How Startups Should Approach a Recession

Ruann Van Der Merwe • 1 year ago

When the future’s uncertain, you want a digital product agency that knows what’s important for your business.

Economic indicators, such as inflation, interest rates, and tech layoffs, suggest the real possibility of a recession. Even the most prestigious crystal balls have been wrong before, but this is a shaky time, and founders of startups have reason to move forward with caution.

However, there are steps you can take during challenging times to increase your ability to:

  • Cut costs.
  • Raise funds.
  • Retain talent.

It might be more fun and financially rewarding to lead your company through flush times. But difficult times are a true test of leadership.

As muddy as the future appears, there may come a day when you look back on your actions over the next few quarters and know you overcame the obstacles and positioned your startup for success.

Digital product design for startups should be focused on getting your product to market as soon as possible. That’s especially true when other sources of revenue have constricted in the past year.

In 2022, IPO filings were on track to hit 30-year lows, and proceeds from offerings dropped 94 percent. In addition, venture capitalists have tightened their purse strings considerably, and investments are down at least 40 percent.    

These are challenging, but far from impossible, times. If you embrace a multi-pronged approach, you can lead your startup through the uncertain days ahead and be poised for a bright future.

Keeping Your Cash

Digital product design for startups
Digital product design for startups

Money is always an issue for startups. A recession, or even the fear of one, adds to the level of difficulty.

Even in good times, it’s important to have a good handle on your organization’s costs, so they don’t spiral out of control. During unsteady times, cutting costs is a matter of survival.

Layoffs are an option. If you have employees who aren’t performing, they’ll need to go no matter what’s happening with the economy at large. 

However, one of the biggest challenges for any startup is finding talented people who believe in the fledgling company’s mission. You’re going to need good people to get through the hard times.

One cost-saving measure is to look overseas for digital product design for startups. Offshoring generally goes up in times of recession as companies try to maintain their development speeds at lower costs. You can keep moving your business forward even during difficult times by partnering with a mature product development company with an offshore presence.

You also have a variety of other options to consider:

  • Stay lean—resist the temptation to hire new employees, buy new equipment, or install new software unless the business can’t survive without the addition.
  • Make delayed payments—if you have good relationships with vendors, see if you can negotiate a longer repayment period, so cash can be reinvested in the business.
  • Don’t buy equipment—ownership might be the best long-term strategy, but leasing equipment per use saves money while also getting the job done.
  • Believe in barter—trading goods and services is a time-honored tradition, and it could help you and your trading partner save cash for more pressing needs.

As you conduct a self-audit of your company’s spending, you might uncover obvious areas to cut.

Now is a good time to reconsider your advertising strategy, especially if you’re not getting a solid return on investment.

If you have purchases to make month after month, your vendor might offer discounts if you buy in bulk. That could serve your interests as well as the vendor’s while generating goodwill, which never hurts.

But don’t let saving money hamper your business. There are some things that you simply must have. Whether it’s keeping up your marketing efforts or hiring a company for digital product design for startups, it’s important to make it easy for customers to find you and get what they need.

As you look for ways to cut costs and extend your financial runway, others are doing the same. You don’t have to come up with all of the answers on your own. Check with

  • your mentors
  • networking groups
  • a business coach
  • the Small Business Administration
  • your local Chamber of Commerce

Not every suggestion will apply to your business, but the more ideas you can generate, the more options you have.

Raising money for Digital Product Design for Startups

Even in difficult economic times, it’s possible to raise capital for startups. In fact, your cost-cutting measures can signal to investors that you’re serious about your business’s future.

Before approaching a potential investor, you want to be able to answer any question that comes up. Make sure you fully understand everything related to your company’s

  • profit margin
  • cash flow
  • production costs
  • budget
  • sales
  • inventory

It also helps to have a strong product to show potential investors. This is where working with an experienced team for digital product design for startups can help. 

A minimum viable product isn’t the “end-all and be-all” of what you someday hope to achieve. The MVP is about reaching as many customers as you can with the least effort.

In good times and bad, venture capitalists have learned to recognize the value of a solid website or mobile app that can generate business now and be expanded later.

Keeping the Right Staff

Digital product design for startups
Digital product design for startups

Your path through a recession will be tricky, but it’ll be less so with the right people on board. It’s important to make sure your existing staff members feel as though they are part of the team.

By laying off employees or inspiring an exodus, you could create problems for your organization, including

  • loss of talent
  • absence of workplace bonding
  • waste of training resources

When taking steps to retain talented employees, remember that a “thank you” is free. If you can’t offer raises, you can still offer promotions and training to show you’re willing to invest in your employees.

In addition, be careful about what benefits you eliminate when cutting costs. Perks help you reward and motivate your employees.

The best way to make sure your staff members also see themselves as team members is to keep the lines of communication open. Employees who believe their bosses are transparent are six times more likely to stay on the job.

Team Augmentation for Digital Product Design for Startups

Another way to support your employees is to hire short-term additions through team augmentation. Intuitio Labs, an Atlanta-based tech company, provides fast and affordable digital product design for startups.

While the highly skilled designers and developers at Intuitio Labs build your website and mobile app, your existing staff can focus on what it does best. That means your employees don’t lose momentum by shifting their attention from one project to the next.

In addition, Intuitio Labs has a proven history of delivering digital products on a budget in six to 12 weeks, so you can have an MVP ready to show potential investors.

When it comes to navigating a recession, there’s no one answer to solve all of your problems. Challenging times require a multi-pronged approach and the sure knowledge that better times are ahead.
To learn more about how Intuitio Labs can help your business, visit