? What are the payment terms? What are the termination clauses? Getting clarity will help you avoid any misunderstandings or surprises down the road.
- Start Small: When working with an expert for the first time, you should start small. This small engagement will allow you to test the waters and see if the expert fits your pharmacy. Once you are comfortable, you can expand the engagement.
- Questions to Ask Before Hiring an Expert: Ask them some questions to ensure they are the right fit for your business. Here are some questions to consider:
- What is your experience in my industry?
- What is your track record of success?
- Can you provide references?
- What is your approach to problem-solving?
- How do you communicate with your clients?
- What are your fees and payment terms?
- What is the timeline for the engagement?
Red Flags to Watch Out for When Hiring an Expert
Red Flag… Red Flags…
Here are some red flags you should watch out for when hiring an expert. These include:
- Lack of Experience or Expertise: Being tangential to independent pharmacy does not make one an expert. Has this person owned or operated a pharmacy? Have they achieved what you are trying to achieve?
- Unprofessional Behavior: An expert must be more professional and communicate effectively to avoid misunderstandings and delays.
- Lack of Transparency: An expert needs to be transparent about their fees, payment terms, or timeline, or this could be a red flag.
- Guarantee: How do they back up what they say they can do for you? Do they have a money-back guarantee?
In the independent pharmacy industry, we have excellent true experts you can count on that check all the boxes with flying green flags!
Here are a few recommended TRUE experts:
- Leadership Growth Formula: Kelly Babcock and Terri Norvell are true experts in all things leadership. From big corporate groups to independent pharmacy teams, they have helped companies thrive.
- RJ Hedges: Jeff Hedges and his team are masterful experts at helping independent pharmacies meet legal compliance in many areas. Jeff has literally written the book!
- Dr. Adam “The Workflow Whisperer” Robinson: Adam is a pharmacy owner and pharmacist that has focused for years on increasing profitability through improving pharmacy operations.
- Dr. Kristin Tallent: Kristin set up her CLIA-waived lab and tested thousands of patients. She then pivoted to helping independent pharmacies do the same and has gained valuable experience.
- ValueCare Suites: Ean Shelley and his team have the exact road map to make implementation simple and a proven track record of outstanding profits with remote patient monitoring.
Hiring an expert can be great for your pharmacy’s growth, but hiring a fake expert can be a disaster!
Don’t be fooled by clever marketing. Ensure your hard-earned money is going to someone who deserves it. The world of independent pharmacy is a quirky one. Expertise in other areas of business doesn’t always translate to pharmacy. Check the expert’s credentials, history, references, and guarantee.
If you are looking for the right expert to help improve your pharmacy’s profits, I invite you to check out DiversifyRx and Pharmacy Badass University. Our team checks all the boxes from ‘been there, done that’ to a proven track record of success, tons of references, and a money-back guarantee!