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Positive changes in business as a result of the pandemic.

Oonagh O'Hagan is the CEO of Meaghers Pharmacy Group based in Dublin.

There are 9 pharmacies throughout Dublin.

Oonagh worked in Meaghers Pharmacy on placement as a pharmacy student. Pearse Meaghers became her tutor and mentor and as she worked there she dreamed of one day owning the pharmacy. 

Pearse taught Oonagh all about giving back to the community and family values. She asked him if he was ever selling to let her know. He called her 4 years after she left and offered her the chance to buy the pharmacy. 

Oonagh secured the funding and bought the Pharmacy in 2001 and kept the name because of the history attached. There are now nine pharmacies throughout Dublin. 

In 2014 Oonagh launched Meaghers online platform and have now internationalised their service across the globe.

They partner with Peter McBride Trust to help with homelessness in Ireland.

Mars Bar put in with every order to help people with the pronunciation of the name. Genius.

 

Effects of Covid and changes on the business.

Huge number of customers coming through the doors and it was a frightening time for the team as there was no PPE or protective screens instore.

To ensure safety appropriate screens were installed and the appropriate PPE was secured.

Meaghars then changed their messaging as a team. Stay at home and we will come to you.

They used the online logistical service to deliver the services and products to customers.

They set up a helpline and got the prescription delivered to customers. 

Digital prescriptions were accepted from GP's and hospitals. 

Online pharmacy consultancy

Teamed up with the Guards, GAA, pharmacy students to deliver prescriptions.

Planning to launch an Online Fertility Pharmacist.

This new system highlighted that this is a better way to provide a service to customers. 

 

Tailored Care Packages

50% increase of online orders to other peoples addresses. So customers buying things for other people.

This service  allows you to contact the team with your budget and what type of person you are buying for and suggestions are made with personalised note and sent to the person you are buying for. 

There is a team in place to deal with all of this.

 

What are the benefits of having a blog?

As a source of information for customers.

Meaghars is very responsive to customer requests and the blog is one way of doing this.

Often the same questions are asked all the time in store and online. The blog addresses all the topical questions and educate people on all aspects of that topic.

 

How to keep consistency in being the face of the brand and business?

The biggest challenge is finding the time but there is a constant desire to share the knowledge and that is the driving force behind showing up consistently. 

 

Influencer Marketing.

Meaghars started early with Influencer Marketing and fell into it without realising. They has grown up with a lot of the influencers and there are long standing relationships. 

Make sure that your brand values align with the influencer and they have passion for the same things.

Work together to make a plan. 

 

Retail Excellence Ireland

The largest representative body of retailers in Ireland

The organisation showcases the best from all the retail sector and its about learning from each other. Peer to peer support.

Some of the best ideas for Meaghers came from listening to businesses within Retail Excellence. People who are involved are very willing to share knowledge.

In government Retail Excellence has a voice at the table.

 

Going for Growth Programme

Structured volunteer programme to support Irish female entrepreneurs.

6mth programme with lead entrepreneurs meeting once a month with the businesses.

Covers finance, cashflows, selecting teams, strategy for growth and much more.

A great community of supportive women.

Free workshops.

Women in Business is a great organisation in Northern Ireland which also supports women entrepreneurs.

 

Advice to Business Owners.

Don't give up on the last hurdle.

You need to adapt. There is no going back to pre-covid.

Embrace change.

Ask yourself how can your business make positive changes as a result of the pandemic?

Customers are still there but how you fulfil their needs is different.

Communicate more and address their concerns in different ways.

Look after your team and your customers first and fore most. Do the right thing by everyone.

Engage with your customer ten times more than pre covid.

 

Follow Meagharspharmacy On Instagram Facebook and twitter.

Follow Oonaghohagan on all of the social platforms.

 

Listen to the podcast 

Apple Podcasts / Spotify / YouTube

 

 

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