Fresh from the SPRING: coyotejack Audree | April 22nd, 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 clothing project.

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

Nicely done, coyotejack, nicely done!

FFS-coyotejack

5 Things Entrepreneurs Can Learn From Artists Mike | April 20th, 2015

Art inspires in ways sometimes difficult to articulate. Ideas, metaphors, and themes are the product that artists traffic in, and their ability to  galvanize their audiences in a powerful, indirect way can stir us in profound ways.

Yet, while we celebrate, even lionize the greatest of our artists we simultaneously relegate the vast majority to poverty and struggle. Our culture at once values art, while devaluing the artists among us. Like artists, entrepreneurs rise and fall not only on their creativity and the quality of their ideas, but on their ability to execute, and on their productivity. But, just as with most artists, creativity, hard work, and the ability to execute are not, in themselves, enough to guarantee success. Sometimes the best of entrepreneurial ideas fail to rise to the top, just as many wonderful and talented painters will never succeed on their chosen path.

I look at a lot of visual art and draw deep inspiration from the artists whose work I view. While I derive so much from the art I view on exhibition, I empathize most especially with the artists whose work I never get to see – those who produce, who generate ideas, who focus on their work in the absence of audience, with little solid measure of success – in so many ways, these are the true artists, just as the hidden entrepreneurs struggling to generate ideas and launch their own works represent the truest part of ourselves.

1. Focus. Artists learn early to focus on the work at hand. And when I refer to “work” I am referring to it ion both senses of the word – work as “product” as well as “process.” Entrepreneurs, too, need to stay focused on both the “product” that they are building – its functionality, its ability to solve a problem, or its potential to relieve the users pain. They also need to keep focus on the process; it is of critical importance that anyone starting a business prioritize their own workflow and maintain personal productivity and efficiency.

2.Imagination. Artists reside on a foundation built of great imagination and Entrepreneurs can also learn to use imagination as a strong tool. The ability to develop a vision of what your product or service can do, where no one else can is a powerful competitive barrier and should be leveraged whenever possible. We talk a lot about creativity and entrepreneurism, but creativity starts with the ability to imagine something and to then bring it to life.

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Twitter Link Roundup #265 – Exemplary Resources for Small Business, Startups, and Design! Mike | April 17th, 2015

I like to think of myself as chameleon-like, able to adjust to fit into whatever the surrounding or with whomever is around me. But, I got nothing on these two women! Artist Johannes Stoetter’s work focuses on fine-art body painting and he has raised the bar to extreme heights. Click play on the video above and watch his work come to life!

So try your best to blend into the surroundings, because it’s time for our weekly Roundup! Here is a big ‘ol batch 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

In Newark, a Vertical Indoor Farm Helps Anchor an Area’s Revival nytimes.com/glogin?URI=htt…

5 Tips For Small Businesses During Tax Season forbes.com/sites/drewhend…

Amazon, Google and More Are Drawn to Home Services Market nytimes.com/2015/04/13/tec…

Essential Financing Terms Every Small-Business Owner Should Understand – NerdWalletnerdwallet.com/blog/small-bus…

Successful Business Owners Should Focus on “Five C’s” When Offering Services – Small Biz Dailybit.ly/1GLYIOM

startupsblog

Small Business and Startups: Management for the Joy Of It | @crowdSPRING Blog – bit.ly/1CGkhu2

How Google Destroyed Internet Explorer, Visualized bit.ly/1Nactfq

How to Stay Positive in the Face of Doubt bit.ly/1FCAVPI

Howard Schultz is Giving His Employees Free College Educations — And is Ready for Critics (Again) linkedin.com/pulse/howard-s…

Culture Hack: Cheers for Peers – buff.ly/1JNVo5A

What factors help the best entrepreneurs succeed – buff.ly/1PDzuX4

How to Launch Your Digital Platform bit.ly/1GLYFm9

Brainstorming with Marc Andreessen | Fortune –buff.ly/1DWRmZN

The Innovator’s Dilemma for SaaS Startups | by @ttunguzbuff.ly/1cp7xD9

7 Steps to Building Better Business Relationships inc.com/ken-lin/7-step…

CEOs Need Mentors Too bit.ly/1GpIEDT

The Executive Coach’s Guide to Hacking Leadership bit.ly/1yWvgiO

Reinventing Performance Management bit.ly/1GpIEUg

Kris Bryant, the Baseball Players’ Union and a Lesson for Labor nytimes.com/2015/04/07/bus…

Jeff Bezos’s 5 Most Daring Career Moves inc.com/graham-winfrey…

USCIS Reaches FY 2016 H-1B Cap | USCIS uscis.gov/news/news-rele…

What Steve Harvey Knows About Storytelling in Business inc.com/graham-winfrey…

A Conversation With Anthony Hsieh of loanDepot nytimes.com/glogin?URI=htt…

Do You Have a Severe Case of Modern Life? Tips to Focus and Succeed linkedin.com/pulse/do-you-h…

Read the rest of this post »

Fresh from the SPRING: martinroy Audree | April 15th, 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 martinroy. Check out more great work on martinroy’s profile page.

Nicely done, martinroy, nicely done!

 

FFS-martinroy

Small Business and Startups: Management for the Joy Of It Mike | April 13th, 2015

Business owners and managers tend to focus on business. This is right and this is good; it is our responsibility to our stakeholders to responsibly lead our companies towards success and to prioritize operations and profitability. We work hard every day to improve efficiency, acquire customers, increase margins, analyze results, craft strategy, execute tactics, and track growth. What we don’t always work so hard at is improving ourselves, supporting our team, and making our companies forces for growing good.

As leaders there is much we can do to set an example and to be a guide for others. But it must first start with ourselves; strong managers must develop the ability to self-reflect; to provide a kind of internal feedback to ourselves, much like we provide feedback to our employees. And just like periodic performance reviews can go far towards developing talented workers, internal reviews can help managers to be better at what they do and to continuously develop themselves into better leaders, better strategists, and better employers. And, as a result we will have better companies, more loyal customers, and a competitive edge in building and retaining the strongest of teams.

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Twitter Link Roundup #264 – Quintessential Resources for Small Business, Startups, and Design! Mike | April 10th, 2015

Skin cancer is a scourge. And dalmatian puppies are just about the cutest things that ever walked the earth.  Put the two together and what do you get? A genius marketing campaign and a public service effort that is attention grabbing (not to mention, “awwww” inducing). Have a look at the video above and see if you agree!

Enough with adorable dogs? Good! Because it’s time for our weekly Roundup! Here is a whole litter 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

Snapchat for Small Business: Consider 3 Key Factors crowdspring.co/1xWxtu0

Lean Marketing: Basic Metrics You Should be Watching. Now. | crowdSPRING Blog – bit.ly/1CHJc3M

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

Meet the small businesses making millions from online marketplaces crowdspring.co/1LPs3wB

Company Growth: Why everything breaks at 25 employees crowdspring.co/1MyQOtN

How to Build Your Digital Business with the “MVP” Process crowdspring.co/1DQd8hl

Small Business and Startups: Sustainability and Your Company | crowdSPRING Blog – bit.ly/1HLRlsi

Companies run by women perform better crowdspring.co/1LPs3g6

startupsblog

Putting More “You” in Your Business—A Guide to Building Brand Personality crowdspring.co/1xWxzli

Build an Organization That’s Less Busy and More Strategic bit.ly/1yWveap

Eight genuinely useful tools for domain name generation crowdspring.co/1N24v4y

Don’t Buy Into the Lies — It’s Possible to Have a Career and a Family crowdspring.co/1Bbcftz

Richard Branson to Entrepreneurs: Shoot for the Moon (But Be Prepared to Crash) bit.ly/1CiN5NR

FAIL ACADEMY: Top Reasons Startups Fail bit.ly/1HuK3t2

Job-Boosting Skills You Can Learn In A Weekend bit.ly/1N2ac2C

From Chicago’s 1871: Howard Tullman’s heavily caffeinated life crowdspring.co/1EAvVe5

15-year-old entrepreneur Brooke Martin on her ‘nerve-wracking’ Shark Tank appearance this week – GeekWire – crowdspring.co/1xWCYc2

Malcolm Gladwell on What Really Makes People Disruptive crowdspring.co/1BJ7iau

The Evolution Of Steve Jobs crowdspring.co/1BbcdSo

At Kodak, Clinging to a Future Beyond Film nyti.ms/1HuK6Vw

The Biggest Business Comebacks Of The Past 20 Years crowdspring.co/1BJ5wGs

Reasons Why You Should Network Less entm.ag/1xWH3Nw

Why Aren’t Women-Owned Businesses Growing Faster? | OPEN Forum bit.ly/1HskbdO

New Tips From Guy Kawasaki on Startup Funding bit.ly/1BnUZAH

Richard Branson on Challenges: It’s More Fun Being David Than Goliath crowdspring.co/1CRUBkM

Toms Founder: 3 Killer Advantages of Social Impact Businesses bit.ly/1DQjFZq

Catching Up with Basecamp Founder Jason Fried crowdspring.co/1xWv9mH

Read the rest of this post »

Fresh from the SPRING: deip Audree | April 8th, 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 package graphics project.

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

Nicely done, deip, nicely done!

 

FFS-Template-diep

Lean Marketing: Basic Metrics You Should be Watching. Now. Mike | April 6th, 2015

Marketing is an analytical process. Setting goals comes first. Developing strategy is second. Third is the execution of the specific tactics to support the strategy.  And fourth? Well fourth is measurement and data analysis. Simple right? Most small businesses and startups follow some version of this rational approach to operating and marketing a business. But when it comes to measurement, many managers struggle with developing and tracking the metrics specific to their strategy.

Well the answer is pretty simple: turn to math and leverage technology. A certain amount of  your data is right there on your computer hard drive and with some basic spreadsheet work you can answer the most important of questions. Plus, other powerful analytical tools are easily available to you just a mouse click or browser tab away. There are tons of free tools many of which are simple to implement and have a learning curve that is surmountable for most.

An important step is to figure out which metrics are the ones that are important to your business. But each business is unique, and the yours may benefit fro the analysis of certain metrics that are unimportant to mine, and vice-versa. However, there are certain fundamental metrics that are common to all businesses, and a basic understanding of these is where you should start.

1. Customer Acquisition Cost. Every business, whether B2B or B2C has to bring in customers. Without them we are nothing, with enough of them we can be profitable beyond our wildest dreams (usually). The important thing is to understand how much it costs you to acquire a single customer. This is the simplest of analyses: for a given time period (last year for example) divide the amount of money you spent on marketing expenses by the number of new customers that you brought in during that same period, ét voila! The result of this simple is your CPA, or Cost per Acquisition and this is the key to understanding whether your marketing tactics are working for you or not. Why, you ask? Again, simple: if it costs you more to acquire a new customer than you can expect them to provide you in earnings, you’re doing something wrong and you’ll be closing your doors before you can even spell CPA. This simple formula also allows you to compare your marketing tactics: for instance that giant billboard over on I94 that you rented costs you around $572 per customer acquired, while your PPC ad campaigns are costing you only $27 CPA, which one do you think you’ll do better to invest in? Hmmm?

2. Life Time Value. The second half of CPA is known as CLTV, or Customer Lifetime Value. This is the amount of earnings you can expect from an average customer over the life of the relationship – if you can increase this, you win. Some businesses (think subscription-based services) will generate meaningful revenue month in and month out from each customer, while others (think swimming pool installers) might sell an average customer one pool over the entire span of that relationship. The point being, that unless you understand the CLTV of your average customer, you can’t really understand if the CPA is too high to justify. Right?

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Twitter Link Roundup #263 – Ultimate Resources for Small Business, Startups, and Design! Mike | April 3rd, 2015

Science is fun! And, for sure, CERN’s Alice project is fun, but even more fun is a drone’s-eye-view of the experimental site and down down down a cavern shaft to 60m underground!

OK now catch your breath. Why? Because it’s time for our own flyover drone shot, AKA our weekly Roundup! Here is a whole 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

Small Business and Startups: Sustainability and Your Company | crowdSPRING Blog – bit.ly/1CRN3Np

Company Growth: Why everything breaks at 25 employees crowdspring.co/1MyQOtN

The Right Way to Use Compensation [for sales teams] – buff.ly/1af4n3Y

startupsblog

Is Authority Earned or Bestowed? crowdspring.co/18TlVBA

Scott Oldford on Becoming Transparent and Finding Authenticity crowdspring.co/1Bb0qDS

The Shut-In Economy – buff.ly/1FWcjEj

How to Consistently Hire Remarkable Data Scientists | First Round Review – buff.ly/199A8u1

Trada, the Google Ventures-Backed SEM Crowdsourcing Firm, Closes Its Doors mklnd.com/1xPy1rc

The 7 Factors to Consider When Pricing Your Startup’s Product | – buff.ly/1Nz6b62

The Throwback Sexism of Kleiner Perkins crowdspring.co/1BCgwKo

How Much Should Your Startup Spend on Managing Churn? – buff.ly/1F9JKjT

The Science of Creativity | Hubspot Blog – buff.ly/1xTOomA

This is what free, ad-supported Uber rides might look like. Mockups, economics, and analysis –buff.ly/1BMiT90

Tim Cook On Apple’s Future: Everything Can Change Except Values crowdspring.co/1FRLMGD

Psychology Behind Writing a Great Pitch | Convince and Convert: Social Media and Content Marketing Strategy crowdspring.co/1Hurrta

Winning Strategies for M&A March Madness crowdspring.co/1EbXfwp

15-year-old entrepreneur Brooke Martin on her ‘nerve-wracking’ Shark Tank appearance this week – GeekWire crowdspring.co/1xWCYc2

Richard Branson on Challenges: It’s More Fun Being David Than Goliath crowdspring.co/1CRUBkM

crowdSPRING Founder Mike Samson on Starting a Business htqw.co/1G0ZRmH

Read the rest of this post »

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

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