Hello lovelies,

Well wow. What a new world state we find ourselves in my friends. I know it’s all a bit disconcerting but please know that as an industry we are in a strong place and I want to encourage us all to remember that. Pet food is considered a ‘recession proof’ industry and while this is a significant disruption, dog lovers still want and need to feed, heal and love their dogs. Together, that’s our mission. Let’s do our best.

That’s what this message is about.

We’re here for you
We have thought about how we can best support you, our customers, how we can prepare ourselves, help preserve our businesses and protect our team, community and loved ones through this.

As you know, the situation is changing rapidly every day but based on current status (March 31, 2020) here’s what we can do to help you now. We’ll keep adding more support where and as we can.

Here’s a quick run down of my thoughts so far:

WHAT WE’RE DOING TO SUPPORT YOU THROUGH COVID-19

Firstly, we want to be sure you have product to sell to your customers and want to assure you that we have stock, are still in production and, with our freight partners, can get orders to you.

Dogs still need good nutrition and their natural medicines to maintain their health and alleviate discomfort or disease. Dog lovers will be wanting us both to help them access good food as well as offer ideas on how they can adjust their budgets while giving optimum care for their dog.

Providing ongoing food security to dog lovers is not only good for the dogs but importantly also helps alleviate added anxiety for the dog human. For many this is understandably elevated right now.

We’ve have on hand adequate ingredients and packaging for the foreseeable future and are in ongoing talks with our suppliers to ensure this continues.

A couple of unexpected hiccups with two ingredients may cause us to temporarily adapt a couple of recipes at some point (more info on that as things develop) but generally we feel we are able to support you and our community. Things might obviously change but so far so good.

This will of course depend on overall order demand (although we are limiting order numbers to reasonable quantities) and any unforeseen shifts in legislation that constrain our supply or production but, given pet food manufacturing is deemed an essential service (so far) and our business is home-based and observing social distancing, we will continue to serve you in any (safe) way we can.

Whether you sell in store (while ok to do so) or online, we know for you to have sales revenue you need product to sell. We also understand that right now pressures on finances may mean smaller order outlays may be helpful. Our order minimums are already modest but we want to offer you flexibility on smaller order increments and configurations if that helps you get our range in store, sales to you and our products to dogs. Please talk to me and we’ll do our best to make something work.

Many people are finding themselves in a position where they need to tighten their budgets or that quality foods they would usually feed their dogs are currently unavailable in stores.

This in itself may cause some anxiety for some dog lovers and we want to help them through that. There are many ‘nutrition hacks’ at home that we can help with and our products are also perfect for boosting the nutrition of less than optimal foods.

Whether home made brews, dog rolls, cans, kibble or whatever, we’ll be releasing ‘serving suggestions’ and ‘nutrition hacks’ to help people boost these foods and keep their dog’s nutrition up during these unusual constraints. This should help you to guide them through this adjustment and feel better about it too. We hope so, that’s our aim.

For as long as your doors are open we want people to know they can get access to quality supplies for their dogs from you and in doing so also support their local businesses. We plan on sharing over social media special mentions of you hosting our range and potentially buying social channel ads in your area too (depending on your stock). We want to remind people that the supermarket is not where they find wholesome supplies for their dogs.

Managing cash flow is likely to become an increased priority for all of us while we get a handle on the impact to our business. If a credit service such as ZipPay, which we have available, is helpful to you during this time to get product to sell we will cover the associated initial fee in additional product to you. It’s not the whole thing but it will help share the load. We’re in this together.

If you have decided, or do decide, to suspend your front door service while the storm passes we understand. But we want to offer that if you are still engaging with your customers and community (and I hope you do as they’ll still want to hear from you) you can continue to recommend our range and we will provide the order fulfilment and a commission to you. These customers will remain your affiliate account and commission source throughout this situation. Please let me know if you’re interested in this.

If you are moving your shopfront online for now but aren’t sure how to do online sales beyond actually having a website, I’m happy to support you in sharing how we bundle certain products together to help people satisfy overall purchasing objectives and in turn maximise your revenues per order. Or however else I can help you upskill to meet the needs of the new market conditions this situation presents.

We have been trading online directly with customers for a long time now and if this is new to you we are happy to share what we know and any troubleshooting tips that can help you maximise this outlet. Please get in touch.

Let’s face it, shit just got real. I don’t know where you are up to in your business health or your mental health but I know that for all of us both are about to or just have been jolted. That doesn’t mean there isn’t a positive and productive way through this gauntlet. But it’s perfectly natural if you are feeling stressed or worried or anxious. I want you to know that I’m here for you. I’m an experienced business strategist from my former life. We can talk through business pivot strategy ideas, or marketing ideas, or just vent current stresses. Please don’t think that you are alone.

I am also a radical optimist that thinks we can all come through this better than before so I apologise in advance if I’m annoyingly upbeat but I love a good strategy session! Sometimes just a sounding board can help you work through your own ideas for how you want to move forward.

CLOSING THOUGHTS FOR NOW

Crisis and Opportunity
It’s said that the Chinese symbol for ‘crisis’ also includes the character for ‘opportunity’, both are present. This represents what is true in life. What is clearly a crisis in many ways is also creating opportunities for us if we reframe and consider what people now need.

While our businesses may not drive enormous growth through this challenge, more importantly people need us to help them with their dogs. Life might look different for a while and perhaps people will have to get more frugal and creative in how they feed their dogs – and perhaps themselves – if we focus on where we can help, together we’ll get through this.

Calm, kind, connected and creative
It’s a long note but hopefully there’s something in here for you and please consider this a beginning effort from us support to you through this and get us rolling. Please get in touch with any other ideas or if I can help you in any way.

As we navigate this storm let’s keep our heads on, our hearts open, our resolve strong and be positive for ourselves and others. Be calm, be kind and connected – and imaginative.

As I say always, deep breaths and don’t give up. Together we’ve got this.
Talk soon lovelies. Please call me any time. I’m at 0413 700 096 or donna@iloveadog.com.au.

Love and licks,
Donna x

0413 700 096 | donna@iloveadog.com.au