- Helped Glenn buy out a partner to become sole owner of the pharmacy
- Membership in BLG Business Advisers’ pharmacy group provides significant savings
- BLG’s industry knowledge keeps Glenn on cutting-edge, even in a regional pharmacy
- Full-service accounting for tax management
- Ongoing business advising around structuring, KPI modelling, benchmarking, lease negotiations and more has led to significant growth
When Gerringong Pharmacy says they’re a community business, they mean it. The only pharmacy in the beautiful town of Gerringong on the South Coast of NSW, owner Glenn Steele and his team provide the bulk of the pharmaceutical services for the 4500 residents who live there.
They pride themselves on providing a personalised, holistic service, offering advice on not just prescribed medication but vitamins and supplements as well. They also offer in-home medication reviews by accredited pharmacists to individuals who take a variety of medications.
“We serve a broad demographic from retired folks to young families,” says Glenn. “We want to provide peace of mind for our customers, the assurance that they’re taking their medications as the doctor intended.”
The Decision to Buy His Partner Out
In 1999, Glenn had been working at Gerringong Pharmacy for eight years, and as a partner in the business for four years. Around that time, Glenn met Michael Grew, a Director of BLG Business Advisers, at a presentation about financial and business management for pharmacies. Since Glenn was considering buying out the pharmacy, he decided to approach Michael for advice.
“Michael is an accountant who has a pharmacist father, so he really understands the industry,” Glenn says. “When I talked to Michael, he was straight-forward thinking and logical. He helped me buy the rest of the partnership in 2000 and we’ve been moving in an upward projection since then.”
Effective Business Advice Creates Growth
BLG Business Advisers helped Glenn restructure the pharmacy to maximise efficiency and manage tax burdens. Glenn says it has given him peace of mind. “I can focus on the things I really need to do day-to-day,” Glenn says. “I’m not distracted. It works really, really well.”
In addition, Glenn says that he relies on BLG to help with business planning and strategies. “Working day-to-day in a single pharmacy in a small town, you can become a victim of ‘four-wall syndrome,’” Glenn explains. “BLG keeps me on the cutting edge of innovations that you might not be aware of otherwise.”
At the same time, Glenn says that BLG’s extensive industry expertise has saved him from schemes and gimmicks. “Occasionally you hear about some sort of elaborate proposal for managing tax and the like. I can bring those things to Michael, who learns more about it, and comes back and says, ‘Look, this isn’t a good plan,’” Glenn says. “In one circumstance, other folks that we know got involved and 2-3 years later they came up stuck implementing a particular strategy. We were particularly thankful for the advice we got at that time.”
Gerringong Pharmacy is a member of BLG Business Advisers’ pharmacy group, which includes special pharmaceuticals supply agreements and pricing.
“The pharmacy group has been a really beneficial add-on for the services BLG provides,” Glenn says. “Since BLG has so many pharmacy clients, they felt that as a group we could work better as a single voice for negotiating different prices with suppliers. The financial rewards have more than compensated.”
Benefits and Results
- Helped buy out a partner for sole ownership of Gerringong Pharmacy
- Business structure provides savings and peace of mind
- Ongoing advice keeps Glenn updated on new industry innovations and strategies
- Being a member of BLG Business Advisers’ pharmacy group creates savings through special pricing negotiations with suppliers
"I’ve been with BLG for 17 years now,” Glenn says. “They go beyond basic courtesy. They are particularly skilled and have a good wealth of knowledge in the pharmacy industry. I know I can call on them when I need advice, whether it’s big-picture stuff or how to enter data into my accounting software. I wouldn’t take my work anywhere else. I highly recommend them to anyone in this industry.”