Fresh from the SPRING: DavidStHubbins Audree | April 1st, 2015

When perusing our galleries here on crowdSPRING, we see some amazing work submitted in the projects. Today, we noticed this brilliantly clever album cover design in this Print Design project.
Let us start the slow clap for DavidStHubbins. Check out more great work on DavidStHubbins’ profile page.
Nicely done, DavidStHubbins, nicely done!FFS-DavidStHubbins

Small Business and Startups: Sustainability and Your Company Mike | March 30th, 2015

A wonderful project posted to crowdSPRING recently has got me thinking lately about the role of sustainability in the context of small business. Iggesund Paperboard, a leading producer of high quality virgin fiber paperboard, issued a challenge to improve existing consumer packaging. The idea was simple: take a look around you at your local grocery, pick out a package, and reimagine how that packaging made of plastic, glass and metal could be redesigned using sustainable materials. The results are incredibly creative and the ideas are wonderful. If all of the consumer packaged goods manufacturers around the world took their own look and redesigned their own packaging,  we would see smaller landfills, a decreasing rate of climate change, an increase in recyclables, and a healthier planet.

Right now, you’re probably asking yourself, “What can a small business owner do?” Let me tell you that the answer is simple and, if every one of the millions of small businesses around the world took these simple steps, the global results would be significant:

1. Recycle. Walk over to the nearest trashcan in your office and peer down. Does it contain any paper? Bottles? Cans? If so you should be separating those materials and sending them to recycling instead of to the local landfill. Check with your team – I can pretty much guarantee you already have at least one recycling enthusiast who will be happy to become the leader of your office effort at reducing trash and improving your internal practices. One idea is to start simple: provide everyone with two small trash baskets so they can separate their own trash and recyclables right there at their desk!

2. Stop using that printer. Not only are those ink cartridges expensive, but they contain plastics that choke landfills,  chemicals whose manufacturing process throws off pollutants, and  shipping and logistics support just to get them delivered to your door. Most of these printer toner cartridges are recyclable, so if you have to use toner, at least be sure to send them back when you buy new ones. Not to mention paper, right? How many reams do you go through in an average year? You can reduce the impact on forests, water use, transportation-generated pollution, and chemical runoff just by reducing your paper use. Seriously, in the age of email, smart phones, SMS, and Google docs, do we really need to print so many documents?

Read the rest of this post »

Twitter Link Roundup #262 – MegaResources for Small Business, Startups, and Design! Mike | March 27th, 2015

Did you guys see Birdman, the Oscar-winning picture? If you’re like me the loooong choreographed shots really caught your attention and left you in awe. This is tough stuff to do for any filmmaker. Take a look at the video above and check out how the actors and creative team pulled one off!

OK then. Now it’s time for our own version of a long take, all-in-one-shot! That’s because it’s time for our weekly Roundup! Here is a hot mess of great links and articles we shared with you over the past week on our  crowdSPRING Twitter account (as well as my own Twitter account). We so like to talk about fonts, logo design, web design, startups, entrepreneurship, small business, leadership, social media, marketing, economics and other interesting stuff! Enjoy!

smallbusinessblog

How To Start an Online Shop in 15 Minutes – Ecommerce Platforms crowdspring.co/1wFuDyh

5 steps to finding clients using LinkedIn | Self promotion | Creative Bloq crowdspring.co/1EImpYX

Small Business and Startups: Mind the Gap | crowdSPRING Blog – http://bit.ly/1D5LfSz

What Competitive Sports Taught Me About Running a Business crowdspring.co/1wFd1lX

The surprising secret about SMEs’ Churn crowdspring.co/1GzsBj9

3 Simple Tips for a Stress-Free Tax Season crowdspring.co/1DgJK3y

Types of Procrastinators & What Motivates Them (infographic) crowdspring.co/1A4oRCc

How To Connect Social Media Metrics to In-Store Foot Traffic crowdspring.co/1FalO0D

3 Steps to Stay Highly Motivated and Meet Your Goals crowdspring.co/1wFfqgA

Why Transparency Matters | crowdSPRING Blog – crowdspring.co/1Fj95cC

What is EMV? – Small Biz Daily crowdspring.co/1wFfoFj

startupsblog

From Chicago’s 1871: Howard Tullman’s heavily caffeinated life crowdspring.co/1EAvSyW

How to Build an All-Star Team Through Trust crowdspring.co/1Fl6QDh

Meet the Producers Behind Indiegogo’s Highest-Funded Film crowdspring.co/1aQIsA8

3 crucial marketing skills all entrepreneurs should have crowdspring.co/1CHZ09n

How to Ask for a Raise crowdspring.co/1A4oQOP

What I’ve Learned From 20 Jobs in 20 Years crowdspring.co/1Gr58E8

Reid Hoffman’s Two Rules for Strategy Decisions crowdspring.co/1G7cnxj

Habits of Incredible Networkers That Can Make You Awesome, Too crowdspring.co/1BboYzS

Techstars’ David Cohen on How to Get the Most Out of Accelerators crowdspring.co/1H7tQqu

The Denim Empire: See The History Of Gap In 4 Minutes crowdspring.co/1G7crx3

5 Questions Forward-Thinking Leaders Are Asking Themselves Now crowdspring.co/1EiCdPj

Behold: The Quantified Baby crowdspring.co/1CdEbkT

The Reputation Economy: Are You Ready? crowdspring.co/1MyYj1X

Do You Have to Be Crazy to Become an Entrepreneur? crowdspring.co/1wFd0P0

Entrepreneurs and Hustlers Are 2 Tracks on the Same Record crowdspring.co/1wFd0yk

Simple Ways You Can Build Self-Confidence and Succeed crowdspring.co/1BCejyo

GigaOm is Shutting Down crowdspring.co/1Ec7mRS

Research: We’re Not Very Self-Aware, Especially at Work crowdspring.co/1CdEeNv

How to Hire the A-team crowdspring.co/1EI6Kst

So, You’re an Industry Expert Now? How to Prepare for a Speaking Gig. crowdspring.co/1MyM4nV

6 Ways to Keep Your Best Employees Longer – StartupCollective crowdspring.co/1FZF9jO

Lyft Raises $530 Million crowdspring.co/1EbWtzF

Selfless Ways to Build Good Karma and Generate Happiness crowdspring.co/1FZG4kn

What Entrepreneurs Can Learn From the World’s Top Hedge Fund Managercrowdspring.co/1MyMvOZ

AskGaryVee Episode 80: Twitter Acquiring Periscope, Airports & Being Young crowdspring.co/1EbWu6y

Eradicating Your Limiting Beliefs crowdspring.co/1GB9EfY

Why You Need Emotional Intelligence to Succeed crowdspring.co/1xl5HXD

Famous ‘Trep Failures — and Comebacks crowdspring.co/1MyZ4YY

A Raver Walks Into ‘Shark Tank’–and Becomes the Best Entrepreneur on the Show crowdspring.co/1wFfo8u

Read the rest of this post »

Fresh from the SPRING: ReesQ Audree | March 25th, 2015

When perusing our galleries here on crowdSPRING, we see some amazing work submitted in the projects. Today, we noticed this gem submitted in this logo project.

Let us start the slow clap for ReesQ. Check out more great work on ReesQ’s profile page.

Nicely done, ReesQ, nicely done!

 

FFS-ReesQ

Small Business and Startups: Mind the Gap Mike | March 23rd, 2015

Marketing analysis comes in a variety of flavors, but perhaps the one most important and elemental analysis you can perform for your business or startup is the Gap Analysis.

Gap Analysis can mean different things in different contexts, but here we are talking about marketing channels. By understanding your customers needs, and analyzing your competition’s approach to filling those needs, a gap analysis can identify opportunity, help you to define marketing goals, and provide insight for your own strategic decision-making.

The first and most important step is to understand what your customer wants. All customers of all businesses have their  own “service output demands.” SODs are a customer’s essential needs that have to be met in order for them to purchase of your product or service. Most customer’s have a mix of requirements, which can range from the very simple (“What is the absolute, rock bottom price I can buy this product for?”), but more typically are a more complex and personally weighted mix of those quantitative SODs as well as qualitative elements such as expedience (“How convenient is the location and how long will it take me to drive there?”) and experience (“Does this salesperson have the knowledge and skill to train me in the best ways to use the product?”).

Read the rest of this post »

Twitter Link Roundup #261 – Jaw-Dropping Resources for Small Business, Startups, and Design! Mike | March 20th, 2015

Bored? Bored on a plane? Well 2.3 million people must be, because this video has been viewed that many times already! All you need is a ticket for the flight, a recording device, and some readily available sound-editing software. Oh, and some talent would be helpful, too. Like this producer has, in abundance!

Time now to prepare for landing. Please power down your electronic devices (except for the one you’re using to read this, of course) because it’s time for our weekly Roundup! Here are a slew of great links and articles we shared with you over the past week on our  crowdSPRING Twitter account (as well as my own Twitter account). We so like to talk about fonts, logo design, web design, startups, entrepreneurship, small business, leadership, social media, marketing, economics and other interesting stuff! Enjoy!

smallbusinessblog

How to Build an All-Star Team Through Trust crowdspring.co/1Fl6QDh

The Perfect Office – Podo Camera, Logitech Daedalus Apex Mouse and Office Ideas abduzeedo.com/perfect-office…

3 Simple Tips for a Stress-Free Tax Season crowdspring.co/1DgJK3y

Meet the Producers Behind Indiegogo’s Highest-Funded Film crowdspring.co/1aQIsA8

How to Hire the A-team crowdspring.co/1EI6Kst

How do you stay productive? – Envato Live crowdspring.co/1aQClvM

startupsblog

Small Business and Startups: Why Transparency Matters | crowdSPRING Blog – crowdspring.co/1MysBUi

How Drug Company Gilead Outpaces Its Competitors—And Common Diseases crowdspring.co/1Mz2WZV

The World’s Top 10 Most Innovative Companies Of 2015 In Style crowdspring.co/1BOQaoO

14 Marketplace Mistakes That Are Killing Your Startup – buff.ly/1O5DTkG

Lyft Raises $530 Million crowdspring.co/19hvwmx

Techstars’ David Cohen on How to Get the Most Out of Accelerators crowdspring.co/1H7tQqu

So, You’re an Industry Expert Now? How to Prepare for a Speaking Gig. crowdspring.co/1MyM4nV

Questions Forward-Thinking Leaders Are Asking Themselves Now crowdspring.co/1EiCdPj

3 Types of Procrastinators & What Motivates Them (infographic) crowdspring.co/1A4oRCc

Do You Have to Be Crazy to Become an Entrepreneur? crowdspring.co/1wFd0P0

The Apple Engineer Behind The New MacBook Speaks–And What He Says Might Shock You! crowdspring.co/1EbVL5s

Entrepreneurs and Hustlers Are 2 Tracks on the Same Record crowdspring.co/1wFd0yk

Behold: The Quantified Baby crowdspring.co/1CdEbkT

Habits of Incredible Networkers That Can Make You Awesome, Too crowdspring.co/1BboYzS

What I’ve Learned From 20 Jobs in 20 Years crowdspring.co/1Gr58E8

Reid Hoffman’s Two Rules for Strategy Decisions crowdspring.co/1G7cnxj

The surprising secret about SMEs’ Churn crowdspring.co/1GzsBj9

How to Ask for a Raise crowdspring.co/1A4oQOP

The Denim Empire: See The History Of Gap In 4 Minutes crowdspring.co/1G7crx3

Read the rest of this post »

Fresh from the SPRING: GoldBug Audree | March 18th, 2015

When perusing our galleries here on crowdSPRING, we see some amazing work submitted in the projects. Today, we noticed this gem submitted in this logo project.

Let us start the slow clap for GoldBug. Check out more great work on GoldBug’s profile page.

Nicely done, GoldBug, nicely done!

 

FFS-GoldBug

 

Small Business and Startups: Why Transparency Matters Mike | March 16th, 2015

What we got here, is a failure. To communicate. Profound words from a film, that in retrospect, feels a bit dated and quaint. In the Paul Newman classic, “Coolhand Luke,” the antagonist uses those words to control the prisoners who are his charges, and those words usually communicate the punishment that is to follow.

In business, failure to communicate comes with its own form of punishment: poor performance, confusion, degraded teamwork, and reduced productivity. Strong communication, driven by transparency, can help to improve all of the above

Transparent. The word is variously defined as clear, see-through, or glassy. But it can also be used to mean obvious, self-evident, unconcealed, or simply, plain as the nose on your face. When a leader is transparent in her or his attitude and actions the results are palpable and unequivocal.

The last couple of weeks, with the brouhaha over Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email account while she was Secretary of State, the media has been focused on this very issue. When is it appropriate for a leader to be transparent? What rights do the press and the public have to see our leader’s communications? Where is the line between what is shared and what is kept confidential? Of course, there is a vast difference between communications that relate to the security of a nation and those that relate to a small business, but the metaphor is a good one: by choosing to avoid the scrutiny that could come with transparency, Secretary Clinton has created an environment of mistrust, suspicion, and doubt. A little sunshine, where appropriate, would have gone a very long way to build credence, reach consensus, improve moral, and create an atmosphere of trust and cooperation.

So how can a strong manager increase transparency and improve overall communication? There are numerous ways, but the low-hanging fruit is pretty simple: be inclusive in meetings, brief people with periodic written updates, enjoy lunch together and let the conversation flow openly and honestly and, finally, ask.

In meetings with your team, share your thoughts, share your data, and share your strategy. Don’t keep your ideas hidden, but rather air them out; take them for a metaphorical walk and let your team walk with you. Your ideas will be strengthened by their feedback and they will have the opportunity to share their own ideas, many of which will be excellent and worth implementing.

Take time to create and distribute a quarterly or monthly email with business intelligence data, notes on strategy, financial figures, and other relevant information. Investors, employees, and partners can benefit greatly from this shared material and the very act of sharing will generate feedback which you can incorporate as you see fit.

Spend relaxed time together with your team and other important stakeholders. You’d be surprised how a simple lunch with a client or an investor or a vendor or your team can generate meaningful ideas and input. Create an environment where the sharing of opinions and theories is encouraged and celebrated.

Photo, Wikipedia: Movie still from Cool Hand Luke, 1967

Twitter Link Roundup #260 – Fresh Baked Resources for Small Business, Startups, and Design! Mike | March 13th, 2015

Those of us who commute to work every day often find ourselves gazing at the people around us. Well, the photojournalist Rebecca Davis turned her gaze on the people she saw on her commute, on the NYC subway. She’s turned the still images into a powerful and moving video, that captures the everyday ennui of our daily commute.

OK, now wake up! Your commute has come to an end, you’ve reached your stop and it’s time for our weekly Roundup! Here are a mess of great links and articles we shared with you over the past week on our  crowdSPRING Twitter account (as well as my own Twitter account). We so like to talk about fonts, logo design, web design, startups, entrepreneurship, small business, leadership, social media, marketing, economics and other interesting stuff! Enjoy!

smallbusinessblog

Strategy and Focus in Small Teams: the New Black | crowdSPRING Blog – crowdspring.co/192O4Xv

Things to Know About Filing Tax Extensions for Business crowdspring.co/1BfrjZu

Half-Day Productivity Hack to Knock Out Your Priority Projects crowdspring.co/1EU9stP

Things Freelancers Should Know About Filing Their Taxes crowdspring.co/1aQooxS

startupsblog

Distinctive Ways to Impress Your Team That Will Make You Stand Out crowdspring.co/17YlDc8

Why Most Startups Fail crowdspring.co/1NqAEE3

Cancelling One-on-One Meetings Destroys Your Productivity – buff.ly/1b2XZgl

The surprising secret about SMEs’ Churn http://crowdspring.co/1MxZel2

Common Questions Leaders Should Never Ask – buff.ly/1ExotD4

Andreessen Horowitz: 10 Most Common Funding Questions – buff.ly/1E8POIN

What the Seed Funding Boom Means for Raising a Series A | First Round Review -buff.ly/1MpI7A2

Essential Secrets to Retaining Your Best Employees crowdspring.co/1Bbn56l

Motivational Quotes from Legendary Entrepreneurs, Leaders and Visionaries (Infographic)crowdspring.co/1Gr35jm

Ways Your Business Can Support Social Impact Switch & Shift crowdspring.co/1NqAEUE

How to Go From 20 to 500 Employees Without Breaking a Sweat crowdspring.co/1A4mEqx

Why This Startup Won’t Let the Team Work From Home crowdspring.co/1CHW7Fq

Read the rest of this post »

Fresh from the SPRING: billhill_art Audree | March 11th, 2015

When perusing our galleries here on crowdSPRING, we see some amazing work submitted in the projects. Today, we noticed this gem submitted in this logo project.

Let us start the slow clap for billhill_art. Check out more great work on billhill_art’s profile page.

Nicely done, billhill_art, nicely done!

FFS-billhill_art

 

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