If we fail to prepare; we prepare to fail
The Start-up community has been put in a Crisis mode because of the Covid-19 pandemic. None- the founders, the team, the employees have been mentally prepared in dealing with such a crisis. We sure have been taught & have learnt to deal with business catastrophises, but have we been prepared for this darkness & uncertainty that looms large for the Start Up’s?
Founders need to develop Mental Toughness
It is the mental toughness that separates the good from the great. Either you can choose to complain about the present scenario & do nothing about it or you can become mentally tough and start thinking about what needs to be done IMMEDIATELY and not post the crisis. Think & Act during the calamity because after the calamity it might be too late.
The present scenario is one of chaos and disruption. In future, it will be a different situation. As the future unfolds, some Start Up’s will become robust. For others, who do not prepare for the future it is going to be disastrous. Those Start-ups that are not gearing up for survival, failure looms large over them. All the stake holders in a Start Up should work in tandem to tide over the storm. Every employee should assume the role of an entrepreneur/ intrapreneur & find ways to survive during this period by focusing on reworking strategies & models.
The role of the Founder(s)
Understand that survival is 90% mental- As a founder you need to be mentally tough to rein in the untamed Startup scenario. Identify the factors that would be a deterrent for your Start-Up survival & beat them one by one. See past the immediate, expect & be prepared to face obstacles that would rise from time to time.
Stay motivated & focused– Even though your Start-Up has come to a standstill, now is the time for you to boost the morale of your team. Show your team that they matter. Encourage them to brainstorm & put forth suggestions, ideas & solutions to cross the bridge of danger. Be an anchor & offer continuous guidance & support. Keep fostering a healthy organisational & work culture though you & your staff might be working from home.
Plan for winning- In a world that believes that it will lose by default make them believe in the dream of winning. Analyse, evaluate & adopt a vision that befits the customer needs & demands at present & in future. Figure out what will work & how you are going to make it work.
Prioritise the priorities of your Start -Up – Find ways that will reduce your loss/ operational expenses. As a founder one needs to focus on the pressing demands of the current situation & make immediate choices and allocate resources. As the actions are decisive a holistic approach to the situation is of paramount importance.
Lead from the front- Most often crises are over-managed and under-led. Efficient leaders traverse through rocky terrains adeptly, salvaging lives, energizing businesses, and inspiring employees. The founders need to have a meaningful focus, purpose & winning mindset
The role of the team/employees
Prove your worth– It is your time to show your team & founder(s) your worth. Use this time of crisis to play your strengths. Your actions now, amid this crisis, will significantly determine not only the fate of the Start-Up but yours too.
Focus in the right direction– A focus only on problems will create more problems. Find solutions for pressing problems, where a step in the right path may lead to any improvement to the current situation. Utilize your talents, abilities, imagination & creativity- any & all the strengths that you have, to make a difference to the Start-Up, however small it may be. Replace whatsoever negative thoughts with your mental toughness.
Connect the dots-Look out for new connections & possibilities so that you can weave various prospects that could be implemented & submit this to the founder.
Build the brand– Use this time productively to build the company’s brand visibility, image, reputation & respect in the minds of existing customers & the public. You will be faced with a lot of hurdles & disappointments but have the will to fight the battle so that you can win the war.
Innovate, Pivot, Validate & Grow – Learning & innovation go hand in hand. Do not ever make the mistake of thinking what worked for yesterday will work for tomorrow. You may be able to invent alone but definitely cannot innovate by yourself. Whatever plan, proposals that you think are good enough to be implemented discuss with your team & Pivot on those ideas, suggestions, models, features & present it to the management.
Be an intrapreneur– Be a person who inspires the rest & not a person who drains out the energy. Don’t concentrate only on the disasters rather have the drive to move forward optimistically. Now is not the time that you will be handed opportunities, it’s the time for you to create opportunities for the founder & the Start-Up that had taken you under its wings.
Every stake holder of a Start-Up should believe & act as if it were impossible to fail. When we choose to act the chances in succeeding is more than that of failing. We have no say in what has happened, but we can do what ought to be done for the present & the future. Be a pioneer of the future, give your best & you will triumph in what you work for.