Captain's log, stardate d303.y40/AB
There's a harsh market out there. If you're reading the news, you will know that there's recession, inflation and other money games that will make rich people richer and poor people poorer, as always.
Also, if you own stonks, you will know that for some time now we've been in not stonks:
We have seen not only hiring freezes in the industry in the big players, such as Google, Twitter, Microsoft, Facebook, Amazon, and others, but we've also seen massive layoffs in these companies as well as in other great companies like Shopify, Stripe, Eventbrite, Typeform, Lyft, Coinbase and a lot more. Pretty much everyone out there has laid off people because they hired too many people, being exceedingly optimistic in their market predictions from a couple of years ago.
Although this is the first major crisis we will survive as a company, we have already survived the covid-19 pandemic (and global market halt) with flying colours. There's a lot we can learn from that. Not only we didn't go down, but we actually grew both 2020 and 2021 with record numbers.
It feels awkward and almost like feels bad to share that those two horrendous years for society were good for our business, but it's what it is.
Technically, recession years and market downturns are great for agencies like us: companies stop hiring, they need to complete projects anyways, so they outsource them to have variable costs, instead of fixed costs (hiring personnel).
That being said, this piece of content went first to our team in our internal communication tool, Basecamp, but I feel like it could be helpful for similar companies.
There are a few things we're doing to make sure we ride out this crisis:
For one, we are being extremely cautious when hiring people, doing it at the right pace, for the right projects. We have always been cautious when hiring people because we don't want to play with people's expectations, salaries nor family situations.
Second, we're enforcing longer contracts with clients and signing contracts. Up until now, we have been working without a contract with many clients, or going month to month. Now, we require more commitment from our clients.
Third, we are proactively suggesting to stop collaborations with struggling clients. For instance, we stopped working for a company because they were getting smaller and smaller over time, and we knew our team was expensive for them, so we agreed to pause our collaboration for a few months until they could bounce back. Had we not done this, maybe they would've depleted their runway earlier, which would've been bad for us anyways.
We also stopped working for another client because they stopped paying. We noticed too late, and we could've managed this situation better, but we learnt a lesson: during headwinds, one needs to be more strict than ever with payments being on time, because failing to do so is a strong signal that the payment will never be done.
We are also stopping a collaboration with a client that's becoming too pushy and exceedingly arrogant with us because they're collapsing from the inside. We've tried to help them but we don't see eye to eye anymore, so we don't want their culture and failing business to take us down with them. You can't help those that don't want to be helped.
By stopping collaborations ourselves, we can secure other contracts, often better and longer.
Unfortunately, the last two/three years have been pretty unstable. Too many companies (and people) around us have suffered. Many others have had to shut down.
We look forward to riding out this crisis again, with an optimistic look into the future. We're capable of this and just wanted to reinforce the message that we've got great projects already with us. We want to thank our loyal customers at Naiz, Citadel, Singularu, HP, Blueprint, FC Barcelona and the most recent ones, who have placed their trust on us. For instance, we have signed a project with a big European entity, which will give us work for 3-4 years.
So, a few words of hope for you all out there: if we managed to survive the covid crisis, we can ride this out together. Reach out if we can help in any way!