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

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StartupNation inspires, educates and consistently attracts entrepreneurs and small business owners from Main Street America who want to be their own bosses and live the American Dream.
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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 [email protected] 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.

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