Traits of a Successful Entrepreneur
With Dr. Kyle Flanigan
What makes a successful entrepreneur?
There’s no shortage of speculation about which traits are most important for business success. Today’s podcast guest is a great example of someone who not only has the innate curiosity and confidence of an entrepreneur but who has also learned to cultivate those traits in others.
With more than 25 years of experience, Dr. Kyle Flanigan is the Co-Founder and CEO of US Specialty Formulations (USSF), a pharmaceutical manufacturing company currently working on the first oral vaccine for COVID-19.
Kyle is an expert in pharmaceutical and medical performance materials development and consults with companies to provide stable solutions and services for formulation, scale-up technology, contingency planning, supply-chain issues, quality systems implementation, and new facility design.
The Combination of Curiosity and Confidence
One of the key traits behind Kyle’s entrepreneurial success is curiosity. Back when he worked for other large pharmaceutical companies, he was always looking for a new and better way to do things.
Kyle brings a unique skill set to his industry, with his ability to marry the technical and business sides of pharmaceutical manufacturing. This broad range of interests allows him to network with people across different fields and establish long-term relationships with customers. He is genuinely interested in every person he meets, and customers can feel that.
The second key factor behind USSF’s success is confidence. Kyle and his co-founder Garry Morefield both have strong lab and pharmaceutical backgrounds and with Kyle’s expertise in business, they felt confident in launching their own company.
Building a Confident and Capable Team
Confidence is also a key component in building a strong team. One of the biggest challenges for Kyle and Garry has been staffing. They receive a lot of applications to join their company, but finding the right person for each role is still challenging.
Their ultimate goal is to build a self-sufficient team that doesn’t need to be micromanaged; freeing up the founders to focus on larger strategic issues. Their team currently consists of 14 people but Kyle knows that as the company grows, he and Garry won’t be able to oversee every individual–so they work to develop confidence in their employees, with the goal that eventually the team will be able to run itself.
The Power of a Personal Brand
USSF’s marketing is limited by the pharmaceutical industry restrictions; they can’t make claims about what their products do, which makes branding even more critical. Almost all of their sales come from the founders’ networks and word-of-mouth referrals.
Pharmaceutical development is a small field and Kyle and Garry have built strong reputations. The customers who need and want their products seek them out and USSF, although a small, boutique company, has quickly become the go-to in the industry.
Enjoy this episode with CEO and Founder Dr. Kyle Flanigan…
“What I found developing was an interesting skill set. There aren’t a lot of people with this skill set out there, to do a deep dive on the technical aspect of something and look at the applications and make the comments of ‘you can use this for this and this, because it has these properties’ and go through and list them all off. And at the same time, thinking as the businessman, how is this going to fit into my portfolio, what are my resources, what sorts of commitments am I going to make?”
“Because I have a wide breadth of industries and interests, which makes me dangerous across a wide range of topics. It’s served me well.”
“Throughout my whole career, I was always thinking ‘How can I do this better?’”
“A lot of it has hinged on our personal brands. They know us, we know them, and they can know what we can produce.”
“When we give the team a task, we trust that it will be a good work product and will require minimal input on our side. You have to find the right people but then build that capability and work with them to develop that capability, so you can get to a point where even when you’re not overseeing it, they’re able to perform as you expect them to.”
Links mentioned in this episode:
Visit the USSF website: https://ussfgmp.com/
Connect with Dr. Kyle Flanigan on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kyleyflanigan/
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