Small business

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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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Small Business and Startups: The 3-Page Business Plan (and a short post to match!)

Mike | November 17th, 2014

Well, it’s been a while since we last explored the topic of business plans and plenty has changed. The age of the 80-page plan has passed and has been replaced with the 140-character attention span. It’s not that potential investors and employees don’t want to know how you’re going to pull off this crazy, audacious […]

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Small Business and Startups: Customer Service Marketing Manifesto

Mike | November 3rd, 2014

I’ve written and spoken often about how customer service for us is a marketing tactic and how we view our customer service as a part of our marketing department. It’s simple – great customer service begets great customer satisfaction which begets great word of mouth. But there’s is another layer to this strategy that is […]

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10 Best Practices For Email Marketing For Small Business and Startups

Ross | October 21st, 2014

Marketers are seeing an alarming trend. Although 122 billion emails are sent every hour, a large and growing percentage of emails are never read. This is not surprising – most marketing emails are simply pure spam without any creative or substantive value. Even worse, really bad marketing emails can easily destroy a company’s reputation and […]

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