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Go Beyond Who You Know! 5 Ways to Grow and Enrich Your Network

Updated: Mar 10, 2020

It’s all about who you know. While this statement may be tried and true, there is something missing. Beyond who you know, have you considered how those relationships impact your business? How are you maximizing those relationships to ensure that you are getting the most out of them, and just as importantly, what are you giving back?

Long-term care pharmacy is known as a relatively tight-knit community—attend any tradeshow and you will surely recognize the other veterans of the LTC pharmacy conference circuit. But the industry is changing. The definition of long-term care is expanding, and the once fragmented continuum of care is slowly blending into a more cohesive and collaborative environment. There are more stakeholders than ever before, and not all may be on your radar. If you and your business don’t adjust and adapt, you will inevitably get left behind.

This is where those relationships come into play. Not only should you be asking yourself how you are interacting with the network you have built, but also, how can you grow and enrich that network to make certain you are a step ahead of the exponentially steepening curve?

5 Ways to Grow and Enrich Your Network

Optimize your conference experience. Beyond attending, are you networking with vendors, other attendees, and when possible, the speakers? If not, chances are you aren’t making the most out of your trip. Leave your ego at the door. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, admit your challenges, and share your stories of success. Make connections—and continue to stay in touch beyond the exhibit hall floor. You never know when that owner/operator, vendor, or speaker might be able to answer a question or bring an innovative solution to your doorstep.

Vendor partnerships over vendor transactions. Just as your business is evolving, so are the companies that you work with. Your wholesaler, GPO, cart supplier, automation company, courier—they are all facing the same pressures to adapt. This is great news for you and your business, because it forces your partners to develop innovative solutions, better technology, and increased service levels. It’s important to view the relationship with your vendors as partnerships versus transactional. Share your challenges and explain your needs. Lastly, evaluate your partnerships—align yourself with businesses that share your values and goals!

Join an advocacy group. Simply said, there are groups out there that represent the interests of long-term care pharmacy—and they want to hear your voice. If you aren’t at the table, your voice isn’t heard. By joining an advocacy group that embodies the vision you have for your business and the industry you operate in, you are giving back to the community while keeping your needs in mind at the same time.

Get involved on a local level. Understandably, many business owners shy away from joining hands with other local pharmacies. Why would you want to be friendly with your competition? Consider this—if you aren’t explaining your challenges to lawmakers, and your competition isn’t either, then who is? Solidarity speaks volumes. If several competing businesses walk into a congressman or senator’s office, all with the same ask, you have a better chance of your message resonating.

Maintain a social media presence. Technology is making the world a smaller place, which fortunately for small business owners, makes it easier to share information. Build out your social media network via LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and others. Share valuable content, provide feedback on posts, and support other businesses and colleagues by “liking” their posts or offering words of encouragement. All the while, getting your name out there!

Ultimately, long-term care pharmacy is facing tremendous pressure to evolve and adapt. Taking steps to expand your network and enrich your relationships can have an invaluable impact on your business. By fostering a more collaborative, open-dialogue community, not only can you lift yourself and your business up, but you can contribute to building up the industry as a whole.

PharmaComplete empowers businesses to differentiate and grow by offering a full range of services tailored to the needs of the long-term care pharmacy industry.

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