It’s no secret that it’s hard to succeed as a pharmaceutical business within the life sciences industry, especially if you are a smaller organization or a start-up still chasing growth. The sector is fiercely competitive, with businesses often locked neck and neck to design, test, review and release new products and develop novel innovations in service and technology first and gain greater market share.
Safeguarding innovations and protecting invaluable intellectual property through patenting is also a constant challenge, with businesses needing to navigate various forms of IP risk and monitor the global landscape for shifts towards and away from key technology trends and areas that could impact their portfolios.
For smaller companies going up against global pharmaceutical enterprises, the odds of achieving growth and profitability can seem stacked against them from the start. Unlocking growth and revenue opportunities rely on being flexible, adaptable, and agile, something that start-ups and smaller businesses can leverage more easily compared to creakier, rigid legacy enterprises.
By tapping into their innate agility and implementing smart, strategic decision-making as early as possible, small pharmaceutical companies can rub shoulders with the titans of the life sciences sector and enjoy consistent market and revenue growth – and they can do this by harnessing the power of competitive intelligence.
We’ll be examining competitive intelligence in more detail below and how it can help start-ups gain the edge they need to get ahead of competitors.
How can competitive intelligence help smaller companies and start-ups?
Competitive intelligence refers to the process of collecting and analyzing information to better understand your competitors and your competitive landscape through extensive, ongoing research.
It provides the insight necessary to differentiate and improve your R&D methods and development processes to gain a competitive advantage as well as keep abreast of competitor products, services, and patents in the pipeline that could potentially pose a risk to your business.
Through competitive intelligence, you can identify potential business opportunities before competitors do, detect threats and risks before they escalate, and forecast project expenses for better planning and more effective budgeting.
The problems faced by smaller pharmaceutical businesses and start-ups
As a smaller company in a long-established industry, start-ups face an uphill battle of structural, technological, and procedural factors. Larger pharmaceutical firms and enterprises have the size, scale, speed, and operations in place that automatically gives them a competitive edge over smaller companies when it comes to end-to-end product and technology development.
Global enterprises within the life sciences sector are well-established and stable and often carry the invaluable weight of reputation on their side. They have the resources, processes, and personnel needed to research, develop, test, review and launch their products.
Smaller companies and start-ups, on the other hand, often lack the resources and funding larger companies do. Because their primary business objective is achieving growth, their development is often stagnated by the limitations of their existing resources, putting them at a disadvantage.
However, the size and scale of larger companies can be their Achilles heel just as much as their advantage. Larger pharmaceutical firms are complex, highly stratified organizations and their ability to pivot, transform and adapt is slowed down by the weight of their own scale and protocol.
Start-ups and smaller companies, on the other hand, are lighter in structure and process making them more nimble and flexible, allowing them to change and reform processes more quickly in response to emerging trends and data findings.
It’s in this space where start-ups can gain an edge and close the gap on competitors by leveraging competitive intelligence with their ability to quickly adapt their processes.
Traditionally research for competitive intelligence insights has been conducted manually by internal teams grappling to stay on top of emerging new findings and datasets, caught in a never-ending game of playing catch up.
AI has emerged as a means of augmenting and speeding up the research process. It reduces the time required from hours to minutes and is also able to glean and analyze massive data volumes from various sources at a faster rate. This results in accurate, actionable insights that can be harnessed for more agile planning and strategy execution.
As opposed to larger enterprises trying to retrofit their fixed existing processes with AI capabilities to tackle the snowball effect of compounding data, smaller businesses and start-ups have the advantage of augmenting their competitive intelligence research with AI and machine learning from the start.
This early adoption of AI will allow them to grow at a more rapid pace, capitalizing on its easy scalability to fast-track their competitive intelligence and use the insights gained to rapidly identify business and licensing opportunities, build accurate budgets for R&D projects, forecast future trends and adjust existing strategies immediately to stay ahead of the tech and IP curve.
Similari: scaling your competitive intelligence with ease
It’s a common misconception that investing in AI is costly or out of budget scope, especially for start-ups and small businesses. However, the return on investment brought from augmenting your research with an AI-powered platform capable far outweighs the risk and revenue cost of losing vital growth and development opportunities to competitors.
Swift insights gleaned from a multitude of data sources allow you to make important decisions quickly and take a proactive, instead of reactive, approach to innovation and scaling.
At Similari, we’ve helped businesses of all sizes, from start-ups to enterprises, harness the power of data gleaned from their competitive landscapes to enable more strategic decision-making, and agile, adaptive development.