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Competitive Advantage

Your “Monopoly of Control,” as described by John Warrillow in Built to Sell, describes a concept that answers the question of how well your business is differentiated from competitors in your industry. Seth Godin, who wrote the Purple Cow, also laments on the importance of uniqueness and differentiation in your organization. Essentially though, it boils down to creating a business where you have created your own monopoly; it is the only place where your customer can shop for your unique offering of services, products, and courtesy.
The provision of unique value-added services and products is the glue linking your pharmacy business and your customers and patients. Creating some form of competitive advantage to prevent competitors from copying your activities will provide a “moat” around your pharmacy business. Some buyers will pay a premium for a niche that has barriers to competitive entry, but this can be a double-edged sword. If you have created something so far off the beaten path, it is sometimes difficult for a corporate buyer to envision your business in their fold.
Experts have identified numerous ways to create a competitive advantage, but some
seem to resonate more with the pharmacy industry. Although trademarks and patents do not readily lend themselves to creating a competitive advantage for a pharmacy; developed processes, compound recipes, training programs, published articles, specialized licenses or certificates, and service contracts do. Do not discount your location – and the security of your lease either – as this can serve as a major barrier to entry for your competitors.