Is this ‘good-bye’ for credit card interchange fees?

September 28, 2022

Go look up “DART mission” on Google. You’ll be glad you did.

Hot off the SMB press this week:

  • Is it the end for credit card interchange fees? (Crossing our fingers.)
  • The secret to raising a family and running a business.
  • Picking the right mobile learning platform for your team. 

TL;DR

Headlines that caught our attention this week

  • SMB grant alert: Amazon Business is launching a small business grant program. Customers with annual revenue of $1M or less can apply for monetary grants up to $25K and other perks like Business Prime membership. But you gotta be quick. The grant application is due this Friday, September 30.
  • Smooth like butter. Goodbye #NyquilChicken (thank goodness), hello butter boards — the latest food craze to hit the TikTok merry-go-round. This charcuterie-style trend involves placing ingredients like honey, figs, and nuts on a layer of butter. Let’s hope this doesn’t send the butter industry into a meltdown.
  • Freight fright. No jump scares here — following poor fiscal results in Q1, FedEx has already announced their plans to cut costs in 2023. These will include closing certain locations, reducing some Sunday services, and raising freight rates by an average of 6.9-7.9%. Might want to keep a close eye on your business’ shipping budget.
  • Super Bowl upset. Apple Music is officially the new sponsor for the Super Bowl halftime show. The streaming service is dethroning Pepsi, who has sponsored the renowned performance for the past decade. We vote this the second biggest story about the Super Bowl this week (Rihanna takes the top spot, naturally).

ALL IN THE FAMILY

Can you run a successful business while raising a family?

In short: Yes.
Hey, there are plenty of mutually exclusive situations out there (see: drinking a PSL and not having someone joke about it being “basic”). But, entrepreneurship and family aren’t on that list.

In fact, there are plenty of SMBs that make their biz a full-on family affair. Just ask the 77% of new U.S. businesses established with significant involvement from their fam. And if you’re still worried about the impact entrepreneurship is having on your children, business-owning moms say that it’s made them a better parent despite the workload. (Don’t argue with mom. She always knows best.)

A woman saying, "I'm excited to be a mom so then I can always be right."

Thanks for the pep talk. But I don’t think I can do it.
…yet. Getting into a nice business-family rhythm takes time, but it’s not impossible. Here are some tips for taming your hustle so that it leaves time for the people you love:

  1. Assemble a team that can keep the lights on without you around. Focus your efforts on areas that capitalize on your strengths and where you can make the biggest impact. The rest of your tasks? Delegate ‘em. According to Patrick Cummings, author of “The Family-Business Balancing Act”: “Once you’ve recruited and trained people who add new strengths to the team, you can move on to hiring others to reinforce your strengths.”
  2. Now that you’ve got your team, instill them with independence. Create the space to step away from work by fostering a culture of independence. That means training your team members to take on overlapping responsibilities — “each person in the office should be able to expand their duties to cover for others when needed.”

👉 More tips on raising a fam while running your SMB.


ON THE GO

Why your SMB needs a mobile learning platform

A man holding a phone, with flashing folder, brain, and checkmark symbols.

Chances are you have a smartphone in your pocket, purse, or within reaching distance. You might even be holding it to read this.

Smartphones have changed the way we do everything — including business. The convenience of mobile devices makes it easier than ever to stay connected and do what we need to do. In fact, 60% of employees use their phones for work-related purposes.

Why restrict yourself (and your employees) to a desk?
Maybe you work in an industry that requires employees to be out and about, like trucking or landscaping. When your employees are on the go, go, go, a mobile learning platform will help keep them plugged in. And with the right tools, they can instantly access your business’ processes and procedures wherever, whenever.

Here’s what to look for:
First, find something that’s easy for everyone to use. Not everyone can figure out apps intuitively, so use something simple that makes information easy to find.

Next, you’ll want an app with attention-grabbing features that keep employees engaged and training sticky. (No one wants to read a 100-page manual off their phone. Snore.)

You’ll also want a mobile app that can integrate across the platforms you use. This’ll help you avoid the headache of reworking your learning strategies for mobile and make it easy to manage all of your learning material from one spot.

👉 Find the best mobile platform for your SMB.


MY MONEY DON’T JIGGLE, JIGGLE. IT SWIPES.

Why companies are fighting back on credit card processing fees

Let’s play a game.
Guess how much U.S. merchants and consumers paid on credit card swipe fees in 2021. (Wait for it...)

Nearly $138B. Oof.

And where did that money go? Right in the pockets of big wigs at card-issuing companies and the payment processing company.

A man shaking his head and saying, "Nope. Don't like that."

Interchange and assessment fees result in an average of 2.25% in added expenses per transaction. As you might imagine, this adds up pretty quickly for whoever’s getting hit with the charges (the businesses or consumers).

But here’s the good (or bad?) news: The federal government’s stepping in.

The big solution:
Congress proposed the Credit Card Competition Act, where banks with more than $100B in assets would have to use an outside network to process credit card transactions.

The theory is that this will end Visa and Mastercard’s domination of the U.S. credit card market (the banks currently account for over 83% of U.S. credit card market share). In turn, it’ll lower transaction fees for merchants and consumers. (Holla.)

But Visa and Mastercard are pushing back big time (shocker). Their argument: Using external networks may compromise the safety of routing transactions, as external networks may have diminished security measures compared to larger companies.

On the other hand, plenty of companies have already backed the bill — including Walmart, Target, and Kroger. Plus, if passed, it could especially help small businesses thrive. So keep this one on your radar.


WE HAVE A PODCAST

What you might’ve missed on Organize Chaos 

Ah, fall. The season when leaves start a-changin’ and we cozy up by a fire with a nice warm cup of Organize Chaos (you should really try it). ‘Cause every weekday, founder and CEO of Trainual, Chris Ronzio, hosts our favorite SMB podcast, offering up entrepreneurial and small business leadership advice that covers everything from people to processes to productivity — and how to organize your life around it all.

Banner featuring a white man, with the title "Luke Owings."

What ROI should you expect from investing in your team’s professional development? How about nurturing leaders? Chris tackles those very questions with the help of Luke Owings, VP of product at Abilitie, a leadership development company. If you’ve ever wondered how you should think about the expenses associated with investing in your team, listen to Luke and Chris talk about how you can create a culture of professional development while weighing the financial costs.

Only have 10 minutes to spare? Check out these mini episodes:

Organize the chaos
of your small business