Surviving an Economic Winter: Strategies for Startups

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A recession is a pattern of simultaneously reducing consumer and corporate activity, which results in negative development as measured by the GDP and other sequence data like the rate of unemployment, wage growth, and so on. It has been noted that many outstanding businesses would perish in the impending recession. Your firm might be impacted directly or indirectly by the economy, which is simply the case.

Analyze your company’s risks and put policies in place to lessen and withstand the effects of a downturn to be ready as you are well aware when things are complex might need a hard push through. So, the businesses that make it through this recession will have an opportunity to succeed and be great. Amazon, which is regarded as the finest firm in the world despite having weathered the 1999 economic wave, set an example of surviving a recession and got bigger after it.

For dealing with the economic winter and surviving recession being your only goal, here are a few tips:

1.) Recognize the significance of cash management and boost the manufacturing of your main items

Your business depends on cash flow to function. Cash flow must be safeguarded more than ever during a recession. A financial shortage will increase the rate of firms dying from natural causes if you solely sell to startups. Preserving money and avoiding running out of it must be your priorities. Get very focused on the resources you have instead of what you could have as you accept the effects of the recession. For example, try using free tools instead of paid ones to manage operations and development. Read along here a brief list of some of the best tools to manage startups.

You must constantly review every expenditure, line by line and vendor by vendor, in order to keep your cash safe. It is now more important than ever to strive to increase the production of your core items instead of taking on hazardous projects. This is the right moment to diversify. If not, start making annual changes to reduce the danger. Gaining more recruiting discretion is a technique to increase the risk without having to quit employing altogether. You will still be able to sell your core products in this fashion to a few companies and this will help in a continuous operation.

2.) Reduce essential spending and exercise greater caution while making investments

The survival of your business is currently more important than anything. If you want to make it through this economic winter, eliminate any positions and expenses that aren’t necessary. Being a two-person CEO team may make things easier if you are selective with your investments because all investors have equal authority. If you are picking the most suitable and helpful investors at your end, investors must act as your allies who support you, have faith in you, and place bets on you—even during trying times.

Investors will only be concerned with your ability to generate income. This has been seen in B2B startups that were required after 2009 due to their rapid growth. This proved that both employment creation and goal achievement are essential. People feel it’s a perfect time to start since it enforces many of the appropriate behaviours and techniques for successful enterprises, even though this builds up stress tests.

3.) Reset investor expectations and make market-based salary adjustments

Only 20% wage reductions can be proposed in exchange for cash-vested stock that vests over a two-year period. Additionally, it guarantees you improved financial results and backing for altered pay. Prepare for unneeded stress and anticipate investor decision-making. It will become increasingly important to exercise due diligence. Additionally, it would be best if you prepared to level-set with investors to talk about the current state of affairs against the future once your goals have been met. Be truthful with your team on the burn rate, chances of success, priority areas, etc. It’s time to cut wasteful spending and discover creative alternatives. To ensure reducing recurrent costs, keep an eye on your invoices and bank information. Share your demands with the investors and let them know you were compelled to elevate the shakily constructed bridge.

4.) Give yourself extra time to reach your goals and reset them, so they are more manageable

Unexpected events place new limitations on everyone. Making cutbacks is necessary, which entails reducing spending as well as predictions. To save money, everyone should be made acutely aware of their surroundings. To achieve the same goals as previously, it’s critical to distinguish between what you “desire” to raise and what you “need” to raise to exist. To enter and succeed in a completely different and stable environment than the one you were in a month ago, you must have a minimum runway of 24 months.

To manage goals, you need to think about the following:

The best timing to introduce new services, goods, and products.

To stop making clients wait while they order your goods and services.

Making payments accessible to users.

Distribution of product planning.

Being liberal with payments and equity.

Working with others to eliminate financial waste.

Accelerating decision-making and consensus-building

When things go rough, stop raising money.

Take part in slow and progressive growth.

8 Tips for Startups to Thrive in an Economic Winter
5.) The finest methods for maintaining firms amid a recession and vigorous hard work for momentum

In a decreasing economy, you will need to work more than ever to increase sales and traction. Buyers won’t be buying because people won’t be spending, and you’ll have a lot less money to spend on advertising and sales. Therefore, reach out to investors and give them more runway in a kind, sympathetic manner. Your founders and investors will be sympathetic and deeply affected by this, they will remember it for the rest of their lives.

6.) Do not use manipulative terms with investors; meet them personally

i.) First, work to put yourself in a situation where you can exist on nothing while taking advantage of the finest possibilities.

ii.) Strive for an aggressive spin-up so you can have many investor interactions. The majority of the time, it has been seen that domestic investors profit significantly from the recession and withdraw their money. This is due to their perception that the business would fail and sink.

iii.) To prevent this, only agree to vote options, ceding board control, or leave out investors if you have used every possible opportunity. You must be reasonable yet challenging with the investor and set boundaries anytime they cross them.

iv.) To help you plan your plans, consider the costs associated with liquidating your firm and your monthly burn rate. In order to understand the demand, you also need to assess the number of consumers or clients still using your products or services. You may use this to create a map for the coming month or two.

v.) The business owner needs to be more motivated and willing to meet with investors during a downturn. Still, they often forget that these founders or investors may have proposals that might assist them in getting out of the position. They must thus attempt to take a flight to visit them in person. Although the investors insist on taking the extreme and severe step of intending to fire workers in order to ensure their existence, this gives them more time to design expansion strategies and remain stable.

vi.) Investors may be harsh against shrewd service providers; they may ignore young, technically advanced, early-stage, high-margin software startups because they need to recognize that these teams are better equipped to weather economic downturns. In this approach, some businesses may flourish during a strong economic cycle, but only a select few will understand how to exit a downturn or recession.

7.) Prefer to think clearly and Raise right now to take prompt action

You must realize that having the sharpest intellect will help you withstand the most trying circumstances. You should revise your operational strategy every 30 to 45 days because the future is difficult to anticipate. Therefore, resist getting irritated, take a big breath, and restart. Reduce spending, eliminate unnecessary expenses, or impose layoffs. Make preparations for the worst-case situation. Many industrialized nations have relief laws and funds set aside for such occasions to assist businesses and organizations in emerging from a recession.

Increase the amount of money raised in terms of flat valuation, secure yearly transactions, and enhance each funnel. Assume a recovery of 18 months, raise your gross margin, and, if you have a line of credit, call on your debt. All models should prepare for dire outcomes and reduce spending on payroll, opex, servers, and other expenses if you want to extend your runway to 18 months.

8.) How can you raise money in a down economy?

Recession may make things difficult for the technology sector, but if the service providers operate abroad and have a global clientele, they may be fine. The following investors may be useful in such a case to aid in investing for stability.

Present investors

Previously interested investors

From super angels managing a tiny fund who can respond with a yes or no in less than 48 hours

Don’t just sell a dream; sell data

Give new investors a chance

From Variable Costs Asking more than $500K

From Variable Costs Asking less than $1m

The Macroeconomic shift and trends in recession

Asset prices are affected by macroeconomic changes due to major reasons. A change in the quantity of an item or service sought after at every price level due to numerous economic circumstances is referred to as a shift in demand. They impact the risk-neutral anticipated reward of securities and investors’ attitudes toward risk. The new points of quantity will shift to the right on the graph to show an increase in the amount sought at each price level. One fundamental model of it is the growth in risk aversion during economic downturns when cash flows and earnings fall to crucial levels.

How to manage a recession when you are a startup?

Numerous new strategies were created in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. However, it has been noted that this is the age of startups, and people are mainly interested in practising the ultimate test of how rapidly these firms can pivot operationally and strategically. Here are a few tips for startups to manage their finances during a recession.

If you want to progress, you must have patience and work even harder. A Churn will increase if you produce top-priority goods for your clients.

Early on, in the spirit of openness, share the company’s financial information with your team.

If there is a severe cash shortage, you should always have a backup plan in the form of short-term contracts with other businesses.

Become more efficient by finding ways to decrease costs bilaterally across all departments.

Keep in mind that your next fundraising is an impending milestone; even if it may not be feasible, you must have growth aspirations.

Prepare for layoffs right now if your company anticipates a 50% shortfall in the near future. Think about paying them well and being kind to them.

Offering yearly discounts and savings opportunities can help you bind your customers, and this has to be prepared for in advance with your team. Offer discounts and annual contracts, provide relief or a range of future advantages, and so on to expand your dynamic scenario.

Company’s approach to cost-cutting in a recession

The ability of individuals to entirely, ultimately, and relentlessly focus on ‘what is vital’ and become ‘free from extraneous distractions’ is the finest quality of a macroeconomic change. Companies prefer to deal with things that are only important for running their businesses. Any concept you have right now that has the potential to be funded, implemented, and used by some customers must be more resilient to a macroeconomic downturn than the average idea. A common man only prefers to buy his need and for a company to become his priority can be very challenging. Therefore, companies like to adopt low-cost growth techniques and look for new ways to expand their reach. It has been observed that other than limiting their production, or layoffs, companies even not prefer to travel for making deals, rather they prefer to use video conferencing than travel as much. Instead of paying consultants in cash, they now do it in stock and instead of using a sponsored promotion, they prefer influencing others through their network and links.

Key Suggestions for a Founder

No matter how tough the situation may be, as a business owner and a CEO keep yourself optimistic. A good outlook is the most important thing you can have in tough times. Being in a tough situation, “Plan for the worst while hoping for the best” will help you to manage things timely. Keep in mind that you have to determine your top financial priorities. You can survive the economic winter better if you act quickly and impulsively, by keeping a check on all transactions. Maintaining awareness of your financial status is essential. It is suggested that one must not hand over business equity. With investors or your team, display profitability while remaining inspired. Maintain cash flows and try to increase your emergency savings in advance for handling crises.

To maintain your health, work on yourself. Sleep, eat healthy, exercise, and practise meditation. Think about new possibilities and ways that can help in boosting your career within the present and future situation. Reduce personal spending to improve your cash flow.

Ready to Take the Next Step?


Rahul Singh

Sr. App Developer

Rahul has been associated with the apps industry for more than 9 years now. He has seen the apps economy grow from its nascent days to a full fledged industry with its complete ecosystem as of today. His interest lies in pursuing and getting to know the best app development technologies, processes and platforms. He is truly an app enthusiast. In his free time he loves playing console games and reading history.

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