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.
Crowdsourcing (also similar to crowdfunding) refers to using outside sources to accomplish a one-time project. 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 crowdsources 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.
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.
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.
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 in reaching your target market.
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.