Why do we interview a pharmacy?
Are not all pharmacies the same? They sell medicines, nutritional supplements, and remedies to alleviate the symptoms of a disease. But what if we have actually managed to find a pharmacy in which patients are really helped sustainably through consultation and coordination?
A pharmacy whose goal is “healthy people”, even if they may be “bad customers”.
Mag. Doris Schmidt has founded such a pharmacy together with her husband and stands out from the usual image. After years of practice, they decided to buy a pharmacy and make a lot more out of it.
They get to the bottom of diseases and minor problems, are trained coaches and also organize workshops on current topics in therapy, prevention and sports. Always with the goal to show people a way to a healthy lifestyle.
Why they do it, how they did it and what they want to do with it, you will learn in this Green Business Interview.
Have fun & excitement reading!
How and when did you come up with the idea to start your own business?
So I’ve been working as a pharmacist in the pharmaceutical industry for over 30 years now. Just over 12 years ago, I had the plan to buy my own pharmacy to have the freedom to put my ideas into practice. I have long been offering alternative solutions with matching self-made products. The holistic ideas I represented were difficult to implement in an employee relationship. That’s why I decided, together with my husband, to buy our own pharmacy to advise and look after our patients medically and holistically according to our own model.
What was your motivation and vision back then?
As already mentioned, it was on the one hand to have the freedom to implement my ideas and not just to sell drugs and to point out interactions. Rather, clients should get real advice based on a good medical history. Only by that it is possible to get to the root cause of the problem. This requires coordinated health services. We call the model “Primärberatungszentrum” so Primary Counesling Center. It makes sense to first come to us and then to be looked after integratively by a team of therapists and doctors.
In addition, it is important to me to train and involve my employees in a sustainable way. Everyone should have a vision not just to make money, to get to work in the morning, and to go back in the afternoon. It must be within the training plan that the employees realize the lasting benefits they have when they work for us.
My vision has not changed since the beginning, but has only been strengthened. I see that self-dependent customers simply need more care, because it is difficult to orient themselves in the entire medical supply. In addition, several hospitals, doctors and therapists work on one client, and nobody coordinates this work. This leads to duplications with interactions, contradictions and other well-known errors. Here, people talk too little to each other, it simply lacks the overall coordination, for which there is no own professional group in Austria. And the “allround”-doctors in are neither trained nor have the necessary capacities, resources, etc.
It’s not only my motivation, but the need has definitely become more.
Was there a challenge to overcome at the beginning?
Of Course! Unfortunately, our customers were used to giving their prescription in the pharmacy, getting a few packages and answering the question “Do you need a bag?” With yes or no and then leaving again. When someone asks, “Aha, you have a headache? How long do you have this already? Do you want to get rid of it? Should we take care of a solution? “, It was something new at the beginning and many did not know how to handle it. However, 20% gladly accepted the offer and still in all cases we found a solution
To date, we have successfully took care of over 4000 patients!
What does a typical day in your life look like today?
When I work in the pharmacy, I get up at 06:00 and drive to work at 07:30. Once there is aired I prepared everything that is necessary for the daily business. In day-to-day business, patients come to us with their problems, prescriptions, etc., and we supplement our supplies, both medicines and our own products, with our employees at least four times a day. In our customer calendar, you can sign up for a consultation in which we take the anamnesis and see what problems there are, how we can coordinate this and to what extent we can contribute to the solution ourselves or which doctors, therapists, etc. we contact.
When I’m not in the pharmacy, I’m always on the go collecting herbs for our own products and workshops.
For dinner, we are always at home, and cook fresh. If we go out to eat, then in restaurants that are healthy and sustainable cook and run. Sometimes we even make tastings with them, for example, the new liqueurs of the year from wild herbs and organic products.
What are the key skills and qualities to succeed in your industry?
- Empathy! If you do not like people, you will not get much progress in my industry. If that’s the case, you’re more into research or the office.
- Listen, recognize problems and networked thinking! How can I best help a person, what can I do for him / her.
- Broad knowledge! So not only the university education, but a lifelong education. Simply because you are always experiencing new things, getting to know people, learning new skills and new things that you can integrate.
- Stamina! It’s not all in one day, you also have setbacks and it always goes up and down. But if you continue, it will eventually come to that the vision has been implemented. As in many developments applies here: First, one laughs, then boycotted and at some point it is then completely normal …
What’s the secret behind your success?
(Laughs) Haha, that’s sitting next to me! My man!
So it’s true that you can do a lot on your own as well, but if we were both not in that constellation, it would not be so positive.
You just have the family support here. We can always talk to each other. Although we have thereby always our company with it, whether on vacation, at leisure or here in the pharmacy, but you can reflect, exchange ideas and check a little bit whether an idea has a chance or not. If this should not succeed then, one discusses how it could succeed or be better.
This team of two, on the one hand economics, psychology, law and on the other hand me with the expertise pharmacy and alternative therapies is certainly our guarantee of success!
How do you / how does your business make money?
On the one hand through the product sales, which is relatively wide, so from medicines to the individual cosmetics and the production of our own products, food supplements etc ..
On the other hand, through the fees for services as a primary advisory center.
Is in your industry anything in need of improvement?
There are very, very many problems, it is just a very broad – political / economic field. We approach patients, clients and customers directly – where we can immediately improve and help. But I think it’s best to have better health coordination. In which the people should be in the focus. They should be promoted in their development to self-responsibility from toddler to the end of life. Of course, in all areas of life but especially in the field of health, we see tremendous potential here.
If you could start again, would you do something different?
Buy a pharmacy whose location you can better develop and leverage synergies. At our present location we can not move spatially. From what I do, I’m actually pretty much exactly where I always wanted to be.
Could you give an advice to others for their lives and careers?
That one remains true to oneself and can live with what one does.
Furthermore – as I always advised my children – you should know your vision and implement it. I once said to my son, “Try, and if you really fail, you always have a bed and something to eat with us.”
It’s not the same as it used to be, because they always said to me, “Well just try it, but if it goes wrong, do not cry!”. I find this sentence very bad, because if people dare nothing, nothing can ever turn out for the better.
Perhaps one should encourage a mentoring system that creates courage, confidence and competent guidance. I think it’s very important that you give the young person so that this generation, which actually has to fix everything we’ve screwed up, also has the courage to hit the table and say, “It does not work that way anymore further! We have to protect our environment, live responsibly and sustainably – and we are now implementing that!