It’s Fiodor here, founder at Soumkine.
Since 2016 we’ve been designing and manufacturing the best products we can imagine. No rocket science involved: always use the best materials, never outsource your core competence, never compromise on quality.
And it just happened so that we survived the 2020 and 2021 turmoil, hoping for the best times to come.
But then came 2022, bringing one simple question to me as a founder: why should I? Why keep a ‘sustainable’ local business if it’s not that sustainable after all?
Let me explain. I believe this will resonate with other small business owners too. Why keep local if the government doesn’t support you, and neither do banks that would rather give loans to tech startups?
No hard feeling, only maths starts working in this case.
That’s why we made a decision to increase the prices by 50% starting from February 1st, 2022.
Although I know that we’re already on the very high-end of the market, and many of you think twice before ordering something at Soumkine.
I also know that many of you love our products and want us to keep afloat.
And we love you as our clients too. It’s only for you that we made it through the pandemic. Thank you so much!
Other options? Hardly any. Without increasing the prices, we won’t make it into 2023. Remember the 2008 crisis with many companies going bankrupt only two years later in 2010? Something similar is happening right now, but curiouser. When key employees come to work 5-10 days a month and electricity skyrockets 10x times. Not to mention suppliers delivering consumables two months pass the expected date.
Finally, the role of paper changed a lot since 2019. It feels more like playing golf or having a tea ceremony than being a day-to-day utility. Well, in 2017, I thought this might happen in ten years or so, but with covid accelerating things, we can see paper turn luxury as we speak.
So here I am, asking for your thoughts and seeking advice. What can we do to improve our products and our service? How can we make your life a bit easier or more fulfilling?
After all, it’s not about plain numbers; it is about the value we can provide. And we want to give as much as we can.
Please let us know what you think.