Finding a network


shaking hands handshake business deal partnership

Many owners are struggling with the business side of their pharmacy – so a small group of pharmacists got together to do something about it

Karen Brown, managing partner of the TerryWhite Chemmart Samford – a previous Guild Pharmacy of the Year category winner for Community Engagement – Zamil Solanki, managing partner of TerryWhite Chemmart Mt Gravatt Plaza – which is a current finalist in the same competition – got together with Pitcher Partners’ Felicity Crimston to create a group focused on business and networking.

The Innovative Pharmacy Group, which plans to conduct a number of workshops, seminars and networking opportunities for pharmacy owners, is set to host its first conference in May.

“Pharmacists are struggling, and it’s the business side of it that’s the problem,” says Karen Brown.

“We don’t go to uni to become pharmacy owners, but to become pharmacists – and then we buy pharmacies and we need a support network around us.

“We wanted to bring a cohort of like-minded pharmacists together and have a real impact together – and it’s that business-related conference that’s a little bit of a gap in the market.”

Ultimately Ms Brown says the group want pharmacy owners to network and share information at Innovative Pharmacy Group events – and afterwards.

“It’s about having a network to call on. When you run a staff meeting, how do you do it – what are the icebreakers you use? How do you recruit, what job interview questions do you ask?

“If I met you at an event I could email you and ask your opinion – what would you do in my situation?

“Down the track this could be about mentoring young pharmacists, or young owners, who might want to be matched up with older owners, or something like that. The scope is huge.”

Ms Brown says the first event, in Byron Bay in May, will bring around 100 pharmacists together to network, share information and be inspired by leaders in non-pharmacy industries, as well as pharmacy.

Speakers are set to remain at the entire event, allowing delegates to chat with them in social settings as well.

Ms Brown encouraged engaged community pharmacy owners to consider joining the group and to find out more about the upcoming event.

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