𝗟𝗲𝘀𝘀𝗼𝗻𝘀 𝗳𝗿𝗼𝗺 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗕𝗮𝗻𝗸𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗖𝗿𝗶𝘀𝗶𝘀
Updated: May 4
We still need to navigate choppy waters in the short term, but the crisis also brings critical long-term lessons to build and grow a business.
We can learn through most situations. In some cases, an emergency is a catalyst for a successful pivot.
With that in mind, how do we navigate these rapids?
Seek Tough Advice
I can’t confirm but expect SVB's lack of a chief risk officer and the executive team’s over-confidence likely led to their demise.
The Lesson: Push for radical candor from outsiders. As Adam Grant describes, find "somebody who pushes you because they believe in you."
If your startup becomes successful, it’s tempting to become insular. People want to join in your prosperity but won't question you. Resist.
You want people to tell you what you need to hear, not what you want. I expect this was lacking at SVB.
Ask for advice to find what is best for your circumstances.***
Hedge Your Bets
Many businesses have concentrated risk. Often, it happens organically, e.g. a few customers grow to represent a high majority of revenues.
The Lesson: Where possible, diversify your revenue streams, products, and operations.
The more diverse your offerings across industries, customers, and product and service lines, the more buoyant your business.
On the accounting side, push for multiple ways to receive and make payments. Review your processes at least quarterly to identify any points of failure and create redundancy.
The recent crisis prompted many founders to urgently focus on the largest concerns.****
The Lesson: Don’t rely on a crisis for prioritization. At least quarterly, force the team to focus on 1-3 initiatives above everything else.
In these meetings, consider the best opportunities. Also, challenge the team to describe the worst circumstances and outline a resolution plan.
Remember the focus caused by a crisis and apply this approach to drive ongoing initiatives.
Startup life can be intense and grueling. This crisis only added disruption.
The Lesson: Double down on the one constant through turbulence and change – you. Reinforce the best version of yourself possible.
"Change is the only constant."
Here are some quick tips, and check the link for more details.*****
Connect with people – Reconnect with people who support you
Help others – Support another person to remember your worth
Nurture yourself – Block out times for physical and mental health
Embrace uncertainty – Find the hidden, golden opportunity
If any crisis becomes overwhelming, seek professional assistance.
I hope this helps as you navigate these unfamiliar waters and thrive during the long journey. Let me know your feedback.
Photo by Rod Hill who can be found here: https://bit.ly/3JEfw1I
* “Thrive with a Growth Mindset” here: http://bit.ly/3JBfoyT
** “Create Challenge Networks” here: http://bit.ly/2T0VR4q
*** “How to Filter the Best Advice” here: http://bit.ly/3ZDOnkZ
**** Read the great post from James Rohrbach that inspired me: https://bit.ly/3JGDQA5
***** “Build Resilience to Endure” here: http://bit.ly/3yBbPU2
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