None of them thinks that math applies to them! Everywhere I go in the world, when I was with Startup Weekend or now working with Accelerators, I love to be in a room with founders. In a room of 100 founders, all of them know that a huge percentage will fail. All of us know that math doesn’t apply to them!
I love that about founders. It’s not (completely) delusional. It’s based on belief and customer feedback and results.
We do live in interesting times! And now is not the time to fold up shop, but it is time to get back to work.
I’ve talked with a lot of CEOs in the last week or so. We’ve talked about the impact of the current financial challenge and what impacts we are likely to see in the upcoming quarters. Some I’m expecting are:
Longer sales cycles - people are distracted, focusing on the news, the markets, and their own businesses and teams.
Delayed fundraising cycles - distractions and lowered sales cycles will impact your fundraising timelines. Uncertainty causes caution - likely not returning emails or calls as prior
Access to credit - won’t change much, only because we didn’t have much access to traditional credit in the first place
Delayed closing cycles - look for buyers to find reasons to delay closing. Repricing inventory, a deeper review of financials or audits. Deferring closing lowers risks if they are waiting on the markets to settle
What can you do?
- Track your time to close, it’s going to be delayed, but you can figure out how much the time increases and start to look for when it’s coming back to “normal” or historic
- Subscribe to the tools that will help - Zoom conference or webinar is a great help. Look to a text app like Chatbox to break through the email/phone wall
- Change your messaging to focus on driving sales and revenue. You’re not alone on the sales slow down - your customers are going to face the same challenges. If your product or service can help your customers make money and close more sales, tell that story!
- Update your forecast and keep it current - your forecast to actual is going to matter now more than ever
- Manage cash - you shouldn’t be surprised by your cash position
- Your customers need solutions now more than ever - focus on them, what do they need?
From a people perspective, communicate, communicate, communicate. One of my mentors reminded me that you need to tell people what is going on and what you don’t know. For example, our sales cycle is extending. And, it doesn’t mean we’re doing layoffs.
Finally, recognize there are still opportunities if we are looking for them! #wevegotthis