If you are a startup founder that is raising capital and feeling the effects of the market downturn, your not alone.
Here are tips on how to make it out the other side of a downturn.
1. First and foremost remember great companies are born in difficult times.
It's mental game, stay postive.
Salesforce, Google, Facebook, Disney, General Electric, General Microsoft, FedEx, HP, Hyatt, IBM and Trader Joes, all started during a economic down turn.
2. Reduce your burn
Aim to have at least 12 months and ideally 24 months of runway. If you don't already have enough to get you throgh the next year, you will need to find some fuding, increase revenues, or cut some costs.
Need help figuring out your burn?
3. Reduce non-people expenses first.
Expenses such as software, real estate, perks, marketing expense or non-necessities.
Here are some free alternatives to paid apps suggestions
Click up > Asana Project Management
Whereby > Zoom Video Conferencing
Crowdfire > Hootesuite Social Media Management
Undock > Calendly for Schedule Management
Mautic > Mail Chimps for Email Marketing
MatterMost > Instead of Slack for messaging
Wave Apps > Instead of Quickbooks for Invoicing and Accounting
Mercury for Banking > Instead of a traditional bank
Canva > Adobe Illustrator Graphic Design
Docracy > Legal Zoom Managing Legal Affairs
Email > Zoho for email
4. Talk to your potential customers everyday.
I can't srtress enough how important it is for you to stay close to your customers during a downturn, not only will it help keep you top of mind, you will gain insights.
Here are a few questions to get you started with
Walk me through the last time you encountered (problem)?
When (problem) happens, what do you do?
What’s the most important thing you do each day pertaining to (problem)?
If you had a magic wand, how would you solve (problem) / build (product that solves problem)?
How much time / money does (problem) cost?
Why doesn’t a solution to (problem) exist?
Have you tried to better solve (problem) in the past?
What is missing from your current solution?
Where is this industry headed in the next 5 years? 10?
How do you feel about (problem)? The existing solution?
What else should I know about (problem)?
5. Communicate,. communicate and communicate
When potential investors, clients, and partners don't hear from you, they will assume the worst, make sure to regularly update your stakeholders and send out regular investor updates.
Here's my favourite investor update email templete you can use.