Pharmacology covers a wide variety of industries, so there are loads of opportunities for pharmacists to start their own small businesses.
In this guide, we’ll be looking at some small businesses that pharmacists can start and some advice on how to go about it.
Specifically, we’ll talk about these business ideas:
- Online store
- Pharmacist tutoring and coaching
- Healthcare channel
- Rehabilitations centre
- Physical therapy
- Medical supplies manufacturer
So, whether you’re a newly qualified pharmacist with an entrepreneurial spirit or an industry veteran looking to branch on your own, here are some ideas to help you get started with our own small business.
The first business idea that most people think about for pharmacists is, of course, a pharmacy. You can set up a physical storefront, working in conjunction with local GPs.
Your main income will come from medicine licensed by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). The kinds of medicine you can sell are:
- Prescription-only medicines that can only be supplied by a registered pharmacist.
- Pharmacy-only medicines that can be supplied without a prescription, but only from a pharmacy with a registered pharmacist in the store.
- General sales listed medicines that most shops can sell, like paracetamol.
But it’s not just medicine. Pharmacies can also generate a fair amount of income from selling:
- Specialist healthcare items.
- Toiletries, cosmetics, perfumes, hair care products.
- Baby care items and baby food.
- Health foods, vitamins, and supplements.
- Living aids for elderly and disabled people.
- Alternative medicines, like aromatherapy and homoeopathy products.
- Pet care products.
- Accessories like jewellery and sunglasses.
- Electrical items like shavers and hair dryers.
Alongside selling products, you can also supply some services like digital photo printing, blood pressure tests, and cholesterol tests.
Setting up an outpatient clinic is a good idea for those looking to specialise in a specific field.
Clinics act as a service for the public to help treat patients outside of hospitals. They often work in tandem with other health services via referrals, but they also accept walk-ins.
Here are some examples of clinics you can start:
- Public health clinics.
- Private clinics.
- Health centres.
- Family planning clinics.
- Sexual health clinics.
Most clinics are normally non-profit organisations. But private clinics are also a viable option if you’re more interested in making profits.
If you like the idea of running a pharmacy without having to rent a physical building, you might want to look into running an online pharmacy by building an e-commerce website.
You can accept paper prescriptions by post or set up an electronic prescription service with a GP.
Alternatively, you can combine the service with online consultations. Again, you’d partner with a GP and arrange appointments online, then fill out the prescriptions through your site. It’s a convenient service that is great for patients who are affected by COVID-19 restrictions or find it difficult to meet in person.
If you feel like you have a flair for teaching, you might want to consider becoming an independent tutor for pharmacy students.
It may take a while to build up enough clients to make some serious money, but when you’ve built up your client list and increased your reputation, the business can quickly scale to a reliable source of income.
Another option for the more performative pharmacists is to start a media channel on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, or Youtube.
You could offer insider knowledge and advice about healthcare practices, do product reviews for new products and trends, or perform an “agony aunt” type service where you answer questions submitted by your followers.
It can take a while to make any serious money from social media channels. But, when you get enough followers, you can make some serious money by monetising your channel and seeking out independent sponsors.
Rehabilitation and support centre
If you’d like to work directly with the public, helping them with some challenging issues, you might consider setting up a rehabilitation or mental health support centre.
Centres like this can work in tandem with the NHS as charities, or there are upmarket private companies that offer a more catered approach to rehabilitation.
Either way, you could offer services that help with:
- Drug addiction.
- Mental health problems.
The service can focus on helping people manage their addictions and mental health or help families affected by these issues.
Physical therapy is also an excellent service that can be set up in the same way as rehab centres. You could focus on general health physical activities like yoga, combining mental and physical health.
Alternatively, you could work with more specific physical therapies for injured or disabled people, helping them complement their regular healthcare routines with targeted physical activities.
Medical supplies manufacturer
If you’d rather work as a wholesale supplier, there are plenty of pharmaceutical supplies that you can start producing in bulk to sell to hospitals and pharmacies. If you decide to go down this route, your profit margin will be heavily affected by your ability to find the right suppliers.
Here are some ideas for things you can start mass-producing to sell for profit:
- Cotton wool swabs and gauze.
- Saline solution.
- Imported drugs and medicines.
- Self-manufactured drugs and medicines.
If you decide to take the last route and develop your own drugs or medicine, you need to start with a specific product in mind and invest a lot in research and development.
For example, a lot of British companies found business producing COVID-19 vaccines. A very specific product that’s in high demand will ensure sales without overstretching your budget. A clear idea of your place in the market will help focus your business and make it easier to find financial support from investors.
Keep your finances healthy with a simple app
Financial management can be stressful and time-consuming when you’re self-employed. That’s why thousands of business owners use the Countingup app to make their financial admin easier.
Countingup is the business current account with built-in accounting software that allows you to manage all your financial data in one place. With features like automatic expense categorisation, invoicing on the go, receipt capture tools, tax estimates, and cash flow insights, you can confidently keep on top of your business finances wherever you are.
You can also share your bookkeeping with your accountant instantly without worrying about duplication errors, data lags or inaccuracies. Seamless, simple, and straightforward!
Find out more here.