Supporting Innovation in Pharmacy for a Healthier Canada

An exit plan is essential for success


APRIL 2022 - An exit strategy is about more than selling your pharmacy one day in the future—it can also make a difference in the successful operation of your pharmacy today.

“Too many independent pharmacy owners don’t realize how much more efficiently they could have run their business until they put an exit strategy in place,” says Max Beairsto, co-author of The Pharmacists’ Guide to Selling Their Business, which became available on Amazon.ca in March.

Pharmacy owners should plan for their exit or retirement at least five years in advance to ensure there is enough improved historical financial data for prospective buyers. But it’s actually never too soon to start, since the building blocks for selling—such corporate structure, tax planning, professional advice and valuation—are critical guideposts throughout the life cycle of the business.

“There are absolutely pearls of wisdom in this book for people thinking of buying as well as for owners who don’t plan to sell for a while yet,” says Beairsto.

Mike Jaczko and Max Beairsto
Authors Mike Jaczko and Max Beairsto

He and fellow author Mike Jaczko, who both owned pharmacies before becoming advisors to pharmacy owners, wrote The Pharmacists’ Guide because they’ve “seen far too many owners too ill-prepared for the sale process” over the past 20-plus years.

“They did not plan early enough or thoroughly enough. They ended up paying a lot more tax than they should have or they didn’t have factors in place that could have increased the value of their business,” notes Beairsto.

The Pharmacists’ Guide costs about $25 as a paperback or $9 as a Kindle publication. An audio edition will soon become available.

All proceeds are donated to the Canadian Foundation for Pharmacy.

“We’re not writing this book for profit, but to create awareness. We’re seeing too many owners come to us too late. What we’d love to see happen is for them to read our book and come prepared, even if they don’t ultimately use us as their advisors,” says Beairsto, who is a valuation expert and President of EVCOR. Jaczko is a Partner and Portfolio Manager at KJ Harrison Investors.  

Why the Canadian Foundation for Pharmacy? “We wanted to donate the proceeds to a good cause. It’s the only national organization in Canada that funds research on the practice of pharmacy, which we feel is a largely ignored facet of research. And CFP has a particular interest in the business of pharmacy,” explains Beairsto.

CFP is publisher of Pharmacy Management in Canada, a comprehensive textbook on pharmacy management for pharmacy students, owners and managers. The textbook also forms the basis of an online learning program, "Managing Your Pharmacy: The Business Essentials," available through the Canadian Pharmacists Association and the Ontario Pharmacists Association.