How many of you have ever been involved in Strategic Planning?Most business owners I know struggle to find time to work on, develop, and refine the concepts at the heart of their business.If you aren’t clear on your concepts, or you don’t have words to bring them into the world, you risk sounding run-of-the-mill, when you really are not.You risk missing the connection with your perfect people because they can’t dig into, hold onto, and have faith in what you are sharing.In the beginning...the challenge is not so much what you’re going to do, or how you’re doing it, but why it matters.The most important question you must answer is; Is my product or service idea something people care about?Wouldn’t you rather grow your clinical service business idea the right way... from the ground up?Today, we are going to cover Strategic Business Planning in the context of your clinical service project.
I’ll give you the dots; you have to connect them.A tip for you...focus your short presentation time not so much on the importance of why Pharmacy practice needs to or should move to a patient care model; everyone in the Industry and those on the panel you present to gets that. Rather... I suggest you focus your presentation on the solution your clinical service provides to the community you intend to serve. And why it matters.Note; when I refer to product or service it is the same thing. In fact, some of you may want to bring a product to market as your clinical service idea.
3 step simple approach... One which you can clearly articulate to the Moguls panel and to others (like customers and especially staff); and keep your presentation focused on why, how and what . Recently I was speaking to a service provider at a networking event. I asked him, Why should someone do business with him? What was his point of difference? His answer struck such a deep cord with me that I wanted to share it with you.He replied, "When you take price out of the equation, what have you got? I make sure that I provide that extra to my customers. I make surethat my people and I do it right the first time, and we make sure we are best on at least one thing we do." He went on to say, "when a customer really wants something, price becomes secondary. It is then that your extra value comes into play. It builds customer confidence, customer trust and that creates customer loyalty. Its the only way to grow your business."We all need to ask ourselves, what have we got when price is removed from consideration?What extra value will your project team present for your clinical service?
By now you’ve probably given your clinical service idea some thought; this is your BIG idea. As we go through this afternoon consider these points...think about creating a unique value proposition (your why); and build it around your dominant strength.The key to business success has always been the same; find a need and fill it.Your business plan goal is to find outwhat people (customers) really need and WANT (what they desire), and then give it to them better and with more value than anyone else. A need alone does not = a market. Only when there is desire by customers to meet a need then there is a market.In retail Pharmacy it used to be location, location, location.And that’s still true but only up to the point that it’s a real estate solution. Today, for a retail Pharmacy biz to be successful in a sea of sameness. It’s differentiate, differentiate, differentiate. Think different, be different; Be better than anyone else on at least one element of value.
Before we jump into the typical phases in the standard "generic" planning process, let's stand back and minute and briefly look at the role of planning in its overall context. This is more than an academic exercise...Most business planners leap to the “doing” part of the plan and don’t spend enough time on the “designing” part. For example take architecture and this building; there are posts and beams holding the walls, floors and ceilings. We can’t see them but they are holding the building up. A lot of time was spent designing this space; before it even went to construction let alone us using this space for what it is intended for.Spend more time on the architecture and designing of your project than planning the doing part. Architecture allows a business to expand; and it provides the necessary environment for change to succeed. It is the key to sustaining the business model over time and getting stuff done without having to go back and rework the infrastructure. Which is costly in terms of time and resources.
One of the most common sets of activities in management is planning...Very simply put, planning is setting the direction for something -- some system -- and then working to ensure the system follows that direction. Systems have inputs, processes, outputs and outcomes. To explain, inputs to the system include resources such as raw materials, money, technologies and people. These inputs go through a process where they're aligned, moved along and carefully coordinated, ultimately to achieve the goals set for the system.
Outputs are tangible results produced by processes in the system, such as products or services for consumers. Another kind of result is outcomes, or the applied benefit of the benefit; it is the benefit for consumers, e.g., jobs for workers, enhanced quality of life for customers, savings to the healthcare system, etc. Systems can be the entire organization, or its departments, groups, processes, etc. It is your clinical service project.
Work backwards through any system...begin with the end in mind.Share The Everest expedition story.Start with your ideal customer audience or patient and work backwards from them to identify the outcomes and outputs, then create your clinical service to deliver it; the processes;then identify the inputs in your business case and business plan needed to carry out your clinical service.
NOTE: It's not critical to grasp completely accurate definitions of each of the following terms. But a basic understanding will help define key areas of your Business Plan.It's more important for planners to have a basic sense for the difference between goals & objectives (the results) and strategies & tasks (the methods to achieve the results).
A word of warning: There is an overwhelming temptation at this stage to come up with as many objectives as you can think of that are related to getting the strategic game plan implemented.Which tends to be more about volume of activity (the tasks) than effectiveness. And it chews up a lot of resources.Too many objectives paralyzes progress; define the critical few and do them.It’s critical that objectives be carefully evaluated and prioritized in terms of their relative impact on delivering the game plan.
Whether the system is an organization, department, business, project, etc., the basic planning process typically includes a similar nature of activities carried out in similar sequence. The phases are carried out carefully or -- in some cases -- intuitively, for example, when planning a very small, straightforward effort. The complexity of the various phases (and their duplication throughout the system) depend on the scope of the system. For example, in a large corporation, the following phases would be carried out in the corporate offices, in each division, in each department, in each group, etc.NOTE: Different groups of planners might have different names for the following activities and groups them differently. However, the nature of the activities and their general sequence remains the same.NOTE: The following are typical phases in planning. They do not comprise the complete, ideal planning process.
Other assessment or methods could include...using reports (i.e. State of the Industry, Trends & Insights) or ask customers; conduct a focus group. What are the barriers to entry? For you? For your competition? Barriers to entry can be a strength or a weakness; an opportunity and a threat.
To successfully execute your strategy you need detailed objectives and action plans, with people held accountable to complete them.What are the key things that need to be done to deliver the strategic game plan?When do they need to be done?Who will be held accountable for getting them done?If people are not accountable; nothing happens
Re: Trying to do too many things...find the three things that will achieve 80% of the strategy and do them.Pick the top 3 things that matter most and do an exceptional job on them.If you are not focused, you are wasting precious time and money.Strategic planning is all about determining your future direction and allocating your scarce resources to the few steps that will get you there.
To verify your service idea; you need to make the end consumer aware of it and make sure someone is willing to pay for the extra value it brings.This is where Market Research, Analysis and Feasibility come into play.
Odds are that you have already conducted at least some basic forms of market research for your project.For example, you have listened (a research technique) to others complain about not having enough of something -- that alone should suggest providing what they need in the form of a product or service. Generally though...market research looks at the customer from a narrow perspective; products and services. You have a limited amount of time to do market research.Therefore, make customer learning the cornerstone of your market research process for this project.Not saying you shouldn’t spend time on quantitative research; simply recommending a focus on qualitative research. Speaking with the people who will use your service. What can you learn from them?
Generally though...market research looks at the customer from a narrow perspective; products and services. Make customer learning the cornerstone of your market research process for this project.
Customer learning takes a holistic view of the customer; avoids the narrow silo questions and asks broader ones.It simplifies the process and will get you the information you need in the shortest period of time.Design a list of questions that will get you the information you require. Make them open-ended; so you can generate conversation to ask more questions.For example; What are the customers total needs? What are their personal lifestyle characteristics viewed from within their family context?Find out and consider; what are the applied benefits of the benefit for your ideal customers? Why would they use your clinical service and how? What benefit would bring them back and tell others?
Target customer vs ideal audience. Target customer has no soul...and sounds like a game at the PNE. And is a message that adds to the clutter; often in a big market and a sea of sameness.It’s usually a push and pray message; sent out blindly to a large group in the hope that it sticks with some.The “mass market” concept died years ago; in today’s world people believe they are unique and they like to be treated that way. Focus your efforts on determining your ideal audience. And develop a pull and stay marketing approach.Ideal audience is the group of people you market your message to and has a greater chance of being meaningful to them so that they remember you when they need you.The ideal audience gives your idea a greater chance of success because customer learning studies small groups of customers to reach a deep understanding of each person in the group.There are two practical ways to implement customer learning; ask the customer and understand customer behaviour. Go to where they go and observe them and ask them. Ie; “You can observe a lot by watching” – Yogi Berra, baseball great famous for mixed up quotes.Then work backwards back from them.
Some useful data collection methods might be, for example, conducting focus groups, interviewing customers and investors, readingthe newspaper and other key library publications, and listening to what clients say and observing what they do. Later on, you might evendevelop a preliminary version of your product or service that you pilot, or test market, to verify if the product/service would sell or not.Your ideal audience; This where you put potential customers into segments and define large numbers of unique clusters in the segment.Useful data collection methods might be, for example, reading about demographic and societal trends in publications at the library. You might even observe each group for a while to notice what they do, where they go and what they discuss. Consider interviewing some members of each group. Finally, consider conducting a focus group or two among each group.
Here’s where focus groups can really come in handy. Conduct some focus groups, including asking them about their preferences, unmet needs and how those needs might be met. Run your ideas past them. At the same time, ask them what they would need to use your services and what they would pay for them. A particularly useful data collection method in this area is the use of focus groups. Get some groups of potential clients together and tell them about your ideas. Tell them how your ideas are unique. Tell them how you would want your program to be seen (its positioning). Ask them what they think. Go to the competitions location, look around and look at some of their literature. Notice their ads in newsletters and the newspaper. Look at their web sites. Use their services. Ask their customers.Clear it with the owner first.
Use the value proposition worksheet I sent in the pre-reads.One of the best ways to make this conclusion is to conduct an evaluation. An evaluation often includes the use of various data collection methods, usually several of them, for example, observing clients, interviewing them, administrating questionnaires with them, developing some case studies, and, ideally, conducting a product field test, or pilot. Ie; “You can observe a lot by watching” – Yogi Berra, baseball great famous for mixed up quotes.For example...What is the patients awareness of the professional services offered beyond dispensing? How will they find out about the great things Pharmacists do?
Every business has competition and prospective business owners ignore competitors at their peril. Unless a business has an absolute monopoly on a life-essential product, there will be competitors offering alternative and substitute products/services. That level of competition is revealed in the competitor analysis section of your business plan.A competitor analysis is an important requirement in any business plan because it (a) reveals the firm's competitive position in the marketplace and "marketspace" (on-line marketplace), (b) assists you to develop strategies to be competitive, and (c) investors and other readers of the business plan will expect it. If you ignore or minimize the impact competition will have on your business prospects, then you have an unrealistic business plan.
After giving some background about the type of competitors your business or product/service will face -- you identify and analyze your major competitors -- those most likely to impact on the success of your business.The analysis uses a variation of SWOT, a popular strategic planning tool, to help you identify strengths and weaknesses of competitors, and then opportunities and threats for your business.Then come up with at least one value where your clinical service will be excel; this will become a key part of your unique value proposition.The answers to these questions comes from market research and feeds into the competitive advantage section of your business plan.
A business plan is your blue print and road map to implement your idea. Having clear, written goals sets the path and the process of the strategic game plan.Describe the inputs and outputs required to achieve the desired outcome.
Overall, you’ll need to answer these underlying questions in your presentation and business case.Because, somewhere along the way you’ll need funding or a budget from an investor or Pharmacy Manager or Pharmacy owner. Without that your start up idea is a pipe dream. And probably, you won’t even get started. ROI...Cash Flow, Cash Flow, Cash Flow What’s the Break Even Point...At what point does it become cash flow positive? 1 month, 12 months?What are the barriers to entry? For you? For your competition? Barriers to entry can be a strength or a weakness; an opportunity or a threat.Clearly identify all the assumptions in your business plan. Assumptions are the details about your start-up costs, such as how much you’ll invest in marketing, or how much inventory you need to have on hand. Some may be estimates, but you need to demonstrate that you’ve thought about all the little details. Your marketing plan needs to show the lender that you’re clear about what you’re selling, who’s going to buy it and why and how you’re going to reach those buyers. Explain what you’re selling in plain English. This may seem obvious, but a lot of plans leave lenders guessing what the product or service being sold is, or why anyone would buy it.
A word of warning: There is an overwhelming temptation at this stage to come up with as many objectives as you can think of that are related to getting the strategic game plan implemented.Which tends to be more about volume of activity (the tasks) than effectiveness. And it chews up a lot of resources.Too many objectives paralyzes progress; define the critical few and do them.It’s critical that objectives be carefully evaluated and prioritized in terms of their relative impact on delivering the game plan.How will you manage your finances? How will you monitor and record your income and expenses? What system will you use for bookkeeping and accounting? What system will you use to document patient counselling? How will you adjudicate with Pharmacare? How will you bill the patient? (if it’s not a covered benefit)What skills (and people) are needed by your organization to deliver the product or service? How will you attract and retain the best people? How will you organize your staff?What equipment needs will you have? Ie compounding?? What computer equipment will you need?What is the Cost of Needed Resources? What are your start up costs?Now...Let’s break down these questions...might seem obvious, but they are the first questions that will be on the minds of the people you present to.
Is there really a need for the product or service?1. Whether you're starting a new product, service or organization, there needs to be a strong market for it Is it retail; (patient counselling on Rx’s)? Manufacturing (compounding)? Production (central fill)? Service (home visits, lab results, immunization)? Wholesaling (creating your own product,ie George’s Cream)?2. You'll have to do more than "sense that there is a need" or claim that "it's common sense that there is a need". You'll have to have enough evidence to convince an investor or funder -- and yourself. Your investor or funder could be your Pharmacy Manager or the owner of the business.3. Conduct a competitive analysis. What is a competitive analysis?Go visit them; ask to use the service. What was the experience like? Ask their customers; if there was one thing that could be improved on; what would that be? Don’t ask where it fell short.
To paraphrase an old saying, "Value is in the ear of the beholder." (Value is the bundle of perceived benefits offered at a given price)All too often, professionals communicate their value to a prospective customer with lots of great attributes and data points about their company and its services in an attempt at differentiation. They focus on the how and what.The problem is that all of these comments are from the service provider's perspective. At no time has anyone mentioned what problem the prospective customer is trying to solve or what goals they are trying to reach. This is the why. The applied benefit of the benefit.Let's define value proposition. A value proposition is a compelling, tangible statement of how a company or individual will benefit from using or engaging your services. No more, no less.If value is in the ear of the beholder, then listen to your own words from the prospect's perspective and realize it's all about what they are buying, not what you are selling.
You need to think about some strategic decisions. While you may not have to know the detail to answers about the near future of your new product or service, you should have some impression about the overall goals to accomplish. Ask yourself and think about your answers to these questions so far when identifying your clinical service plans.
How will you compensate employees? What benefits will you offer? (ie incentive plan based on pay for performance)What basic personnel policies do you need?How will you know how to manage your organization?How will you ensure personnel are effectively working toward the organization's goals?Human Resources isn’t just the internal staff. Who are your advisors? Do you have a banker? Financial adviser? Tax advisor? Lawyer?
Most business plans address the following five topic areas for the overall content in one form or another.Business plans appear in many different formats, depending on the audience for the plan and complexity of the business. Use the template provided (and the pre-read I provided) to organize and summarize these key points.
Re: Advisors...Highlight that “people” isn’t just the internal staff.
With such an elaborate process it’s easy to lose sight of the end game.Indeed, I have participated in some of these strategy building sessions where the criteria for success seemed to be how complicated you could make the content and process. And I’ve always had difficulty with this approach; but I have seen and used a different approach that works much more effectively; especially for presentation.It’s based on the notion of “dumbing it down”; that simple is good, simpler is better.
Recall that overall there are three broad areas to every Business and to every Business Plan;Finance, Marketing, and Operations And they line up with these three simple questions.Or another way to put it is Money/cash flow, Ideal audience and Customer Awareness, and Competitive advantage & Customer experience.
HOW BIG is a question about your financial growth aspirations.The answer should drive strategy development but very often it is the last thing considered. Very often, the marketing or operations strategy is created first and then the financial results are determined.Then what happens is it doesn’t fit and the overall strategy is not good enough because the financial results are unacceptable.This becomes an exercise in circular logic and takes much longer to than it should.The character of your strategy depends on how bold your financial goals are. A strategy with aggressive annual targets will require higher risk and choices that will be completely different than a strategy built to achieve modest financial goals.Don’t try to squeeze better numbers out of a given strategy. Change the overall strategy to achieve a higher level of financial performance.
Not all customers are created equal. Some have a higher profit potential than others.So, it is extremely important that you carefully choose the customers you want to attract. This question is all about choice. You can’t be all things to all people. Rarely does an organization have infinite resources to address and serve every group of customers. The Lifetime value of a customer is the most meaningful way to look at the financial benefits a customer brings to the organization.There's a reason grocery chains and big box retailers such as Target and Walmart want a piece of the $27 billion prescription business. Industry figures show that the average patient spends $73 at the store beyond the price of their medications when they pick them up.Consider the Lifetime value of a customer. It separates the good customers from the great ones. LTV=present value + strategic value. Present value is based what they currently spend with you. Strategic value is based on their potential spend with you over some future period. Think about it another way: Strategic value = Current spending + Future spending. The choice you make about WHO to SERVE must be consistent with your financial goals. The financial targets must drive every aspect of strategy.Targeting a customer who has a sales growth potential of 5% makes little sense if the financial objective is to grow top line sales revenues by 15%.
This is without a doubt the most important part of the strategy. This where you create your service strategy.Examine the internal opportunities; look in every nook and cranny for what you do well and where you need to improve to deliver the promise of your product/service.Evaluate exactly where the competition is focusing their efforts; Which customer segments? Their value proposition? Market success? Vulnerabilities? SWOT them and yourself.Decide on what basis you intend to compete & win and create a unique value proposition. I.e. what unique value proposition do you promise your chosen customers?From here Create a How to Compete and Win position statement...the value proposition.
I.e. what unique value benefits do you promise your chosen customers?
This your internal statement, and it addresses your initial plans. The what.After creating the how to compete and win positioning statement ...create a strategic game plan statement.
Your strategic game plan statement not only provides succinct strategic direction for your organization, it also provides an excellent communications vehicle for the rest of the organization.To successfully execute your strategy you need detailed objectives and action plans, with people held accountable to complete them.Don’t create too many objectives as you develop your game plan. Don’t overwhelm; complexity freezes people.Refine objectives to a critical few that will have maximum impact on your strategy implementation.
This is also an internal document....and it addresses the how.The game plan statement without a navigational chart to execute it; is a pipe dream.
Imagine the action with such a game plan statement.Is it clear? Do you think employees would get it? Do you think the moguls panel will get it? Does it direct the resources of the Pharmacy? Does it drive a stake in the competitive ground?This is how to capture the hearts and minds of the people you need to carry out your game plan and make you and your clinical service idea successful.Present something like this for your 5 minutes at the Moguls Den; along with your How to Win positioning statement and value proposition and you’ll have a compelling presentation.
Here’s an example of what the value proposition might be; crafted from the positioning statement and strategic game plan statement.It answers the why question...with an applied benefit of the benefit and fulfills an intention of the Canadian Diabetes Association.Why, how and what.
Woo Hoo; we’re done!To your business and professional success, thank you.
Planning In Its Larger Context
The Business Plan
retailSOS.ca | Gerry Spitzner 2
To guide and inspire a strategic process for your
clinical service Business Plan and presentation.
◦ Help you with a strategic framework to create and document
your clinical service Business Plan.
◦ First, a high level approach to planning with proven concepts.
◦ Then take these ideas to share a simple 3 step presentation
strategy of your Business Plan at “The Pharmacy Moguls Den”
to communicate and implement a new clinical service that
produces strong financial results.
retailSOS.ca | Gerry Spitzner 3
Why does it matter?
Why should the business come to you rather than
What are you known for? What are you a solution for?
◦ Doesn’t make sense to dream up ideas without speaking with
◦ A need alone does not necessarily mean there is a market.
◦ Differentiate, differentiate, differentiate
4retailSOS.ca | Gerry Spitzner
Ideas can come from many different sources...
◦ Complaints and feedback from customers.
◦ Requests for proposals (RFP’s) from large businesses,
government agencies (BC Bid), or LTC facilities.
◦ Modifications to current products; i.e. diabetic meters
◦ Suggestions from employees, doctors, inter-professional
healthcare, wholesalers and suppliers.
◦ Healthcare publications, magazines, media; i.e. Dr. Art Hister
retailSOS.ca | Gerry Spitzner 5
Understanding the overall context
for planning can greatly help you to
design and carry out the planning
process in almost any planning
retailSOS.ca | Gerry Spitzner 6
Simply put, planning is setting the direction for
something -- some system -- and then working to
ensure the system follows that direction.
Systems have inputs, processes, outputs and
◦ Inputs to the system include resources such as raw
materials, money, technologies and people.
◦ Inputs go through a process where they're aligned, moved
along and carefully coordinated, ultimately to achieve the
goals set for the system.
7retailSOS.ca | Gerry Spitzner
Outputs are tangible results produced by processes in
the system, such as products or services for
Another kind of result is outcomes, for the business or
the benefits for consumers
◦ i.e. jobs for workers or enhanced quality of life for patients
Systems can be the entire organization, or its
departments, groups, or processes. Your project.
retailSOS.ca | Gerry Spitzner 8
Work Backwards Through Any "System“; begin with
the end in mind.
◦ Whether the system is an
organization, department, business, project, etc., the process
of planning includes planners working backwards through the
◦ They start from the results (outcomes and outputs) they prefer
and work backwards through the system to identify the
processes needed to produce the results.
◦ Then they identify what inputs (or resources) are needed to
carry out the processes.
9retailSOS.ca | Gerry Spitzner
Planning includes use of the following basic terms...
◦ Goals are specific accomplishments that must be accomplished
in total, or in some combination, in order to achieve some larger,
overall result preferred from the system, for example, the
mission of an organization. (goals are outputs from the system.)
Strategies or Activities
◦ These are the methods or processes required in total, or in some
combination, to achieve the goals. (strategies are processes in
10retailSOS.ca | Gerry Spitzner
◦ Objectives are specific accomplishments that must be
accomplished in total, or in some combination, to achieve the goals
in the plan. Objectives are usually "milestones" along the way when
implementing the strategies.
◦ Particularly in small organizations, people are assigned various
tasks required to implement the plan. If the scope of the plan is very
small, tasks and activities are often essentially the same.
Resources (and Budgets)
◦ Resources include the people, materials, technologies, money, etc.,
required to implement the strategies or processes. The costs of
these resources are often depicted in the form of a budget.
(resources are inputs to the system)
retailSOS.ca | Gerry Spitzner 11
Reference Some Overall Singular Purpose Such As The
Mission or Desired Result from System
◦ During planning, planners have in mind some overall purpose
or result that the plan is to achieve. It's critical to reference
the mission, or overall purpose, of the organization.
Take Stock Outside and Inside the System
◦ This "taking stock" is always done to some extent. For
example, it's important to conduct an environmental scan.
This scan usually involves considering various driving forces,
or major influences, that might effect the organization.
12retailSOS.ca | Gerry Spitzner
Analyze the Situation
◦ For example, conduct a "SWOT analysis". (SWOT is an acronym
for considering the organization's strengths, weaknesses,
opportunities and threats faced by the organization.)
◦ Based on the analysis and alignment to the overall mission of
the system, establish a set of goals that build on strengths to
take advantage of opportunities, while building up
weaknesses and warding off threats.
retailSOS.ca | Gerry Spitzner 13
Establish Strategies to Reach Goals
◦ The particular strategies (or methods to reach the goals)
chosen depend on matters of affordability, practicality and
Establish Objectives Along the Way to Achieving Goals
◦ Objectives are selected to be timely and indicative of
progress toward goals.
◦ They are “signposts” to ensure implementation results are
cycled back so that adjustments can be made to stay on track.
14retailSOS.ca | Gerry Spitzner
Assign Responsibilities and Time Lines With Each
◦ Responsibilities are assigned, including for implementation
of the plan, and for achievingvarious goals and objectives.
◦ Ideally, deadlines are set for meeting each responsibility.
Write and Communicate a Plan Document
◦ The above information is organized and written in a document
which is distributed around the system or company.
retailSOS.ca | Gerry Spitzner 15
You need more than a good idea to verify and fund your
proposed product or service.
◦ Just because it seems like a great idea doesn't mean that it
can become a product or service.
◦ A viable product/service needs to be profitable and
sustainable, including being “producible” and marketable.
◦ Also, the product/service should be related to the purpose, or
mission, of the business.
◦ Businesses can go bankrupt by trying to be too many things to
too many customers, rather than doing a few things very well.
16retailSOS.ca | Gerry Spitzner
At this point, you will benefit from understanding the
basics of marketing, particularly how to conduct
market research and a competitive analysis.
If your idea still seems like a good one, then it's
important to know how you will position and identify
your new product/service to the market.
You'll certainly want to know how much you might
charge for it , its price to the customer/consumer).
17retailSOS.ca | Gerry Spitzner
It is extremely difficult to develop
and provide a high-quality product
or service without conducting at
least some basic market research.
retailSOS.ca | Gerry Spitzner 18
Market research has a variety of purposes and a
variety of data collection methods might be used for
The data collection method that you use during your
market research depends very much on the
information that you are seeking to understand.
Businesses can learn a great deal about
customers, their needs, how to meet those needs and
how the business is doing to meet those needs.
19retailSOS.ca | Gerry Spitzner
Market research usually involves doing a periodic
study of some sort.
Market research generally probes a few topics;
however by itself doesn’t yield a deep understanding
of the customer.
The periodic nature merely offers a snapshot of
customers at a moment in time.
Adopt a customer learning approach to find out who
your customers are and what they want.
retailSOS.ca | Gerry Spitzner 20
As opposed to periodic studies, customer learning is a
continuous process of probing customers.
◦ It’s a process that fundamentally incorporates the fact that
every customer is truly unique and that their needs, wants and
expectations are never static.
◦ They change with the life forces affecting the individual or the
business and the environment in which they exist.
Who is your ideal audience, where do they do
business, and why?
Work your clinical service backwards from them.
retailSOS.ca | Gerry Spitzner 21
Identify opportunities to serve various groups of
patients/customers (your ideal customers).
◦ Verify and understand the unmet needs of a certain group (or
market) of customers. What do they say that they want? What
do they say that they need?
Examine the size of the market – how many people
have the unmet need. (your ideal audience)
◦ Identify various subgroups, or market segments, in that
overall market along with each of their unique features and
22retailSOS.ca | Gerry Spitzner
Determine the best methods to meet the unmet needs
of your ideal audience.
◦ How can you develop a product or service with the features
and benefits to meet that unmet need? How can you ensure
that you have the capacity to continue to meet the demand?
Investigate the competition.
◦ Examine their products, services, marketing
techniques, pricing, location, etc. One of the best ways to
understand your competitors is to use their services.
retailSOS.ca | Gerry Spitzner 23
Clarify your unique value proposition.
◦ Your proposition describes why customers should use your
organization and not the competition’s.
Conclude if the product is effectively meeting the needs of
your ideal customers.
◦ One of the best ways to make this conclusion is to conduct an
evaluation. An evaluation often includes the use of various data
collection methods, usually several of them.
◦ I.e. observing clients, interviewing them, administrating
questionnaires with them, developing some case studies, and,
ideally, conducting a product field test, or pilot.
24retailSOS.ca | Gerry Spitzner
Who are your competitors?
◦ What customer needs and preferences are you competing to
◦ What are the similarities and differences between their
products/services and yours?
◦ What are the strengths and weaknesses of each of their
products and services?
◦ How do their prices compare to yours?
◦ How are they doing overall?
25retailSOS.ca | Gerry Spitzner
How do you plan to compete?
◦ Offer better quality services? (value)
◦ Lower prices?
◦ More support?
◦ Easier access to services?
◦ How are you uniquely suited to compete with them?
Gather competitive intelligence from as many sources
as possible. Then do a SWOT analysis.
26retailSOS.ca | Gerry Spitzner
Initial considerations to address
about your idea for a new product or
service and preparation to
document the business plan.
retailSOS.ca | Gerry Spitzner 27
If you'll need funding to start your new clinical service,
investors or funders are much more likely to provide
money if they see that you've done some planning.
◦ How much money will you need?
◦ What will the return on investment (ROI) be?
◦ How long will it take to break even and make money?
◦ What are the barriers to entry? Us & our competition?
◦ What are your assumptions?
◦ Be clear about what you are selling.
retailSOS.ca | Gerry Spitzner 28
You’ll need to answer these questions...
◦ Is there a need for the service and is there a market?
◦ What type of new product or service will you be starting?
◦ What Are Your Initial Plans?
◦ What Planning and Financial Skills Do You Need?
◦ What Human Resources Will You Need?
◦ What Facilities and Equipment Will You Need?
◦ How Much Money Will You Need?
29retailSOS.ca | Gerry Spitzner
What is the nature of your new product or service?
◦ Whether you're starting a new product or service, there needs
to be a strong market for it.
How do you know there is a need?
◦ You'll have to have enough evidence to convince an investor
or funder -- and yourself.
Who are your competitors?
◦ What makes your new product/service any different or more
needed by customers? Conduct a competitive analysis.
30retailSOS.ca | Gerry Spitzner
What is the basic purpose of your product or service?
◦ This is your mission statement, or your value proposition.
◦ Basically, the mission statement describes the overall
purpose of the product or service.
◦ When wording the mission statement/value proposition,
consider the product or services’; markets, values, concern
for public image, and priorities of activities for survival.
◦ Use the value proposition worksheet provided in pre-reads.
31retailSOS.ca | Gerry Spitzner
What are the major goals for your product or service
over the next 24 to 36 months?
What do you need to do to reach those goals?
What objectives do you need to reach along the way to
How will you know that the organization is efficiently
pursuing its goals?
◦ Knowledge of these goals will help you a great deal when
thinkingabout what resources/skills you will need right away.
32retailSOS.ca | Gerry Spitzner
How will you manage your finances?
How will you monitor and record your income and
◦ What system will you use for bookkeeping and accounting?
◦ What system will you use to document patient counselling?
◦ How will you adjudicate with Pharmacare?
◦ How will you bill the patient? (if it’s not a covered benefit)
33retailSOS.ca | Gerry Spitzner
What skills (and people) are needed by your
organization to deliver the product or service?
How will you attract and retain the best people?
How will you organize your staff?
◦ Workforce planning, Specifying Jobs and Roles and Selecting
Your Organizational Design (who will work for whom, etc.)
34retailSOS.ca | Gerry Spitzner
What equipment needs will you have?
◦ These needs depend very much on the resources needed to
develop, distribute and support your product/service.
◦ Facilities Management includes, cleaning, floor washing,
ventilation(HVAC), lighting, receiving dock, delivery van etc.
What computer equipment will you need?
◦ Hardware, Laptops, iPad’s, mobile phones, printers, Wi-Fi etc.
35retailSOS.ca | Gerry Spitzner
What is the Cost of Needed Resources?
◦ Consider the costs to obtain the necessary skills, facilities
and equipment identified from addressing the questions from
all the previous.
What are your start up costs?
◦ How much money will you need to get started before
◦ Consider wages, licenses & fees, advertising, marketing &
promotion, leasehold improvements etc.
36retailSOS.ca | Gerry Spitzner
1. Business summary
◦ Describes the organization, business venture or product
(service), summarizing its
purpose, management, operations, marketing and finances.
2. Market opportunity
◦ Concisely describes what unmet need it will (or does)
fill, presents evidence that this need is genuine, and that the
patients or customers will pay for the costs to meet this need.
◦ Describes credible market research on target customers
(including perceived benefits and willingness to
pay), competitors and pricing.
37retailSOS.ca | Gerry Spitzner
◦ Arguably the most important part of the plan, it describes who
will be responsible for developing, marketing and operating
this venture, and why their backgrounds and skills make them
the right people to make this successful.
◦ This section is also where you should include your advisors
(board of advisors) and other healthcare professionals such
as doctors, NP’s, nurses, LTC administrators etc.
◦ Also consider others you may need to make the plan a
success; suppliers, corporate sponsor, associations, advisors
retailSOS.ca | Gerry Spitzner 38
◦ This is the how-to of the plan, where the action steps are
clearly described, usually in four areas: start-up, marketing,
operations and financial.
◦ Marketing builds on market research presented, include your
competitive niche. How will you be better than your
competitors in ways that matter to your ideal customers ?
◦ Financial plan includes, costs to launch, operate, market and
finance, along with conservative estimates of revenue,
typically for 2 to 3 years; a break-even analysis is often
39retailSOS.ca | Gerry Spitzner
◦ Outline the most likely things that could go wrong with
implementing this plan, and how management is prepared to
respond to those problems if they emerge.
◦ What will your recovery plan be when (not if) something goes
◦ It’s not so much about trying to identify and avoid the things
that can take you off track or go wrong; it’s usually more about
how you will recover.
retailSOS.ca | Gerry Spitzner 40
You have 5 minutes to communicate
your product/service strategy that must
result in action; so, keep it simple and
get to the core issues quickly.
retailSOS.ca | Gerry Spitzner 41
Prepare and answer just three questions and you have
your presentation strategy...
HOW BIG do we want to be?
◦ Money, sales/cash flow
WHO do we want to SERVE?
◦ Ideal audience and Customer awareness
HOW will we COMPETE and WIN?
◦ Competitive advantage and Customer experience.
retailSOS.ca | Gerry Spitzner 42
HOW BIG do we want to be?
◦ Means the Financial plan for your Business Plan and product
or service idea.
◦ What are the financial goals to satisfy the owners of the
Financial goals determine the character of your strategy.
Morph from a strategy-drives-financials paradigm to a
Don’t try to squeeze better numbers out of a given strategy.
retailSOS.ca | Gerry Spitzner 43
WHO do we want to SERVE?
◦ Means the Marketing Plan of your Business Plan.
◦ Who are the ideal customers to whom you intend allocating
scarce resources because you believe they represent the
best economic opportunity?
◦ There is no such thing as a bad customer; it’s just that some
are better than others.
◦ If a customer segment (audience) can’t deliver your financial
goals why would you bother with it?
◦ Consider the Lifetime Value (LTV) of a customer as a way of
making a choice of who to serve.
retailSOS.ca | Gerry Spitzner 44
HOW will we COMPETE and WIN?
◦ Means your daily Operations Plan and how you will “deliver
the promise” in all the other parts of the Business Plan.
◦ How do you intend to compete with other companies available
to your ideal customers and win?
◦ The most critical aspect; as it puts words to why someone
should do business with you instead of with your competition.
◦ Too many objectives paralyzes progress; define the critical
few and outline them.
◦ Find the three things that will achieve 80% of the strategy.
retailSOS.ca | Gerry Spitzner 45
Step by step approach to create HOW to WIN...
◦ Select the customer needs and expectations you intend to
satisfy from the segment you have chosen to serve.
◦ Examine the internal opportunities; look broadly at the
competencies your organization currently has to deliver.
◦ Evaluate exactly where the competition is focusing their
efforts; Which segments? Their value proposition? Market
success? Vulnerabilities? (use the SWOT results)
◦ Decide on what basis you intend to compete/win and create a
HOW to WIN position statement to say how you will do it.
retailSOS.ca | Gerry Spitzner 46
Here’s an example...
“Our basic competitive approach will be to develop intimate
one-to-one relationships with our diabetic patients
(customers) and be the only Pharmacy in our community that
delivers disease management, healthy living and nutrition
counselling offers to match each one’s unique needs and
retailSOS.ca | Gerry Spitzner 47
HOW BIG? WHO SERVE? HOW WIN? Once the answer to
each of these questions is clear the Strategic Game
Plan Statement needs to be created.
It’s developed from the answers to the 3 questions
above and looks something like this...
“We intend to (HOW BIG) by [desired time frame] by
focusing our scarce resources on (WHO to SERVE). We
will compete by (HOW to WIN).”
retailSOS.ca | Gerry Spitzner 48
We intend to grow Pharmacy revenue from the
rapidly increasing diabetic market segment from
500K to 750K by the end of 2013. We will focus our
resources on working with our local 1st Nations
Bands with a view to expand into other Lower
Mainland bands in the 1st Quarter of 2014.
retailSOS.ca | Gerry Spitzner 49
We will COMPETE and WIN by...
◦ Leveraging the intimate understanding we have of the
patient and their current situation with disease
management and medication adherence.
◦ Providing personalized holistic health & wellness based
solutions combined with nutritional solutions to improve
daily living and promote healthy outcomes.
◦ Matching our CDE Pharmacists specifically with each
patient, and delivering the services to our patients and
customers in their community.
retailSOS.ca | Gerry Spitzner 50
Overall, we help First Nations diabetic patients
improve their quality of life and manage their disease
by combing nutrition counselling with medication
review and adherence.
Specifically, we want to develop strategies to identify
at risk women in their child bearing years and educate
them about healthy lifestyles.
retailSOS.ca | Gerry Spitzner 51
Want a copy an electronic copy of this of this
presentation with bonus slides?
◦ Email me; gerry@retailSOS.ca
To your business and professional
success, thank you for your attention.
retailSOS.ca 52Gerry Spitzner
retailSOS.ca is a Vancouver-based retail consultancy guiding and
supporting Pharmacy owners to create, engage and keep great
customers by doing the right thing extraordinarily well.
Gerry Spitzner works as a management consultant with community
Pharmacy owners to achieve results by aligning their vision and
implementing marketing strategy with operational execution.
Drawing on 35+ years experience in drug store multi-site retail
operations, Pharmacy ownership and the Pharmaceutical wholesale
supply-chain; Gerry brings the leadership, knowledge and market
awareness of ownership and business development to Pharmacy
owners to achieve growth objectives.
retailSOS.ca | Gerry Spitzner 54