Responding to the COVID-19 pandemic

What are you doing business-wise in response to the global crisis and the massive business uncertainty around it?

Here’s what I’m doing.

  • Assuring my team of freelancers (repeatedly) that it is business as usual for us. They can safely rely on me continuing to have a steady stream of paid work for them indefinitely.
  • Reconsidering any regular outgoing that is not essential, but not to the point of harming our product and processes.
  • Giving three months free credit to any customer who asks for account suspension or discount.
  • Making a priority of improving our product for existing customers for instead of new marketing efforts.
  • Going back to the “do things that don’t scale” stage of customer acquisition. That’s because I suspect it will be harder to get new customers for a while.
  • Stopping our newsletter for a couple of months, in case it comes across as “tone deaf” to the current feelings of anxiety that people have.
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Here are my actions:

  • improve my current apps. Hire freelancers for this.
  • stopped marketing
  • investing in extra learning, i.e. I pay someone to do a bit of pair programming with me to learn to write better code and to learn to read code and give feedback to freelancers.
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I’m offering free accounts for folks who are working on COVID-19 related projects or whose business has been materially affected by the pandemic (i.e. its economic & social consequences). My marginal costs are quite low, thus I can afford that.

Other than that, I haven’t changed much, although I find it hard to concentrate on work.

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Me too. It doesn’t help that we’re in Serbia are in a lockdown, so at home with kids for the entire day. Can’t blame them, though, it’s me who’s reading news and forums most of the day. In my opinion, if you’re unproductive, and if you have steady sales or reserves so that you can afford not working some time, it’s better to recognize that you’re currently unproductive and use this time better. So I’m reading books, playing guitar, watching movies…

Business wise, as I mentioned in another subject, I’ve reduced AdWords budget to a minimum, just for keeping a track on it. I expect Google revenue to nosedive in this quarter.

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How do you find them?

I spend more time on marketing and, as the contracting business is slow, finishing off all the little tasks I haven’t had time before.

I posted announcements here and there a few days ago, and that’s about it. So far I’ve got one signup and two spammy cold emails :unamused:

You can find all sorts of COVID-related projects on Github.