Starting a business in the life sciences industry comes along with the potential for massive rewards. Of course, those rewards are promised to no one, and far more companies fail than succeed. So, what is it that separates the success stories from the rest? Avoiding the five mistakes listed below is a great place to start.
#1 – Believe Results – Not Your Preconceived Notions
It’s easy to think that your plan from the start is going to work all the way through clinical trials and onto the market. Unfortunately, that is not likely to be the case. You are going to need to trust the data that you obtain during your early studies and use it to chart a path forward. Ignoring what the data is trying to tell you is a sure way to head down the wrong road.
#2 – Letting Your Ego Get in the Way
There is plenty of confidence required to take on a task on the scale of starting a life science company. While it is a good thing to believe in yourself and trust in your abilities, it is also important to reach out for expert assistance when necessary. It’s unlikely that you know everything there is to know about all parts of your new business. The most successful business owners tend to be those who are adept at sticking to what they do best and turning over the rest to others.
#3 – Planning for the Roadblocks
If you think you are going to have a clear path and easy road from the start of your company on through clinical trials, you are in for a rude awakening. Sure, that’s always possible, but it sure isn’t likely. There are almost certainly going to be hurdles that pop up along the way, which is why you need to plan for how you are going to respond when issues pop up. Positioning yourself to adapt quickly when things don’t go your way will largely determine whether your venture is able to survive.
#4 – Managing the Business Side
There are certain things that all businesses need to do in order to remain viable and stay in operation long enough to make a difference. If a life science startup turns a blind eye to the business side of the equation, it’s going to be hard – or downright impossible – to make things work. Working with a business accelerator or incubator can be a great help to scientists who are more experienced in the lab than they are in the boardroom.
#5 – Hear Everything
You don’t necessarily have to accept every piece of advice you are given, but you certainly should listen. Take in as much information as you can from as many different sources as you work on making decisions and charting a path forward. Remember, those who can provide important input are not necessarily the highest-ranking individuals in your organization, or even the most experienced. Keep an open mind and an open office door so you can absorb all of the ideas available to you.