This is an article that was featured in the Tampa Bay Business Magazine.  It is a shining example of how ActionCOACH works with a company to improve overall.

ST. PETERSBURG — Mike Haulsee initially was hesitant about entering the compounding pharmacy business, but upon a friend’s persistent urging, Haulsee finally launched The Compounding Shop in August 1997.

The company supplies physicians’ offices and hospitals with customized formulas made to fit patients’ specific needs. Once a two-person operation, the company has grown to 20 employees.

The Compounding Shop, based in St. Petersburg, also has an office in Riverview, and Haulsee is partner in a pharmacy in Costa Rica where his company’s services make common medications accessible.

When the company first opened, Haulsee relied on his own savings and family contributions to cover the $60,000 of startup costs. The company first spread word of its services through visits to local medical offices, but today its three-person marketing team has integrated this approach with advertising efforts, including an impending foray into social media.

About 1 percent of prescribed medications have to be compounded, leaving a sizeable market for his company, Haulsee said. However, he credits ActionCOACH Pinellas with helping the company reach the next level.

ActionCOACH is a global franchise that provides business coaching and consulting to small and medium sized businesses through a focus on education and planning.

Haulsee first got involved with the company in April 2008 after meeting Ford Kyes, business coach at the Palm Harbor franchise, at a St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce meeting. Kyes helped Haulsee build systems to monitor his company’s financials and measure its return on investment.

This has allowed Haulsee to place his attention on the long-term vision of the company, such as a new licensing venture in which The Compounding Shop provides its resources to other companies.

“The industry is very fragmented,” Haulsee said. “There’s no company out there that can be an umbrella for compounding pharmacies. That’s part of our expansion plan.”

The company has designated a $200,000 budget for new clients.

“The idea is that we have 13 years of stubbing our toes and making some mistakes that we can prevent the next person from doing,” Haulsee said.

He meets up with Kyes weekly to ensure that The Compounding Shop remains on target to meet its annual goals.

For its part, ActionCOACH has seen its business grow 182 percent in 2009. The company identifies new clients through its networking endeavors, such as chamber meetings, and Kyes maintains that, despite the seemingly bleak business landscape of the Tampa Bay area, there are still opportunities for growth.

“It’s not so much what happens in the economy because everyone’s exposed when the economy hits that makes the difference.”

Just as ActionCOACH has demonstrated a resilience to the effects of the economic downturn, The Compounding Shop has similarly thrived in the past couple years, achieving record sales in 2009. In the past year, Haulsee added two staff members to his marketing department and hired a lab technician and a part-time pharmacist, one of five pharmacists at the company.

The Compounding Shop also adjusted several of its business practices, including discontinuation of its advertising in the Yellow Pages and local community publications.

Going forward in 2010, Haulsee plans to bring on additional staff members in the coming months and is exploring opportunities to expand his business in Central America.

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