The Overworked Owner in Boom Times

Uncategorized Sep 28, 2021

Life sciences services companies are experiencing an unprecedented boom.  Revenues during 2020 were up 15-20% during a pandemic, and more is expected in 2021.

Covid-19 directly contributed to some companies who were directly supplying research, manufacturing, or supply chain needs.  But the pandemic had an even greater indirect contribution: it validated the critical importance of the distributed R&D ecosystem that has developed in the last 35-40 years.

If you participate in...

Continue Reading...

Two Business Units in One

Uncategorized Sep 21, 2021

Analyzing the performance of individual business segments can be tough, especially if - like most owners - you're used to thinking of the business as a whole.

A contract R&D lab had a federal and state registration that allowed them to work with Scheduled Drugs in categories 2-5.  They worked with clients developing controlled substances in classes like painkillers and stimulants, and these projects contributed about 10-12% of their gross revenues. 

Based on the...

Continue Reading...

Is It All You? Using Value Signals

Uncategorized Sep 14, 2021
Here's another great story of how you can use value signals to improve your business and personal returns:
 
A 20-year-old contract R&D company with $9M in gross revenue received three unsolicited inquiries about their interest in being acquired. The interested parties were all strategic buyers, two backed by private equity.
 
The potential sellers were interested, but had no idea what terms were appropriate, having never seriously considered a sale before. Now, however, two...
Continue Reading...

The Right Team

Uncategorized Sep 07, 2021
Scaling up a young product in the face of customer demand is always a challenge.  
 
A client makes, packages, and delivers a key material for companies exploring novel lipid drug formulations. For much of 2020 the owner had great success in bringing in new sales and opening relationships with channel partners, and soon realized that production – staffed and managed by the same owner – wass reaching capacity. With sales driven in large part by channel...
Continue Reading...

Are You Using Your Comparative Advantage?

four value signals Jun 08, 2021

David Ricardo (that’s him in the picture) was a member of the British Parliament in 1817 when he developed a concept that is inherently counterintuitive:  that countries engage in international trade for goods, even when a country can and does produce all the needed goods more efficiently, at less cost than their trading partners

Even if you can make everything yourself, it still benefits you economically to sell some goods and buy others.   In effect, specializing...

Continue Reading...

You’re the Expert, not the Accountant. What Financial Data Should You Watch?

four value signals May 05, 2021

A friend of mine was hired as the first outside CEO of a 30 year old family run business. When he took over he asked reasonable questions about inventory turnover, returns on key accounts, asset value, and so on. They didn’t have any information and referred my friend to the accountant. It turns out that for years the only numbers the family tracked were year-end revenue and profit, and these were reported with the tax filings: five months after every...

Continue Reading...

Create a Sales Process

four value signals Apr 16, 2021

Running a scientific company is difficult.

Unlike a home business, your overhead is high because you need trained technicians, expensive instruments, and a dedicated place to put them.

As an Expert in your field, you probably knew a few people who became your customers when you started up.

So you had some revenue quickly, and you’ve been able to find some more - otherwise you’d be out of business and paying the costs of a failed experiment.  

But inevitably you run out...

Continue Reading...

Should You Promote or Fire Yourself?

In the popular business book “The E-Myth Revisited”, Michael Gerber says that every business owner is really three people: the Technician, the Manager, and the Entrepreneur. 

I often use the term “Expert” to define the scientists I work with who have deep technical knowledge, the quintessential Technicians – who founded the business to deliver value to customers that only they can deliver. 

Are you buried in the Technician role?

...

Continue Reading...

Where is the Road Map?

four value signals Feb 16, 2021

Where is the road map for a scientist to build a profitable business, build a team and scale up without burning out?

Your scientific training is a great foundation for building on your expertise, developing a contract services, supply, or consulting business. You have the valuable skills of analysis, information sourcing, research, problem solving and the mind-set of objectivity and skepticism.

This means instant credibility and the ability to quickly gauge the credibility of others.

You...

Continue Reading...

If You Don’t Uncover the Skeletons in Your Closet, Your Buyer Will

Uncategorized Dec 07, 2020
Continue Reading...
1 2 3
Close

Sign Up for Updates!

Receive a free gift of valuable content - a one page "cheat sheet" of the eight steps every business owner should take to build a more valuable company.