I will survive!
7 minute read · Issue number 9 · March 27th, 2020
Welcome to another edition of the Sports-Tech Biz Magazine. Another “corona week” went by, and the last event standing a.k.a. the Olympics were finally postponed till 2021. We talked about this in previous editions, it was a question of when, and not if, the Olympics would be postponed.
In last week’s edition, I showcased what big organizations in the sports industry are doing during the crisis to stay afloat and relevant while games and regular activities are suspended. However, I did not cover what short, medium-sized companies and startups could be doing, inside or outside the sports industry, to survive the pandemic.
If you consider yourself an entrepreneur, a business enthusiast, or a startup owner, then you’ll love today’s edition of the magazine.
This week’s newsletter features a collection of timeless ideas that could help startups and business owners prepare for the worst-case scenario: strategies, mental models, and suggestions to be thought through to increase your chances of surviving a crisis.
Adopt a SURVIVAL mentality
As my good old friend Charles Darwin once said:
“It is not the strongest of the species that survives but the most adaptable”
You must recognize that you will have to adapt regardless of the circumstances, and that might mean making hard decisions you never thought of making before. Long term goals are overrated in times of crisis, focus now on how to survive the next week. Adjust and adapt. If a project within your business is not running as expected, do not wait for a miracle, and PIVOT!
Instead of being scared and in panic, be a leader, take control, embrace uncertainty, ask the uncomfortable questions, take the necessary risks, and bet on the strengths of your enterprise. Speed is your asset. Move fast and try new things.
The worst you can do is sit for the crisis to finish with no action. But the second worst thing you can do is to keep a perfectionist mentality, it’s not about being perfect, it’s about being agile and able to change. Communication with your teams and your customers is key, keep asking for feedback, build trust, establish a culture of survival, before its too late.
Do not slow down. Keep going!
Supervise the pennies 💸
Nothing will be solved with “hope”. You must have a clear financial plan. Ideally, you want to cut costs as much as possible. In any crisis, liquidity is your most valuable asset. Seek to manage, eliminate or suppress any unnecessary spending. Have a clear cash flow forecast to know for how long can you’ll stand, and make the necessary adjustments.
Focus your energy on the activities that can generate revenue for your company, and try to diversify your revenue streams.
Valuations might be lower, but this does not mean you can’t raise more funds. Soon will be the time when plenty of investors will be out there looking for opportunities with growth potential. However, investment is all about timing. You must be alert 24/7.
Predict upcoming changes in your industry
With every crisis, new regulations and restrictions are implemented. It’s society’s way of preventing it from happening again. What will change in your industry? Could you expect a certain type of restriction that could hurt your business?
For example, do you think sanitation will be different at fitness centers? How will stadiums be adapted? Will the interaction between athletes and coaches be somewhat modified? Will there be some sort of health check to let fans into games? Think about any change in the industry of your business and find ways you can commercialize your product around them.
Consider if your product will still be fit to its market. But if the market changes, your product will most likely have to change as well!
What will the new “normal” be? The collective feeling of society will change. Startups need to try to predict this!
Find alternative leverage
If you cant use human labor, and you cant raise any capital, look to build alternative types of leverage to keep your business going.
Product leverage is how big companies like Facebook, Amazon, Google make their dollars. Either by media, content or by code, try to find ways to implement it in your business. If you have to invest in one thing, do it in this. I think there’s no better time to build code or media around your product, and this will help your business grow in the long run.
Are you in the food business and you had to close your restaurants? Promote your food on social media, create content, build a delivery add-on to your website. Are you in the construction business and you have limited resources? Develop software to optimize your processes. Sports marketing? Start a podcast.
Every company in every industry can find alternative forms of leverage, define yours and build upon it. You can also do this by upgrading your internal processes (CRM / Website / Automation ). Think about this as R&D for your product. What can you build around the product to solidify it, make it unique, and add more value for you and your customers?
To learn more about leverage, listen to this audio:
Additional reflective questions:
What kind of leader do you want to be? How can you raise your leadership?
Who can you ask for advice? Think of someone you respect and admire, and learn what you can do for your company.
What is the value proposition of your company? How can you continue adding value during the crisis?
What are your customers saying? What can you learn from them?
Can you adapt your product & pricing to the current situation?
A crisis is the sharpest dress of opportunity. Those who survive have better chances of undressing the opportunity and achieving great things in the future.
What else would you add to the list? You can leave your answer in the comments or send me a direct message on twitter.
Don’t waste a good crisis. Wash your hands, don’t meet your grandma, take care, and see you next week!
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If you want to read this, or any other article again, you can find the archive on the website.