Start ups

5 things that suck (about hiring new employees) and 10 things companies can do about it

Mike | February 28th, 2011

We hear all the time about the importance of hiring the right people and the expanding universe of advice can be overwhelming; hire slow and fire fast, only hire the “right” candidate; ask probing questions; check all references; blah blah blah. For a small business with constantly-strained capacity it can be incredibly difficult to post a […]

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Small business and startup issues: net neutrality and H.R. 1

Mike | February 21st, 2011

Small businesses which are built on the Internet and dependent on it for their livelihoods are threatened by an amendment to the spending bill passed by the House last week. The amendment introduced by Oregon Representative Greg Walden, specifically prohibits the FCC from enforcing its Net Neutrality rules, passed late last year. These rules would […]

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Saying “No” To Customers Can Save Your Company

Ross | February 15th, 2011

Many entrepreneurs and small business owners argue that you should always listen to your customers. In fact, the popular lean startup principles advocate listening to your customers and iterating early and often. But listening to customers – and responding to your customers’ suggestions by implementing all or many of them – are not the same […]

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Tips for small business and entrepreneurs: the right customer service when things go wrong

Mike | February 14th, 2011

Ross wrote a short post the other day about a funny customer service request we received  and mentioned that we have handled well over 100,000 customer service contacts since we launched less than 3 year ago. I looked at that number and my jaw dropped; I know intellectually that we handle a huge volume of […]

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10 things that entrepreneurs can learn from dogs

Mike | February 7th, 2011

Some months back I wrote a post about how, as entrepreneurs, we have much to learn from our kids. Lots of you chimed in about your own experiences and about how much you, too, have learned about business from children. Well, as I was pondering what to write about this week, our family dog, Epee´ […]

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Best Practices and Tips for Restaurant Web Design

Ross | January 26th, 2011

Whether you’re an entrepreneur opening your first restaurant or a seasoned business owner with many years of experience in the restaurant industry, you face many challenges. Among the most important of these challenges is your restaurant’s website. A strong web design can help a restaurant to more effectively market itself, can help convert visitors who […]

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Traveling lean: tips for small businesses and entrepreneurs

Mike | January 17th, 2011

(Fortunately) we don’t have to travel a great deal here at crowdSPRING; we do the bulk of our communication with partners, funders, and customers over the phone, via email, or on Skype. However, when we do travel we are ever constrained by our limited travel budget, over-extended scheduling, and our pesky insistence on convenience,  creature […]

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Five Designs Small Businesses and Startups Should Crowdsource

Ross | January 4th, 2011

Only several years ago, many startups and small businesses could not effectively compete against larger and better financed competitors. Today, inexpensive and free small business marketing tools, outstanding small business programs from Google, and crowdsourcing have made it possible for startups and small businesses to level the playing field. In this post, we’ll discuss five […]

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Three economic trends for 2011 (fueled by startup goodness)

Mike | January 3rd, 2011

2011 is going to be a great year for entrepreneurs – even better than 2010. The past year saw startups on the rise, an increase in venture capital funding (both in real dollars and numbers of companies funded), a resurgence of IPOs, and the rise of David against Goliath, as best represented by Groupon’s spurning […]

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