Clanz had a lot to show for its first year of work.
We developed an MVP, implemented it with major clients, and built a talented team from the ground up. Everything was going according to plan;
One thing left in order to move forward – to find the right partners and to complete an investment round that will allow us to take the company to the next level.
And then – COVID19.
The stock market crashed, people were stuck at home in complete uncertainty, hundreds of thousands were laid off overnight, and talk of the biggest financial crisis of our generation was rampant. Suddenly, stories from the .Com and 2008 crashes seemed topical again. People seemed more concerned about the future, and refrained from dealing with the here and now.
This recent period has been difficult for pretty much everyone – employees, freelancers, business owners. The startup community is no exception.
Startups’ advantage, however, is that we are used to dealing with uncertainty – so much that it’s almost become our comfort zone. Startups must have the ability to learn and adapt quickly as a core part of their DNA. We knew that in order to keep moving forward at the same pace we had managed to establish so far, we needed to adjust our course.
In this post, I’ll share how we managed to come out on top at the end of this difficult period, and what I believe is the right way forward in this fog of uncertainty.
At the very beginning of the crisis, one of my mentors – and a Clanz investor – encouraged me to try a simple exercise: examine the company’s business plan, and strike out the “revenues” line until the end of 2021.
The idea behind this was that we could no longer tell what the future holds or what the market will look like – so we had to plan our next moves much more carefully.
This wasn’t “giving up” – it was simply facing reality and acknowledging there was a new factor in the game that was completely outside of our control, and we may not reach our ambitious pre-corona sales goals at the pace we had originally planned.
Same for the fundraising goals – he recommended me to look 24 months ahead, and not 18.
After doing this – and adjusting our recruiting goals in accordance with our change in goals – the topography of our map had transformed, and we needed to change our course as well.
When the entire country went into lockdown, we had to quickly adjust to a new reality.
I can’t say that entrepreneurs have a clear-cut workday anyway, but I’ve certainly never spent a night at the office.
When you work from home, work-life boundaries can become fuzzy, and it’s very easy to find ourselves working 14 hours straight, alternating between one Zoom meeting room and the next. After two weeks of working like this, I realized that this would not be a sustainable routine. On top of the physical toll it exacted, it was simply not efficient.
To address this, I took care to follow a few basic guidelines:
Thanks to our quick reaction to the new situation, with the initial shock of COVID19 behind us, I can definitely say that the experience has made us stronger.
Two months in, we were able to secure additional funding, from the right partners; people who, despite not meeting in person, believe in us and in our vision, and that have the tools and knowledge to join us on our path.
The next year is probably going to be very different from the last one – for better and for worse:
On this positive note, we’re excited to move forward achieving our next goals, together with our new partners.
If you’ve read this far – we’re looking for exceptional people to join us on our journey! For more details press here.