How do founders lead teams to break through the dilemma and accelerate development? | N5 · Entrepreneurial COVID-19 Battle

Under the COVID-19 battle, everyone is looking forward to the turning point and hoping for new medicine. At this time, while some people are concerned about their friends and families, they are also trying to explore ways to manage the operation of the company to break through the dilemma.


The so-called breakthrough not only means to maintain the normal pace of the company’s operation, but also to quickly implement the strategic layout within the crisis.


Some of the founders who participated in the discussion are as follows (in no particular order): N5Capital Qian Kun, 360 Financial Chief Strategy Officer Jiang Wei, FlashEx founder Xue Peng, KK Group founder Wu Yuening, TalkingData founder Cui Xiaobo, VivaVideo founder Han Sheng, Harmay founder Wang Junchao, Car300 co-founder Zuo Qiangxiang, Dofun founder Yang Baofu, SuperArgo founder Zhuang Liang, Manku founder Chen Jingchao, MetroData founder Gao Lutuo, Feiyu founder Huang Shichang, TransferEasy founder Liu Bin, Monkey Happy President Wang Tao, etc.


The discussion between N5Capital and the portfolio founders represents active measures taken by start-ups and is expected to be of some help to entrepreneurs. Please take a look.



If you survive, you are king

“This outbreak is affecting all companies, we are affected, and our competitors are only going to be worse. If you’re a leading company, you’re the first to benefit from the rebound period. To control expenses, people must cherish every penny they have and make plans for the next three to six months. Survival is more important than anything else.” Quoted from N5Capital partner Qian Kun.


“If you survive, you have a chance” is the core advice given to portfolio founders by N5Capital in this discussion. The reminder is king. Now we must control expenditures, exercise internal skills, maintain cash flow and high-quality growth, and do not do inefficient growth or blindly pursue growth. A new wave of companies is expected to emerge in next year’s rebound, but this year must be the best opportunity for companies with good cash flow to shake off competitors.



Fighting, the market is purifying

“This epidemic will be a good opportunity to test the company’s internal organizational capabilities and cohesion.” said Wu Yuening, founder of KK Group.


So improving team cohesion and strengthening internal organization and management became the first thing founders did return to work. The post-holiday return rate for Manku is 100% (both online and offline). Every morning, the team members in the group received the “Day Lecture” from the founder Chen Jingchao for the first time. All core management cadres really went deep into the front line of the business and adopted the pairing method to truly empower the front line of the business. In special times, it is necessary to strengthen the stickiness and tension of the organization. Chen Jingchao said, “As the founders, we must let the team see that you are taking the lead in a powerful battle!”


We need to run when our competitors stall.


“The biggest impact for us is that many customers of us can’t get back to work, but the same is true of our competitors.” Zuo Qiangxiang, co-founder of Car 300, said. At present, Car 300 basically realizes remote resumption of work-product development urgently fulfills the requirements of early accumulation, optimizes the process, improves efficiency and saves costs; the front desk department takes the opportunity to better train and evaluate internal processes. “When the epidemic is over, everyone’s effectiveness will improve a lot, serving customers more efficiently and being able to defeat our competitors.”


The health and safety of the team is also of concern to the founders. Under professional disinfection and protection measures for the office environment, Feiyu started some of the live broadcast on the second day of the new year. Feiyu is headquartered in Shanghai. Recently, the company has encountered great challenges in resuming work. For example, some employees have been quarantined, and some of them cannot return. The employees who have already returned are worried about safety and emotion. The founder Huang Shichang inspires everyone in the middle-level group and the whole group with slogans. “Team confidence is important and it affects each other. Fighting is the best way to train the team, especially in tough times when employees and companies share the burden. Confidence is built by creating achievements in difficult times. The best company is one that lives without layoffs.”


Hangzhou-based VivaVideo is facing tougher challenges as it resumes work. Resumption of work requires government approval. The first batch of approval rates is only 0.54% (mainly for enterprises related to people’s livelihood). Employees can only return to Hangzhou if they get a certificate of resumption of work, otherwise they can only stay in their hometown. “The company is currently actively communicating with the government to resume work. Thanks to the recent good communication and collaboration, the government has reported us as the second batch of resumed enterprises.” To ensure the steady progress of the business, VivaVideo senior executives returned as the first batch online on January 31st, and achieved full online office on February 3rd. “The HR team was very powerful in the process. The HR team took stock of employees’ office equipment immediately after the holiday, mailed more than a dozen computers to colleagues who could not participate in the remote collaboration, and ensured the current remote working environment.”


The outbreak has affected most companies to varying degrees. TalkingData founder Cui Xiaobo shared the relevant statistical data research report “Investigation Report on the Impact of COVID-19 on China’s Large and Medium-sized Enterprises”.


“The impact on the import and export industry during this outbreak was far beyond what most people imagined,” said Liu Bin, the founder of TransferEasy. “The recent products of several of our clients engaged in cross-border e-commerce are basically SKUs for protection and sterilization. The popularity of this business should not decline much within a month or two, and domestic production capacity will still not be able to meet demand. However, if the epidemic situation cannot be improved in the short term, both the import and export sectors will suffer further losses. For the export industry, if the factory cannot resume production, there will be no products to sell, and the overseas prejudice against China’s epidemic will also lead to a decrease in purchasing intention emotionally. For imports, a large number of imported e-commerce companies have previously selected Hong Kong as a transit port. At present, most of the ports in Hong Kong are closed, and the import routes are blocked. Several major domestic customs clearance ports are not working properly, and the clearance of imported products is greatly restricted.”


Wang Tao, the president of Monkey Happy, said frankly that the epidemic had a great impact on the tourism industry. At present Monkey Happy has taken relevant measures.

  1. Most importantly, save as much as you can. First, suspend all external expenditures. All payments, regardless of the amount, will be reviewed and approved by the President’s Office; arrange some employees to be on duty, pay the minimum wage in Beijing according to the policy, and resume work at any time according to the situation of epidemic control; During this period, on-the-job employees will be paid 50% of wages and will be paid back after the special period, senior executives will be temporarily suspended pay.
  2. Staff care. The company uniformly purchases masks and other materials and mails them to all branches in the country and to each employee’s home; the CEO personally calls and talks with each employee to understand their health situation, if there is any need for help, and communicates the company’s on-job arrangements to get employees understanding and support, the special period is also a good time to reflect on the company’s culture and enhance cohesion.
  3. Adjust the annual work plan. When our peers, especially small and medium-sized travel agencies, were in a hurry, it was rather an opportune time for us to integrate and compress the development of the sales department throughout the year to the first half of the year.
  4. Talent hiring. It is not easy for startups to do “lean recruitment”. In this special period of time, many traditional travel agencies have started to downsize. Now all department heads are desperately screening resumes, seeking virtuousness, and constantly chat with outstanding talents.
  5. Unlike the business model of traditional travel agencies, Monkey Happy’s losses from this outbreak are relatively small. On the contrary, there may be opportunities for accelerated and low-cost expansion.


“It is true that most companies are affected, but there will be greater opportunities for a number of good companies. This is the market’s self-purification capability.” Said Gao Lutuo, founder of MetroData.


“The fittest will survival”, Jiang Wei, chief financial officer of 360 Finance (QFIN), said, “I will share some information on employment, HR, protection, legal affairs, etc. during the epidemic period.” Seize the government’s policy support to SMEs in special times to promote the company healthy growth. Zuo Qiangxiang, co-founder of Car 300, shared the policy support development “Real-time Development of National SME Government Support Policy”.



Follow the trend and strictly implement the assessment standards

“When we went online, offline business became popular, so we began to streamline our online team; When we went offline, online business got hot, so we began to streamline the offline team. In the end, it turns out that everything is the best arrangement as long as you go with the flow.” Founder of Harmary, Wang Junchao said, “the versatile finance department was still in the store a few days ago, and is now packing in the warehouse.”


Yang Baofu, the founder of DOFUN, said that before the Spring Festival, HR began to check in daily for employees ‘status, and now requires employees to return to work places and to isolate themselves at home. “We work in four places (including Wuhan). Different local governments have different requirements. In February, we required all employees to work from home, but the salary was distributed according to the stalls, and they were divided into three levels. In special times, we must strictly implement the company’s guidelines. ”


“The main battlefield of the Super Argo, which focuses on small global agricultural trading hubs, is in Africa, where the impact of the outbreak has been relatively small. The business of Super Argo is generally divided into three parts: foreign warehouse receipt, Marine warehouse receipt, domestic warehouse receipt; African warehouse receipts will not be affected, because small orders are hard demand, with the gradual normalization, the domestic warehouse receipts should be back to normal within three months. He went on to explain that catastrophic conditions are common in agriculture, such as this year’s locust outbreak in East Africa and the drought in Africa, which is a 3-year cycle for the agricultural industry and a 5-year cycle for natural disasters. The agricultural industry is fighting against disasters and hedging on prices all the time. “E-warehouse repeat trading should be the point of our recent growth. There are just two large delivery locations built, so we are building on this growth.” Become a platform in the industry or join a platform is important in order to better across cycles. “This black swan can be seen as another form of global deleveraging pressure that already exists; This de-leveraging approach starts from the supply chain and will inevitably lead to a gradual global de-leveraging of offshore finance. You can see global offshore centers closing in 2019.” Therefore, the enterprise dealing with global financial resources allocation is the leader, and the warehouse receipt has been the power point of Super Argo.


Under the epidemic situation, most enterprises are implementing remote office solutions, and the FlashEx founder Xue Peng provided the internal management details of his company. From the requirements of different groups of people, unified thinking (safety, self-discipline), work requirements (field check, health check, leave rules, job response, goal management, staff daily report, staff weekly report, online meeting, time management), supervisory mechanism (each manager acts as the responsible person for the job requirements, both for the process and the result), care mechanism and the timely policy synchronization propose management rules at various levels. If you want to know more about the details of the management details, you can reply “Entrepreneurial COVID-19 Battle” on WeChat background.



What never kills you will make you strong

Expectation is the pillar that holds up the world. Each day brings new light, and everyone has new expectations. The epidemic is a test for the team and a good opportunity for training. Nirvana has always been the law of self-clearing in nature; The development of the fittest may be the opportunity for the new format to overtake; there is no insurmountable winter and eventually spring will come.


During the outbreak of the epidemic, our brothers at N5Capital were concerned about the health of the society, and some companies did what they could to control the epidemic and care for medical workers and patients:

□ 360 Finance donated RMB 3 million

□ FlashEx donated RMB 1 million (also provided: 60,000 imported N95 masks, surgical masks and batches of disinfection liquid to provide molecular-level research on the mechanism of the host for virus infection)

□ KK Group donates RMB 1 million

□ Car 300 donated important medical supplies (28 special medical monitors, 5000 masks, 165 liters of sterilized alcohol, 250 kg of disinfectant, 80 goggles)

□ DOFUN donated medical supplies worth RMB 430,000 to the Red Cross Society of Bozhou City, and handed over to the Red Cross Society for use by the Epidemic Prevention and Emergency Command (3,100 N95 masks, 45,000 disposable masks, 900 sets of isolation suits, disinfection liquid, disinfectant alcohol, etc.)

□ VivaVideo donated RMB 200,000 of medical protective supplies worldwide to make an emergency donation to the front line; To help enterprises in difficulties tide over difficulties, and actively join the list of anti-epidemic products and services of Hangzhou municipal government that support enterprises to work remotely; Free access to all the materials in the APP end, and launched the online “refueling relay” activity