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What Does the Pandemic Mean for YOUR FFL Business?

OK FFLs Friends and Partners,

 

We are contacting you directly as a "VIP" partner, Premium FFLC Client or someone we have worked with or supported in recent years.

 

Here we are with the a situation we never expected to occur. Also one that most of you were not prepared for. 

 

But panic is not necessary.   This is real BUT it's NOT TOO LATE for FFLs to react!

 

And we are ready to help you with your plan!

 

I’m writing to you about how you can succeed as a firearms dealer managing through this unforeseeable and untimely crisis involving Covid-19 but before we get into that let me tell you a little about us.

 

Most of you may know JC (John Clark) and me (John Bocker) as “JC & JB” from our Facebook, Linked-In or Instagram posts and videos, or maybe you’ve attended one of our many Pawn Expo or ATF-NSSF workshops at SHOT Show and across the country in recent years. 

 

And most recently we are more well known as “The John’s” across the firearms industry thanks to our good friend and leader over at the National Shooting Sports Foundation, namely Joe Bartozzi. You can learn more about us on Linked-In so take-a-look.

 

Or maybe you’re already one of our current FFLC Premier clients.  

 

But if you don’t already know us, never heard of us or haven’t followed us on social media – no worries!  We’ll be good friends within a few weeks I’m sure!

 

Our basic history and experience are as follows. 

 

Both JC and I have known each other for more than 20 years.  We have been professional colleagues in the private Risk Management and Business Operations sectors, performing as leaders in several multi-billion-dollar organizations across various industry sectors including retail, hospitality, consumer services and of course, sporting goods! 

 

We are fully experienced in the areas of risk management, crisis mitigation and management, physical security, ATF and state-level firearms compliance, employee training, suicide prevention, range operations, OSHA / EPA compliance and business operations.  More than 45 years of combined experience has allowed us to work in and develop proficiencies across a wide variety of business areas.  And along the way, we have developed 100’s of fabulous partnerships with great providers to support our client's needs.

 

And somehow, we both wound up settling in the South Denver area where we are now hunkered down like you may be. JC returned last night from visiting FFLs in the Southeast and I’ve been in our office this week monitoring the crisis and answering the phone and emails from our current FFL clients.

 

And the overwhelming question has been “What should we do?”.  There’s been a variety of others like “Can I still sell guns during a state of emergency” and “Are there going to be limits on how much ammo will be sold” and even “Do you think UPS will continue to make deliveries?”.  These are all VERY REAL concerns

 

So now we’re done travelling just like everyone else, for as long as things remain unsafe. And until certain federal and state bans get lifted. 

 

BUT WE DON’T KNOW IF AND WHEN THAT MAY OCCUR. If you listed to the President’s national address, this event poses significant uncertainty for all.

 

So, JC, myself and other crisis partners held our own “REMOTE MEETING” last night, cancelled all future client visits we had scheduled and CREATED our “Remote Support” program. 

 

JC and I have written numerous industry and NSSF blogs on this topic in recent years, but we were more focused on tornadoes and floods and hurricanes and fires. And of course, mass shootings.  But never did we think we would have to dust off the “Pandemic Preparedness” crisis response plan we worked on after 9-11. 

 

Most large company leaders we worked with since 2001 have dismissed the once very popular “Anthrax Scare” that crippled our daily lives.  Federal offices still screen, and check mail delivered but the focus nationally really stopped there unfortunately. 

 

And now here we are almost 20 years later. Burdened by something called “Covid-19” or coronavirus. And believe it or not - there is a plan! More on that in a minute.

 

My purpose is not to ask for your opinion on politics or the current mass-hysteria that is starting to bloom in your region but rather PROVIDE for you some confidence, guidance and intelligence to help us all manage, as FFLs, through this crisis.

 

But to do so WE NEED YOUR HELP and REQUEST YOUR VERY VALUABLE PARTICIPATION.

 

So, here’s what most of us already know.

 

The numbers will go higher and higher as we FAIL to CONTAIN this nasty virus through “social distancing” and “self-containment”.  I started this unusual and unwelcomed practice in my household about 10 days ago because I knew.  We have been studying the possibility of a pandemic for the last 20 years but never expected it to occur, with this magnitude. 

 

I will not attempt to estimate the unknown future fall-out but PLEASE watch your local media sources and check in HERE where John Hopkins Medical Analysts are tracking cases daily to see the ACTUAL DAILY STATISTICS for the spread.  And the World Heath Organization information can be accessed right HERE.

 

As of this writing there are:

149,293 confirmed cases world-wide

5,609 resulting deaths

72,042 recovered

 

In the United States:

2,177 cases confirmed

47 deaths

12 recovered.

 

Every U.S. state except West Virginia is now showing confirmed cases and we know this will continue.

 

The greatest threat is illness obviously but it’s more than just hospital beds and ventilators not being available for the more severe cases.  We are dealing with a short supply of testing kits and inefficient labs available to perform the testing. This will only DRIVE the SPREAD of the virus spread which will affect workers, supply chain, consumer commerce and spending, the economy, our families and neighbors, etc. 

 

AS A RESULT of this current and increasing fear, the average American will come to realize (if they haven’t already) that SELF-ISOLATION is CRITICALLY NECESSARY. 

 

And this will be AT LEAST 30 - 60 days, and very possibly long-term.

 

So HOW CAN YOU SUCCESSFULLY MANAGE THROUGH THIS as an FFL, remain safe and STAY IN BUSINESS? 

 

From our past planning sessions, JC and I have boiled this down for you to the ACTIONS YOU CAN TAKE NOW to survive through the crisis.

 

Let me outline YOUR BASIC 15-STEP PLAN to SURVIVE as a GUN DEALER:

  1. First, analyze YOUR OWN plan for yourself and your key employees. Do you have YOUR PERSONAL SUPPLIES and EQUIPMENT at home to survive through the next 30, 60 or 90 days?
  2. Reiterate ISOLATION If and WHEN necessary to PREVENT the spread of the virus though your company’s environment.
  3. Review and implement the many recommendations you may have already received from the CDC or other local and state medical facilities to prevent the internal operational spread of the virus amongst your staff.
  4. Implement good sanitizing and PPE practices internally if you have decided to continue operation.
  5. SECURE YOUR FIREARMS efficiently if you must discontinue operations and utilize EXTRA protection where and if available. Test YOUR alarms and cameras to ensure they are functioning properly and as expected. 
  6. LIMIT EXPOSURE to ALL CUSTOMERS once your area is afflicted.
  7. CONTACT YOUR VENDORS to place orders on critical items and INQUIRE as to what their plan for continuing operations is and REMEMBER>>>>> employees everywhere will become ill, be isolated and restricted from reporting to their jobs and SUPPLY CHAIN will struggle. PLACE ADDITIONAL ORDERS NOW.
  8. Create communications to your customers regarding the status of your business.  Will you remain open? Have limited hours? Require PPE (personal protective equipment) masks and gloves to shop?
  9. Use store front signage, YOUR WEBSITE and YOUR CUSTOMER EMAIL LISTS to keep everyone informed and what you do / don’t have in stock.
  10. Although you have credit card operations in place (and we hear those are reliable and safe to continue), create a ZELLE and / or VENMO accounts to deal with non-credit customers. (*USE CAUTION WHEN HANDLING CASH!)
  11. MAN (or woman) the PHONES! Be ready to take orders and credit cards via the phone or redirect callers to your web site for payments.
  12. Consider HOW you can take orders, pick merchandise and deliver goods to customers without entering the store.
  13. Consider a delivery service where no customer contact is necessary (THIS IS HOW COMMERCE IS SURVIVING in CHINA and OTHER COUNTRIES).
  14. Discuss how you can sell firearms and ammo within the legal structure.  WE HAVE HAD MANY QUESTIONS ABOUT THIS AND WILL DISCUSS ALL IDEAS AND OPTIONS NEXT WEEK VIA BLOGS, EAMIL AND WEBCASTS.
  15. SECURE YOUR GUNS!  As we have already heard and seen in Italy, there will be pockets of civil unrest and discord where the non-preppers and disgruntled may eventually rise to a level of civil disobedience.   Don’t get fooled by the initial calmness that will occur here initially.  Fires will flare up quickly although WE HOPE that does not occur.

 

  1. That’s enough to DO RIGHT NOW to get started with.

 

We already know through our site visits, audits, workshops and trainings with FFLs that MOST OF YOU do not have a crisis plan in place.  So here we are – TO DO THAT WITH YOU!

 

Not FOR YOU – BUT WITH YOU!   This will be an evolutionary yet educational process for everyone receiving this email.

 

Beginning THIS MONDAY 3/16:

 

JC and I will begin COMMUNICATING with respondents to this note. YOU MUST REPLY (JOIN NOW) to be included.

 

We have recruited a veteran team of risk and industry experts and consultants who have agreed to participate in tracking issues, concerns, creating strategies and supporting the technical end of this temporary crisis-support effort.

 

We will deliver DAILY FFL-SPECIFIC BRIEFINGS at the end of each day to advise and share with everything we are seeing and hearing from media and other FFLs across the country regarding our firearms businesses.

 

We will answer questions and share solutions and updates daily (including weekends) on our new Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube channels and via one end-of-day DAILY EMAIL BLAST with KEY ITEMS to know and UNDERSTAND.

 

We will SOLICIT YOUR INPUT daily via the various social channels to understand your local issues and conditions, possible restrictions on gun and ammo sales, etc. 

 

WE WILL CONSOLIDATE everything to save time for you searching the internet.

 

We are planning at least ONE LIVE WEBINAR broadcast via Zoom weekly to answer the most critical and common questions FROM YOU.  Get your FREE ZOOM account here.

 

That’s it. 

 

To participate, just REPLY YES TO THIS EMAIL.

 

And unfortunately, we’re not marketers, WE ARE GUN GUYS!

 

So, THIS is the ONLY “marketing” effort for this new important program.  This is been shared with you as a firearms dealer but please share and forward  it with others who may not have been included.

 

SIMPLY REPLY "YES" to this email so we can begin our coordination efforts.

 

GET YOUR NAME and YOUR EMAIL registered with us so we can begin CREATING SOLUTIONS AND GUIDANCE CONTENT FOR YOU and YOUR FFL BUSINESS.

 

NOTE: General questions, concerns and "what you are doing"  should be sent to: [email protected]

 

Please DO NOT call us before Monday as we are still in the process of setting up our technical support.

 

*PREMIUM FFLC MEMBERS < you can still contact our main support #.  

 

If joining this Support Group is not right for you, we have also opened up our “Premier Members Only” FFLC group on Facebook where we will also be uploading pictures, stories and updates from our staff and FFLs from across the video.  This is NOW A PUBLIC group where you can obtain and share information, upload your stories, post your questions and suggestions and find friendly, non-political advice .

 

CLICK HERE to JOIN our Free FFL Business Growth & Support Group on FaceBook 

 

OR

 

Copy and Paste to your browser:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/FFLBusinessSupport/

 

Thank You! 

Stay Safe. Stay Healthy. Be Prepared.

JB and JC (“The Johns”)

www.FFLConsultants.com

 

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