Posted at 3/12/2020

Coronavirus (or more specifically, COVID-19) has arrived in the US and it’s important for small businesses to act quickly to help slow the spread of the disease and to work to reduce the impact on daily operations. Keeping your business open and operating as usual must be balanced against important concerns for public safety. You don’t want to be THAT business in your local community that didn’t sufficiently protect your employees and / or customers. 

COVID-19 is going to have an impact on all businesses and at the national level, lawmakers have acted with H.R.6074 - Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2020 which was signed into law on March 6, 2020. The $8.3 billion bill provides emergency funding for federal agencies to respond to the coronavirus outbreak. In addition to monies provided to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the bill provides supplemental appropriations for the Small Business Administration (SBA) to include loans for affected small businesses.  https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/house-bill/6074

Lawmakers have pressed SBA to Prepare Small Businesses for Coronavirus. According to a press release, on February 27, 2020, U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Ben Cardin (D-MD), Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, sent a letter to Jovita Carranza, Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), requesting information on the agency’s plan to ensure small businesses are prepared to respond to potential disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic. 

“As the situation continues to evolve, it is becoming clear that the threat of widespread transmission of COVID-19 could have severe economic impacts on small businesses and the U.S. economy as a whole,” the senators wrote. “For this reason, we urge you to take immediate action to ensure that small businesses and their employees are equipped to prepare for, and respond to, the anticipated spread of COVID-19 in order to reduce both short-term and long-term disruptions.”

The full text of the Rubio/Cardin letter is here: https://www.sbc.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2020/2/rubio-cardin-urge-sba-to-prepare-small-businesses-for-coronavirus

In President Trump’s nationally televised speech to address th...more

  • COVID-19
  • Coronavirus
  • Pandemic

Take Control of Your Customer List: Great Marketing Advice for Small Businesses

Posted at 2/7/2020

Welcome to the Fanbank 15 minute breakthrough where you take a short break from your incredibly busy day and get a breakthrough idea for your local business. In this quick webinar, we teach you how to grow and strengthen your business and today we are covering taking back control of your customer list. 

Hopefully, everyone can see the screen now. So I'm on the agenda slide. So if you have any questions during the presentation go ahead and type them into the QA box on your Zoom conference screen. Will try to answer any questions at the end. 

So, first I want you all to know that everyone here at Fanbank 100% gets it. Your goal is customers through the door. Allot some seats, appointments on the books. We totally get it. Ideally you'd be able to run the business staying focused on making your product and making the customer happy. 

Taking the time to come up with things to do to grow your customer list probably makes sense, but it's not something you have time for. The goal of this webinar is to show you the direct connection between building your customer list and getting those purchases, getting those seats and appointments on the books and the customers through the door.

So, here's what we'll cover quickly: why customer lists matter, how to control your list and why that's so important, building and engaging your list and then free options and paid options. Throughout the webinar I'm going to include references to the Fanbank features you use to get these things done. If you're one of our visiting guests today, not a member, these strategies and tactics apply to you just as much as any other small business.

Just by way of introduction, I'm Mitch Jacobs, CEO and Founder of Fanbank. Here's what qualifies me to have this conversation with you today. I have spent 25 years as an ally to small business owners. I've been on the forefront of all the payment processing, lending and marketing technology that swirls around your business today. And because I've been on the inside of the decisions about pricing service levels and pretty much everything that goes into these products, I am in a position to share that information with you.

I've also been working directly with many of you on the phone and thousands of businesses around the country for over 20 years now. I know that because you run the whole show and make all the decisions, you don't...more

Categories: Featured  |  Growth  |  Local business foot traffic  |  Marketing
  • 15 Minute Breakthrough
  • Small Business Marketing

Fanbank Small Business Week Webinar (with Mitch Jacobs)

Posted at 1/22/2020

(This is a transcript of the Fanbank Small Business Week Webinar with Fanbank CEO, Mitch Jacobs)

We're thrilled to be hosting this Small Business Week webinar – we have a great group of attendees from all over the country, an incredible collection of what makes our small business community so great. We have restaurants. We have hair salons. We have fitness studios, auto repair, just a wide representation of what makes our small business community so special and so vital.

Let me jump into the agenda that we are going to go through here today. I will do a very quick introduction of myself, but I also want to introduce all of you as a collection of businesses and people who are making an enormous impact in our communities and I just want to talk about that for a second. Up front, we’ll cover what Small Business Week is and then we're going to dig into the meat of things because this webinar is about how you can use events as sales opportunities. And so we’re going to talk about what big chains and franchises’ secret formula is, and then we'll go through how to apply that to your small business.

So just jumping into it. I am Mitch Jacobs, CEO and Founder of Fanbank and what I would just emphasize about my own experience is that I have spent my professional career sitting with and working with all of you. The first time I sat down with a small business owner, I was 21 years old and that was 1993 - I’ll let you do the math - but it's been over 25 years now of working through the period of the greatest innovation in our history. A lot of that innovation has made its way to small businesses and it's always been my focus of my work to figure out how to make the greatest advances in technology available to small business owners so that it can make your life easier and can help you in your efforts to grow your business and be a positive force in your communities.

In addition to being on the side of the table with all of you, I've also built four companies now and have worked as an adviser to the Treasury when I was in New York and for a while to Mayor Bloomberg’s Council on Technology and Innovation. And so, I've spent a lot of time with Silicon Valley, with government, with Wall Street and have always been an advocate for small business and able to see the way the world uses small business. I think one of things that happens too often is there's too much focus on l...more

Categories: Featured  |  Growth  |  Local business foot traffic  |  Marketing
  • small business week
  • independent small businesses
  • fanbank webinar

Customer Complaints and 5 Steps to Ensure they Help Your Small Business

Posted at 1/7/2020

We’ve all heard the life maxim that ends with “ … you can’t please all of the people all of the time.” In business, as in life, this is true so no matter how hard you work and how well you serve your customers, your small business is bound to get complaints from time to time. But contrary to what many people believe, customer complaints can be good for your small business.

How is that, you ask? Customer complaints are just another form of customer feedback and every successful business – no matter how small or large -- incorporates customer feedback into their ongoing business operations, strategy, and product or service offering. We recommend your small business follow these five steps to receive, process, and respond to customer complaints and to make your business even better.  


Step 1 is to listen carefully to understand the nature of any complaint so that you can categorize it.  Every business is unique and you should come up with your own list of categories so that you can see any emerging patterns and so that you can prioritize (step 2) your actions. Some examples of categories are first-time complaints, serial complaints (and complainers), a complaint from what you consider a loyal customer, a complaint about your product (or service) features, a time-sensitive or urgent issue, a personnel complaint, a complaint based on a misunderstanding, and a complaint from a new customer based on a mismatch of expectations.  

Contrary to a popular expression, the customer is not always right. Most customers with complaints will be based on legitimate concerns -- and you should incorporate that valuable feedback to improve your business. But others may not understand your offering or they may have an unrealistic expectation on what it can do for them. This too is valuable feedback as you can revise how you can make your offering better understood (e.g. better customer education). At the same time, your upfront “selling” process should be revised to make clear the benefits of your product - so there aren’t mismatched or overinflated expectations with future clients.   


You shouldn’t treat all complaints equally so consider which category the complaint falls into and ask yourself these additional questions before taking any action:

·      What is the urgency and importance of this complai...more

Categories: Marketing
  • Customer Care
  • Fanbank Complaints

Five Last Minute Ideas for your Chamber of Commerce to Promote Small Business Saturday

Posted at 11/26/2019

If you work for one of the 4,000 Chambers of Commerce across the United States, then you probably get the most satisfaction from your work when you help members become more successful, in turn, contributing to the prosperity of your community, region, or state.  

Therefore, you may want to take advantage of Small Business Saturday on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. The holiday encourages shoppers to patronize brick and mortar businesses that are small and local. However, with less than a week to go, you may worry there’s not enough time to do anything to support businesses on this upcoming holiday. But don’t fret, there’s still time to create an impactful promotional campaign to support your local merchants and here are five ideas for doing so: 

#1: Free Parking: If you have an office within walking distance of the downtown area, offer free parking to encourage people to make the trip. It's simple. But you’d be surprised how a little bit of encouragement will go a long way. Also, this offer gives you a reason to send out a mass email to your community to remind them to shop local. 

#2: Reward the Spirit of the Season: Set up a welcome booth and give away free coffee and doughnuts to anyone that makes a food or toy donation at the Chamber’s booth. This may spur a little extra purchasing in the local shops and the items can go to a good cause, like children in need or a local food pantry.   
#3: Gift Bag Drawing: Handout a “passport” or visitor card that can be stamped or punched by participating members (yes, you need to spend some effort to get your local merchants to agree to participate in advance) and if shoppers return their cards full, then enter them into a drawing for local merchandise or gift cards (Ask local businesses to donate to the cause…)  

#4: Scavenger Hunt: This probably won’t require much advance input from your local merchants.  Hand out 3 different sheets with 5 questions each about local businesses (e.g. which business is offering 40% off holiday ornaments…) Each completed sheet is entered into a random drawing and then provide gift baskets stocked with locally purchased items to the winning submission(s).  

#5: Hashtag Photo Contest: Post flyers around town on asking shoppers to take a photo at their favorite local store and then to hashtag it (eg. #citynamesaturday) If your town has a masco...more

Categories: Local business community  |  Local business foot traffic  |  Marketing
  • Small Business Saturday
  • Chamber of Commerce
  • Marketing
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Driving In-Store Sales from Actions Taken in the Online World

Posted at 9/23/2019

This posting summarizes key points made by Mitch Jacobs, Founder & CEO of Fanbank in his webinar entitled “Bridging the Gap Between Digital & Physical.”  

The session presents evidence that small business customers are actively living their lives online:

- 81% are using smartphones

- 75% of Americans have purchased something online

- 80% say online posts from their friends have directly influenced their purchasing decisions

Therefore, it’s essential that small businesses utilize tools to engage and capture customer attention online and drive these customers to make in-store purchases. The goal is to capture the attention of consumers where they reside today – on social media sites like Twitter, Instagram, Yelp, Facebook, or Google, and to convince them to cross the bridge and head into your store for the in-person experience. 

Fanbank’s easy-to-use online platform automates the digital experience for small business customers to ensure they can deliver high quality and consistent interaction with online prospects. 

Watch the video entitled “Bridging the Gap Between Digital and Physical” led by Mitch Jacobs, Founder & CEO of Fanbank to gain valuable insights or read customer reviews for Fanbank


Categories: Growth  |  Local business community  |  Local business foot traffic  |  Marketing

Grow Sales by Building and Engaging Your Customer List

Posted at 9/3/2019

Fanbank aims to be a resource for small businesses that anyone can use and to help small businesses efficiently manage and grow their sales. Fanbank Founder & CEO Mitch Jacobs, provides practical tips for how small business owners can create and engage their customer lists to maximize sales -- watch this video:

Mitch touches on tactics for building and engaging your customer list. In summary, these tactics include four key steps: 

1. Use a platform you can control (control your destiny) 
2. Break through the promotional noise and offer a reason to engage
3. Transform interest into captured contact information
4. Continue to build engagement at regular intervals

If you consistently put the right amount of energy into controlling, building, and engaging your customer list, you will achieve your sales goals.

To increase your marketing prowess and potential, read the full article here. https://blog.fanbank.com/2019/06/10/how-small-businesses-can-build-and-engage-their-customer-lists-to-grow-sales/

Interested in learning more about the Fanbank business?  Read Fanbank testimonials to learn how it can help you.  


Categories: Marketing
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