As I sit here trying to summarize this incredible Labor Day weekend, only one word comes to mind that can put it all together: “give.” The more I get to know these Police K9s and their handlers and families, that’s the only word that works. They give so much. This weekend was our opportunity to return some love to them, and you – our SharpShooters community – you came out in droves to do just that! Thank you.
Giving: A Weird Business Model
This strategy started for me over 15 years ago, in a previous business life of mine. We gave away one of our core products as a promotion to see what kind of traction we could get. What we learned was that the more we gave away, the more revenue we generated. Weird, right?
On Memorial Day this year, we applied the same logic to SharpShooters. “Everybody shoots free!” we shouted from the rooftops. It worked!
So we decided to do the same thing for Labor Day, but we stretched it a little by making it free all weekend, not just on Labor Day Monday. The purpose, of course, is to get people in the door to donate to the Georgia Police K9 Foundation to cover the medical expenses of now Retired Police K9 Officer Jerry Lee.
We give so our community can give to make sure the K9 who continues to give can have a fantastic retirement. It worked again. The more we give, the more you give, and the more we succeed. Weird, but amazing.
How We Measure Success
We’re a business, so one measure of our success is profitability. Of course we also measure growth and cash in the bank. But what happens when we focus only on those metrics is we become a very self-centered organization.
I discovered a long time ago that when you give your time, talents, and treasure in service to others as part of your daily life routine, a couple of things happen. First, you’re too darn busy helping others to get down yourself. Second, all those people you helped go forth and help others and also bring that help back to you in many different forms.
“Everybody can be great...because anybody can serve." - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
There are dozens of psychological studies about what happens to your brain when you give or serve others. It’s like a drug. Jesus knew what he was talking about when he said, “It is better to give than to receive.”
So we give. And then we measure a huge part of our success as an organization by the impact of our giving.
Why We Support the Working Dogs
I asked, and I had several customers ask the same question: what bills are there for a retired K9 Officer? The Police Department covers all their medical bills, right?
The minute a Police K9 Officer retires, all the dog’s expenses are the owner’s (usually the K9’s Handler) responsibility, even if the expenses are the result of an injury sustained on the job. THAT is the purpose of GPK9F. That’s why we’re giving an entire weekend to spreading awareness of the needs of these retired working dogs.
The dogs don’t complain. They don’t gripe about working hours or working conditions. They don’t question orders. These dogs don’t shy away from danger. These K9 Officers run full speed into that danger because that’s their job. They are trained to do a job, and they love doing that job. It is truly a beautiful, mesmerizing sight to see these K9s working, doing what they are trained to do and what they love to do.
So we love giving everything we can to give them each a fantastic retirement.
What Did You Give?
This weekend was all about the working dogs, the Police K9 Officers. We hosted four of these marvelous animals at SharpShooters on Monday. We had K9 Jerry Lee, K9 Mattis, K9 Dane, and K9 Pandora at the store all afternoon. The dogs’ barking in the store was music to my ears! Belly rubs, ear massages, slobbery Kong toys, and dog hair everywhere is the best! A lot of people came in just to see these great dogs, and K9 Dane’s handler was even kind enough to give us a demonstration of Dane’s prowess. Impressive indeed.
We gave away the range. Everything in the store was 10% off. We gave away three brand new rifles. We made each target $10 and each target purchase became a 100% donation to GPK9F. On Saturday, we sold 255 targets; Sunday was 162, and Monday we sold 434. YOU bought 851 targets in 3 days. That means we get to give the Georgia Police K9 Foundation a gift of $8,510.
Thank you for joining us and giving so generously.