WJR Business Beat with Jeff Sloan: Pinball Pete’s Saved by GoFund Me Campaign (Episode 157)

Like many businesses during the pandemic, Pinball Pete’s faced looming doom when the business could no longer pay its bills. Instead of calling it quits, Pinball Pete’s turned to its loyal customer base to save them, raising more than $ 90,000 from almost 2,000 donors in an online donation campaign launched on GoFund Me on Christmas Day.

The story, reported recently in the Detroit Free Press, goes to show you just how important it is to treat your customers right and deliver a highly valued product, service or experience to them. Simply put, make it a central focus to earn customer loyalty.

Tune in to this morning’s WJR Business Beat to hear the full story!

Tune in to News/Talk 760 AM WJR weekday mornings at 7:11 a.m. for the WJR Business Beat. Listeners outside of the Detroit area can listen live HERE.

Are you an entrepreneur with a great story to share? If so, contact us at editor@startupnation.com and we’ll feature you on an upcoming segment of the WJR Business Beat!

Good morning, Paul.

Well, here’s a story to kickstart the New Year right, about how loyal customers of a beloved 40-year-old Michigan business establishment stepped up with donations to help save the enterprise from having to close its doors. The story, reported recently in the Detroit Free Press, goes to show you just how important it is to treat your customers right and deliver a highly valued product, service or experience to them, which is deeply embedded in their way of life and without which they feel a sense of loss.

Simply put, make it a central focus to earn customer loyalty.

Like many businesses during the pandemic, East Lansing- and An Arbor-based family arcade known as Pinball Pete’s faced looming doom when the business could no longer pay its bills. But instead of calling it quits, Pinball Pete’s, in a unique survival strategy, turned to its loyal customer base to save them.

What did they do? They raised more than $ 90,000 from almost 2,000 donors in an online donation campaign launched on Christmas Day to save the business, using a leading donation sourcing platform known as GoFundMe.

Once they launched their GoFundMe campaign, the donations came flooding in with contributors even leaving messages of hope to the business and stories of first dates and childhood memories.

Now the essence of the lesson here, while not everyone can turn to a GoFundMe campaign to raise donations at this level of significance, what you can do (and what you must do!) as a business owner is to make it a central focus for you and your team to earn customer loyalty. Just ask the proprietors of Pinball Pete’s how it worked for them.

I’m Jeff Sloan, founder and CEO of StartupNation.com, and that’s today’s Business Beat on the Great Voice of the Great Lakes, WJR.

The post WJR Business Beat with Jeff Sloan: Pinball Pete’s Saved by GoFund Me Campaign (Episode 157) appeared first on StartupNation.

StartupNation

How Multiple Streams of Income Saved Me During COVID-19

For years, I’ve been a firm believer in creating multiple streams of income. While in college, I can remember trying to learn how to start a business while also getting paid by a company to take notes in class (I guess I already believed in various streams of income).

Fast forward to the present: after five years of running multiple projects at any given time, I began to question the strategy. When diversifying, it means my attention is divided among multiple projects, making it difficult to run any of them perfectly. To create multiple income streams, you will potentially have to sacrifice perfection.

But the strategy paid off for me when COVID-19 struck, as a few of my income streams plummeted to zero (even less than zero, in some cases).

If I had been reliant solely on any one of these businesses, I would be out of business and hunting for a fresh corporate job as I write this article. But instead, I have been able to run my life and businesses on various streams of income while we continue to pivot and adjust focus for what the new world throws at us.

Let’s talk more about the pros and cons I’ve learned in the last five years when it comes to generating multiple streams of income.


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The benefits of multiple streams of income

Let’s move those eggs around, shall we? You don’t have to worry about breaking them all in one basket if you choose to weave other baskets. Diversification means limiting your risk.

What about your interests? That’s another benefit. You have the ability to tackle multiple interests and get paid for it. Do you love cars and animals? Then start your own mechanic shop, walk dogs or have a pet grooming business as a side hustle.

Doing so allows you to test your interest levels to see what you really want to do. I’m 36 years old and joke that I’m still not sure what I want to do when I grow up (in full disclosure, I also think I’ll say this when I’m 70). It’s because I know that in the next five to 10 years, I may be involved in a completely different business. And that’s OK. There’s very little chance that I’ll be operating the same business in 10 years. I just have too many interests and too many things that I want to try during my lifetime.

Downsides of multiple streams of income

With multiple streams of income, your attention is scattered. You risk becoming a “Jack of all trades but a master of none.” In my opinion, there isn’t anything wrong with this, especially if you are working on projects that bring you life, joy and energy.

However, I realized that there was no way I could perfect any of my businesses due to my scattered focus.


Related: 3 Signs a Founder Has What it Takes to Scale a Startup During a Crisis

The pandemic struck

I’m involved in a number of businesses, including a local media/events company, Airbnb rental properties, a local franchise, my personal brand, brokering real estate, and event production.

Once the pandemic hit, our event business went to zero overnight. We no longer had advertisers because they were no longer producing events. In April, every Airbnb booking that we had for our short-term rental properties canceled. We lost a good chunk of money that month and I wasn’t sure what was going to happen (it has since rebounded). We canceled our own events that we were producing due to uncertainty.

It was a scary time, as we didn’t know what was around the corner, and we began to pivot as fast as we could. We pivoted so hard our feet were hurting, but we never completely lost out. When certain income streams went to zero, others stayed steady. Because of this, I am extremely grateful to have different streams of income, but it also shed some new light on how I was operating.

My realization

I was recently accepted into a mentoring program, and while I was explaining the businesses that I was involved in, one of the mentors asked me to do an exercise and put all of the projects on a single spreadsheet.

I did so, and also labeled each with the percentage of my time that I devoted to each. I also took it upon myself to add the percentage of time that I wanted to devote to each. Seeing the projects on one single spreadsheet allowed me to see in a new light.

I had an epiphany.

I counted my employees who assist me with these businesses and realized that there was no way that I could ever grow these projects to their full potential with my current structure. They were all operating and running, but not to their potential. None of them were growing. Although it seems obvious now, this was the first time I was able to visualize the problem and understand it.

I realized I needed three to five additional people to take these projects to the next level, but I didn’t have the resources to bring those people on. So, while I was grateful to have the income sources during the pandemic, I also decided that strengthening my focus was equally important, and that’s what I’ve begun to do.

I’m selling one of my businesses at a loss, and I’ve decided to scrap another entirely. While it’s the end of these two endeavors, I’ve never been so excited about the potential that lies ahead.


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Key takeaways

I have learned some valuable lessons in the midst of COVID-19. I intend to keep building multiple streams of income as long as their processes can be streamlined or are in the same verticals as my other projects.

My conclusion is that multiple streams of income are important, and I will continue to attack multiple projects. But, I won’t take projects on unless I can put the people in place to help me sustain those businesses and take them to the next level.

I also intend to stick to my gut when looking at new opportunities. If it doesn’t align with my interests and passions, I will pass, no matter how potentially lucrative the opportunity is. Life is too short to work on projects that you don’t enjoy.

My final thought for you is this: continue to create multiple streams of income, but create them with focus and strategy in mind.

In a strange way, I have COVID-19 to thank for this lesson. I wish you luck.

The post How Multiple Streams of Income Saved Me During COVID-19 appeared first on StartupNation.

StartupNation

[Varo Money in CNBC] Here’s how much money you should have saved at every age

The Varo Savings Account offers 1.21% APY regardless of your account balance, with the option to earn up to 2.80% APY if you meet certain monthly requirements. If you sign up for a Varo checking account, account holders can also receive an ATM card for easy withdrawals from their checking or savings.

Read more here.

The post [Varo Money in CNBC] Here’s how much money you should have saved at every age appeared first on OurCrowd Blog.

OurCrowd Blog

Yotta Savings Gamifies Savings by Letting Users Enroll in a Weekly Lottery for Every $25 Saved

Americans spend over $ 80B on the lottery, but 40% of people can’t come up with $ 400 in case of an emergency. Adam Moelis and Yotta Savings are using behavioral psychology to address the savings crisis. The app is a savings app with a gamification component. For every $ 25 saved, users are entered into a weekly lottery for prizes that range from 10 cents to $ 10M. Adam shares more about the Prize-linked savings app, the company’s future plans, and the impact COVID has had on savings.
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