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In honor of Shark Week, we're taking a look at what kind of shark you are based on your entrepreneurial style. Come find out!
New mobile updates for Grasshopper including free outbound calling, MMS & group SMS texting capabilities, and more.
Today, we celebrate our nation's independence. But what do entrepreneurs have in common with the men who gave it to us? More than you might think.
Every year, Grasshopper awards a $5000 scholarship to one entrepreneurial college student. Read on to hear all about 2017's winner.
Memorial Day has come and gone, and that means one thing: it’s unofficially summertime. Here's our team's picks for leisurely summer reading on the beach.
In recent years, SEO has gone from optional tactic to absolutely mandatory. Join us for a Fireside Chat on May 25th to learn how to rank in Google.
May is a time to celebrate mom. We asked some of our friends what they learned from being raised by entrepreneur moms. See what they shared with us.
When GetGo Inc. merged with Boston's LogMeIn, a lot changed. Here's a sneak peak at Grasshopper's new digs and what our team loves about them.
We're celebrating Mom and Pop Business Owner's Day by sharing shout-outs to some of the awesome local businesses we love.
It’s time to truly take advantage of email marketing. In this infographic, you’ll find 5 emails you should be sending, plus tips on what to include.
On April 22nd, a whole new batch of toll free numbers will become available – 833 numbers. Get the skinny on the new toll free prefix right here.
New feature: Vacation Greetings are now available in NUUI - just in time for the holidays!
It starting to look a lot like Christmas... shouldn't your workspace transform into a winter wonderland of holly jolly holiday cheer, too?
Local communities thrive when we all make an effort to #shopsmall. Here are some ideas from our customers to get you ready for Small Business Saturday.
At Grasshopper, we love small business AND giving stuff away. So we're bringing back our Shop Small Photo Contest. Get all the details here!
We recently launched Grasshopper Academy to help entrepreneurs become better small business owners. If you haven't taken a look, what are you waiting for?
It’s not exciting, but the small biz financing world is always changing. If you haven’t been keeping up, here’s a quick intro to the biggest trends.
In preparation for our fireside chat, we talked to 3 small business experts about bad credit, small biz loans, and financing options.
Grasshopper launches our full-fledged call management and virtual phone service in the UK! Get all the details here.
What's new? TV advertising still strong, Doodle 4 Google contest opens, and the IRS has a grudge against small business.
What's new? Email blogging, Apple's big September launches, and small businesses get some search engine love.
What's new? Skyword releases 2017 content marketing predictions, Google gears up for live news coverage, and small businesses fall victim to cyber attacks.
What's new? Analytics boost sales in B2B, Google takes a stand against mobile pop-ups, and small businesses shun EMV payments.
What's new? The Olympics move online, Google launches Duo video chat app, and small business owners are worried about the economy this election season.
What's new? Marketers aren't leveraging advanced tech, Google grants more real estate in ads, and Chattanooga wins most budget-friendly city for startups.
What's new? Marketers love video, Bing gets into the Olympic spirit, and small business lenders are still risk-averse.
What's new? Verizon acquires Yahoo, ad blocking grows among young men, and small business owners don't care about growth.
What's new? Twitter opens up verification, Google Maps to allow community edits, and new tutorials from the SBA help small businesses land federal funding.
What's new? Marketing with Pokemon Go, ZipCar's tracking the ROI of branded cars, and Snapchat geofilters for small business.
What's new? Google to launch mobile-only index, small business hiring surges again, and Facebook prioritizes friends & family over brands.
Google's testing a new "click to SMS" AdWords extension on ads at the top of organic search results. What could that mean for businesses?
Each year, Grasshopper awards a $5,000 scholarship to one entrepreneurial college student. We're proud to announce this year's winner.
Investors and other business people have really limited time, so it's important to craft a compelling and concise executive summary for your business plan.
A business plan is important, but what questions should it aim to answer? We chat about info to include and tailoring your plan for various audiences here.
Technology isn’t the only thing that’s changing. We need to update how we start businesses — including writing a business plan.
To celebrate Women's History Month, we're spotlighting awesome women entrepreneurs. This week we feature Julie DePaola of The Tasty Biscuit.
To celebrate Women's History Month, we're featuring awesome women entrepreneurs who are killing it in the business world.
You spoke, and we listened! Business SMS is available on all toll free numbers now, too.
Developing a funding pitch is pretty high-stakes. What are the key factors to consider when writing your pitch? Several small business experts weigh in.
Once you have background data, how can you shape and refine your business idea? We asked small business experts for their thoughts.
Big news from Grasshopper this week: The much anticipated Business SMS feature is officially available!
Market research is key to vetting a biz idea. What are some of the best, budget-friendly options? We asked several small business experts.
Can a hobby still be fun once you depend on it for your livelihood? We wanted to find out, so we talked to small business experts to get their input.
Being in the business of providing 800 numbers, we took a look at some of the most on-point and funny 1-800 numbers out there.
Many small businesses want to leverage Pay-Per-Click (PPC) to gain leads and sales, but this is hard to do if you're not on top of trends in SEM.
PPC Ads. Do you need to hire an expert or can you easily outsource your efforts? We dive in deep in this post.
Many small businesses are leveraging Pay-Per-Click (PPC) to gain leads and sales, but many are making mistakes. We talked to the experts about the most common blunders.
We’re proud to announce that William Marcellus Armstrong of Cranbrook Academy of Art is the winner of The Grasshopper Entrepreneur Scholarship.
No office? No problem! Here are 9 tools to help you be productive, no matter where you work.
You'll be told that half the battle of starting a new business is simply getting started, but once you've launched, what do you even do?
Hiring the right people is crucial for a small business, so we asked a handful of experts about what you need to know when it comes to hiring.
Finding money to start a small business isn't easy. That's why we've roped in some experts to give us their tips.
Referrals can make a small business, so we asked some experts how to create an engine that keeps on turning without much grease.
What tactics can help you grow your small business' sales? Find out from the experts in this post.
Insurance can protect your business, so it's a good idea to get informed. In this post, we explain the different types of insurance to help you out!
Business owners make communication mistakes all the time without even knowing it. Here are four common mistakes with info on how to fix them.
Advertising is expensive and can break the bank. Here are a bunch of helpful options if you're running low on funds.
Overwhelmed? Here are a few great solutions that rescue super small businesses and startups from utter and complete mayhem!
As an entrepreneur, you're into unconventional wisdom. Everyone says you need social media, but do you really? We explore in this post.
Entrepreneurs often struggle to decide where to incorporate, so we've put together this concise guide to the 8 best states.
Want to get your feet wet with Facebook Ads? Look no further-- read our quick guide for small business owners like you.
If you want to leverage Twitter ads to boost your visibility on social media, then check out our must-read quick guide, tailored to small biz owners. Tweet!
Need money to get your small business off the ground? Learn how to get money for your startup or small biz before it's too late.
Learn your entrepreneurial spirit animal by taking our freaky and fun quiz.
Having trouble developing your customer base? Here are 10 great tools that can help you keep your current customers AND get new ones.
It's easy to get caught in a summer slump, but don't let nice weather zap your marketing motivation. Summer is actually the perfect time to get going.
Should you be paying to social networks besides Facebook and Twitter? We give you the rundown on Snapchat and reddit to give you a leg up!
Looking to get the word out about your local business? Check out these must-read resources to help you get going.
Each year, Grasshopper will give a scholarship to one current college student who's dedicated to the path of entrepreneurship. Read on for the 2014 winner.
Vancouver is a bustling city, so it's hard for small businesses to make their mark. These ones are thriving-- let their lessons help your biz grow.
Growing fast is a high quality problem, but that doesn't mean it's easy. Learn tools and strategies to help you cope before you get in over your head.
If you want your side gig to take off, you have to get more customers. That means... marketing! Learn how to turn your side gig into a real biz.
As a real estate agent, you're juggling a lot. Should you juggle social media too or outsource it to someone else?
Maybe you're great at marketing, but terrible at administrative tasks (or the other way around). A small business development center could help!
Learn the 7 marketing sins that every new business owner commits...and how to avoid them!
If you want to get recognized by Google (and trust us, you do!), it's time to learn about SEO. It'll take a bit of work, but the benefits are worth it.
Ruth Burr of Moz weighs in on Local Business SEO, offering information and suggestions to small businesses.
Humor can help get your business recognized, but oftentimes the jokes fall flat. Learn how to create amusing campaigns that are anything but tasteless.
Want beautiful design on your marketing materials? Us too. Read on for 3 free design hacks that'll propel you and your business towards design success.
Think funny marketing is only for companies geared towards college students? Well, you're wrong! Check out these 4 ways to infuse your marketing with LOLs.
To help local business owners with their marketing initiatives, we've identified 4 key strategies for super successful marketing (they're easy!).
Your brand is made up of its own unique DNA. Learn how to build values, inspire employees, and elicit positive feelings about your brand.
Looking to get a little traction on Twitter? Check out how 4 companies have managed to break the mold and learn how to do it yourself.
Is it really true that a clean, minimalist workspace is the best for productivity? Research suggests messy desks and clean ones have their benefits.
When running your business, you will mess up. You might try to get funding before you're ready, hire someone who upsets your customers, or do something spammy to get ahead. Lessons from other people’s mistakes sting quite a bit less, so read on to gain insight.
You're on board with A/B testing, but are you sure you know what you're doing? Read this post to ensure you don't screw things up!
Customers can post reviews on Yelp, Google Local, Facebook and other websites, but how do you get them to say positive things about you?
Gary was a good grasshopper for all of 2013. All he wants this holiday season is a caption for this cartoon.. we need your help!
Coming up with a good business name can be harder than scaling a mountain, so we're here to help you out with some tips, suggestions, and best practices.
Branded cars might seem hokey, but they're propelling small businesses to the top. Read on to find out how much they'll cost you and why they work.
Entrepreneurs don't have tons of time for email marketing, so we've pulled together this quick guide so you can engage your customers quickly and easily.
Many entrepreneurs confuse people when they talk about what they do. How do you pitch a seemingly boring product to make it sound exciting and worthwhile?
A while ago, we happened upon a book called Worth Every Penny by Sarah Petty and Erin Verbeck, which says you shouldn’t discount your products and services. The main message of the book is simple: by discounting your offering, you’re taking away from the overall value of what you do. The concept was intriguing and […]
B2B, B2C, or something in between-- it doesn't matter. We all need to be mindful of what our customers want. Here are 7 ways to figure it out.
Some of these blogs offer gadgets that make life easier while others discuss how to hustle. They serve to motivate and re-inspire the productivity that’s crucial to conquering the ever-growing “to-do” list.
Over the past decade, colleges and universities have diverged from traditional business degrees to offer specializations in entrepreneurship. Sounds pretty cool when you’re trying to learn all you can to get business going, right? But there are a lot of questions. How much will it cost? Will it be worth it? What’s the difference between […]
People look for productivity in odd places. They time themselves driving to work to save 20 seconds on their morning commute. Sometimes they skip lunch, whic...
The field of communications. Sounds like a common sense area, doesn’t it? As simple-sounding as it is (and as much as some consider it “fluffy”), communicating well is one of the most important things when it comes to business and getting things done right. Getting your point across is essential for negotiating deals, speaking to […]
When you’re almost late to an 8:00 a.m. meeting, little else matters to you except being on time. Bagels or bacon, donuts or scrambled eggs—as long as you can put it in your body, you’re happy. And, hey, if you don’t have time, you can always wait until lunch. Really, who’s got time for breakfast? […]
The benefits of distributing your workforce using modern communications are many. Just ask a company like 37signals – they’ve got employees all over the world! A distributed workforce means a bigger labor pool, reduced costs, flexibility for employees, and an oddly counter-intuitive increase in productivity. Modern technology has allowed people to work from the Bahamas, their […]
This is a guest post by Lena Requist, COO of ONTRAPORT. In our 24/7 techie world, it seems like everything is automated. We use plastic cards when we need to spend money. We talk to computers instead of people when we call customer service. Even our paychecks are usually deposited directly into the bank — […]
A “click here” hyperlink used to be enough to drive business online, but those days are over. With so many goods and services being sold over the ‘net, web developers, designers, and marketers are scrambling to come up with ways to increase conversions. In short, we all want people to be clicking, signing up, and […]
If you run a company, you’ve probably got a blog, whether it’s to boost SEO, establish credibility, gain new customers, or simply share the latest news. But results from blogging aren’t always tangible, especially because a company blog doesn’t necessarily lead to direct sales. That’s why it’s important to find some other ways to measure […]
This is a guest post by Spencer Fry, CEO of Uncover. There are thousands of articles out there about how to create great company culture. These articles are great resources to founders, but they all recommend the same broad set of ideas — hire the right people, offer benefits, and be positive. While these articles […]
In this Age of Apps, there’s nothing we like more than bells and whistles. We like alerts and syncing. We like voice commands, color palettes, and a host of other fancy features. Scheduling apps and software get released all the time, but many of these digital “time savers” take hours to set up. We want […]
If you think Grasshopper is just for one type of startup or business, you haven’t met our customers. Grasshopper users come in all shapes of sizes—they make products for kids, offer moving and packing solutions, and sell software services. In today’s connected world, social media companies are springing up, and we’re proud to say that […]
Hi, I’m Stacy! I’m the Office Manager here at Grasshopper. I’m the person you go to if you need help putting together a fun event, booking flights, shipping a package, or refilling food and snacks. I’m the unofficial “office mom!” It’s a super fun job that has lots of rewards, professionally and personally. I’m not […]
This is a guest post by Sara Rosenfeld of WaveApps Running a company frequently means becoming a jack-of-all-trades. Unfortunately, small business owners often become so busy in the day-to-day operations of their business that they don’t take the time to test out new tools that could result in significant time and cost savings. If you’re […]
This is a guest post by Nate Dame founder and chief strategist at SEOperks. For many entrepreneurs, search engine optimization (SEO) is like a mysterious black box. What do you do and where do you start? What works and what doesn’t? If you’ve been given some bad advice in the past, you might also see it as […]
As 2012 comes to an end and the holidays (hopefully) provide some time to relax, it’s also the perfect time to think ahead, set goals and make changes.
Don’t get me wrong – winning is great! But these four companies learned that it’s not all about taking home the gold.
If you watch a little too much TV (we’re all guilty of it some days), you might start to think the American Dream is a luxury car, a beautifully furnished and always perfectly clean house, travelling around the world, and still having money in the bank for the latest version of every gadget Apple has […]
With 74% of people using mobile at work and cell phones outnumbering landlines 5 to 1, the idea of using only your cell phone for business doesn’t seem as crazy as it once did. Phones are better, service coverage is better and the lack of a pbx system can help cut down on business costs. […]
Think you're too good for a small business budget? Think again! Read on to learn why it's important to have one.
With March Madness just around the corner, we thought it’d be fun to get in on the action and host a March Madness contest of our own.
Here at Grasshopper, we’ve done a LOT of marketing. We’ve run TV ads, radio commercials, pay-per-click ads, email campaigns, banner ads and so on and so forth. It’s a lot to keep track of! How do we know which ones are working and which ones aren’t? The good news is many of these campaigns can […]
A new poll by Ipsos/Reuters says that one in five workers around the globe telecommutes. Even more impressive, 10% work from home every day. That’s a lot of people working away from the office!
Almost three years ago we posted “10 Blogs Entrepreneurs Need to Be Reading” and to this day it has remained the most popular post on the Grasshopper blog.
It’s Meet the Employees Monday here at Grasshopper. This week’s employee spotlight is on Allison Canty. Allison is on the marketing team here and is our Social Media and Community Manager. Ever sent a tweet to @Grasshopper? Left a message on our Facebook wall? Then you’ve already met her!
For those of you who don’t know, this week is Global Entrepreneurship Week. In honor of Global Entrepreneurship Week, this week’s content will be focused entirely on entrepreneurship. We’re kicking the week off with the tools we, as entrepreneurs, can’t live without. Did you know Grasshopper has over 35 full-time employees? It’s true! There are […]
This post was written by our Online Marketing Manager, Casie Gillette. I attended The Successful You: Women’s Leadership Forum yesterday in Cambridge and sat in on the session “Boston. The Destination for Female Entrepreneurs”. The panel featured four Boston-area women involved in the entrepreneurial community – Stephanie Kaplan, CEO of Her Campus Media, Jennifer Lum, […]
This is a guest post by Erica Moss, the social media outreach coordinator for the Master of Science in Nursing program at Georgetown University. In this competitive marketplace, little details can get lost in the big picture. You and your company work hard every day to provide consumers with the best possible product and to […]
With companies like Google touting daily cell phone activations of 500,000, cities are running out of area codes quicker and quicker, forcing new ones to be created. Maryland is the latest state to add a new area code and has settled on 667. While Maryland is a small state, according to the Washington Post, this […]
Here on the Grasshopper blog we talk a lot about the various ways you can use your voicemail. One new idead is to use it as an emergency alert system.
If you are a business affected by Hurricane Irene, we’d love to provide you with a free three-month Grasshopper account to help you keep your business open and connected (for existing customers, we will credit your account for 3 months, maximum credit $150). You can be set up in five minutes, have incoming calls forwarded […]
This guest post is written by Alyssa Gregory. Alyssa is a small business collaborator who provides small business help through the Small Business Bonfire, a social, educational and collaborative community for entrepreneurs. Unfortunately, a magical time-creating machine that will let you expand a day on a whim doesn’t exist, despite how much we wish it […]
Would you believe that 40% of telecommuters would rather take a pay cut then stop telecommuting? According to a recent survey from Staples Advantage, the B2B division of Staples, telecommuters “feel and work better” than those who work in an actual office. They’re happier, healthier and according to 86% of them, more productive.
In 2009, after successfully growing Grasshopper for 6 years, we launched Grasshopper Group to create additional web applications to empower entrepreneurs. We’re happy to announce that our first product, Chargify, has received funding from Mark Cuban to accelerate its growth as the leading subscription billing and customer management tool for recurring business models. As exciting […]
Here are some of the worst marketing campaigns of all time. Check 'em out.
Adding and subtracting is easy, but doing financial accounting isn’t always that simple. Small businesses often try and save money by doing their own accounting, but common sense isn’t always the best guide. When your company’s revenue (and relationship with the IRS) is at stake, you don’t want to mess up the numbers. Here are […]
If you are like most entrepreneurs, you will find that sometimes your pitches work really well and other times they fail miserably. You may find that you make twenty sales in five hours one day, but fail to make five sales after working an entire week the next. We’ve all been there. Before chocking this […]
As some of you may know, we’ve been working hard on a new user interface for Grasshopper. Our goal is to improve your user experience and to make creating and managing your account much easier. With that said, we’re looking for a handful of our passionate customers to help us shape the look and feel […]
Social networking sites are a powerful tool for marketing your products and connecting with potential clients. However, they are also a popular tool for locating new employees. In 2010, approximately three quarters of all small and mid-sized companies used social networking sites to find new workers or contractors to help expand their business.
Did you happen to catch “America’s Next Great Restaurant,” which aired on NBC a few months back? In it, people who thought they had a great restaurant concept competed in front of a panel of investors – including celebrity chef Bobby Flay and Steve Ells, founder of Chipotle – for money to open their doors. […]
In 2010, the Grasshopper Group, a company with a proven tracker record of entrepreneurial success, launched a product that failed. Mike Arsenault, the man behind that product agreed to sit down with me and help me learn from his experience. The product is Spreadable, a word of mouth marketing tool that launched in 2010 and […]
One way small business owners take care of their top assets (their employees) is by offering special perks during the summer. When it’s hot outside and business is slower, many companies, like the ones featured below, take time to reward their hardworking employees with little extras that boost morale, and create a more exciting work […]
Entrepreneurs are usually eager individuals who can’t stand the thought of sitting still. One of the reasons why good entrepreneurs fail is because they jump into action without the necessary research and planning. It’s important to execute your vision as quickly as possible, but taking time to map out your plan is essential. There are […]
Beginning on Saturday, June 25th at 2AM EST all Grasshopper phone services will be down for approximately 1 to 2 hours. We hope to minimize the impact this has on your business by performing this maintenance during one of our least busy times of the day and one of the least busy days of the […]
In the last and final piece, we will explore some of the marketing lessons we learned and why we eventually decided to shut down Spreadable. Marketing Learning The Grasshopper product has gotten to a place where we get a very predictable return relative to the number of marketing dollars we spend. With that mindset, we […]
Guest Post This guest post is written by Gerry Praysman. Gerry is the resident Buzz Marketer at Brainshark, the leading provider of on-demand video presentations anytime, anywhere. The college graduation season is behind us and a fresh batch of wily youngsters is inundating the workforce. One of the fastest growing job opportunities today is in […]
Conference calls are not exactly the most exciting thing in the world to engage in. Many meetings are boring and mind-numbing enough as it is. When you have to deal with the added confusion of not being able to speak directly to your audience, you are likely to find that conference calls will also be […]
Outsourcing is becoming more popular and complex. Before you outsource, you should consider which countries it makes the most sense to work with.
This is the third part in our four-part Spreadable post mortem. In the third part, we will explore some of our marketing tactics & pricing initiatives. See Part I & Part II.
Grasshopper makes collaborating with your clients easy, although, that’s not always a good thing! Kittens? Bright colors? Check out the latest Grasshopper commercial.
You’ve finally made the leap. You quit your day job, set up a home office and started your new life as an entrepreneur. Congratulations! But now that the initial excitement has passed, you may be feeling some trepidation. Perhaps you aren’t as productive as you’d like, or you find that you keep hitting a mental […]
This is the second part in our four-part Spreadable post mortem. In the second part, we will explore the development of the app along with a few mistakes we made in the midst of it. See Part I. Version 1.0 We assumed that because Grasshopper’s referral program worked so well, it would easily port over […]
As the dust begins to settle from the outage last week, we’ve had some time to reflect on how we handled things and what we could’ve done better. We know we disappointed you last week and we would like to thank all of you, both the supportive ones and the ones who voiced their frustrations […]
On Tuesday & Wednesday Grasshopper experienced a major outage unlike anything we’ve experienced since launching 8 years ago (For details please read the full explanation below). In short, we had major hardware failure and our disaster recovery systems that we’ve spent millions of dollars on did not work as designed. Although outages are inevitable with […]
This is the first part in our four-part Spreadable post mortem. Part II will be live on Tuesday June 14th. Our Vision for Spreadable Spreadable was designed to allow business owners to harness the power of word of mouth generated by their happy customers. We were trying to solve three big problems: 1) People find […]
As many of you are already aware, our systems are down and have been down for an extended period of time. We understand that this outage is extremely frustrating to you. We have our entire team and a number of outside experts working to address this situation. Please be assured, everything that can be done […]
Launching a business is rarely convenient. And with bank accounts still hurting from the financial meltdown of 2008, it may seem illogical to many to make the risky commitment required to start a company. However, in the ashes of economic disaster, opportunities are arising. Today a slew of entrepreneurs are emerging with great ideas in […]
It’s been a little over two months since we made the decision to stop investing in Spreadable, the third product launched by Grasshopper Group. The app will sit dormant until the end of the year and then we’re planning to shut it down completely on December 31st. Many people have asked why we made this […]
Details: As most of you may have noticed, we are currently experiencing an outage. Due to a hardware failure, we’re experiencing delays and failed calls. Many of our sites are loading more slowly than usual or aren’t loading at all. As a result, your callers will not get through to you and may also experience […]
Do the companies you know have good communication structures in place or have they been victims of epic communication failures?
In the past two months, houses, businesses and livelihoods have been destroyed by Mother Nature, with the most recent occurrence here in Massachusetts. Here at Grasshopper, we want to help. While we can’t rebuild houses or bring back possessions, we can help businesses stay open or at least connected.
We want to help you understand how you can use Skype with Grasshopper to create a powerful (and inexpensive) professional image for your business.
Although many of the official projections state that the economy is getting better, it is hard to really gauge where it is headed. Smart entrepreneurs don’t want to take too many chances. Many have banded together and started to form exit alliances as a sort of insurance policy against the risk of going out of […]
Are you scared to death of speaking to potential customers on the phone? Don’t be. Although it’s common for Internet entrepreneurs to avoid placing calls in favor of email, you can follow a few basic tips to interact with customers in a medium you aren’t used to. Here are some things you should consider when […]
Writing a white paper isn't easy, but it can be an awesome way to stand out as an expert in your field. Although crafting a white paper is more of an art than a science, there are general guidelines you can follow to help you out along the way.
Entrepreneurs always want to believe that their business is doing well. Unfortunately, excessive optimism can be toxic to a business’ success if it’s not accompanied by a realistic view of how the company is doing right now. Make sure your business is going in the right direction by performing these simple checks: Are you using […]
Although consumers should be wary about their credit card usage, having a business credit card is almost always advantageous. There are a variety of reasons why you should make sure that you are using a credit card for your business rather than your personal card or cash: Keep track of your purchases. If you make […]
You can write a killer email with the best pitch in the world, but if you don't catch the interest of your reader then your pitch will be dead before they ever get a chance to read it. The first step to creating a good email is to write a good subject line.
I suggest if you have an idea, get started. But to start you off, here’s my top tidbits of startup wisdom.
At Foundora we were excited to see how Spreadable would evolve over time, ever since David Hauser had mentioned about it in his interview with us. But, when we heard about its shut down, we were simply curious to know how it happened, what went wrong and more importantly learn from them. We reached out to Jonathan Kay, the Ambassador of Buzz at Grasshopper and got an interview arranged with Mike to speak about the Spreadable story.
An interview with Grasshopper Group CTO and co-founder, David Hauser about virtual phone systems, entrepreneurs, Chargify, Grasshopper and the Ambassador of Buzz.
I had the pleasure of sitting down with David Hauser recently to talk about his Boston-area company, the Grasshopper Group. David is the CTO of the company and co-founded it with Siamak Taghaddos in 2003 when they were both students at Babson College. From its beginnings as a virtual phone system, the Grasshopper Group is now the parent company of multiple Web-based products all focused around the company’s core purpose of empowering entrepreneurs. Grasshopper employs about 50 people, continues to grow, and has never raised any capital from VCs.
Saturday I was at the University of Tampa for the Southeast Entrepreneur Conference, where college students came together to pitch business ideas and to listen to some great speakers -- young ones who now only started businesses but were, to use Gary Vee's phrase, Crushing It!
Whether you are trying to get the attention of an angel investor or angling for a sale from a potential client, you are going to have to make a great elevator pitch to get your point across. You may have as little as 30 seconds to make your speech, so you really need to make those words count.
When you are establishing a marketing plan, you can have a plan that is up-to-date or you can have a plan that is guaranteed to fail. That may sound a little harsh, but stop and think about how much things change in the span of a few months or even a few weeks. You should periodically go through your marketing plan and make sure that you tweak your strategy. This will help you be sure that your marketing strategy will survive the next stages of your business.
Starting a business is hard work; intelligently choosing the right funding for you shouldn't be. Not all funding works the same, and you should carefully consider the pros and cons of each before pursuing any of them.
With gas prices hovering around $4 a gallon in most places, driving has certainly become expensive. People are driving less, switching to lower cost vehicles and changing their overall driving habits. The good news is that gas prices appear to be going down and even better, there are simple ways we can save. Here are […]
Common among writers is the romantic vision of the lone author, working at home day and night on his or her masterpiece, who finally, upon completing it and seeing it published, is elevated to the status of a cultural icon. A true success story, right? These kinds of stories are lovely to read about and […]
Entrepreneurs have shaped the face of business and enterprise since the dawn of man. From the first wheel to the advent of the Internet, these clever businessmen evolved for centuries into their most recent incarnation, the Social Media Entrepreneur.
Your business phone number is often the first solid impression a customer has of you. After all, it’s the only part of your ad they’ll go out of their way to remember. What it says about your business is important. A regular 10-digit number is hard to remember but a vanity phone number creates a […]
Last week, we were lucky enough to have Pretzel Crips stop by the Grasshopper Group office here in Needham to host a snack Thursday. What’s awesome about how we got Pretzel Crisps to our office is that it all went down on Twitter. After seeing a few tweets go by about Pretzel Crisps delivering bags of Pretzel Crisps to some of her follower's offices, our Ambassador of Buzz, Stephanie decided to take matters into her own hands. Within minutes, they had responded to her tweet and offered to host a snack Thursday for us here at the Grasshopper Group headquarters.
“Selling out” isn't a bad thing. All entrepreneurs eventually leave their business. They might “die in the saddle,” but most sell their stake and retire, or go on to start another venture, or simply offload a business they feel they can't run profitably. Regardless of the reasons for sale, a systematic and scientific approach to the process will net you the best gains.
Once upon a time, you had a desk. Now you have paper. Lots of paper. You’re pretty sure there’s still a desk below the towering piles of paper, but it’s hard to tell. You also vaguely recall owning a desk calendar, which would have been nice to have before you forgot about your scheduled meeting […]
Smart business owners know that branding goes to the heart of everything they do. Even something as simple as an email address says a lot about a business owner. You should take this into consideration before you print a Gmail address on your business cards. If you own a domain name, you can configure a […]
Monday and Tuesday of this week, we are going to be running a contest to give away a FREE ticket to MicroConf ($599 value!). MicroConf takes place June 6th and 7th in Las Vegas, NV. The contest is simple, all you have to do is tell us how the money you save on your MicroConf ticket could be better spent. Simple as that!
Over the next few weeks, Grasshopper Group has a really great lineup of events to attend! This week our co-founder David Hauser (@DH) is MC’ing at Big Omaha. From the Twitter stream, Big Omaha seems like THE event to attend. Lots of great speakers there and for those who couldn’t attend, check out all the tweets under #BigOmaha. The feed hasn’t stopped moving and it’s full of great tips and advice!
Most startups operate on a thin margin and need to be very careful that they don’t take on too much debt. Businesses can go bankrupt whether they are bootstrapped or have millions of dollars in financing available.
According to the FCC, over 25 million toll-free numbers are in operation in North America. And there’s a good reason for that: when it comes to running a small business, having a toll-free number can have a tangible effect on your bottom line. When introduced in 1967, toll-free numbers were something of a novelty and […]
I was recently talking to one of my friends who is in the midst of starting her own home-based cookie business. While she wants to have a separate phone number for her business, she isn’t at the point of needing a full virtual PBX system, nor is she at the point of getting a ton […]
This past weekend the BarCamp Tour made a stop in Minneapolis, MN. MinneBar, as they call it, is the largest BarCamp in America and the second largest BarCamp in the world (second only to India!). Home to the Mall of America and a statue tribute to Mary Tyler Moore, Minneapolis also has a thriving tech community that welcomed us with open arms.
For small businesses trying to break into online markets the tipping point is often web traffic. But it’s not all about SEO.
Information is everywhere — in our homes, on our phones, on our televisions. We’ve got web-based city guides like Yelp and Citysearch, location-based apps like Foursquare and Gowalla, and search engines at our fingertips to help us track down any lost address, new phone number, or updated business listing we need. And yet, every few months […]
This week we will be in Minneapolis for the second stop on the BarCamp Tour. BarCamp Minneapolis is a one day conference taking place on May 7th. If you’re in the area or are on the fence about attending, here’s a fun fact: BarCamp Minneapolis is the LARGEST BarCamp outside of India’s and they expect to have around 1000 attendees. We are really excited about this BarCamp, and we’ll be sure to report back on it for those who can’t attend.
Few people would set out to climb a mountain wearing a blindfold. Yet individuals routinely start businesses without a clear vision. David Feinleib, General Partner at VC firm Mohr Davidow Ventures and founder of four startups, says not doing research on market viability often contributes to major disasters. “If the market takes too long to develop, there is no market; it doesn’t exist. Unless you have one of those rare products that can create a market, you’re dropping a product into a void.” Getting caught up in an idea is easy to do, but the real work of entrepreneurship is in the details.
What type of voicemail makes a potential customer want to do business with you, and what makes them hang up before you even finish your recorded greeting?
Every day this week we will be tweeting out a new question regarding small businesses. Share your insight with us and you will be entered to win one of five prizes ranging from a gas card to a gift card for JetBlue (chosen at random). Question of the Day (Friday): What’s the best part about […]
How much noise should you make before you launch your product? Some pundits believe 'none' is the best answer because nefarious bandits may steal your idea. Other entrepreneurs think it is never too soon to start letting people know how your product will change the world. If you agree with the latter, several sound and relatively economical approaches exist to generate buzz while you are preparing for a full product launch.
This guest post is by Alex Stetson, a web marketer for Super Web-O-Matic; Webomatic is a Boston-based business that brings high-end web design to main street businesses in an affordable website package. So your business is up and running. You have customers, you’re getting calls but you aren’t getting as many leads from your website […]
The Philadelphia Inquirer ran an article last week about an informal survey they did regarding voicemail. The findings? More than half of respondents younger than 35 said they were in no rush to check their voicemail, saying they listened to it only every few hours or days. Seventy-six percent of those younger than 35 […]
While many young entrepreneurs make the mistake of dwelling on past failures, serial entrepreneurs appear almost weightless in their ability to rebound from the past and move forward.
Less Conf This week, the buzz team will be heading down to Atlanta for one of our favorite conferences, LessConf which takes place April 28th – 30th. Three days of awesomeness, especially with a host like Allan Branch. If you don’t know what we’re talking about, be sure read his Twitter feed. He’s pretty entertaining. […]
This week you can find the buzz team in Atlanta, GA at Less Conf.
Coworking is not just for artists and free thinkers. It’s a revolutionary idea that is catching on with businesses of all sizes, especially startups. If you’re a new entrepreneur looking for the guidance and support of others right out of the gate, coworking may be a great option for you. What is Coworking? Coworking is […]
Owen Masterson and Christine Anthony are the husband and wife filmmaker/photography team known as Anthony-Masterson. Moving from Los Angeles to Atlanta five years ago, they learned two lessons very quickly. First, locating a farmers market wasn’t very easy in 2005 Atlanta. Second, filmmaking costs money. While the duo knew they could use film to generate awareness of the sustainable and organic growers around the area, they needed to identify a method of securing post-production funding for their second film, Grow!, that was as creative as they are. Anthony-Masterson turned to Kickstarter.
According to the Oxford University Press, there are at least a quarter of a million English words. If different word classes are counted, meaning a word is counted as a noun and verb (i.e. skate) for instance, then there's probably over three quarter of a million words. With all these available words and many different languages in the world, there are still plenty of good company names out there.
It’s true! When you’re talking about a virtual PBX it can be difficult to picture in practical use. Reading about something is very different than seeing it in action. That’s why we created live demos for people to call in and listen to. We have demos for a number of industries including Real Estate, […]
We’re not in love with them, but we also recognize that they’re a necessary evil. After experimenting a little, we’ve come up with these surefire tactics for alienating your customers:
It's not easy being the new startup on the block. Without product sales, a proven team or an impressive track record, fledgling companies begin to feel like the Rodney Dangerfield of the startup world - like they can't get any respect. Luckily, you don't need a meeting with Peter Thiel to get funding. If lack of reputation or credentials is holding you back, you can actually compete for funding in contests that allow promising startups to shine:
Business owners searching for a communications system run into a plethora of industry terms and acronyms. There’s a “cloud” of them; P2P, CTI, PBX, SIPS, IVR and D-I-D (pun completely intended). The terminology and 3-letter words can quickly confuse any entrepreneur. The choice of a communications system is vital to your organization. If you can’t […]
As part of our new customer spotlight series, we will be featuring Grasshopper customers who we think deserve to have the spotlight on them for the day. This series is our way of giving back and saying thank you to all of our customers. Stay tuned for more customer spotlights each month. In this month’s […]
Last week we ran a contest on Twitter for our Grasshopper Group followers. The rules were simple, follow us on Twitter at @GHGroup, tweet the best startup advice you’ve received, and include the hashtag #GHGroup. We selected a winner each day to win a $50 Amazon gift card. The whole point of this contest was to get our entrepreneurial followers to share their best piece of advice with other entrepreneurs who may need it. We have compiled all of the entries here so that those who are not on Twitter or those who didn’t follow the contest, can benefit from the advice that others shared with us.
I read an article the other day in the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle titled, “Landlines are fading, but still play a role”. Admittedly, I was a bit surprised to see the numbers: 30% of homes are cell only 50% of adults 25-29 don’t have a landline 700,000 homes per month migrate […]
In 2011, just having a website isn't enough. Unless your website is nothing more than an online billboard, you probably want people to take action there. Whether its product sales, lead generation or even blog comments, your website is successful insofar as it achieves that objective. Good design gives any website a stronger chance of success.
Over the past two weeks, the idea of telecommuting has been a hot topic as Telework Exchange and Cisco released a substantial report on their “Telework Week.” Back in February, the two companies decided to implement a telework week from February 14-18 to see just what the benefits of telecommuting really were. According to the […]
One of the biggest challenges startup founders face is finding good programmers. This is true for two reasons: first because technical talent is so important, but also because (as a group) programmers tend to differ in attitude and priorities from pure 'entrepreneurs.' Failure to understand these key differences (and account for them in your search for programming talent) will lead to endless frustration. Consult the following time-tested principles to find a capable programmer more quickly:
After two days, 80 sessions, over 600 attendees and hundreds of conversations, we can officially say that our first stop on the BarCamp Tour was a success! In case you missed this crazy and ridiculously fun weekend, here’s a quick recap of some of our favorite highlights from the weekend.
A longtime customer, Crystal Martin, shares some of her money-saving tips for small businesses. She is a former marketing agency owner and the founder of mailPOW. ______________________________________________________________ I am holding the newest edition of Inc. magazine where I turned to the page where my business mailPOW is featured as the “Big Idea” for April 2011. […]
Do you remember hearing the old saying, 'If a tree falls in the woods and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound?' Well, the same thing applies to a great product or service without an effective sales strategy. If you don't sell, no one will care how 'wonderful' your magnificent product or service is because they either won't know about it or won't care to know about it.
This weekend kicks off the first ever BarCamp Tour. First stop? Boston! Boston is home to a number of great startups and with an amazing community of entrepreneurs, we figured what better place to start the tour than here?
By now you’ve all probably heard the extremely long and embarrassing voicemail from a very intoxicated girl named Dominic to her new pal Ryan, where she teaches him how to spell eBay and tells him just how cute he is. The voicemail has been making its rounds on the internet and radio shows across […]
Clients are absolutely critical for businesses to survive and flourish. However, there are limits to how far a freelancer or a business can go to please a client. Beyond a certain point your business and sanity just can't take it any longer. Here are a few of those red flags that signal when it is time to fire your client.
Mark Caro of the Chicago Tribune wrote an article Tuesday detailing his recent experience after watching “The Adjustment Bureau”, the latest film put out by Universal: “The politician played by Matt Damon doesn’t initially remember the phone number that the dancer played by Emily Blunt gives him in “The Adjustment Bureau.” That’s strange, […]
In the grand scheme of the business world, a new startup is pretty insignificant. Without track records, profitability or guaranteed success, it’s easy for founders to adopt a submissive “who are we to know” approach. Yet in more situations than you may realize, saying “no” can be a profoundly good thing for early startups to […]
For as long as there have been telephones, there have been telephone scams. Not all of them are alike, of course. Some operate by manipulating the person on the other line, while others exploit holes or weaknesses in the phone system itself. In both cases, the results can be frustrating – ranging from mild annoyances […]
The awesome folks at GrasshopperGroup, Wufoo & Mailchimp have come together to help support and foster Barcamp’s all over the country.
MassChallenge is a non-profit organization that connects startups and entrepreneurs with the resources they need to get their startup off the ground and be successful. Mass Challenge gives entrepreneurs access to numerous workshops, mentors, executives, and even sources for funding.
When Grasshopper first launched in 2003 as GotVMail, there were few other companies providing virtual phone services. Eight years later, that’s no longer the case. With more competitors out there and businesses like Skype and Google Voice coming onto the scene, one of the questions we get a lot is “How is Grasshopper different?” […]
It feels like an unwritten rule that if you're starting a business, you have to do it in Silicon Valley. Everyone who's anyone is there: Google, Apple, Facebook, Groupon and so forth. Surely your startup won’t amount to anything if it isn't there as well. Or will it? Believe it or not, there are actually several compelling reasons to consider starting your company outside of the Valley - especially if you don't have access to big-time VC or angel investments.
Tomorrow Grasshopper Group will be attending the “Momentum Summit: A Future Forward Event” in Cambridge, MA. Last year the Momentum Summit was described as, “one of the best events I’ve been to in quite some time,” by Jason Evanish of The Greenhorn Blog. It was quotes like these that really caught our attention, and why we decided to participate. This isn’t your everyday networking event.
212 numbers definitely have a reputation that precedes itself. If you’re a New Yorker you probably understand what it means to have a 212 number. They have been referred to as the new “rent controlled apartment”, a status symbol (you’re considered a techie or early adopter with one of these numbers), and even sexy. So, […]
It’s that time of year again! With the March Madness tournament just hours away, productivity all over the U.S. is set to decrease dramatically. For those of us in the office, we can check the scores online and for some brave souls, watch the games at CBS.com with the infamous “Boss Button”. But what about those […]
There is a lot of competition in every market, and you’ve got to do what you can do to stand head and shoulders above the crowd. One area where business owners surprisingly fall down on the job is in developing customer loyalty. Working with a customer should never be viewed as a one-transaction experience, but a chance to build a long-term relationship.
For many, the idea of a startup conjures up romantic notions of young guns going from rags to riches. However, ask any successful entrepreneur and he/she can tell you it was by no means an idyllic road to success. Below we dispel some of the most prolific fantasies about a startup's road to success.
Barcamps are a pretty crazy entrepreneurial phenomenon if you ask us. I mean think about it, The idea of “barcamp” is only 5 years old and they have already happened in over 350 different cities across the world (including North America, South America, Africa, Europe, Australia, Asia, and the Middle East). The largest barcamp ever had 4700 confirmed attendees (though they tend to average closer to 200-250). The “conference” and the content are completely organized and provided by attendees.
Here on the blog we talk a lot about how to use your 800 number and the benefits of an 800 number…we thought we’d lighten it up this week. Here are some random 800 number facts that were in the news recently: People make money off of 800 number misdials. According to MSN, people are […]
Sure you have heard of book tours, concert tours, and even roadtrips designed around helping local charities. But I bet that you have never heard of a BarCamp tour. Until this morning no such thing existed. But the creative minds over at Grasshopper Group, MailChimp and Wufoo have teamed up to help entrepreneurs all over the country create amazing BarCamps.
Last year The Buzz Team had the amazing opportunity to be involved with BarCamp Tampa and BarCamp Omaha. Now by “involved”, I hope you don’t think we mean - paid to have our logo on the back of their t-shirt and on their website. That isn’t what barcamp is all about; it’s about sharing your passion with other entrepreneurs. It’s about being proactive. So naturally, we flew to each barcamp and got as involved as we humanly could. Boy were we welcomed with open arms; in fact, it was this warm greeting that first ignited our “love” for barcamp.
For those of us who still have a home phone (or remember the days before cell phones), you know that when you call a local number, you simply dial seven digits. You have an area code but how often do you dial it? Probably never. That’s going to change. With cities across the United States […]
Healthcare has been a hot topic of late - what it costs, the rights of consumers and how much power insurance companies should have. But most of these discussions relate to individuals. What about business owners? Although it isn't talked about as much, small business owners have several options for insuring both themselves and their employees. Without a thorough understanding of what they are, you can easily wind up paying too much (or receiving too little.) If nothing else, make sure you are familiar with the following:
A startup coming into the game in 1998 had its work cut out for it. Whatever it wanted to create (and however grandiose it was) had to be built by the in-house team, completely from scratch. Projects that seem small by 2011 standards, therefore, were massive undertakings ten years ago – and many startups that […]
Here at Grasshopper, we have a very loyal and amazing customer base. They are continuously telling their friends about our service via Twitter, Facebook and of course through our referral tool, Spreadable. What is Spreadable? If you haven’t heard about Spreadable, it’s a new tell a friend tool from our parent company, Grasshopper Group. But […]
This past week MTV teamed up with Justin Bieber for a campaign against digital abuse. The prize? A trip to MTV studios and a personalized voicemail greeting from the Biebs himself. For our Grasshopper blog readers, a voicemail greeting from a 16-year old pop star probably isn’t your ideal prize but it did get me […]
This week, we will be headed to SuperConf in sunny Miami, Florida. SuperConf is described as “more startup than you can stomach,” “where kick-ass new companies launch,” and “where speakers blow your mind 8 times in one day.” This is definitely the kind of conference we want to be involved in and get excited about!
Grasshopper Group recently launched our newest product Spreadable, a word of mouth marketing tool. Today, we are debuting our first ever Spreadable video. It’s pretty cool, check it out!
It’s Groundhog Day, and while Punxsutawney Phil may have a lock on predicting the weather, we think our own readers are best suited to predict what the spring holds for small business. When the snow melts and the daffodils bloom, business owners will be ready to reinvest, reinvent and redouble their efforts to break new ground, grow and even flourish. Here, 25 small business owners share their spring predictions with BusinessNewsDaily.
Does your business have a toll free number? Well, why not? The benefits of having a toll free number are endless.
America is slowly emerging from what has been a grinding recession. As part of the recovery effort, President Barack Obama has recently enacted the Startup America Partnership. This new program is designed to stimulate startup activity across the United States - including young entrepreneurship.
Over the past month, we have been overwhelmed by the kind words about Grasshopper from our customers on Twitter. We can’t thank you all enough for sharing your positive Grasshopper experiences with your friends and followers! We are lucky to have such great customers :) To show our gratitude to those who have tweeted about us, we have pulled together a few tweets from the past month to share with you. Thank you again to all those who have been with us for the long haul and for continually promoting us!
Grasshopper Group has some pretty cool events coming up these next two weeks. This week, David Hauser and Jonathan Kay will be teaching an AppSumo Action web class and next week, Chargify’s mascot Charlie will be taking on Peekaboo Mobile’s mascot Peeks at TapouT in Boston.
QUESTION: What’s the best way to get my clients to refer me to other clients? - Paula Granger, AK. The following answers are provided by the Young Entrepreneur Council. The council’s members include Generation Y entrepreneurs and experts in a variety of fields.
Grasshopper Group got some serious press these past few months! Check out some of the great stories we were featured in from around the web: What’s The Best Way To Increase The Size Of Your Network? Grasshopper Group gets featured on The Huffington Post. Our co-founder, David Hauser offers his advice on the best way […]
Venture capital funding in the tech world is often seen as the golden ticket to success (bootstrapping is a great way to start too). This made us curious about who the founders of the VC backed companies are, and how much funding are they actually getting? Thanks to a study by CB insights, we were able to acquire an in depth look into a large sample of venture capital backed companies across the country, with a focus on three major players in the tech startup world: California, Massachusetts, and New York.
It’s been almost a week now since the picture of Peeks vs. Charlie (on right) was leaked. What’s this picture all about? That’s the question we’ve been asking all week. After evaluating all our anonymous tips, we have FINALLY got to the bottom of this. This picture was leaked to stir up a bit of commotion surrounding an upcoming throwdown, a networking throwdown that is. Join us for the Chargify vs. Peekaboo Mobile Networking Throwdown, Thursday, February 17, 2011 at 7:00 PM EST.
This post is part of the Spreadable Startup Series, which tells stories of entrepreneurs trying to change the world. Calling Yi Wang a talented software engineer might be an insult. He’s a WPI grad with a natural predisposition for the art of code and some pretty ridiculous experience. Try Sun Microsystems, where he worked on building scalable gaming server infrastructure; or Sony Online Entertainment, where he helped build the graphics engine behind the PS3; or EMC, where he’s now working as a perfomance engineer. Want more? How about the massively mulitplayer online gaming company he built while still in college?
Did you know that Gary Busey used to be GotVMail’s spokesperson? Yup, back in the day, when Grasshopper was GotVMail, we had Gary do a few videos for us. I’m not sure we knew what we were getting ourselves into when we chose Gary Busey for a spokesperson, but we’re pretty glad we did.
We’ve searched around and found employers that offer much more than standard benefits. Check out 14 companies that offer their employees unique benefits.
If it seems like it has been a while since we’ve had a “Where are we this week” post, well, that’s because it has. With all the holidays and the New Year over, we are finally getting back into the swing of things. Today, David Hauser will be presenting at the online conference, Plus Conf and over the next two weeks, we will be doing a lot of networking! You can find us at the Lean Startup Event in Cambridge tonight and at the Mashable Meetup next week in Boston.
No matter what market your company is in, every legitimate business needs a way for their customers to contact them. When you start out small, you can often get away with using your local office line, but as you expand, add departments, and grow your customer base, the front desk phone may not be enough to handle your needs. This is when it makes sense to get a toll free number and begin taking phone calls like the big boys of the industry. The following guide to toll free numbers explains how to go about getting a catchy, custom number for a reasonable price.
Q: What is the best way to increase the size of my network? How can I get myself and my brand in front of people? The following answers are provided by the Young Entrepreneur Council, an advocacy group founded by serial entrepreneur Scott Gerber that works to take action against youth unemployment by teaching young people how to build successful companies. The council's members include Generation Y entrepreneurs and experts in a variety of fields.
This post is part of the Spreadable Startup Series, which tells stories of entrepreneurs trying to change the world. “We wanted to create something that was really simple, so that with a couple of clicks…boom, you can start selling access to that information.” The end result is Kajabi, a full-service marketing platform that allows customers to create and deploy membership-based content sites that generate revenue from subscriptions.
Described by Forbes magazine as 'the ultimate thinking machine', American author, inventor, and futurist Ray Kurzweil published volumes of insightful predictions about the technology-driven future that we are currently living in. Here, we explore which of his major forecasts came to fruition and what he sees in store for our destiny beyond.
Now that 2011 is here, we can begin speculating about who the year's biggest entrepreneurial success stories will be. In 2004, it was Facebook. In 2005, it was YouTube. In 2006, it was Twitter. Years from now, what will we look back and say 2011 was the year of? Only time will tell for sure. For now, though, we can peer across the startup landscape and take closer looks at some of the young entrepreneurs who are poised to make headlines in 2011 (and beyond.)
So...we come into work today to find the picture below floating around the internet. It's Charlie, our Chargify mascot, and Peeks, the Peekaboo Mobile mascot. Anyone know what this is about? Where it's from? WHAT IS GOING ON?!
The Question: I’ve never hired an employee before, and now my business demands that I hire several. How do I minimize the number of hires who don’t work out? – Jim Hathwater, MI. The following answers are provided by the Young Entrepreneur Council, an advocacy group founded by serial entrepreneur Scott Gerber that works to take action against youth unemployment by teaching young people how to build successful companies.
One of the most challenging aspects of starting a business is finding the right partner. After all, you will probably end up spending more of your waking hours with your business partner than you will with your family. You don't want to get stuck with the wrong person.
There’s been a lot of talk about number porting the past two weeks with Google’s announcement that they will begin doing so for Google Voice users. This is exciting news for individuals using Google Voice and it’s great for us because it brings headlines to a feature that we often forget to talk about! […]
So what is word-of-mouth marketing? It's influencing these conversations by creating or doing something (a stunt, viral content, etc.) memorable that makes people want talk about you. If people are already having conversations about your brand, you want to wow them so they're talking positively, and if they're not talking about you, you want them to be. So it's not just a new buzz word, it's a ridiculously powerful marketing strategy that your business should be incorporating.
Social media has completely revolutionized the way people communicate with one another. We are now able to expand our network by connecting with people in other cities, states and even countries. Sometimes, however, people forget that we were able to engage with one another prior to social media, and we often lose our ability to form real human connections. So with all this “connecting” and “engaging” behind a computer screen, often in 140 characters or less, how can we really foster a strong, memorable relationship with someone? Here are some ideas to help you take your online relationships to the next level by bringing conversations offline and interacting like we used to, before social media.
Plenty of startups have come and gone during the last decade. But how many of them made a lasting difference? The early 2000's were full of 'me too' companies whose only value was doing the same things under new names. Yet amidst the sea of sameness, a handful of startups were truly disruptive, literally re-writing the rules of entire industries.
The internet came as a result of a DARPA project, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, in the early 1960s. From a simple military project, the internet has evolved to become a human necessity. Follow the evolution from inception to the Citizen Generation.
A virtual office can be a smart and cost-efficient way to start a business and we’ve given tips on everything.
As someone who helps lots of different businesses improve their web content, I'm convinced it's the best way to attract, convert, and keep customers online. Here are some of my top tips based on rhetoric, psychology, and a lot of experience.
Q1: What have you found to be the strongest (best?) benefit of doing word of mouth marketing, vs. more traditional efforts? Relationships. There has been without question no stronger benefit to our WOM efforts than the relationships we've built with our brand loyalists. Word of mouth is completely dependent on the extent of customer satisfaction, which is why we go above and beyond to help our customers.
We’re once again taking over the airwaves in 2011 with the new Grasshopper commercial. The commercial is slated to run on CNBC, Fox Business, Bloomberg, CNN and more over the next few weeks so be sure to watch for it. Who doesn’t love seeing a talking Grasshopper on TV? What do you think of the […]
Phil Simon, author of Why New Systems Fail, The Next Wave of Technologies, and The New Small shares his experience using Kickstarter to start his publishing business. I found out about Kickstarter back in May of 2010 after listening to a talk by management guru Seth Godin. I was intrigued enough to give it a shot. I used the site to raise some of the funds required—e.g., editing, cover design, and production costs. The results from Kickstarter were amazing.
While New York and Silicon Valley are certainly at the heart of technology, plenty of new startup hubs are blossoming around the world.
David Hauser oversees the strategic direction and operations of Grasshopper Group and serves as the company’s technology visionary. A passionate technologist, he's the guy you go to when you have a question about how the universe operates (or if you simply want to consult his encyclopedic inner search engine).
“If there is something that I hear from lean startups more than “pivot” and “fail” it’s that iterating on your product is the way to improve it. And I absolutely believe that iteration is critical to making great features and products. The problem is, sometimes just improving what you’ve got isn’t enough. Every so often, from a UX perspective anyway, you just need to throw everything out and start from scratch.”
Over at Grasshopper Group there’s a great post on how to stick to your 2011 resolution of starting a business. We included several tips including “Think big”, “Think small”, “Keep your resolution every day” and finally, “Hold yourself accountable”. One of the tips under “hold yourself accountable” is to actually do something for your business. […]
Each December 31st we take a good hard look in the mirror and decide we’re going to change our ways this next year. We’re going to lose weight, quit smoking, be a better person, get organized, etc, etc. But how many of us actually stick to those resolutions? On Sunday, Gretchen Rubin of The Huffington […]
So at this point I am sure everyone knows that Groupon got offered $6 Billion by Google (and turned it down). But what you might not know is that we entrepreneurs have our own Groupon! Enter Appsumo. Appsumo is simply a site that offers outrageously good deals on web applications. It was founded and created by Noah Kagan – a former Facebook/Mint.com guy.
John D. Rockefeller once declared, “If you want to succeed, you should strike out on new paths, rather than travel the worn paths of accepted success.” Given the visible rate of economic recovery, perhaps more Americans are taking his advice and applying it to their start-up businesses.
This post is part of the Spreadable Startup Series, which tells stories of entrepreneurs trying to change the world.
At Grasshopper headquarters we received our first snowfall of the season last week, which resulted in long, messy commutes home for us all. This snow storm lead to the revelation that, winter is officially here, and this is only the beginning! With a virtual PBX or hosted PBX system, your business doesn’t have to stop just […]
Happy Holidays from all of us here at Grasshopper Group!
Looking for the perfect gift this holiday season? Well, it’s that time of year and we’re in the giving mood! Give the gift of Grasshopper this holiday season by referring a friend or fellow entrepreneur. If they sign up before January 10th, they’ll save $25 instantly and we’ll give you a $10 credit as our way of saying thank you!
This post is part of the Spreadable Startup Series, which tells stories of entrepreneurs trying to change the world. The Blank Label story has it all – student entrepreneurs turned college dropouts, early failures, visa expiration, the New York Times, and a mysterious remote CTO. It’s the kind of story you hear about second or third hand at startup event or late night at the bar.
Companies go to great lengths to set up voicemail systems they think customers will use. In many cases, however, that is more fantasy than reality. The sad fact is that many corporate voicemail systems are clumsy, irritating and confusing all at the same time. Rather than helping customers solve problems, they actually add dissatisfaction to […]
One of the things we’re extremely proud of here at Grasshopper Group is our community. We have amazing customers, fans & friends and we try to thank them on a regular basis. They give phenomenal feedback on products, leave thoughtful comments via social networks & on a continual basis, tell others about us. What more […]
Pranking strangers on the phone might seem to be an ages-old, adolescent-only pastime, but it turns out that adults (especially radio DJs) love the activity. Though prank calls of all degrees are capable of attaining hall-of-fame status, the best — and decidedly most epic — calls occur when a caller breaks through to a celebrity […]
In today’s YouTube crazed society, video is more accessible and easier to create than ever. One 30-second video has the potential to create a customer for life, or — conversely — a hater that will plague you with negative comments and bad word-of-mouth. This is why small businesses must learn to properly utilize videos to market their services on the web.
Q: I'm a freelancer looking to build a company around my services. What tips can you offer for creating a solid brand? The following answers are provided by the Young Entrepreneur Council, an advocacy group founded by serial entrepreneur Scott Gerber that works to overcome youth unemployment by teaching young people how to build successful companies. The council's members include Generation Y entrepreneurs and experts in a variety of fields.
The Grasshopper virtual phone system was designed with entrepreneurs on the go in mind, that’s why Grasshopper is perfect for your hectic life during the holiday season and throughout the year!
This post is part of the Spreadable Startup Series, which tells stories of entrepreneurs trying to change the world.
Who are the bloggers of 2010? Did you know that North America has the highest percentage of bloggers worldwide or that the greatest percentage of bloggers are hobbyists? Read below to learn more about the blog economy of 2010.
This post is part of the Spreadable Startup Series, which tells stories of entrepreneurs trying to change the world. TribeHR is an online platform designed to help small and medium-sized business take much of the tedium out their human resources workflow. TribeHR is helping small companies, as one customer put it, “turn human resources from something I tried not to think about into something I don’t have to worrry about.”
Scott Gerber is the author of the recently released book, Never Get a “Real” Job. Get excited for our first ever video interview! Brace yourself for this candid and energetic interview between Jonathan Kay, our Ambassador of Buzz, and Scott Gerber, a Gen Y entrepreneur who is really making a splash. Scott is the founder […]
Information Week reported today that a new study from Yap.com shows Americans receive 70 billion voicemail messages per year. More than that, those 70 billion messages resulted in one billion hours of people’s time (recording, managing & listening). That’s crazy! The author of the article, Eric Zeman, goes on to discuss how much he […]
Five or six years ago, social media fell squarely into the 'nice to have' category. Something a business 'should probably do', but nothing that commanded the day-to-day attention of top executives or decision makers. Today, all of that has changed. Social media has gone from an afterthought to a baseline necessity.
Social technology has never held a higher place in the public eye than it does now. (One need only look at the overwhelming response to The Social Network to understand that.) Of course, it's much easier to praise the Facebooks and YouTubes of the world than it is to create the next big thing yourself. With with these challenges in mind, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers launched the sFund, a $250 million 'initiative to invest in entrepreneurs inventing social applications and services.'
This post is part of the Spreadable Startup Series, which tells stories of entrepreneurs trying to change the world. Graduate college. Get job. Start work. Have career. It all seemed clear for the founders of Pretty Young Professional. Entrenched in the world of management consulting in New York, these young women had it all going on. But as they began to navigate the waters of corporate life, they found themselves encountering challenges they hadn’t quite anticipated.
Grasshopper Group is the company behind the 5,000 campaign, a rebranding campaign that included sending five green chocolate-covered grasshoppers to 5,000 influencers. The company used FedEx to create a sense of urgency and authenticity. A glossy white bag with an attached hangtag appeared inside each envelope. The hangtag had a URL leading to a video about the power of entrepreneurship.
We did another great interview with a successful business that has a great website and awesome style. This time it was with the whole team at Grasshopper Group. Their company strives to empower busy entrepreneurs through products that offer ways to make your job easier.
Wishing you a very happy Thanksgiving from everyone here at Grasshopper!
This post is part of the Spreadable Startup Series, which tells stories of entrepreneurs trying to change the world. This week's Spreadable Startup Series winner is Storefront Social. Storefront Social is Benjamin Trotter’s latest project. But a quick Google search reveals that it’s far from his first attempt to create great experiences on the web. The first page of results is littered with his projects, all which reflect a quality that comes to bear in Storefront Social as well.
Raising investment capital for a new startup can be a real challenge. Peter Ireland of AntiVentureCapital.com goes so far as to call it 'by far the most unpleasant task an entrepreneur will ever have to perform.' But while securing capital is rarely easy, certain steps can make the process more straightforward. Largely, it comes down to pursuing the right investors at the right times. By focusing on investors who specialize in working with companies of your size and sector, the odds of getting funded go up dramatically.
Back in May of 2010, Grasshopper Group founders David Hauser and Siamak Taghaddos, started a petition to the President to create a National Entrepreneurs’ Day. They couldn’t figure out why the most entrepreneurial country in the world didn’t have a day dedicated to recognize and celebrate entrepreneurship. Both David and Siamak truly believe that entrepreneurs can do anything, even stimulate a real economic turnaround. Hopefully this accomplishment can be a small, yet powerful, reminder that even those lofty dreams you had as a kid, are still possible.
Last May, we told you about how Siamak Taghaddos and David Hauser, the founders of Grasshopper Group, had launched a Twitter campaign to try to convince President Obama to declare a National Entrepreneurs’ Day. Well, it worked.
Omaha? Here’s what you can expect: cold weather, delicious steak, and a ridiculously innovative entrepreneurial community!
At the beginning of this year, our founders decided that we were going to petition to the President for a National Entrepreneurs' Day.
On Sundays, nothing can distract me from football; I don’t check emails, watch the news, or really even pick up my phone. Yet last Sunday I was actually stopped in my tracks by a viral marketing campaign from the folks over at Clear.com. It all started just 100 yards from where I was headed to watch the games. With breakfast in hand, I see the picture shown above: A box truck that is completely clear on two sides, and inside the truck you can very clearly see a sweet living room set up in the back of the truck...
In the spirit of the 1st ever Entrepreneurs’ Day, we're going back to our entrepreneurial roots in high school when we started our first venture.
On Monday, President Obama issued a proclamation to create a National Entrepreneurs‘ Day on November 19, which falls during Global Entrepreneurship Week (Nov.15-21). The proclamation is due, at least in part, to an aggressive social media campaign started last spring by two young entrepreneurs.
What's your startup funding strategy? Bootstrapped? True Angel? Super Angel? Venture Capital? There are a lot things to consider before deciding what funding strategy is right for you and your startup.
This past weekend the Grasshopper buzz team took a trip to the great city of Toronto to meet with customers, friends and inspirational entrepreneurs. Here are some highlights from our travels:
One thing that drives me insane is seeing pictures of buildings on company Websites (whether large or small companies). As I’ve said on numerous occasions, people do business with people, not buildings, so why not add pictures of your team on your About Us page? Even better, why not include video, that way savvy companies are now doing? I’ve also been promoting the idea of going for a walkabout through your company in order to glean ideas for Web content. I’ve always thought this a great idea, but how do you do implement it if you’re a company where people sit in cubicles and peck away on keyboards all day? What exactly do you tour?
In May of 2010, David and I started a petition to the President to create a National Entrepreneurs’ Day. We didn’t understand why the most entrepreneurial country in the world didn’t have a day to recognize entrepreneurs. Now, only 6 months and thousands of signatures later, it seems that the effort was worth it and that anything is possible: the President of the United States has proclaimed the last day of National Entrepreneurship Week, November 19th of this year, as National Entrepreneurs’ Day – making November a great month for entrepreneurs everywhere.
It wasn’t until I talked to Andrea yesterday that I realized why she hadn’t been returning calls during the work day: she’s still in high school.
How can I get the press to cover my service? How do you find something interesting enough about your service to get media attention? The following answers are provided by the Young Entrepreneur Council, an advocacy group that works to overcome youth unemployment by teaching young people how to build successful companies. The council's members include Generation Y entrepreneurs and experts in a variety of fields.
For those of you who may not know Mass Innovation Nights, is an event organized to help launch local companies and encourage networking amongst the startup community. It’s an awesome once a month event that highlights some really cool up and coming startups and generates some great relationships with a crowd of students, job seekers, networkers and other innovators and entrepreneurs.
Small business owners are up in arms. They've had enough! Of course, different entrepreneurs are fed up with different things. But whatever you're het up about, there's a groundwell of other business owners you can join. Here's an overview of the entrepreneurs' movements that are blossoming around the country:
Running a real, in-motion startup is not easy. Unlike being an employee, there is no 'normal day' filled with the same predictable tasks and schedules. Rather, each day tends to be dominated by the biggest issue currently going on. Whether it's absorbing new customers, getting a product developed or appeasing investors, there are always plenty of roles to play and fires to put out. With so much going on, it's no surprise that so many founders lose control - whether literally (as in getting replaced by a VC) or more gradually, by simply failing in the marketplace.