SITREP 005 - 18 Series On-Goings
18 Series Bag Company SITREP 005 10 December 2021
We shipped our first batch of Fanny’s. It feels good getting them out, like I just got walked out of the Commander's office and didn’t get picked to do some dumb tasker, feeling. I hope everyone that bought one will enjoy them. I keep mine in my truck as I’m still gunning for that elusive Soldiers Medal before I get out. Also, thank you for the feedback so far on my SITREPs, I use each comment to improve.
This week’s SITREP will focus internally on a concept that everyone can relate to, time management. The question I think most of us struggle with is, how do I balance my family, my work, and for me, building a brand? I feel like I get more efficient the busier I am. If I’m sitting around on a Saturday, my entire day goes by and I get nothing done. So, I’ve attempted to minimize the distractions, but I have one problem. Outside of that short bit of time where I told everyone that I was a janitor at Harvard, solving math equations in the hallway after everyone had left for the day, I am straight up, a goon. So, figuring this out in real-time takes patience, a trait no one in Special Operations has naturally.
This week, our company focused on tying up our free ends. Our website provides decent analytics to help determine what is working and what is not. We restructured the layout of the website. It is always a challenge to ensure that mobile is compatible with desktop viewing. When you look at the analytics you can tell that over the last two months roughly 2,500 people have come to the website, of that, 60% have been from mobile devices. Those numbers are beyond expectations. Moving forward, we need to ensure that mobile runs just as smoothly as desktop, if not better.
We restructured the layout of the website. I didn’t know that JPEG quality photo’s crush website speed (remember? Goon) so our pictures had to be optimized. Comically, for the past few weeks, our photos have all been oversized. I had zero ideas on how to change the aspect ratio to make it appear smaller. I now understand and the pictures look much better. We then ensured that our website had a consistent pricing strategy, in line with both DoD and retail. There is no way for us to compete in the civilian market in the near term, so our strategy is to attack military sales, hence the high price points for our larger bags.
Another change that came out of this week was building an account with USPS. We opened a business account and are now able to change our shipping model to FREE SHIPPING on all our bags. We never thought that we would open the company up to retail, but it seems to have begun to work, so we’ll subsidize the cost of retail shipping from our other sales. We are playing with another idea in retail, maybe offering a discount code to everyone who subscribes to the SITREP? We also continued to refine our short and long-term strategies. December is a wash, SHOT show is a month away, and we just put a bag order in for our display. The 2022 roadshow was laid out and we worked ourselves over until we had glassed-over droopy eyes. Just like when we were deployed. It felt great.
We just inked a deal for some laptop bags up at Warren, AFB. On one hand, the DoD is stoked about its cyber capabilities. On the other, our folks are completely digitally exposed because our adversaries don’t have those things called authorities, permissions, or approvals. They can digitally attack any threat anywhere, the folks up at Warren, AFB got that.
As your Goon buddy Matt continues to evolve and sit up straight, our website will develop with me. I liked how the pictures of our concealment bag turned out, so I left it on the splash page. Our long-term plan is to find a suitable soft/hard armor that can slide into the pocket. Recently, I spoke with a company called Angel Armor (angelarmor.com/), to see if their product would be compatible. I’m excited to see if it will work. Their armor is rated to DoJ standards, which is cool because I’d love to push these to Law Enforcement. I think that we all felt for LE last summer during the nationwide protests because they couldn’t infill areas with anything more than a 9mm. I would love to offer LE, and other discreet units, the ability to infil weapon systems clandestinely. Other companies in the market place their logos on their bags, immediately ‘outing’ themselves as they’ve branded themselves as concealment (by the way, they are great bags). I am not going to put a logo on the outside and honestly, I struggled with the thought of keeping the bags off the website. I have several ideas for rifle bags, but we want to launch slowly and methodically. I think that in the future if our clandestine rifle bags sell, I will either take them off the website or make them password protected. This will provide the actual clandestine capability.
If I have one asker of all of you reading this, can you share this?
As I am typing this week's SITREP up and preparing to clog everyone’s email, an Afghan that worked for me just hit me up on email (Friday night), as his VISA in Turkey is expiring soon. It’s unbelievable, I thought that he was dead. I’ll just shove this into my time management algorithm and get his butt to the US.
Thanks for reading. Always forward. - Matt
Next SITREP - Lessons learned of the military retirement process
It’s great to hear the inside scoop on how you’re dealing with the growth and standing up of your brand while still managing to better posture yourself for a Soldier’s Medal and provide more for your family by working janitor shifts at reputable university (talk about time management). I’m also intrigued to hear more backstory (if able) about the Afghan you thought was dead.
Just like In-n-Out I think the idea of a clandestine “Secret Menu” is a savvy way to serve the clientele you target.
Excellent points all around and the humor is great, keep it up Matt!
Everything about your comment is awesome. Thanks Matt.
Accomplishment and excellence have been the hallmark of your incredible Special Forces careers. It’s no surprise that you Men have continued your success with this outstanding product and company. Thank you for bringing me onto this SITREP. Winning isn’t everything; it’s the only thing and you created a great product to help the awesome Men and Women who continue winning in protecting our Country.