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.

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.

I’m offering free accounts for folks who are working on COVID-19 related projects. 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.


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.

1 Like

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, here, and here, and that’s about it. I’m not doing any outreach or what have you.

I have a lot of free time on my hands now since the bulk of my work is contracting (web development). My SAAS has been more of a part time endeavour. With the Covid-19 related slow down my contracting work has essentially vaporized overnight. I’m taking this extra time to invest in some time intensive new features that customers have been asking for and more importantly to try and figure out how to do a better job of marketing. Customer/revenue growth has been slow but steady. I feel like a more concerted effort on sales/marketing is what I have been lacking, mostly because it’s not my comfort zone.

I came across this blog post from Nathan Barry, which really resonated with where I’m at. Do I think https://pageproofer will grow in massive leaps like ConvertKit, no. But I suspect I’m missing a lot of opportunities that could help it grow considerably faster than it has.

1 Like

I am trying to start sales in countries that are not that affected by the virus. Mainly to China. Preaparing a landing page in Chinese Simplified language using Hongkong web hosting.
Does anybody here has any actionable advice for sales / marketing in China?
What marketing channels are working efficiently there? What advice you can give about translating texts and videos?
Will it work If I offer a free license for Chinese users for the help with localization ( I have heard that a tiny fraction of Chinese speak English).
How to find decent partners in China?

The latest episode of Startups for the Rest of Us has a thoughtful take on this topic:

Are you using wechat?

I’ve never used it to do business but I think it’s the only place to be in China.

You can find many english speakers among young people.

Hi, I don’t use wechat but my co-worker who speaks Chinese used it in the past. It seems it is very hard to register a proper corporate wechat account for a non Chinese company, but we could try to start with a personal account (although it has less features) to see if it is a viable idea to sell to China.

An interesting video regarding COVID-19

Changing my business development strategy to focus 100% on online content and online sales.

I’ve built up three new partnerships with three separate successful businesses to help them produce online educational technical content under my own brand/name for their respective products. This is one area all businesses have and will always need, doesn’t need face to face meetings and sales are naturally going up due to people being stuck at home.

Also starting to make my own live online training sessions - getting input from local my community in Cambridge, UK as to what they like to learn at the moment,