Another day, another round of layoffs we see on Twitter or LinkedIn.
Layoffs suck a lot. Back in the day, I experienced a round of layoffs at a startup that I worked for where they laid off the entire GTM team — marketing, customer success, sales...
It was... tragic.. and every time I see a new headline about a beloved SaaS company or startup that has to do it, I'm reminded of my own experiences and how it impacted my life.
Some of the layoffs we're seeing are the result of maybe not-so-great past choices. Others, though, are related to the recession and economic downturn in some kind of way.
Here's a few resources about how to prepare for the economic downturn that I really don't think you should miss — even though you haven't heard from me in a while:
1. Patrick Campbell (Profit Well, Price Intelligently, recently acquired by Paddle) wrote an incredible thread about what he's seeing in SaaS and subscription-based companies around the world.
He emphasizes the following:
- New sales will be okay, but churn will likely accelerate as consumers and B2B buyers get more price conscious
- Focus on upsell and cross-sell opportunities
- Optimize for a customer that has a long LTV and is less likely to churn
And then, of course, if you haven't talked to customers in a while, now's a great time to kick-off a research and strategy project.
2. Dharmesh Shah (CTO, Co-Founder of Hubspot) published on his YouTube account how economic downturns actually help bootstrapped founders. It's a quick watch (only 2 minutes).
Dharmesh's advice? Pay attention to the gaps that get created. Competition will likely "take a step back" which could be an incredible opportunity to "step in."
Pay attention also to the cost of advertising — usually economic downturns and recessions mean ads get cheaper (which is a sigh of relief for pretty much every small company).
3. Shameless plug here but my very first podcast episode on the In Demand podcast was on this exact topic: How to Market in an Economic Downturn. I covered an article on CXL.com that discusses what marketing and growth looks like during uncertain times. Highly recommend you check both out.
4. I also wrote on Twitter about why you shouldn't hole yourself up and stop all marketing efforts. In fact, it's the antithesis of what you should be doing if you're feeling antsy.
I recommend founders focus on:
- Taking action now. There's more data that supports even making the wrong decision is statistically better than no decision
- Growth rather than cost-savings. Patrick recommends doing the audit of all finances and cutting the chaff. I agree, especially if you're not at "default alive." As for true growth efforts, it's important to still invest in them.
- Investing in existing customers. Sometimes the best customer is the one who's already paying.
- Not being forgotten. Forgotten = death.
Alright, that's all I got for now. I hope these resources help both inspire you to keep on keepin' on and also think of ways to still be abundant (even when times are looking rough).
PS — I'm speaking at Turing Fest in Edinburgh, Scotland the week of July 24th. Will I see you there?