Lean business practices

Small Business and Startups: Tips for Reducing Refunds

Mike | March 3rd, 2014

How often does your business have an opportunity to increase bottom-line profitability, improve customer retention, and generate positive word-of-mouth with a zero-dollar investment in marketing or advertising? This huge opportunity is right under your nose and you probably don’t even know it. “What is it?” you ask. “Why is my nose so large?” you wonder.  It’s […]

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Small Business and Startups: Thinking About Business Plans (again)

Mike | January 13th, 2014

I am thinking about starting a new business and beginning to focus on planning, financing, marketing, launching and operating the thing. I have already done a fair amount of market research and determined that there is a demand for it, created a spreadsheet with financial projections that I am confident in, put together a bunch of […]

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Small Business and Startups: End-of-Year Mishegoss, 2013!

Mike | November 25th, 2013

Every year I have to sit you down and explain to you the importance of preparing for the end of year madness that every small business is required to experience. There is a ton of work to be done, myriad details to attend, and fun that must be had; this I need like a loch in […]

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Customer Service and a Culture of Helping

Mike | November 4th, 2013

“Thanks for contacting us with your question.  We’ll reply within 3 business days.” When people discuss the “helping” careers, they are usually referring to honorable fields such as social work, teaching, and psychotherapy. Rarely does selling shoes come into the mix. Yet Zappos has built an online empire, growing in little more than a dozen years […]

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Small Business and Startups: What Would Mom (and Pop) Do?

Mike | September 30th, 2013

In the world of startups and entrepreneurism, we spend a great deal of time discussing, funding, modeling, online marketing, lean principals, minimally viable products, goals and strategy and tactics, data analysis, ROI, CPC, and CPM (IMHO). We  learn a great deal by reading various theories of business, analyzing principles of leadership,  dissecting case studies, creating gantt […]

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How To Launch Your New Business For Less Than $1,500

Ross | September 24th, 2013

  Many entrepreneurs delay launching their startup because they believe they don’t have enough money to move forward. Startups can be expensive, but they don’t have to be. The Founder Institute, an early-stage startup accelerator created an infographic (below) showing, in 10 steps, how you can launch a business for under $1,500. Incidentally, I’ve mentored at […]

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Small Business and Startups: Seasonal Peaks and Valleys

Mike | September 9th, 2013

Summer is drawing to a close and with it the August doldrums. After 5+ years in business, if we have learned anything it is about the seasonality of our own business and the cyclical demand for creative services. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that many businesses launch projects in September when everyone is back […]

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Fracking Your Customer Base

Mike | August 26th, 2013

I have been reading lately about the energy industry, specifically the efforts over the last 10 years or so to develop the technique know as Hydraulic fracking or, simply, “fracking.” Fracking has allowed the oil and gas companies to extract valuable oil and gas from fields that had been considered tapped out by injecting a […]

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Lean Business: Lessons from A-Rod

Mike | August 12th, 2013

In the universe of lean marketing tactics, best practice always includes a healthy mix of public relations efforts. Small businesses and startups can often leverage PR to great effect and it is typically one of the most cost-effective ways to generate positive word-of-mouth, build awareness, and grow a nascent brand. But PR in the wrong […]

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Working Remote. Yeah. About That.

Mike | July 22nd, 2013

On any given day at the crowdSPRING HQ, we will have anywhere between 1 and 6 people working in the office simultaneously. Of late, 1 is the more common number and 6 is becoming a rarity. Why is that? Well a year or two ago we instituted a policy (I say “instituted,” but really it […]

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