Twitter Link Roundup #245 – Small Business, Startups, Innovation, Social Media, Design, Marketing and More Mike | November 28th, 2014
Shameless, I know, but couldn’t resist sharing with y’all a picture of our new puppy! Her name is Remy and, frankly, we’re smitten!
But, no time for puppy-love – it’s time for our weekly roundup of the 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 like to talk about logo design, web design, startups, entrepreneurship, small business, leadership, social media, marketing, economics and other interesting stuff! I hope you enjoy!
Why We Love Small Business Saturday | crowdSPRING Blog – crowdspring.co/15dPZpS
The Evolution of a Salesperson – crowdspring.co/1FhCh24
Going Solo Doesn’t Mean Going Without a 401(k) – crowdspring.co/11LHQGS
Branding 101: The Small-Business Guide to Building a Killer Brand Identity | OPEN Forum – crowdspring.co/1Fh4TbE
The Discipline of Business Experimentation – crowdspring.co/1veSF09
Wannabiz scores $2.2M to help you market your small business in just 5 minutes/day | VentureBeat –crowdspring.co/1xb27lI
How to Start Thinking Like a Data Scientist – crowdspring.co/1q90RyX
5 Critical Questions to Ask in Every Job Interview – crowdspring.co/1ztZ1Zp
20 Awesome Productivity Tricks Anyone Can Use – crowdspring.co/1xb2tJg
How to Come Up With A Million Ideas and Make Them Work – crowdspring.co/159KpVq
Setting the Record Straight on Job Interviews – crowdspring.co/1xb2w7J
How to Prepare for the Fourth Quarter Slaughter – crowdspring.co/1yKsu0j
10 Ways to Improve Internal Communication (Infographic) – crowdspring.co/1ESotL5
5 Ways To Help Employees You’re About To Lay Off | Fast Company – crowdspring.co/159KAQE
8 Things a Boss Should Never Hear – crowdspring.co/11LI14S
Bring Agile to the Whole Organization – crowdspring.co/1A49uxC
Rethink What You “Know” About High-Achieving Women – crowdspring.co/1Fh4KF8
Fresh from the SPRING: cdavisdesigns Audree | November 25th, 2014
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 cdavisdesigns. Check out more great work on cdavisdesigns’ profile page.
Nicely done, cdavisdesigns, nicely done!
Why We Love Small Business Saturday Mike | November 24th, 2014
Holidays are here. How do we know? Well I have been seeing tons of holiday-themed commercials on television, I am hearing holiday music being piped through the speakers outside my local coffee spot, I am reading about how many retailers are struggling with whether they should be open for business on Thanksgiving day (not to mention making their employees work that day), and I am already getting emails and banner ads about the upcoming cyber Monday offers.
For many retailers the shopping days between Black Friday and Christmas determine whether they will have a year to celebrate or a season to mourn. For small businesses, local retailers, and mom and pop shops, a good economy can translate to strong sales and a smile on that local merchants face. A weak showing, on the other hand, just leads to head-shakes as they attempt to figure out if they’ll be around for the next season’s cycle.
Fully cognizant of these facts, American Express made a move which has had a serious impact on the fortunes of tons of local retailers. In 2010, Amex announced their support for small business with a new ad campaign: Small Business Saturday was designed to build awareness, drive sales away from national retailers and towards local businesses and, ultimately, get more people to use their American Express card. The genius of the campaign was that it positioned Amex as a hero of small business by leveraging the financial service company’s size and marketing clout while at the same time, generating millions of dollars in credit card fees.
2014 will be the campaign’s fifth year and it has steadily grown in size and built some excellent momentum, while brining Amex plenty of new fans and plenty of new fees. Here’s a few facts:
- Last year over 500,ooo local businesses participated in Small Business Saturday
- An estimated 100,000,000 consumers shopped at Small Business Saturday merchants
- A National Federation of Independent Businesses survey reports that awareness of Small Business Saturday was at 67% of consumers.
- Small Business Saturday revenues were estimated at over $5.5 billion
- Small business retailers reported sales increases of 25-30% over 2012
- 3.2 million Facebook users “liked” the Small Business Saturday page.
- The social insight and analytics site Topsy reported over 200,000 mentions of the #SmallBizSaturday hashtag
These are powerful data that indicate Amex has tapped into something essential in the American consumer psyche. These numbers tell us that consumers want to support their local businesses when they can, and that local businesses are savvy enough in their own marketing and promotional efforts to recognize the value in grabbing onto Amex’s powerful marketing coattails. Ironically, if you ask your average retailer about which credit cards they prefer to accept, Amex will typically come last. The reason? Amex fees tend to be higher than other cards and their policies somewhat more restrictive to the merchant. But, having said that, smart retailers understand that, with adequate volume, they can quickly overcome a slightly reduced margin.
And on top of all that, there is a distinct benefit directly for the consumer. I am not talking about the sales and specials that many merchants will certainly offer. This year, American Express will give back to their cardholders up to three $10 statement credits for purchases made at local businesses. You’ll have to pre-register your personal or business cards to receive the credit, but it sure seems well worth your while. Registration is open now and is capped, so get in there and register your cards as soon as you can.
Thanks, giant financial services corporation, and happy holidays to you, too!
Twitter Link Roundup #244 – Small Business, Startups, Innovation, Social Media, Design, Marketing and More Mike | November 21st, 2014
Today is Friday and I am off to pick up a new puppy! Yep, you heard me right, new addition to the family! Well enough about cute little balls of fluff – it’s time for our weekly roundup of the 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 like to talk about logo design, web design, startups, entrepreneurship, small business, leadership, social media, marketing, economics and other interesting stuff! I hope you enjoy!
The will to survive is an amazing and powerful thing. Speaking of new puppies… the young elephant in this video has a powerful instinct that all of us can admire! The lesson for me? Stay away from lion packs!
The Ultimate Copy Checklist: 51 Questions to Optimize Every Element of Your Online Copy | Copyblogger – crowdspring.co/1Et6afo
5 Routines To Clear Mental Clutter | Fast Company – crowdspring.co/1wK6TCK
Small Business and Startups: The 3-Page Business Plan |crowdSPRING Blog – crowdspring.co/1ELemYv
20 Awesome Productivity Tricks Anyone Can Use – crowdspring.co/1xb2r3X
Conflict Among Team Members Can Lead to Better Results – crowdspring.co/1t2zRv6
4 Lessons On Running A Successful Business From Best Buy’s CEO | Fast Company – crowdspring.co/1qN4a9J
4 Simple Remedies For Burnout Backed By Science | Fast Company – crowdspring.co/1ESnCtK
The 5 Biggest Tax Differences Between an LLC and Corporation – crowdspring.co/1wVhWL7
How an Adaptive Leadership Style Brings Out the Best in Your Employees – crowdspring.co/1t2zJMb
Survival Tips for New (and Lonely) Entrepreneurs – crowdspring.co/1Gb9ayS
Why Entrepreneurs Love Change – crowdspring.co/1ESn5rU
Failure Has Never Been More Successful | Fast Company – crowdspring.co/1tYLi7B
4 Secrets to Firing Your First Employee – crowdspring.co/1t2z5hL
How Apple and Beats Music Could Kill the Freemium Model – crowdspring.co/1s5joXS
It takes all types! 7 Unwritten Rules of Productive Office Environments – crowdspring.co/1t2AswW
How a high valuation could actually run your business into the ground | BlogPivotDesk – crowdspring.co/1xaYyMn
What Leaders Really Do – crowdspring.co/1ESmSoH
How to Impress Your Boss at a Startup | The Muse – crowdspring.co/1H5ZiqB
Utilize Technology to Build Intimate Customer Communities – crowdspring.co/1sVvTWk
Fresh from the SPRING: otnielz Audree | November 19th, 2014
When perusing our galleries here on crowdSPRING, we see some amazing work submitted in the projects. Today, we noticed this gem submitted in this special Give Back project.
Let us start the slow clap for otnielz and ALL the talented Creatives who gave their time and talent for this worthy cause. We are so proud of the crowdSPRING community. Check out more great work on otnielz’s profile page.
Small Business and Startups: The 3-Page Business Plan (and a short post to match!) Mike | November 17th, 2014
It’s not that potential investors and employees don’t want to know how you’re going to pull off this crazy, audacious idea of yours. They do. Its that they expect you to communicate it to them quickly and succinctly.
In the spirit of the short business plan, this will be a short post; here are the three pages you need to include in your plan and some ideas for the type of information to include:
1. Business Summary. What do you intend to do, where do you intend to do it, and to whom are you offering it? Your summary should work at a very high level and include the basic outline of what your business will look like on day 1, as well as what it will be on day 1,825. Your audience wants to know 3 things: who you are, what you do, and how you’ll do it: what industry are you in, what your team will look like, what your initial investment needs to be, and what the ownership structure will look like. Include a few sentences on your customers, your personnel, and your operational principals and move on to drafting page 2.
2. The Market and the Plan. To my thinking, this is the most important page; here you will outline the market you will compete, how you will compete, and why you believe your company can succeed; in other words a few paragraphs of analysis of your industry, and the key players, and the current trends. Finally outline the value proposition and how and where will you articulate your brand promise.
Read the rest of this post »
Twitter Link Roundup #243 – Small Business, Startups, Innovation, Social Media, Design, Marketing and More Mike | November 14th, 2014
Today is Friday – end of week and ready to relax; anyone gonna see Interstellar this weekend? Anyhow, it’s time for our weekly roundup of the cool, intriguing, and compelling links and articles we shared with you over the past week on our very own crowdSPRING Twitter account (as well as my own Twitter account). We like to talk about logo design, web design, startups, entrepreneurship, small business, leadership, social media, marketing, and various random stuff! Enjoy!
Ever think about trekking in the Himalayas? Ever think about that bus ride to the trailhead? Check out the video above and (my advice?) think twice! (thanks @chrisdetmer)
How To REALLY Calculate ROI on a CRM System | Gene Marks – crowdspring.co/1EpIsRc
Why your clients don’t care about their users, and how you can make them | Webdesigner Depot – crowdspring.co/1A0b2tE
Small Business and Startup Tips: Cool Stuff for Your Next Trip | crowdSPRING Blog – crowdspring.co/1pI8Qmc
Do You Have a 5-Year Plan for Your Business? | SCORE – crowdspring.co/1sXB4ZI
How to Lose a Great Employee in 10 Ways – crowdspring.co/1oB7o48
Pricing determines your business | by @ASmartBear – crowdspring.co/1skOzi2
Do Venture Capitalists Hate Women-Owned Businesses? | OPEN Forum – crowdspring.co/1qKiFdW
Hot Tech Startups Get as Many Perks as They Give – crowdspring.co/1rJyIIn
Wearing Your Failures on Your Sleeve – http://crowdspring.co/1xod30K
5 Potentially Dangerous Decisions to Avoid When Starting a Business – crowdspring.co/1yOIgYz
There’s No Excuse for Avoiding Strategy | Harvard Business Review – crowdspring.co/1udAzMJ
Is the Corporate Campus Dying? | Harvard Business Review – crowdspring.co/1t2ydd2
Flash Mobs Have More to Teach About Managing Teams Than Any Textbook – crowdspring.co/1yOIIpD
It’s All About Nuance. How to Convey and Discern Email Tone. – crowdspring.co/1A0l3H8
Why I Walked Away From a $12M Acquisition Offer 18 Months After Our Startup’s Launch – buff.ly/1ECc6AO
A Dozen Things I’ve Learned About Investing from Howard Marks | 25iq by @trengriffin – buff.ly/1xf3Mbe
The Founder’s Guide To Selling Your Company – buff.ly/1xdNiAd
Five Lessons Learned From A Once-Hot Startup – buff.ly/1yrn5uN
11 Mistakes Entrepreneurs Make When Managing Developers – buff.ly/1uX5b6b
Fresh from the SPRING: greenblack Audree | November 12th, 2014
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 greenblack. Check out more great work on greenblack’s profile page.
Nicely done, greenblack, nicely done!
Small Business and Startup Tips: Cool Stuff for Your Next Trip Mike | November 10th, 2014
Got any trips planned? Business junket? Family vacation? Around the world in 80 days-tour? Well if you’re traveling these days, you need not only to be aware of long lines, crazy security, ebola screenings, weather emergencies, and radar tower mishaps, but also of the great tools and resources available to travelers.
I am talking sweet mobile apps, resource-rich websites, wonderful journalists and bloggers, cool new hardware, and tips on everything from avoiding jetlag to finding the tastiest street food a block from your hotel. Travel, even for business, should be a fun adventure and an opportunity to see new places and experience new things and new people. To get the most from your trip, I advise you to turn to your old friend: technology! Whether you use the internet to map your journey, or a cool app to track your wandering technology can be your best friend, particularly when your destination is a place where you don’t speak the language.
So take advantage of your next travel opportunity; plan ahead, prepare well, watch your budget, stay someplace cool, and pick your activities for maximum fun.
Getting there is where it starts and ends – it should be as easy to do the booking as it is to execute the actual trip. This means that you will need everything from a great online tool to find airline tickets to an app that aggregates your trip information to the right memberships which allow for easy booking and seamless transitions. Here are a few ideas and resources which can make the entire process as pain-free as can be expected:
- First step is to book the flight. The sweetest interface of the travel search sites? Try Adioso, a clean intuitive interface, quality results and fast fast fast!
- Here’s what I recommend: start planning a few weeks ahead, punch in your flight requirements (city, dates, airline preferences) and then sit back and wait for the price-drop alerts to start rolling in. Kayak’s Yapta.com tracks fares and notifies you via e-mail or Tweet when the cost of your itinerary drops. Nice.
- Traveling to multiple cities overseas? If you search the travel sites, the prices for flights between, for instance, European cities can be steeeeep. WhichBudget.com is a flight search engine that scans the local, budget airlines not listed on sites like Kayak and Hipmunk.
Twitter Link Roundup #242 – Small Business, Startups, Innovation, Social Media, Design, Marketing and More Mike | November 7th, 2014
Here we go! Time once again for our weekly roundup of the articles, videos, posts and quips that we shared with you over the past week on our very own crowdSPRING Twitter account (as well as my own Twitter account). We like to talk about logo design, web design, startups, entrepreneurship, small business, leadership, social media, marketing, and various random stuff! Enjoy!
We are so proud to be a part of the entrepreneurial and technology community in Chicago where we are based. Here’s a fantastic video that showcases one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Ours!
Freelancing 101: When to Say ‘No’ | Design Shack – crowdspring.co/1zbCFi3
10 Psychological Triggers To Boost Revenues – crowdspring.co/1rXsiql
The Secret to Building a Millennial-Friendly Company – crowdspring.co/1G3tXnZ
Small Business and Startups: Customer Service Marketing Manifesto – crowdspring.co/1wYokDi
Trust leads to trust, companies with about unlimited vacations policies -crowdspring.co/1scBeZ4
5 Must-Use Tools for Brainstorming Company Names – crowdspring.co/1wehUO7
How to Stop the Infighting and Actually Conduct a Creative Ideation Session | 99U – crowdspring.co/1wV86ce
Fewer bosses. More coaches, please – crowdspring.co/1q5hqpL
How Buffer’s Value of Positivity Works, Even on “Bad Days” – crowdspring.co/1wOc7kq
Running a Startup: What Life Is Really Like in the Early Days – crowdspring.co/1wNhIpk
7 Habits of Highly Successful Entrepreneurs | – crowdspring.co/1q9cIqW
Tony Robbins… The CEO Whisperer – crowdspring.co/1sSkuW5
A Counterintuitive System for Startup Compensation – crowdspring.co/1zRImmt
10 Ways to Make Your Relationship With Your Co-Founder A Success – crowdspring.co/1sSi21Y
Startup Equity and Stock Options: What’s It Worth to You? – crowdspring.co/1sSpg62
Identifying the Biases Behind Your Bad Decisions | Harvard Business Review -crowdspring.co/1sSZZst
The Danger Hiding in Your Data – crowdspring.co/1ohW9O3
The Thin Skin of the Venture Capital Market -crowdspring.co/1xaoN3x
7 Step Framework For Starting a Company – crowdspring.co/1x7MgWi
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