Inflation Just hit 7.5%.

The first month of 2022 saw a historic rise in inflation. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ latest Consumer Price Index report, January saw the largest 12-month inflation increase since 1982, topping out at 7.5%.

It’s clear that we’re still feeling the downstream effects of a global pandemic and troubled supply chain. While some analysts believe inflation will soon begin its slow descent, it’s still having a massive effect on business owners, many of whom narrowly survived the pandemic.

This isn’t good news for tech startups, especially if they’re led by female tech entrepreneurs, who have already endured unique challenges over the past year. But challenges present opportunities for growth too. Let’s take a look at how tech entrepreneurs can develop inflation resistance and come out stronger than ever.

Inflation Complicates SaaS Business Decisions

One of the main business challenges during times of significant inflation is how to make ends meet and, hopefully, remain profitable. As inflation pushes the cost of materials and manufacturing up, traditional businesses need to make hard decisions about cutting expenses and altering their product prices.

Working in the SaaS solutions space, tech entrepreneurs face a similar dilemma, but the nature of their product and pricing model introduces a new layer of complexity. Here are some of the key questions that my SaaS colleagues are asking:

  • How should tech entrepreneurs account for exploding upkeep costs in their software pricing?
  • If we’re billing monthly, how can we optimally communicate price increases to our clients without losing them?
  • How can we convert monthly clients to multi-year contracts? 
  • Since our main operating expenses are employees, how can we cut costs while keeping employees fairly paid?

In some cases, tech startups don’t even have the luxury to consider these questions — inflation wiped them out before they were able to scale. After all, as inflation begins, the input costs required to run a startup soar. That means startups must be resilient enough to handle rising costs of electricity, real estate, other components of general expenditure. Here are a few steps entrepreneurs should consider to accomplish this resilience.

1. Strategically Raise Prices

Of course, as basic operating costs rise, your software prices must rise too. But in the SaaS world, raising monthly software prices can lead to plenty of customer complaints. The question tech entrepreneurs should be thinking about is: “How can we raise prices and prove that we’re too valuable to walk away from?”

The first step is communication. You should make the case to your clients that the price rise is necessary and fair. But don’t stop there. Consider treating this moment as a chance to upsell your clients with volume discounts. That way, you win more of their business, and they get the additional value they were looking for. 

2. Pay Attention to the Labor Market

Traditional business owners and entrepreneurs are in a unique position to help ease the pains of inflation on their employees. Some states require businesses to raise employee salaries alongside inflation, but even if your state doesn’t, it’s important that you treat your employees’ salaries as essential expenses — even if money is tight.

Remember, your workers are experiencing higher living costs too. Matching their salary with inflation isn’t a raise — it’s avoiding a pay cut. Entrepreneurs who don’t adjust salaries will likely incur higher costs later, as their workers leave and they need to find new hires at elevated expected salaries.

That’s why it’s essential to stay apprised of labor market conditions. Sometimes the cost of keeping your tried-and-true employees onboard is more cost-effective than scrambling to find new hires during a period of intense inflation.

3. Lock in Long-Term Contracts

While it’s great to have clients billed on a month-by-month basis, signing long-term contracts can really help tech businesses weather unexpected conditions. After all, monthly clients can be very reactive to price changes. But signing multi-year contracts, often involving a discount for the client, ensures that you can depend on their business until the term is up. 

That said, it’s important that your multi-year contracts bake in annual price increases and CPI adjustments. This controls for hard-to-predict fluctuations in the market and inflation, and it guarantees that your contract will remain as valuable this year as it was last year. 

4. Invest in Business Growth

Tech entrepreneurs understand that there are unique opportunities within every hardship they face. It isn’t enough to survive this inflationary period — set your sights on thriving so you can come out of it stronger than ever.

If you’re interested in attracting more customers and accessing an exclusive network of professionals and investors, consider joining Women in Cloud’s digital co-sell marketing program. Apply today! 

5. Take Cash Management Seriously

The past year has shown tech entrepreneurs that they must always expect the unexpected. To thrive in harsh conditions, startups must take cash management seriously, storing emergency funds to hold them over through rough patches and future-proofing their pricing and client acquisition strategies.

Tech entrepreneurs should also think carefully about the hidden effects of inflation. For instance, as you raise your prices to account for rising operating costs, it’s possible that you’ll shift into a higher tax bracket. If the government hasn’t adjusted brackets to account for inflation, then you might be paying more in taxes even though their earnings haven’t really grown.

Even though we’ve entered an unprecedented inflationary period, your business can still flourish. Understanding the nuances of inflation can help you make the right decisions to keep your employees and customers happy and help your business weather the storm.

Join the Women In Cloud community to learn more about how your tech business can get access to solutions to mitigate your challenges around the current climate.

JPMorgan Chase, one of Fortune 100 top companies, has joined forces with Women In Cloud to accelerate gender inclusion and equality in the tech industry.

On February 25th, we would love it if you joined us at the WICxFortune100 Lunch & Learn Series. It will be the perfect opportunity to connect and learn from JPMorgan Chase’s top leaders and decision-makers— and an amazing opportunity to learn how to do business with JPMorgan Chase and understand their company culture.

What to expect from #WICxFortune100 Lunch and Learn Series?

  • Access to job opportunities focused on digital transformation
  • Learn how  to navigate and do business with JPMorgan Chase
  • Create new connections with key leaders of the industry
  • Learn about innovative enterprise-ready cloud solutions by women tech founders via Cloud Solution Showcase

#WICxFortune100 Lunch and Learn Series is a unique and enriching experience for women tech entrepreneurs to connect with Fortune 100 companies, learn about digital transformation opportunities, and accelerate gender equity.

Attendance for this event is entirely free— and only a quick application is required. Once approved, you will be granted access 10+ WICxFortune100 events in 2022

We look forward to seeing you there!

Learn more here: https://www.womenincloud.com/wicxfortune100-lunch-learn-series/

As a coach or mentor-figure training up adolescents or young adults, one of your primary duties is inculcating leadership skills in your charges. The kids of today will direct society’s course tomorrow. By turning them into worthy leaders, you create a brighter future for everyone – and leave a legacy everyone can be proud of. Here, Creative Children for Charity offers some suggestions on how to make good leaders out of young people:

Give them people skills 

Leaders need to have top-notch people skills to manage, engage, and interact with others.

  • Communication: Show them how to get their message across with clarity and confidence.

  • Empathy: Encourage them to put themselves in other people’s shoes and work toward common goals.

  • Conflict resolution: Conflict is a given. Guide them toward co-existence and cooperation.

Train their competence  

Leaders who don’t know what they are doing are ineffective. Competence is a necessary leadership trait.

  • Education: An advanced degree in a field of their choice will equip them with the knowledge and technical skills they need to be seen as respectable and trustworthy.

  • Self-confidence: Confidence is power. A leader must believe in themselves to get other people to believe in them.

  • Being a good follower: Kids need to know how to follow first if they are to lead.

Teach them responsibility 

A leader’s actions directly affect their people. Without teaching responsibility, you’re training a tyrant.

  • Teach them integrity and vision. They need to lead others toward a worthy cause, not off a cliff.

  • Give them the freedom to choose. It develops critical thinking, and respect for other peoples’ choices.

  • Let them fail. Nothing drives home responsibility and consequences like failure.

Lead by example

To teach leadership effectively, you need to be a leader yourself.

Conclusion 

Needless to say, strong leadership skills can take your kids far – not just professionally, but also in their personal life. Seeing your kids turn into strong, capable people down the road will be one of the most satisfying feelings you will ever experience; it’s well worth your time to read up on leadership and related subjects.

Image via Unsplash

This annual summit left us all with an enormous sense of gratitude and fulfillment. From January 26 – 29, we truly celebrated the power of Collective Influence. And it only was possible thanks to all the support and collaboration of our sponsors, partners, speakers, volunteers, and of course, our community.

As well as past summits, we counted on Remo’s partnership to carry on the event online. It allowed people all around the world to connect, participate and share with others.

The 4th Annual Summit: Spectacular highlights

This past Summit exceeded our expectations, and we made some incredible achievements:

  • We had more than 850 attendees over the course of the four days of the event. And more than 28 countries were represented by all of you. That truly shows the power of Collective Influence as a global movement.
  • More than 200 people contributed to this experience to create economic access for women in technology. Thanks to our speakers, sponsors, advisors, recruiters, & community partners.
  • More than 280 companies were represented to make the future of tech inclusive and sustainable.
  • The WIC Digital Network grew by 132% over the last 30 days.
  • We counted on the participation of more than 155 Advisor Leaders in the Cloud Leader Circle and received more than 50 requests over 72 hours.
  • Pradyna Desh, CEO of Advocat.AI was the winner of the #CloudInnovateHEr Global Pitch Challenge. Huge congratulations to her! You can learn more about Advocat.AI by clicking here.

These incredible highlights are not more than proof that year after year, more and more people are getting involved and taking action to work together towards a world when diversity and equity are granted for all women in the tech industry.

Focusing on Leadership and Professional Development

This year’s programming was completely new and different to past editions. We also counted with the participation of an incredible group of speakers, all of them experts in their areas. 

The Summit was packed with a series of sessions, live and recorded, carefully designed to help them grow both, personally and professionally. Let’s take a look at some of them:

  • Live Power Panels: Groups of experts and leaders from the tech industry discussed and gave great insight to all attendees about remote workforce, allyship, youth in STEM, leadership, DEI, and GTM strategies such as Co-Selling. 
  • Keynotes: Experts such as Pamela Maynard, Vinita Gupta, Joyce Mullen, and Michelle Green discussed leadership and company growth. Gavriella Schuster presented the #beCOME Allies for allyship.
  • Power Talks: These incredible talks were packed with great inspiration about finding a new path on your professional life, including transitioning jobs, mastering the interview,  #RockYourPitch, and valuable insight about cloud jobs and cybersecurity.
  • Workshops and Bootcamps: #FindYourFit, as well as the #ThoughtLeadership bootcamps were incredibly valuable and inspirational. Also, #TechProfessional bootcamp provided great insight to those embarking a new professional adventure.

What our community is saying?

  • I loved the content, the speakers and the networking. Single stream meant a very simple and effective way to participate in all the sessions. The Power Talks
  • I enjoyed the calibre of speakers, the interactive and insightful chats, the linkedIn links of speakers posted during their sessions. and the avalanche of connections i have made on Linkedin and Twitter.
  • One of the better online events. you didn’t try to boil the ocean. things were broken down into manageable segments. running into Anne, one of the speakers, in the lounge shortly before she was scheduled to talk. it felt relaxed and surprisingly easy to chat with her.
  • Sessions about leadership and roundtable discussions

Events like the Annual Summit are the perfect occasion to connect with others and to network. Attendees took full advantage of the Event Hub for networking with others, as well as the Roundtables for discussing common interests. The Remo platform was also a big protagonist for networking, allowing attendees to connect, chat, and speak to each other while waiting for the next live session.

How to get involved with WIC?

  • Have a lot of time?

What’s Next at WIC? Stay Tuned!

  • JP Morgan Chase – Join us to Meet JPMC Leaders & Recruiters at the next #WICxFortune100 Lunch & Learn Session on February 25. Registration Details Coming Soon!
  • WICxIWD 2022 – Mastering Leadership to #BreakTheBias March 31
  • Learn more about events here

Did you attend the Summit? Tell us your experience! We’d love to know how was it for you. Don’t be afraid of leaving a comment, and thank you for assisting!