So much has happened in the last seven days that it feels like months have passed since the last email (read here) so we’re here to cover some of the updates that have occurred in the past week. In this week’s email, we cover the following topics:
- Our Pivot to Producing PPE
- The Letter to the President by Retail Trade Groups
- How You Can Join the Fight
- Tips for Your Business During a Pandemic
- Podcast Episodes we Recommend
We hope you find today’s email informative and that it helps you in one way or another. It’s times like this that we read more, learn more, and find ways to better ourselves and our businesses for when the sun comes out again.
Onto the news…
Really, Only 7 Days?
Hours feel like days right now and with the impacts that COVID-19 is having on the markets, daily life, and our communities, we are experiencing drastic changes at a speed, unlike anything we’ve seen before.
It’s times like this that we as business leaders need to remain calm like our friend, Obi-Wan. Be one with the force. Believe that you’ll get through this and you will, even if it means making some changes along the way…
Over the past two weeks, we’ve worked effortlessly to configuring much of our network’s supply chain to sourcing and producing personal protective equipment, also known as PPE. We all have to do our part during this time and we felt that we just couldn’t stand by and let health officials across the country run out of supplies.
Here’s what we’re doing:
- Converted a majority of our network to PPE production & sourcing
- Working with government and healthcare agencies to provide them with much-needed supplies
- Partnered with local organizations to drive immediate impact
- Improved GRID functionality to manage dynamic stages for PPE production
For those of you that are looking to help in this fight, maybe you know of a decision-maker in healthcare or someone in your state’s government, don’t hesitate to share this message with them! We want to support as many agencies as possible to truly protect our first responders and healthcare workers on the frontlines. Learn more below.
Mr. President, You’ve Got Mail
On March 21st, 90 retail industry trade groups sent a joint letter to the White House in response to the upcoming $2 trillion stimulus aid plan. The letter began by applauding the Trump administration and Congress for taking swift action to address the health and safety issues from the Coronavirus, including their efforts to save the U.S. economy. It swiftly followed with them mentioning how retail is the largest private-sector employer, which consists of 52 million workers.
Some of the organizations represented in this letter included:
- Accessories Council
- American Apparel and Footwear Association
- Council of Fashion Designers of America
- Footwear Distributors & Retailers of America
- National Retail Federation
The letter discusses how this stimulus will be critical for businesses and retailers to have access to credit to solve the issue that the industry is facing, which is liquidity. These businesses need to have cash on hand or access to credit in order to keep their employees on payroll and keeping their businesses afloat while we undergo this period of store closures to slow. the spread of COVID-19.
They go on to describe the potential economic impact that social distancing and mandatory store closures will have on the industry over the coming months and that the aid must serve businesses of any size. They don’t want a bailout, they just want a bridge to support them as they get through these next few months. It concludes with a statement in regards to retailers being the bedrock of the U.S. economy while also supporting many of the supply chains throughout the country.
How You Can Get Involved in the Fight
We’re definitely living through some wild times right now and we get it, things are difficult right now, even scary… but it doesn’t mean that there aren’t opportunities for your business right now. There are things that you can do during challenging times like this that can truly make your business explode. Primarily, if you can help during this time, do it. Whether that be donating fabric, supplies, or even shifting your 2020 collection to producing your branded PPE, do your part. And if your part is just making it through all of this, that’s okay too.
To learn more about what’s in Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, also known as the CARES Act, click here. Businesses should know exactly what’s in this bill that impacts them directly or indirectly so definitely check it out if you haven’t already.
If you want to explore PPE development and production or you want to donate supplies, click the link below and help us make an impact! Review our PPE capabilities here.
Tips For Your Business During These Times
You likely are experiencing some form of shrinkage right now in your business. It’s the white elephant in the room that we don’t want to talk about, but we have time. So for those of you that have marketing teams that could sharpen their skills during these difficult, but opportunistic times, then the following tips may add value to your business:
- EXPAND YOUR STORY: You started your business for a particular reason and there’s likely a strong “Why” within that. While we’re sure your initial “Why” isn’t going to go away, you’re completely okay to expand that “Why” during a historic moment like this. When people are in situations of great stress and we’re called upon to do our part, then we can add a new “Why” that supports a narrative of us doing our part.
- EXPAND YOUR PRODUCT LINE: Being that we are living through history right now and once this all passes, the new norm is going to call for PPE as part of everyday life. Being prepared to meet that demand to further support your customers and stay relevant will be important post-COVID-19. What can your business be doing now to prepare for this?
- EXPAND YOUR SUPPLY CHAIN: In order to sell PPE, you’re going to need to design and manufacture it somewhere. Your current supply chain solution may not be well suited to this type of development. Explore platforms or partnerships with new suppliers and factories in order to achieve this. You can always explore our evolving platform that’s growing at a rapid rate.
- EXPAND YOUR OFFERING: While providing your customers with physical products, such as your branded clothing, is amazing and that’s your business model, you should consider expanding your offering by creating digital assets that your customers will consume and eventually buy. What knowledge does your company have that resonates with the purpose and mission of your brand that will align with your target customers’ truth? If you can figure that out and begin to create digital assets, such as video tutorials, webinars, and even courses, then you’ll be able to create a completely new revenue stream that’s positively impacting your customers.
So while some of these tasks may be large in terms of execution time/risk, your brand can truly benefit as time passes by taking action and implementing real change into your business’ foundations, operations, logistics, and digital presence. If you want to talk further on this opportunity, the most immediate help we can provide is getting your business into fighting back against this virus by producing PPE. Our team is available and we’re ready to kick COVID-19’s ass with all of you.
Podcast episodes to listen to while you WFH
The Suuchi Podcast is our ongoing weekly series where we interview entrepreneurs, thought leaders, and decision-makers to learn their stories of how they got to where they are today. Just by listening to someone’s story and hearing how they faced a certain challenge and eventually overcame it could save you time and money…. here are some episodes that we recommend:
Suuchi Podcast Ep. #078
In this episode, our hosts sit down with Stephen Rector to discuss key business strategies that brands must have in place when they want to enter the market, execute on what’s important that will drive results, and truly scale their businesses. This talk includes the following topics:
- Brand Analysis: Initiating this to understand where your brand currently stands, who your competitors are, and more
- Strategic Business Planning: Developing your brand vision, SWOT analysis, P&L / Expense planning, and inventory optimization
- Go-To-Market Strategy: Understanding what path your brand want to take as you enter the market or expand into a new category
We hope you enjoy the interview and that it brings new ideas for your business! It’s times like these that we need to absorb as much as possible and explore ways that we can take action on our brands.
Bonus Episode with Team Members
In this episode, our co-host, Irina Kapetanakis, sits down with Suuchi Inc. team member and Senior Manager of Content & Product Marketing, Lizzie Sessa, to discuss marketing tactics that brands can implement into their daily routines during these times.
It’s always good to check out talks like this because our team is privileged enough to get to talk to thousands of brands, providing us with a unique perspective as to what brands are doing within their businesses.