Rockford announced new policies favorable to dealers to help them during this time of pandemic.
The company is now offering free shipping whether you order a quantity of one or 100. If you make a payment by credit card, the company will not charge the extra fees, during this time.
Rockford CEO Bill Jackson told dealers in a YouTube video Friday that if a dealer needs anything above and beyond the company’s normal terms, Rockford will try to to work with them to get what they need, “so we can get through this together.”
Jackson offered several suggestions, the first of which is to take advantage of the government funded loans now available.
“The PPP plan that’s out there, SBA loans out there; some are forgivable grants. The forms are pretty simple… you need to get in line and make sure you are getting your portion of that government money…As a small business you need to survive this. ”
As for the rest of 2020, Jackson said “take your 2020 plan and throw it in the trash.” It’s time to try and figure out “what does this look like when we come out of it…how do we rearrange our businesses to be up and running as fast as we can?” Build a new plan with budget and cash flow.
Continue to communicate with your customers, whether you are open or closed. If open, let customers know your changed policies as to social distancing, new store hours. “If you don’t tell them, how will they know?”
“Number one, you have to stay relevant to your customers,” Jackson continued. Tell them about future projects and opportunities. Stay consistent.
“If you are closed, you need to communicate with your staff if you have folks at home. Tell them what you are doing and planning and what this thing will look like when you come out of this,” he said.
Jackson said “cash is king,” during this time of uncertainty. “So you need to manage it carefully. Look at everything from rent… I know it’s difficult to go back to a landlord and as for a deferral of rent payment but…they don’t want to lose you as a tenant.”
Continue to train employees.
“In closing we’re going to get through this thing. We’ll get through it together.”
Rockford also provided several materials to help dealers. Some tips from these are as follows:
From Bob Phibbs, The Retail Doctor:
Don’t stop marketing, especially if people can order from you by phone or app, let them know.
Review your website: is it compelling. Does a stranger know what you want them to do. If not, start researching competitors and get ideas. “Remember, when this panic eases, you’ll have to sell your way out of this. Might as well start now while you have the time.”
Communicate through your newsletter. Create a compelling subject line such as “What can you do to lighten your mood now?” “Suggest something they can do without buying your products, but if they want to, how to do so.”