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Two years on: Three rules for Pharmaself24 success

We have seen a number of Pharmaself24 collection points being installed across the UK this month at a time when lockdown is finally – and thankfully – receding to a level that makes life a little more comfortable.

Just before the restrictions were initially introduced in March, we celebrated the two-year anniversary of our first Pharmaself24 installation at Cadham Pharmacy in Glenrothes. For me and Ryszard, the co-founders of Hub and Spoke Innovations, it was an important milestone for our growing business, and it prompted us to take a moment to reflect on our journey so far.

Bernadette Brown at the unveiling of Cadham Pharmacy's Pharmaself24 in 2018.

We considered what we have learned from our customers, both established and new, that we have been lucky to work with in that time. For many, the addition of a Pharmaself24 has been an integral part of a growth story, but we know that the machine does not exist in isolation, and that there are a number of factors that are common to the pharmacies and dispensing surgeries finding real success:

1. Know your purpose

When choosing adjectives to describe the business world’s iconic figures, visionary is never that far away. And the pharmacy owners and managers who are really making strides are those with a vision of the sector’s future and an understanding of their role within it. Their investment in a Pharmaself24 forms part of a plan and is allied to a purpose (or sometimes multiple purposes). Whether it’s growing market share, having a competitive edge, merging branches, reducing opening hours or making queues a thing of the past – they are clear on how their Pharmaself24 will make a difference either to their own business or to their patient offering. And knowing your goal then allows you to define how you’ll measure your progress and helps to keep your team focused on the prize.

2. Sell the benefits

Much as we respect Kevin Costner, the Field of Dreams strategy (often misquoted as ‘if you build it, they will come’) is unlikely to bear fruit in many areas of business. Our customers understand that, in reality, you need to promote your services to patients and that the point immediately after a Pharmaself24 has been installed is where the real work begins. It’s true to say that word of mouth and advocacy among our communities are powerful organic marketing tools but they must be supported by other approaches to get the message out far and wide. We have seen that digital platforms provide an extremely cost-effective and measurable way of raising awareness within a targeted geographical area. Facebook advertising, in particular, can deliver a big return for minimal investment and our Pharmaself24 customers benefit from the cross-pollination of ideas.

3. Be a champion

The world of sport shows us that inspirational leaders generate enthusiasm and build momentum through their sheer will. The same is true in business, where strong leadership and clear direction can inspire others to perform better, achieve more or simply sustain their work at a consistently high level. Among our customer base, it is those with a Pharmaself24 champion inside the pharmacy or dispensary who are reaping more rewards from their investment. Each champion is unique in their approach, but their evangelism is infectious among both their team and their patients.

We’d like to take this opportunity to thank all of our customers, some of whom can be seen below and some of whom can be found on our case studies page, which contains videos and stories detailing their journey with us so far.

We look forward to continuing to support them in getting the most from their Pharmaself24 in the years to come.

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