Small Business Problem Solving Is Easy With Crowdsourcing

What does a small business owner do when he or she has a special project to accomplish but not the time or knowledge to do it? The modern solution to solve this common problem is crowdsourcing. Stop wasting time and energy and turn, instead, to a quick fix that can improve sales and grow your company.

What is Crowdsourcing?

In a nutshell, crowdsourcing refers to using outside sources to accomplish a one-time project. According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, it is defined as “the practice of obtaining needed services, ideas, or content by soliciting contributions from a large group of people, and especially from an online community, rather than from traditional employees or suppliers.” There’s a thin line between outsourcing and crowdsourcing with the biggest difference being that the latter almost always relies on the internet to find appropriate resources.

Crowdsourcing is a concept that can be applied to a division of labor, a way to supply funding for your business or provide answers to questions via polls or surveys. It can be performed by a single person or a whole group. Often crowdsourcers expect to be paid, but they can also volunteer to help your organization by simply filling out a survey, for example.

In order to find crowdsourcing resources, most small business owners turn to the internet. They may put out a call for proposals via social media or freelance work sites. LinkedIn is a great source for finding talented individuals or groups who are looking to take on extra work in their spare time.

A benefit of crowdsourcing is that you don’t have to have an already established relationship with the people who can accomplish your one-time tasks. This broadens your pool of human resources immensely while allowing you to find exactly the right person, or persons, for each job.

Grow Your Business with Crowdsourcing

As a small business owner, you know it’s necessary to wear many hats; in a single day you may have to take on the roles of human resources manager, accountant, marketing exec and even janitor! But let’s face it – most of us don’t have time to do it all and our talents could best be focused on doing the things that make money.

Another piece of small business advice? Crowdsourcing is a strategic advantage for your business; it allows you to expand, change, move forward and accomplish anything. Rather than taking on full- or part-time employees, you can simply pay a subcontractor for work on a single project, without having to worry about payroll taxes or benefits.

There are several ways the savvy entrepreneur can use crowdsourcing for growth. One way is to solicit feedback from a group of individuals who don’t have a vested interest in the outcome and are thus likely to give you honest feedback. This works well for testing new products or services or an online ordering procedure, for example. This group can also help you name a new offering or even come up with ideas for your business tagline.

Simply reaching out to your online contacts is one of the best online business networking tips. Use crowdsourcing to generate more sales leads for your company. LinkedIn is a good source of sales leads; all you have to do is ask your circle of contacts or members of your groups for help reaching your target market. LeadVine is another good website to use; it’s free, but you pay for referrals that result in finding qualified prospects.

Small businesses that already have a strong social media and online presence will find it easiest to use crowdsourcing for growth and sales leads. Start by increasing your online marketing efforts and expanding your circle of acquaintances. Then use crowdsourcing to your small business advantage!