Fresh from the SPRING: Bekk Audree | June 10th, 2015
5 Things Entrepreneurs Can Learn From Their Own Customers (We Did!) Mike | June 8th, 2015
It is certainly not the first time I’ve said this, but the point bears repeating: your customer’s voices are the thing you should be paying the closest attention to. Today. There are many ways to get your ear to the rail and listen to what they have to say: surveys, exit questionnaires, customer service emails, live chat, and phone are all channels that you can leverage to request and respond to customer feedback.
There is no rule that says this communication needs to be serious or formal. For instance, your customer service, sales, and support teams speak to your customers every single day. Train them to be conversational and engaging and they will find that the people on the other end of the line open up. Ask them about themselves and their businesses and they will share invaluable insight that can be acted upon or, at the very least, discussed internally.
At crowdSPRING we actively solicit feedback through several channels: when they complete a project on the site, our Customers are all asked to rate our company and their experience and to leave us any comments, suggestions, or ideas they have. Over time. we have built an enormous database of customer suggestions (and rants) which we can use to focus and prioritize our own work on the product and our processes. Does the customer feedback ever get annoying? You betcha. But that does not lessen its importance to us nor do we ever stop listening to it.
Here are 5 things you can do that will help you to start listening and learning today:
1. Listen closely. This is where it starts, continues, and ends. Defining and building your listening channels is the foundation and you should pay close attention to developing the most appropriate forums. Many businesses offer support to their customers via phone and chat, but lots of customers prefer the relative emotional “distance” of email or webforms. Sometimes your listening channels will be passive, and you will simply provide the tools and then sit back to wait for your customers to contact you. A more aggressive, and often appropriate, approach is to actively seek out customer feedback via surveys, outbound phone calls, or even online options such as popup chat windows and the like.
2. People are key. It’s not just how you listen to the customers, but also who is doing the listening. Your front-line people must be selected for their ability to engage, an innate sense of empathy, and the indispensable skill of actually listening to what the customer is saying. Some of the necessary abilities can be taught or strengthened (and proper training is critical) but much of the skill-set needed is inborn and your hiring practices should reflect the necessity of finding the right people for the work.
Twitter Link Roundup #272 – Picture-perfect Resources for Small Business, Startups, and Design! Mike | June 5th, 2015
We get some cool projects on crowdSPRING. But what could be cooler than a HoverBoard? And who cooler to deomonstrate than Tony Hawk!
Please don’t try that at home! Instead it might be a good time to roll into our weekly Roundup! Have a go at this week’s set of links and articles that we shared with you over the past week on our crowdSPRING Twitter account (as well as my own Twitter account) is keyboard perfection! We just love sharing articles about fonts, logo design, web design, startups, entrepreneurship, small business, leadership, social media, marketing, economics and other interesting stuff! Enjoy!
The business world is utilizing crowd-based marketplaces to solve their needs | Kellogg Magazine crowdspring.co/1FHLNQ3
Cushion – Peace of mind for freelancers crowdspring.co/1e5X6Fr
How to Start a Landscaping Business – NerdWallet crowdspring.co/1A6c4oN
Innovation and Small Business: 3 Historical Winners | crowdSPRING Blog – buff.ly/1I1ZmKz
The “Pester Your Potential Lead Until They Hate You” Approach to SaaS Sales Sucks – buff.ly/1IeUIGv
Tips on How to Prepare for This Year’s Surge of Indian Tourism crowdspring.co/1QRPioB
The 9 Box Matrix Talent Model – buff.ly/1GiUXCA
Why You Should Set Radical Goals entrepreneur.com/article/234161
Elon Musk’s evolution, from sci-fi dreams to Space X crowdspring.co/1GeYxMG
Don Draper’s financial advice – Fortune crowdspring.co/1e74Tmi
How Involved Should CEOs Be in Social Causes? crowdspring.co/1IE4CEi
If You Want People to Listen, Stop Talking – buff.ly/1EAYxRh
Improve The Productivity Of Your Remote Teams With Complementary Work Cycles – buff.ly/1FZX1NZ
5 Exploding Niches Within Tech crowdspring.co/1FcTFFO
How Ever-Higher Valuations Lead Unicorns Into A Cycle Of Private Capital Dependency – buff.ly/1AIGTjE
The Pre-money vs. Post-money Confusion With Convertible Notes – buff.ly/1GiLA5V
Buckle Up: Google’s Self-Driving Cars to Hit the Open Road crowdspring.co/1JPf4pp
Lessons From Elon Musk That Changed My Life [Exercises Included] – buff.ly/1JoGSUW
13 Questions to Screen Potential Hires for Culture Fit – buff.ly/1QtJEae
How Tesla Will Change The World | Wait But Why – buff.ly/1JmYArS
Carl Icahn Invests $100 Million in Lyft crowdspring.co/1IE4Eff
How to Lead So You Get Immediate Results crowdspring.co/1A6c1cO
TED Talk by Bill Gates Will Teach You Everything You Need to Know About Presenting crowdspring.co/1A9EBJL
What the Weekends Are Like for Silicon Valley CEOs crowdspring.co/1PMVYSB
Reasons To Join A Mastermind Group crowdspring.co/1IE4DrE
Fresh from the SPRING: Salseech Audree | June 3rd, 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 Express logo project.
Let us start the slow clap for Salseech. Check out more great work on Salseech’s profile page.
Nicely done, Salseech, nicely done!
Innovation and Small Business: 3 Historical Winners Mike | June 1st, 2015
I wrote a few years ago about some innovations that changed the world. The steam engine transformed transportation and manufacturing forever; the invention of the distillation process and the introduction of Vodka forever changed the way we make fools of ourselves (not to mention Governmental revenues); and the invention of moving picture projectors created an new-to-the-world form of entertainment and a great date night activity.
There are dozens of examples of new ideas, inventions, and machines that launched a small business that grew and grew into business powerhouses. Examples include everything from the electric lightbulb to penicillin to the airplane. The world moves so fast today, that it is impossible to keep up with the thousands upon thousands of new ideas and inventions and equally impossible to predict which will have an impact on business or the world at large. Sometimes the most impactful innovations do not reveal themselves as world-changers for years or decades after they are introduced; one great example is the invention of movable type – invented in China in the 11th century, it was 300 years before Gutenburg invented his press which led to the mass-distribution of printed materials and the Protestant Reformation.
1. The Mobile Phone (1973)
In 1973, Motorola launched the first handheld mobile phone. The thing was a beast, but it was also a harbinger of the good times to come. Mobile phones changed industry after industry in ways both profound and negligible. All of a sudden salespeople could be reached by any client at any time wherever they happened to be. And all of a sudden, a phone in your pocket meant that you could be on call any day of the week and anywhere you found yourself.
What’s changed most dramatically in 40 years is not just the size of the phone (Motorola’s first prototype weighed 2.5 pounds) but the functionality. Because now we can use these devices to do things the inventors never imagined: send and receive messages and emails in real time; search the Internet for infinite amounts of data (BTW, the modern Internet was still 20 years away when Motorola introduced the cell phone); and, most importantly, use cell phones as a way to market to potential customers, and serve existing customers.
The most amazing thing of all? “Mobile” is not just the label for the invention itself, the device, but has now evolved to become a nascent and rapidly growing industry of its own. And to think it all began with a device that, in its first iteration, offered just 30 minutes of talk time and a battery that took ten hours to recharge! (Photo: Wikimedia)
Twitter Link Roundup #271 – Textbook Resources for Small Business, Startups, and Design! Mike | May 29th, 2015
Too weird, right? Metallica? Mellow? But perhaps a great way to start the weekend, am I right?
A hard act to follow, perhaps, but get yourself ready, because it’s time now for our weekly Roundup! This week’s set of lovely links and attractive articles that we shared with you over the past week on our crowdSPRING Twitter account (as well as my own Twitter account) is keyboard perfection! We just love sharing articles about fonts, logo design, web design, startups, entrepreneurship, small business, leadership, social media, marketing, economics and other interesting stuff! Enjoy!
Freshii’s CEO Says McDonald’s Franchisees Want to Open Healthy Shops Inside Fast-Food Restaurantscrowdspring.co/1Gcc7jQ
State of Small Business Report crowdspring.co/1A6oKMa
California drought threatens even oldest water rights crowdspring.co/1HhWMwF
This U.S. City Just Made an Unusual Move to Compete With Uber crowdspring.co/1KRDizL
Reid Hoffman on the biggest lie employers tell employees – buff.ly/1LNtOpF
Nine Behaviors That Drive Innovation crowdspring.co/1PKEGWi
Too Many Infrastructure Projects Go It Alone crowdspring.co/1JkLNF4
Robo-Hiring: How An Automated Headhunter Is Finding Hidden Tech Talent For Wall Street crowdspring.co/1HhWNkq
Rules You Need to Follow When Job Hunting crowdspring.co/1d2KYVq
Do This to Become a More Effective Problem Solver crowdspring.co/1PKEjev
Websites Your Startup Needs to Succeed in 2015 crowdspring.co/1E9qkb9
Consulting Giant McKinsey Buys Itself a Top Design Firm | WIRED crowdspring.co/1E9qlvX
Elon Musk’s Slightly Dishonest, Super-Effective Management Trick crowdspring.co/1IFk7tT
Halle Berry’s Newest Role: Business Owner crowdspring.co/1ICqJe8
The 6 Skills Every Successful Entrepreneur Needs crowdspring.co/1EKX2QK
Employees flock to private clubs crowdspring.co/1RPevBx
Simple yet epic productivity hacks for creative entrepreneurs crowdspring.co/1A7CPJf
Fresh from the SPRING: Dragas Audree | May 27th, 2015
Twitter Link Roundup #270 – Exemplary Resources for Small Business, Startups, and Design! Mike | May 22nd, 2015
Dan Deacon is an electronic musician with a huge following. Crowds go crazy at his live shows where audience participation and collaboration is a core element of the performance. So it is now surprise that Deacon put his head together with 9 animators to collaborate on a new video for his song, “When I Was Done Dying.” Sponsored by Adult Swim, the result is a mind-boggling mashup of styles and a musical and visual tour de force. Congratulations to Deacon and the animators, Jake Fried, Chad Vangaalen, Dimitri Stankowicz, Colin White, Taras Hrabowsky, Anthony Schepperd, Masanobu Hiraoka, Caleb Wood, KOKOFreakbean!
I hope you are suitably inspired, because it’s time now for our weekly Roundup! This week’s set of lovely links and attractive articles that we shared with you over the past week on our crowdSPRING Twitter account (as well as my own Twitter account) is keyboard perfection! We just love sharing articles about fonts, logo design, web design, startups, entrepreneurship, small business, leadership, social media, marketing, economics and other interesting stuff! Enjoy!
Inside The Challenges Of Transforming An eBay Side Hustle Into A Million-Dollar Business crowdspring.co/1Poz213
State of Small Business Report http://crowdspring.co/1A6oKMa
Keys to Ensuring Your Business Continues to Succeed Without You http://crowdspring.co/1RP3lwI
The 15 Best Freelance Websites to Find Jobs http://crowdspring.co/1RP3ksJ
How to Get More Done: Slack Off More http://crowdspring.co/1RPcxkS
Ask a Business Professor: How Will Title III of the JOBS Act Affect Small Business Financing? – NerdWallet http://crowdspring.co/1A6oHzZ
5 Things Entrepreneurs Can Learn From Kindergarten Teachers | crowdSPRING Blog – crowdspring.co/1EQCGpi
‘We Had a Crush on the MakerBot': How 3-D Printing Won These Fashion Designers Over http://crowdspring.co/1E9jIJQ
10 Truths We Forget Too Easily http://crowdspring.co/1JkEVrr
Lori Dickerson Fouché of Prudential on the Limits of Self-Reliance http://crowdspring.co/1bUlube
The Highest-Paid Female C.E.O.s http://nyti.ms/1bWa0Uz
Lean Doesn’t Always Create the Best Products http://crowdspring.co/1FcPnhs
The Anticipatory Organization http://crowdspring.co/1A6ihAZ
Weekend Habits of Highly Successful People http://crowdspring.co/1A4IuA6
Surprisingly Effective Ways to Get Organized http://crowdspring.co/1Gc4bPJ
Most Creative People 2015 http://crowdspring.co/1HhW1DS
This Is What It Means to Embrace Failure http://crowdspring.co/1E9jJ0u
Body Labs Wants To Usher In The Era Of Free 3-D Body Scanning http://crowdspring.co/1KQ3yv0
Inspiring Entrepreneurs Who Built Careers Around Their Passions and Social Media http://crowdspring.co/1A6oKvy
How Bitcoin Technology Could Make Home Buying Hassle-Free http://crowdspring.co/1ITbe0i
NerdWallet raised $64 million in Series A led by Institutional Venture Partners – Silicon Valley Business Journal http://crowdspring.co/1IClQlq
Facebook Promises Freelancers Better Pay, More Perks http://crowdspring.co/1KRBgzC
What Killed Secret? http://crowdspring.co/1KQ30VW
5 Mistakes You’re Making When Hiring Millennials http://crowdspring.co/1A6ihAR
Crowdfunding Tips & Tricks – Small Biz Daily http://crowdspring.co/1E9jIJT
Fresh from the SPRING: ronaldmahaputra Audree | May 20th, 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 ronaldmahaputra. Check out more great work on ronaldmahaputra’s profile page.
Nicely done, ronaldmahaputra, nicely done!
5 Things Entrepreneurs Can Learn From Kindergarten Teachers Mike | May 18th, 2015
If you remember the name of your kindergarten teacher, raise your hand. In a poll of adults, almost 70% could recall the person with great clarity. This is remarkable, because not only was this decades ago but the respondents were just 5 or 6 years old at the time!
Our very first teachers were memorable because they were sources of inspiration, providers of fun, and among the very first people (outside of our parents and families) to instill in us expectations of how we were to behave in school and at work for the rest of our lives. So much of what we know about focusing, behaving appropriately, learning and socializing was learned in that short 9-month period when we sat in Ms. King’s, or Mrs. Toan’s, or Mr. Albright’s rug and listened to the stories they read and followed the activities they led us in.
Kindergarten teachers are tasked with one of the most important jobs in the world: caring for our children and preparing them for the next 12 years or more of learning and education. It takes an incredibly special person to do this well and what, at a glance, may seem like an easy job is actually quite complex, incredibly demanding physically and intellectually, and one that more and more requires a facility for collecting and analyzing large amounts of data. A great kindergarten teacher comes with skills that rival any manager’s abilities leadership, mentoring, organization, and collaboration.They take, what is at the beginning of the year, a group of unruly scamps and scalawags and, in 40 weeks, transform them into a team of focused learners, ready to move on to the rigors of 1st grade reading and arithmetic.
Here are 5 things that kindergarten teachers must do in order to successfully put our kids on a path to lie-long learning and success.
1. Lead. The kindergarten teacher is the captain of a ship; they carry the weighty responsibility of training kids to sit still, listen, absorb, and learn. A great kindergarten teacher establishes early that she is the boss, that her charges must focus on her and listen closely to her instructions. But, teacher also knows the importance of listening to her students closely and allowing them to express their own ideas and opinions. While a great deal of what kids learn in school is direct and fact-based, of equal importance, especially in kindergarten and the primary grades, is teaching kids how to learn. Like teachers, entrepreneurs need to understand that much of learning has to be self-directed and that they are there to assist and mentor along the way, but they are also there to keep their team on a fairly narrow path, make sure they develop the skills they need along the way, and show them how to discover for themselves as they go.
2. Differentiate. Teams are made up of their members, and every teammate comes with differing skills and abilities. For instance, some particularly precocious kindergarteners arrive at the first day of class already reading while others may only start to crack the code by the end of the year. Some of the kids will be very adept physically, others may have advanced social abilities, and many will come with a variety of special needs. Kindergarten teachers must differentiate between 15, 20 or more kids, each with their own distinct talents and deficits and find ways to teach to each of them that allows all to achieve.And just as a good marketer will segment their audience and deliver different messages to different segments, great kindergarten teachers also think of their classroom as made up of multiple audiences.
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