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5 Ways Startups Can Make it Through Periods of Uncertainty

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April 06, 2020

Guest Post: The following post is a sponsored guest post by Nik Adhia, Senior Director of Global Operations, Oracle for Startups. All views and opinions represented in this post are the views and opinions of Oracle for Startups and do not represent those of 500 Startups or any of its staff or affiliates.

Founders and employees alike have been on edge given uncertain economic conditions, so let’s just get right into a few ways startups can think about running leaner.  

Distinguish between needs and “nice-to-haves”

At times of challenge, it is important to examine activities and decide which are critical in the current moment. It is important for startups to operate lean in general, as it may not be easy to see when the next revenue will arrive. Now especially, it is a good idea to dedicate cashflow to required operating expenses that keep your business running. For those ‘nice to have’ activities, pause them, put them on hold, and try not to commit to anything in advance.

Focus on retention 

The cost to win new customers and users can be very high and requires being authentic and committed to your end users. If you have to choose between being aggressive with your pipeline or serving current customers, work on keeping churn rate low, growing your base, and re-investing in the areas where you’ve experienced success. Think of tending to an existing garden rather than planting new seeds. 

Ask for help (and credit)

Around the world, there are government initiatives in place to help with minimum interest loans, while credit providers and suppliers are extending credit to their customers. Take advantage of what is available in your area and feasible for the long term survival of your business. It requires some administration, but your employees, customers and backers will thank you if you can not only survive but even thrive in such times.

When in doubt, be transparent 

Be open with your investors, advisors, and those closest to your business. Investors are there to support you through challenging times. If you are running low on your cash reserves, but your burn rate remains high, it’s important for investors and advisors to know the situation. Be proactive about asking for help if you need it. You’re not in this situation alone, as it is likely your investors and advisors are dealing with the same circumstances. 

Now is the time to build resilience 

Your business will go through unprecedented times, which can bring new levels of stress and busy-ness. Remaining positive and confident in your business is always a smart strategy. If changing circumstances mean you do have to reduce your staff, operating costs, or partnerships, do so while looking for the bright side. The world may look different in 6 months’ time and the smart, strategic moves you make now may pay off when the dust begins to settle.

To learn more and get live answers for your cost-reduction questions, join this upcoming webinar with 500’s COO Courtney Powell and the Founder of StartupGrind/Bevy. 

 If you would like to join Oracle for Startups, apply and use the code “500 Startups”. 

THIS POST IS A SPONSORED GUEST POST BY NIK ADHIA OF ORACLE FOR STARTUPS. ANY VIEWS OR OPINIONS REPRESENTED IN THE ABOVE POST ARE THOSE OF NIK ADHIA AND DO NOT REPRESENT THOSE OF 500 STARTUPS OR ANY OF ITS STAFF OR AFFILIATES UNLESS EXPLICITLY STATED. ALL CONTENT REPRESENTED ABOVE IS PROVIDED FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY. 500 STARTUPS MAKES NO REPRESENTATIONS AS TO THE ACCURACY OR COMPLETENESS OF ANY INFORMATION CONTAINED IN THE ABOVE POST. UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES SHOULD ANY OF THE ABOVE CONTENT BE CONSTRUED AS LEGAL, TAX OR INVESTMENT ADVICE FROM 500 STARTUPS OR ANY OF ITS AFFILIATES.

UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES SHOULD ANY INFORMATION OR CONTENT IN THIS POST, BE CONSIDERED AS AN OFFER TO SELL OR SOLICITATION OF INTEREST TO PURCHASE ANY SECURITIES ADVISED BY 500 STARTUPS OR ANY OF ITS AFFILIATES OR REPRESENTATIVES. UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES SHOULD ANYTHING HEREIN BE CONSTRUED AS FUND MARKETING MATERIALS BY PROSPECTIVE INVESTORS CONSIDERING AN INVESTMENT INTO ANY 500 STARTUPS INVESTMENT FUND.

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