Do you have experience in the pharmaceutical industry, ecommerce, or both? Have you ever considered opening an online pharmacy? Welcome to this online pharmacy business plan sample where we show you what it takes to open your own! We can’t stress enough the importance of conducting your own research, and retaining a lawyer to understand the legalities of opening your own online pharmacy, respective of your state, province and nation’s laws.
1.0 Executive Summary
“Sample E-Pharmacy Corp.” operating as “samplepharmacy.com” (The Company) was incorporated in the Province of British Columbia on November 4, 2020 by President, Dr. Pharmacist . The company is a disruptor in the Online Pharmacy space, executing a cost-leadership strategy which provides a 5 Hour Express Delivery Service of pharmaceutical products.
As more and more industries are being transformed by delivery services, the pharmaceutical industry has seemingly been left behind. Dr. Pharmacist is determined to take samplepharmacy.com to the forefront of the Online Pharmacy sales and delivery space in the North American marketplace. In only 4 months the company has seen it’s Month-over-Month (MoM) sales consistently double by forming strategic partnerships with local pharmacies in the Greater Vancouver Region.
The company’s focus is to expand as rapidly as possible in the Canadian marketplace for the remainder of 2021. In 2022 samplepharmacy.com will continue it’s Canadian expansion, while taking its business model south of the border to the US; the largest pharmaceutical market in the world. The American pharmaceutical industry is highly globalized. The industry alone holds almost half of the global pharmaceutical market, with sales of drugs in the country making up 48% of the global market for pharmaceuticals as of 2019.
By executing a cost leadership strategy in the Online Pharmacy Sales & Delivery space, samplepharmacy.com will cement their position as the undisputed market leader by late 2022. The Canadian marketplace is no stranger to innovation in the delivery space. In 2012 Skip The Dishes was founded by two Canadian brothers in Winnipeg, Manitoba and has since gone on to become a part of “Just Eat Takeaway.com NV” one of the largest food-delivery companies ever. Dr. Pharmacist is determined to lead samplepharmacy.com into a similar phase of growth.
Sample E-Pharmacy Corp. is seeking a $60,000 loan through Main Lender Canada and the BDC. The company requires these funds to make significant website updates, leasehold improvements, and for the purchase of office supplies. These funds will be foundational to the company’s expansion in the Canadian marketplace.
2.0 Business Overview
Sample E-Pharmacy Corp. operating as samplepharmacy.com is a disruptive company in the Online Pharmacy & Delivery space. The company is using a cost-leadership strategy; which has proven to be effective in other delivery sectors, to distribute pharmaceutical products more efficiently than ever before.
2.1 Business Summary
There are two facets to the company’s business model. One facet being a 5 Hour Express Delivery Service, which is not only more efficient but also more cost-effective than any competitor. This is achieved by connecting the samplepharmacy.com in-house portal, with leading fleet management software application, “Fleetbase” through API integration. In doing so, our delivery driver’s receive new orders instantly, and dispatch is able to input these orders at a rate of 10,000 per hour.
The second facet to the samplepharmacy.com business model is the front end of the website. Consumers are able to access a wide variety of our over the counter pharmaceutical products, make a purchase with their respective address, and receive their order through the company’s 5 Hour Express Delivery Service. The samplepharmacy.com ecommerce store hasn’t received any significant traction due to a lack of awareness from consumers.
As the company continues to expand its footprint in pharmaceutical deliveries it will invest in search engine optimization for it’s Online Pharmacy Sales & Delivery store. By the end of 2021 samplepharmacy.com will have a foothold in the Greater Vancouver and Greater Toronto Pharmaceutical Delivery Markets, in addition to traction on its online pharmacy ecommerce store.
2.2 Mission Statement
OUR MISSION IS TO DELIVER PHARMACEUTICAL PRODUCTS AS QUICKLY AND SEAMLESSLY AS POSSIBLE.
2.3 Key Milestones
- Incorporated on November 4, 2020
- Operations in Victoria, Kelowna and the Greater Vancouver region
- $20,000 in revenue since January 1, 2021
- We are working with 13 contractor Delivery Drivers
- Currently serving 32 pharmacies in British Columbia
2.4 Company Values
- HAVE INTEGRITY
- CONTINUE INNOVATING
- DRIVE SAFELY
- THINK BIG
- TAKE CARE OF OUR CLIENTS
- BE EFFICIENT
2.5 Goals and Objectives
- Secure $60,000 in funding from Main Lender / BDC
- Conduct Leasehold improvements
- Expand to pharmacies in Greater Vancouver by August 1, 2021
- Expand to Toronto by October 1, 2021
- Begin selling over the counter pharmaceutical products through our ecommerce website
2.6 Key Success Factors
- Continue to offer a cost-leadership strategy (the lowest prices available)
- Continue hiring and retaining driver’s with integrity
- Continue to demonstrate strong cash flow management
- Continue to grow the samplepharmacy.com domain authority
- Focus on search engine optimization
Our sales associates utilize outbound lead generation “Section 5.2 – Key Channels” to build connections with retail pharmacists. This position presents pricing and plans, while securing new pharmacies on a monthly basis.
Our field dispatchers receive calls from our team of delivery drivers and clients. Problems are addressed proactively, while tracking the delivery status of products.
Our Regional Manager is responsible for ensuring all deliveries are performed effectively. Moreover, anytime there is a conflict in delivery the Regional Manager must oversee the completion of the order.
CONTRACTOR DELIVERY DRIVERS
A criminal record check is performed, and once the driver passes this phase we complete a screening form, where their results are reviewed by management. Next, the driver receives 2 hours of onboarding training through video-call where we discuss our processes. We monitor the driver closely for their first shift and make ourselves available to assist them in any way possible. Their primary responsibilities include maintaining quality control, driving safely, and ensuring prescriptions are delivered to the correct address.
2.8 Management Team
Chief Executive Officer
Dr. Pharmacist has a managerial and sales background with over 7 years of experience. He has always strived for roles in which he can exert his natural leadership skills, and entrepreneurial attitude.
In recent years Dr. Pharmacist obtained a role with the Believe Festival located in Whistler, BC in which he increased sales and event engagement by the thousands. He has been a recognized manager at multiple animal hospitals.
These small wins led Dr. Pharmacist to develop an accessible prescription delivery service, and become Chief Executive Officer and Founder of samplepharmacy.com. He took the initiative to devote his time and resources to the RX delivery business and ensure those without direct access to pharmacies can have their prescriptions immediately.
He has established the domain of samplepharmacy.com and elevated his business to an e-commerce site as well. The e-commerce website was developed in order to assist in the purchase and delivery of over-the counter products. By way of his vision and determination, samplepharmacy.com is set to become a leader in the Online Pharmacy Sales & Delivery space.
Chief Operating Officer
- Managing up to 30 people at a time
- Proficient in filing payroll
- Working with Microsoft office, PowerPoint
- Bilingual: English and Farci
- Entrepreneurs Management 2020, BCIT
- High School Diploma 2010, Carson Graham Secondary School
Bed Bath & Beyond – North Vancouver, BC
June 2005 to December 2010
My job was to manage a team of receivers in order to receive deliveries through Monday to Friday. My main responsibility was that all of the goods enter the store and the sale floor while meeting the company’s standards. Making sure all the inventory is received properly, and keeping the environment friendly and happy for everyone.
Madhatters Superstore – North Vancouver, BC
December 2005 to June 2016
Opening and closing the store. Ordering the merchandise needed. Making schedule, doing payroll, receiving and organizing new merchandise. Achieving the company goals, setting targets for associates, following up on them and giving constructive feedback. Hiring and training new staff.
Mc Donald’s fast food restaurant – North Vancouver, BC
November 2005 to January 2018
Duties: supervising shifts, helping the front counter and kitchen staff.
Opening and closing shifts paper works.
Being in charge of hiring and training new staff.
3.0 Products & Services
Since its inception, the 5 Hour Express Delivery Service by samplepharmacy.com has been a titanic success. Pharmacies and their respective customers have switched service providers to retain the company’s sought after delivery service. Express delivery is important to pharmacies, as medication is delicate to the health of their patients, and often must be delivered within a specific timeline; therefore, increasing customer satisfaction and loyalty. In addition, this sets a bold precedent to our competition, and is essentially unmatchable by guaranteeing no extra cost. Each and every time our 5 Hour Express Delivery Service is provided, we build more trust with our customers and gain further recognition within our industry.
Over the Counter Ecommerce Sales & Delivery
For clarity, there are a handful of existing Online Pharmacies serving Canada and the US. What will differentiate us from our competition is a customer’s ability to purchase an item from samplepharmacy.com then have it delivered through our 5 Hour Express Delivery Service. Consumers today are seeking the quickest, most seamless processes available and the samplepharmacy.com Online Pharmacy Sales & Delivery service is just that. In order to bring this best in class service to market there are multiple upgrades to the samplepharmacy.com ecommerce site that must be made. Once completed, we will have a clear advantage over our competition by offering the most efficient Online Pharmacy Sales & Delivery service on the market.
At the center of the samplepharmacy.com operational plan is it’s Head Office and Dispatch Centre located at 885 Location St. Operations are conducted 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days of the year. The company’s Head Office and Dispatch Centre will play a vital role in controlling operational costs as it expands across the nation, which will be crucial in carrying out its cost-leadership strategy.
From this very location the dispatch team can oversee the 5 Hour Express Delivery Service taking place in other parts of the nation. This will be imperative to controlling costs and staying consistent across Canada.
4.1 Expansion Plan
samplepharmacy.com has an aggressive growth strategy. For the remainder of 2021 we will focus on two of Canada’s largest metropolitans: the Greater Vancouver and the Greater Toronto areas. When expanding to a new operational area the company will put out Craigslist and Indeed advertisements in an effort to recruit Contractor Delivery Drivers. The process explained in “1.7 – Staffing” will take place, and a “Regional Manager” will be hired which will live in the area of expansion.
4.2 Licenses and Certifications
College of Pharmacists Confidentiality between the company and specific pharmacies.
College of Pharmacists Confidentiality for Contractor Delivery Drivers.
Confidentiality from the company to our contract delivery drivers.
Career Agreement between the company and contractor delivery drivers.
Liability Insurance for delivering prescription medications.
5.0 Market Overview
The global Online Pharmacy Market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of over 20% during the period of 2020-2025. The global online pharmacy market size is likely to cross revenues of over $131 billion by 2025, growing at a CAGR of over 20% during the forecast period. The industry is heading toward unprecedented growth in both developing and developed economies. The US, the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, China, India, and Japan are the key growth potential markets across the world. The growth of ecommerce and awareness of online Over the Counter (OTC) benefits are major factors contributing to the growth potential in the US and Germany.
The importance of pharmaceutical care is growing with the increase in the need and demand of self-medication. Self-care is gradually enhancing due to an increase in health awareness in the population of both developed and developing economies. The increase in demand for self-care is expected to increase the demand for online services, especially for OTC medicines. The role of pharmacies has been changing over the years. The increased collaboration is another significant driver that contributes to the growth of the market with online pharmacy companies collaborating with MedTech, health tech, and insurance companies to increase their reach and revenue.
5.1 Market Trends
- Increase in Health Awareness & Demand for Self-medication, which has largely been driven from Covid-19
- Increased Collaboration among Stakeholders
- Availability of large Product Offerings, Competitive Price, Heavy Promotion, and Different Business Models
- Consumers are adapting to E-Commerce and other technologies of this generation
- Consumers are looking for ease of use in ordering products and having them delivered
5.2 Competitive Advantage
Simply put, samplepharmacy.com offers the most efficient and cost effective pharmaceutical delivery service available. Our fleet system is by far the most advanced of our competitors. Drivers pick up and deliver multiple prescriptions in an efficient and secure manner; meanwhile, the end-user is able to track the location of their order as it’s being delivered.
Our innovative approach to the delivery of prescription medicines has given us a clear edge over our competition. Through API integration the samplepharmacy.com in-house portal is connected to the leading fleet management software application, “Fleetbase”. In doing so, our delivery driver’s receive new orders instantly, and our dispatch is able to input up to 10,000 orders per hour; therefore, providing the market with our 5 Hour Express Delivery Service.
5.3 Risk Analysis
Having a competitor join our team to gain knowledge of our process and technology. Our delivery drivers have a solid understanding of our operation, but are not briefed on our API integration of the Fleetbase app and online-portal.
Having a driver deliver the wrong medications and a customer consuming the wrong medications. We have insurance of up to $5,000,000 for anything related to prescriptions, or our contractor delivery drivers. Additionally, taking the time to review each order and its respective address is a core part of our operations.
New entrants into the Pharmaceutical Delivery Space.
We have studied the market, and our competitors. Our 5 Hour Express Delivery Service is not only more efficient, but also more cost-effective. The risk of new market entrants isn’t a concern due to our unique offering.
New Waves of Covid-19
Fortunately, our business model is effective whether Covid-19 is here or not. Essentially our entire process is contactless; from hiring, to expansion, to picking up and dropping off medications.
6.0 Sales & Marketing Plan
The company’s involvement in the pharmaceutical space comes with laws and regulations, which will continue to be abided by. Before outlining our Sales & Marketing Plan we will outline the Pharmaceutical Advertising Laws and Regulations in Canada.
Pharmaceutical Advertising Laws and Regulations in Canada 2021
Advertisements must not be false, misleading, deceptive, or likely to create an erroneous impression regarding the character, value, quantity, composition, merit or safety of a product. Claims about the performance or efficacy of a product must be based on adequate and proper testing, which must be conducted before the claims are made. Advertisements must also be aligned with the products terms of market authorization, which is issued when Health Canada authorizes the sale of the product in Canada. (Sometimes a TMA will limit a sponsor’s advertising activities for that product).
The FDA also prohibits the advertising to the general product of any drug as a treatment or cure of any disease listed in Schedule A of that act, which includes diseases considered to be sufficiently serious to warrant this prohibition such as cancer, diabetes, and hypertension. The Pharmaceutical Advertising Advisory Board (“PAAB”) maintains the Code of Advertising Acceptance (“PAAB Code”), which applies mainly to advertising directed at healthcare professionals. Ad standards maintains the Canadian Code of Advertising Standards, the Guidelines for Consumer Advertising of Health Products for Nonprescription Drugs, Natural Health Products, Vaccines and Medical Devices, and other guidance documents related to advertising of health products to the general public.
Advertising is defined as: Advertising is defined broadly in the FDA to include any representation by any means for the purpose of promoting, directly or indirectly, the sale or disposal of any drug. This definition is also reproduced in various regulations made under the CDSA. The distinction Between Advertising and Other Activities (“Distinction Policy”) is the principle document which helps determine whether certain company communications and representations will be considered to be drug advertising.
Generally, the Distinction Policy differentiates between advertising and non-promotional activities based on the purpose of the message. (Messages intended to promote drugs are advertising, while messages intended to provide information are generally not. Non- prescription drugs that have market authorization, including both over the counter drugs and natural health products may be advertised to the general public to the FDA and its regulations. Non- prescription drugs and natural health products may be advertised as a preventive for Schedule A diseases, but not as a treatment or cure. Internet advertising must comply with all standards as previously described.3
SUMMARIZATION OF PHARMACEUTICAL ADVERTISING
After seeking legal counsel, we have been advised that in “marketing to consumer” (Business to Consumer) we are safest to focus on search engine optimization.
In regards to advertising our 5 Hour Express Delivery Service to retail pharmacies (B2B); we are able to reach out over the phone, email, or through other forms of outbound lead generation.
6.1 Target Customer
McKesson Canada, Metro, Brunet, Costco, DRUGStore Pharmacy, Familiprix, Jean Coutu, Lawtons, Proxim, Rexall, Uniprix, Value Drug Mart, Walmart, London Drugs,
Small “one location retailers” or “mom and pop shops” are foundational for us, although “multi-pharmacy chains” provide us with higher growth potential.
Demand for pharmaceuticals increases in line with the aging population. As the population ages, the incidence of health ailments such as chronic illness increases, which stimulates demand for pharmaceutical drugs. For example, the use of cholesterol-lowering drugs is more prevalent among the older population. The number of adults aged 65 and older is expected to increase in 2021.
Over the five years to 2025, revenue for the Pharmacies and Drug Stores industry in Canada is forecast to grow an annualized 1.7% to $50.8 billion, as the burgeoning elderly population increases demand for prescriptions to address their chronic illnesses. According to IBISWorld estimates, the number of adults aged 65 and older in Canada is projected to increase an annualized 3.4% over the next five years, undergirding expansion for a crucial market segment.
6.2 Key Channels
SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION
- “Pill prescription” gets searched worldwide approximately 15,000 / month
- Local citation (SEO) in each city we grow to, linking to local directories
- com is a site with a strong history that has around 500 pharmaceutical sites redirecting to it
- Our site already has a strong SEO foundation that we will grow on
OUTBOUND LEAD GENERATION
In marketing to retail pharmacies, we can take a bolder stance. This process has gone quite well so far. Essentially we utilize the following channels to reach out, and let retail pharmacies know about our services. This benefits us, the pharmacy, and most importantly the end-user who is simply looking for the quickest and most seamless process available.
6.3 SWOT Analysis
7.0 Financial Plan