Founders' Resilience Index Report: How to cope with the COVID-19?

Last week we conducted a survey in partnership with NextStep Studio about founders' resilience in view of the coronavirus crisis. 179 responses from founders were collected. We want to thank you all for joining us to share your experience and prospects.

For startups and SMEs, the impact is real
Some may have to lay off their staff
Some will look for new markets
Some are negotiating on tax and rent
But most founders are very confident in things going back to normal soon.

Please read the result of the survey here, we hope it is helpful for you.

Who participated in the survey?

Among the founders who participated, 58% of their companies have been established for more than 3 years, 60% of them have less than 20 employees, and only 8% have more than 500 employees. The founders responded from different locations but 83% of them are based in Shanghai.

How are teams managing work?

During the epidemic, nearly half of the founders (45.5%) handled and coordinated the company's various businesses through working from home. Some of them worked abroad (20.2%), and at companies or usual workplaces (16.9%).

At the same time, some larger scaled companies with multiple offices in different provinces in China face another challenge of how to maintain a high degree of flexibility on employees' work arrangements. This is due to the different epidemic control rules in different regions. The measures they put forward involved employees dedicating a reasonable amount of time to work remotely (34.8%) and to work remotely on a full-time basis (30.5%).

How resilient do founders think they are?

Through self-assessment, the average resilience index for 179 founders is 4.3 out of 5, and 83% believe things will go back to normal and are confident to continue pursuing in China.

Impact of the epidemic to businesses

The investigation further found that over 95% of the founders believe that they have been affected by the epidemic (less than 5% that have not been affected according to the chart below), and they believe that the intensity of the epidemic 's damage to enterprises has reached 70%. Customer churn is the most direct and major consequence (60%). At the same time, 74% of the founders believe that the situation is expected to improve and return to normal within 3 months.

What are their business concerns?

At present, the most worrying issues for founders are focused on: cash flow (five stars) and supply chain (five stars). High fixed costs and regular payment of employees' salaries will trigger a cash flow crisis. Supply chain delays and logistics disruptions caused by changing work schedules will disrupt overall processes in the supply chain.The loss of confidence in the Chinese market (three stars) is also a relatively prominent issue. The loss of employees and human resources issues (two stars) do not pose a threat for the time being.

What measures to take?

So what measures will the founders take in response to the current business crisis? The survey shows finding other new markets (17%) as the most popular measure, followed by customer relationship management (15%), cash flow management (13%), listen to team opinions (13%), and arrange remote work (12%). select. 3% of founders will undergo passive layoffs or restructure their workforce.

What qualities are important to crisis management?

At the same time, the business crisis caused by this epidemic has prompted founders to start developing these qualities, among which: agility (26%), stress / resilience (21%), and forward-looking (19%) are the most considered.

What have they done right beforehand?

Prior to this, the following actions have been taken by founders who believe these have been helpful to deal with the impact of the epidemic, including: getting used to remote and online work, full cloud backup, maintaining healthy cash flow, obtaining customer support and establishing good communications, as well as taking out relevant health insurance and running health management initiatives.

How important is insurance?

In addition, the survey specifically invited founders to express their thoughts on the role of insurance in outbreaks: 52% of founders believe that insurance is important at all times, and plays a large role in such outbreaks, while 28% will consider buying insurance or increasing protection for teams. We also found that most founders had previously puchased insurance for employees.

Once again, we'd like to sincerely thank you all who spared time for completing the survey. If you didn't get the chance to take part and would like to contribute, don't worry, we'll be conducting a follow-up survey in the coming weeks to see if there are any changes to the first results.

To learn more about our StartupCare group medical insurance solutions for your team, speak to our team here or Whatsapp us at +852 5379 8911.

Brought to you by:

StartupCare 菁晨 is an insurtech startup founded by The CareVoice and its shareholders, offering tailored corporate health solutions to empower SMEs.

NextStep Studio is a hybrid incubator that provides selected entrepreneurs with hands-on advisory, stewardship, accelerated fundraising assistance, and a curated network of investors and experts for startups at the intersection of technology and service industries.


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