Small business

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 […]

Read full post »

A Contrarian View: Hire Well, Nurture Carefully, Fire Prudently

Mike | July 29th, 2013

Much has been written on the “Steve Jobs” school of human resources. Jobs was an uncompromising believer in hiring the most talented team possible and believed equally in firing folks at will. That was all well and good for the most valuable company in the world, where an endless stream of applicants lined up at […]

Read full post »

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 […]

Read full post »

Summer Business Books: What to Read Now

Mike | July 15th, 2013

I love to read. Books, newspapers, magazine, blogs, comment threads. Put the written word in front of me, whether on a sheet of paper bound into a book or magazine, or as pixels on a glowing screen and I will consume it. But like most small business owners, I have very little time available for […]

Read full post »

Small Business and Startups: The First Ever crowdSPRING Quiz!

Mike | July 8th, 2013

Now that the 4th of July party is over and we begin the official summer months, many businesses large and small will experience a slowdown in sales, traffic, and customer engagement. Why? Because it’s vacation time, stupid. Because you’ve got a bit of extra time on your hands, I imagine you’ve probably been asking yourself, “What […]

Read full post »

Small Business and Startups: 5 Marketing Myths

Mike | July 1st, 2013

Marketing is simple right? For every dollar your company spends on it, you should see over a dollar in the sales generated in return. In other words as long as the ROI is positive any marketing effort can be considered a good effort and any effort that does not come with measurable, positive ROI should be […]

Read full post »

Lean Marketing Tips: Public Speaking

Mike | June 24th, 2013

When building a company, marketing is everything. We often think of marketing as advertising, but in lean marketing that is only one component of an effective plan. An equally important piece is public relations and the value it can bring in increased awareness and visibility for your brand. PR can come in many flavors: media coverage, social media […]

Read full post »

Surprise Is One Of The Most Powerful Small Business Marketing Tools

Ross | June 18th, 2013

It has always been difficult to stand-out in a crowded market. When the products you sell are also available from thousands of other vendors at the same or lower prices, how do you differentiate your business and convince customers to buy from you? Smart companies surprise their customers when customers least expect surprises. When you […]

Read full post »

Lean Business: Save Money, Save the Environment

Mike | June 17th, 2013

Driving to Bloomington a few weeks ago on my way to the older son’s graduation from IU, I was struck as I always am by the sight of a massive windfarm along I65 in central Indiana. Hundreds of gargantuan windmills line the fields in orderly rows almost to the horizon. Spinning slowly and in near-prefect […]

Read full post »

Small Business Spotlight of the Week: AMP

Amanda | June 12th, 2013

One difficulty companies can face when first starting out is trying to connect with other businesses that have a similar goal. Networking for anyone first starting out is absolutely key, but for small businesses, it can make or break you. However, when your industry is super specific– like, say, sustainability– it can be a struggle […]

Read full post »