A few days ago EyeSpot, the unique video sharing site that allowed users to create video mash-ups using content from other members, closed their doors. The EyeSpot team posted this on the homepage of their website:
“We deeply regret to inform you that Eyespot has ceased all operations.
We have spent three years providing over a hundred thousand of you with a unique video experience. We believed that by putting creative tools and rights-cleared media into the hands of influencers and connectors, Eyespot would enable social media and participation culture like no other company.
After playing over two hundred million of your video creations, we have to stop. After assembling possibly the most potent team in digital media ever, we’re now moving on.
Thank you all for being part of our community over the past three years.”
This reminds us of how fragile venture funded startups can be (especially in a difficult economy) and the importance of implementing a strategic marketing plan and getting to revenue quickly.
The key to getting to revenue quickly is focus. Start-ups typically lack a formal structure, which breeds chaos. Management’s responsibility is to harness that chaos, fostering the creative flexibility of the start-up while ensuring that the entire team remains focused on achieving specific revenue driven goals. Team members should be aware of their role in the strategic marketing plan, and how their actions affect the bottom line.
If your start-up is near-terminal, it can still be saved. Saving a cash starved start-up requires quick and decisive action. If you must downsize staff and facilities, do it sooner than later. Don’t waste money waiting until you are forced to do it. Perform lay-offs in a single sweep, then reassure the remaining employees that this round of layoffs was done to help secure their jobs. You must keep morale up, and inspire the team to save the company. Remind departing employees that their positions will be available to them when the company is in a better financial position. Downsizing facilities, re-negotiating contracts, and revisiting your marketing strategy to identify new revenue streams are just some of the other things that can be done to bring your start-up back online financially.
Unfortunately, funding complications are a common concern in start-ups that poor economies unmask. Fortunately, they are resolvable with the proper focus and direction, supported by a solid marketing plan.