Small business

Small Business and Startups: What Type of Boss Are You?

Mike | February 9th, 2015

I like to think of myself as a benevolent boss – guiding the team with a wise and gentle hand. Except on those occasions when I am not. Day-to-day I don’t think a great deal about the bossing-style I practice, but when I do take time to reflect, I realize that I have some very serious shortcomings […]

Read full post »

Small Business and Startups: What I am Using Now (5 Free Tools!)

Mike | February 2nd, 2015

As a manager of a small, online business I wear a whole range of hats: I supervise marketing, customer service, engineering, business intelligence, HR, and operations (among other things). My days are full, my hours are long, and my budget is ever limited. Like all of us, I am constantly looking for money-savers and productivity-boosters and […]

Read full post »

Lean Business: Unleashing the (task) Force

Mike | January 26th, 2015

When I think about the word “taskforce,” what comes to mind is a small group of people charged with accomplishing a specific duty or chore. However, it’s when I looked more closely at the word, in its component parts, that an insight began to take form. A task is an activity that is to be accomplished within a defined […]

Read full post »

Small Business and Startups: Hold Hands and Leverage Your Customer Service

Mike | January 19th, 2015

From Day One we viewed crowdSPRING as the ultimate light-touch, self-serve, highly scalable internet business. We determined that we would build the product and out website such that even the least sophisticated visitor could learn for themselves how the system worked and could then take self-led actions to source the creative services they came looking for. Our […]

Read full post »

5 things Entrepreneurs Can Learn From Charlie Hebdo

Mike | January 12th, 2015

Ugh. We woke up one morning last week to the worst of news: 12 people had been slaughtered in Paris for saying what they felt needed saying, for challenging the status quo, and for pursuing a business model they had built over decades. This news touched us at crowdSPRING in a meaningful way: the people who were […]

Read full post »

Small Businesses and Startups – 3 New Years Reflections and Resolutions

Mike | January 5th, 2015

Alright then. Hangover from New Years eve is gone these past few days. The last long weekend of the holidays is done. And now, once again, we turn our gaze lovingly back to our business, our customers, and our team. As managers, we are so focused on the moment at hand, the task that needs accomplishing, the […]

Read full post »

Customer Service: The Difference Between Empathy and Sympathy

Ross | December 16th, 2014

Most customer service teams respond to customers with sympathy. A sympathetic response could be: “I’m also unhappy with the way that product works.” Sympathy is rarely an ideal response to a customer’s problem. Instead, show empathy. Empathy allows to you be professional and caring at the same time. It also allows you to avoid becoming […]

Read full post »

Small Business and Startups: How Do I Thank You?

Mike | December 15th, 2014

Mom taught us well. She raised us to be polite and she raised us to consider other’s feelings. For many small business owners saying thanks to your team is a head-scratcher. Performance-based bonuses can be a powerful incentive for individuals, and profit-sharing plans can reward great teamwork, but saying thank you can and should rise above […]

Read full post »

2015: Some Trends!

Mike | December 8th, 2014

It is totally that time of year again. Decorations are everywhere, strains of holiday music can be heard in every Starbucks in the land, delivery truck drivers are straining under the weight of gift-laden cartons, and annual lists of trends are popping up on blogs everywhere. So, thinks I, why shouldn’t I jump in on […]

Read full post »

Why We Love Small Business Saturday

Mike | November 24th, 2014

Holidays are here. How do we know? Well I have been seeing tons of holiday-themed commercials on television, I am hearing holiday music being piped through the speakers outside my local coffee spot, I am reading about how many retailers are struggling with whether they should be open for business on Thanksgiving day (not to mention making their […]

Read full post »