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5 Keys to Success in the Biotech World

Why do biotech businesses fail? Why do they succeed? What is the secret sauce?

Is there a recipe or is it all luck? Luck is where "opportunity meets preparedness" a mentor used to tell me. So, how can you be prepared?

There are 5 Keys:

Strategic Focus

Today’s biotech business environment is every changing and at a faster pace than in generations that have gone before us. Leaders need to focus limited resources on the activities that have the greatest opportunity and best chance for success. The reality is constant change, and if you don’t evolve, then you don’t survive. Sources of revenue may shift, regulations may change so its necessary to keep focused on the desired end result(s) while steering the company.


People want mix of structure and direction with freedom and encouragement. They want to develop their skills and knowledge. Effectively managing people requires balancing these two opposing forces. If you go too far in one direction or the other, your biotech organization will be either too rigid or too chaotic. Add to that, each person has a different set of needs and your managers know they can’t use the same tools on each team member to motivate.


What the people in your organization do day in and day out to create value for customers, to earn or justify income, strongly determines whether you succeed or fail. When running a business it's not advisable to separate operations from other key areas, such as: strategic focus which gives direction, people who do the work, customers who pay the money and the physical resources needed to do the work.

Effective operations ensure that customers get what they want when they need it at the right price and quality.

Communication is key and even more so in a remote environment. Integration of the network and flow of information becomes the lifeblood of a successful organization.


Customers are key. No customers, no business and no income. This is the most important success factor. As Peter Drucker said, The purpose of a business is to get and keep customers. Getting customers involves marketing – indeed this success factor includes all kinds of marketing and sales. The key to successful customer relations is to give them what they need, not just what you want to sell.

Effective biotech sales and marketing begins with asking existing and potential customers what they need, what problem they want solved or deficiency filled. By keeping in touch with customers and asking these questions often, you’ll do a better job of developing customer loyalty and keeping competitors away.


Without money, you cannot start or maintain a company. Assets, people and buildings are often the biggest expenses. Cash flow is king. It doesn’t matter how much customers owe you, it’s when their money enters your bank account so you can use it to sustain the organization. Failure to manage cash flow is the primary reason for business failure.

As an EOS Implementer, I'd recommend this blog to learn more about successful operating systems.

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