So however rough it’s been lately, or at least different … it’s time. It’s time for the New Normal. A new plan, for real. A new strategy. One that builds on the learnings since March.
Here are my top 8 things to challenge you, that might help as we transition from reactive to proactive … to a new normal, for real.
Ok this is the first real week of May. Now, you have a New Normal.
– do better than April
– close some pushed deals
– hire someone that can help
– walk back some drama
– support struggling vendors + partners
– become a distributed company
– lessen change
– help team
— Jason ✨InItTogether✨ Lemkin (@jasonlk) May 4, 2020
1. Do Better Than April. However rough the past month or two has been, you can do better in May-June-July. You can do better now. Maybe growth will be much lower than before. But you’ve learned. Now you can at least do better than last month. A bit more here.
2. Close Some of Those Pushed Deals. Everyone selling into the enterprise and bigger deals saw deals “pushed” into next month. Well, yes that does happen. Now it’s time to close a few, at least 1 or 2. If they were real deals, then you can still close some of them. At least a few.
3. Hire That One Person That Can Really Help. Even if you are on a hiring pause, there’s always an accretive hire than can move the needle. To help you market better, sell better, close better, write better code. What’s the one hire you can make now, that will move the needle? Maybe just focus on that 1 hire. Even if you have to create the budget out of the ether. Because if she’s accretive, she’ll pay for herself by 3-4 months in. A bit more here.
4. Walk Back Some Drama. For most of us, last month had a lot of drama. Because there was a lot of stress. Stress in the world in general. And a lot of internal stress at work, too, because everyone’s role changed. At least a little. So whatever happened, walk it back. Blame the “Covid Crazies.” Apologize. Everyone will forgive you, and each other, for drama during the first phase of shelter. So take advantage of that and walk something back. Pick up the phone, the Zoom, whatever and just do it.
5. Supporting Struggling Partners & Vendors. There were two natural finance reactions to COVID-19: Cut. Cut everything you can. And Defer. Stretch out payments as long as you can. Both strategies pursue cash. But both have flaws. In terms of cuts, it’s good to just get them done. Because you can’t cut your way to growth. Another natural reaction in finance is to stop paying people. At SaaStr, we have a media partner that just raised $100m and said they weren’t going to pay us for a media ad. “We just aren’t paying anyone,” they said. Well, that’s fine. It’s not much money. But you know what? We won’t want to work with them again. Do you want your partners and key vendors to think that? No. So if you are going to pay someone anyway … pay them now. Keep them current. They’ll appreciate it now more than ever. And you are going to pay them anyway in 60 or 90 days, it isn’t really saving you any money to drag it out.
6. Become a Distributed Company, For Real. Almost all of us now in internet/tech are working from home. But that doesn’t mean we are that good at it yet. At least improve something this month. Get better at the tools you use. Add a new one. Improve your stand-ups. It’s time to start adapting to not just “work from home” — but to embrace being a distributed company. We all are now.
7. Lessen Change. For most of us, the past 60+ days have been a time of incredible change. For us at Team SaaStr, daily change. Start-up folks can deal with change, we’re wired for. it. But not every single day. It’s time to stick to a plan for 2020 now. We know what the New Normal is. The plan and the strategy need to adapt. So it’s set. At least for a while. Too much change is debilitating.
8. Help The Team. We all need more help. My best idea is to just ask. Ask everyone on their team what their top 2-3 ideas are for helping each other. Everyone will have good ideas here. And then just implement as many as you can.