Start ups

Small business love: trucks, pop-ups, and nomadic goodness

Mike | July 26th, 2010

Even in non-recessionary times it can be difficult to get a new business off the ground. Start-up costs are high, investors are keeping the purse-strings tied tight, and customers are not exactly spending with élan. The restaurant business, traditionally a hothouse for entrepreneurism, suffered greatly in the current downturn but is rebounding, with industry-wide sales […]

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Small business and startups: engage your customers the old(spice)-fashioned way

Mike | July 19th, 2010

Customer loyalty is critical to all businesses, and this loyalty can be built by small businesses by engaging their audience with their own brands through content creation. Blog posts, videos, advertising, and social media interaction should be designed to serve a larger engagement strategy. The last few weeks have seen an explosion online, on TV, […]

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Small business and startup tips: track your own customer service data

Mike | July 12th, 2010

It’s been over a year since I last updated the community on our efforts to build a world-class customer service organization. We are committed to providing great support and doing it in a timely, polite, and efficient manner. Since we launched in May of 2008 we have provided customer service via our online Help Center, […]

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Focus On Your Core Business Or You Will Fail

Ross | July 7th, 2010

Too often, startups risk getting misdirected by the media and customers to add features and functionality to a product or service that turn out to be collateral to the core business. I believe this is happening with Gowalla and Foursquare, among others. Both services have become media darlings, and both are obsessed with adding features […]

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10 Tips for startups and small businesses on using voice in your marketing

Mike | June 28th, 2010

Finding your company’s voice in your marketing efforts and written content is a rich way to connect with your customers, engage potential customers, and develop a loyal audience base. Voice is one of the imponderable elements of good writing, and unlike punctuation and spelling it can not be taught with a swift rap from a […]

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10 Tips for Startups and Small Businesses on Naming Your Company

Ross | June 23rd, 2010

Naming your company can be challenging and time consuming. If you need help or simply don’t have the time (it took us nearly 50 hours to name “crowdSPRING”), you can leverage crowdSPRING’s community of more than 64,000 designers and writers to come up with your company name or a product name. Whether you leverage crowdSPRING’s […]

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Small business or self-employed: finding the courage to trade

Mike | June 21st, 2010

If there is anything I have learned in my life as an adult (as arguable as that second half of that statement may be), it is that everything is about the tradeoff. We swap our personal independence for love and comfort when we marry; we barter away more of that autonomy when we have children; […]

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Saying “thank you” – why startups and small businesses should listen to mom.

Mike | June 14th, 2010

In these recessionary times, all of us who operate startups and small businesses struggle to meet our bottom line, pay our monthly bills, retain our great employees, and grow our businesses in spite of the challenges presented. What to do, what to do? Well, one time-proven marketing strategy that increases customer lifetime value, cements loyalty, and […]

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558,000 startups and small businesses. Why we should thank the recession.

Mike | June 7th, 2010

One good thing to come out of this recession has been a dramatic increase in the number of new businesses started in the US and around the world. According to a Kauffman foundation study, in 2009 the number of new businesses hit the highest level in 14 years, with  558,000 start-ups every single month in […]

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