SCALING MADE SIMPLE

The BurnRate Blog

COVID-19 Business Reactions & Resources: 28 March 2019

Robert McLaws
March 28, 2020

We've been collecting the most informative links to help you all digest what is going on, and how to weather the storms on the horizon. The optimist in me says this will all be over soon, but the realist says we'll be dealing with the economic effects of this for years to come. So we'll do our best to collect the best information out there once a week, and pass it on to you every Sunday.

Investor Guidance

Sequoia released a “Black Swan” memo suggested “This might be a time to evaluate [headcount] critically whether you can do more with less and raise productivity. They also followed up with a COVID-19 decision matrix. I’m not ashamed to admit I had a hard time figuring out how to make use of it. If you figure it out, let me know.

Emergence Capital outlined how SaaS tends to be well-situated to be able to weather storms, but be prepared to cut your targets by 20-50%.

Haystack investor Semil Shah published a detailed rundown of his conversations with 75+ investors last week on the outlook for fundraising. This one is definitely well worth your time.

Acceleprise partner Whitney Sales, who also founded TheSalesMethod.com, shared a number of tips with their 100+ portfolio companies that are super helpful for reducing your cash burn, both as a founder and as a company:

- Call your service providers and see what their relief options are. Many are spinning up great programs:

  • AmEx will defer payments for 30 days with no penalties.
  • Auto loan companies let you defer payments for up to 120 days, sometimes without penalties (though you're likely to still accrue interest charges).
  • Travel providers like flights and Airbnb are refunding charges or providing credits. If they only give you a credit, firmly but politely press them further and they will sometimes issue a full refund.

- If you have a good credit score, there are a number of 12-month no-interest cards that you can set up and transfer balances. That will give you some extra breathing room.

Redpoint partner Tomasz Tunguz discussed the six startup disciplines that will become highly important now and in the months ahead.

Earnest Capital wrote an extensive piece on observations from their internal Zoom meeting where portfolio founders shared how they are handling the crisis. Big takeaway is to double-down on things that don’t scale acnd take advantage of the break in growth to focus on improving the product and documentation.

The National Venture Capital Association has put out a page outlining the resources they are lobbying the government to make available to venture-backed companies. If you're looking to take advantage of the new stimulus packages that have been put together, this is the place to go.

Operator Guidance

Lauren Culbertson, CEO of LoopVOC, shares five tips for working with customers right now. My favorite to far: Reach out and offer to be a sounding board. Everyone’s making tough decisions right now.

TK Kader shared some backstory from his days as founder of ToutApp.com around being told to cut staff by investors, and how he only cut a few and doubled down on the business instead.

Nick Mehta, CEO of Gainsight wrote a heartfelt article about the five positive things to remember when leading your team through a crisis.

Rena Pacheco-Theard, CEO and better half of the married founder team at Boutiq, gave some insights on what it’s like to be a leader and nine-months pregnant in a global crisis.

Stewart Butterfield, CEO of Slack, wrote a wonderful thread on Twitter about what the last few weeks have been like trying to ensure the safety of his employees while San Francisco was getting locked down, the stock market tank, and simultaneous connected user counts of Slack set new records.

Anand Shah, CEO of Databook, took the time to outline specific actions that enterprise sales professionals need to take to adapt in the quarters ahead, as companies buckle down on spending.

Other Interesting Articles

Betts Recruiting outlined what they see happening in recruiting and hiring so far, and in the days ahead.

Scott Berinato from the Harvard Business Review wrote about how that discomfort you’re feeling right now is grief.

Some Good News

A huge round of applause for the female founders racing to respond to the pandemic! [Subscription Required]

And one more thing to brighten your day...

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H2 Scaling Sales Organizations for First Time Founders