Small business

Small Business and Startups: Finding Your Match

Mike | July 27th, 2015

Last week I wrote about customer service and the importance of scheduling and allocating your support resources. Lots of small businesses find that they can deliver top-notch, high-volume customer support with very small teams of people as long as they have the correct tool and as long as they pay close attention to the kinds of problems […]

Read full post »

Small Business and Startups: Making Customer Service Available (On Your Own Terms)

Mike | July 20th, 2015

Periodically (like every single quarter) we review our customer service data to determine whether we are best using our resources. This is an excellent practice for a small company, especially one that is ambitious and by its very nature capacity constrained. At crowdSPRING we strive to provide world-class quality support, but our team is small […]

Read full post »

Lean Business Tips: Marketing Channels on the Cheap

Mike | July 13th, 2015

Startups and small businesses face a steep learning curve when it comes to online marketing. The options are rich, the ROI can be cruel, the capacity investment can be significant, and the results can often be questionable. At crowdSPRING we have experimented with virtually every online marketing strategy and tactic available, often with negative results. The […]

Read full post »

From the Vault: America’s Founding Entrepreneurs

Mike | July 6th, 2015

EDITOR’S NOTE: We originally published this post back in July of 2011. As this is a holiday weekend (and the entire team is trying to get in a little recreation), we thought we’d repurpose this and see if it still has legs… On this Independence Day I have been thinking about the summer of ’76 and […]

Read full post »

Small Business and Startups: Teams and Transparency

Mike | June 22nd, 2015

How transparent is too transparent? At crowdSPRING we have worked hard since we first launched to share information openly and honestly with our users, our investors, and our team. We communicate regularly with customers about site issues, new features, and our policies and procedures. We ask for feedback and suggestions and, when users choose to share […]

Read full post »

Small Business and Startups: Things to do Before I Die (Entrepreneur’s version)

Mike | June 15th, 2015

I write often about setting goals and defining strategy, but I rarely think about those things in a personal context. What should my own goals be for the next 10 years and beyond? What strategies can I use to accomplish those goals? As startup founders go, I am a pretty old guy. When we started […]

Read full post »

5 Things Entrepreneurs Can Learn From Their Own Customers (We Did!)

Mike | June 8th, 2015

It is certainly not the first time I’ve said this, but the point bears repeating: your customer’s voices are the thing you should be paying the closest attention to. Today. There are many ways to get your ear to the rail and listen to what they have to say: surveys, exit questionnaires, customer service emails, live […]

Read full post »

Innovation and Small Business: 3 Historical Winners

Mike | June 1st, 2015

I wrote a few years ago about some innovations that changed the world. The steam engine transformed transportation and manufacturing forever; the invention of the distillation process and the introduction of Vodka forever changed the way we make fools of ourselves (not to mention Governmental revenues); and the invention of moving picture projectors created an new-to-the-world […]

Read full post »

5 Things Entrepreneurs Can Learn From Kindergarten Teachers

Mike | May 18th, 2015

If you remember the name of your kindergarten teacher, raise your hand. In a poll of adults, almostporno 70%  could recall the person with great clarity.  This is remarkable, because not only was this decades ago but the respondents were just 5 or 6 years old at the time! Our very first teachers were memorable because they were sources of […]

Read full post »

Small Business and Startups: 8 Steps To a Successful Redesign

Mike | May 11th, 2015

There comes a time when a business looks hard at its website and lets out a groan of dismay. Your website is out-dated, out-moded, and out-competed and it doesn’t take a genius to see. Your own customers may have been telling you to get it together and, whether you are listening or not, it doesn’t […]

Read full post »