When Deborah Sweeney took over as owner and CEO of MyCorporation in 2009, she immediately found herself in choppy waters. The global economy was sputtering, young tech companies were failing left and right, and her new business was forced to find its own way after being sold by Intuit.
And to top it all off, Sweeney had mortgaged her house to buy the company.
She knew right away that if she were going to be able to make MyCorp survive these tough times, it was going to take some deft steering and real ingenuity.
“I didn’t exactly have a lot of working capital,” she wrote recently for Startup Nation. “I had to keep the business upright until business improved, and I didn’t want to bring on any outside investors, so really the only option was to bootstrap.”
Sweeney was ultimately able to help her business succeed in those difficult circumstances by reducing spend, cutting the size of her team, and de-emphasizing growth in favor of efficiency.
Although times aren’t as tough now as they were in early 2009, many founders and executives are finding themselves in a similar situation to Sweeney’s: Trying to keep their business healthy as funding becomes harder to come by and the general economic environment worsens.
Indeed, it seems like you can’t check Twitter or TechCrunch without hearing about how winter is coming to the tech industry. Funding is drying up, and founders and executives are forced to adjust their strategies to accommodate the new climate.
A New Season
But, while the warning signs are clear, their implications are not. Even as publications and experts pile evidence about the tech-industry slowdown, none of them have offered thoughts about what this means for tech companies.
As a result, founders and executives in the industry are left wondering: “What can I do to help my company make it through the lean times?”
In this article, we’ll answer this question by exploring the current climate for tech startups and how to make it to the other side.