Crowdsourcing: What Every Entrepreneur Needs to Know

Young Business Woman

When you’re starting up or running your own business, it’s likely you’re wearing a number of hats. While you are Chief Executive Officer and owner of the ‘big idea,’ you may also be secretary, marketing coordinator, controller and mail clerk, among others. Crowdsourcing could be the answer that enables you to get back to being in charge of the business and not every task it takes to run it.

This unique, versatile approach enlists outside handling of responsibilities in which you either don’t have a background, or simply do not have time to manage—freeing your valuable time to focus on your business instead of getting lost in the details. Intrigued? Read on to explore a few of the many tasks that may be crowdsourced.

Logo Design
Your logo is most often the very first impression you will make upon the public. A good logo has an enormously positive impact, and conversely, a bad one can be a major turn-off. If creativity is not your strong suit, have no fear. There are a number of sites that can help. You can screen potential designers and name your price, the length of the project and any other preferences you may have. True creatives then work on spec. You will find this far more economical than hiring a firm to create a logo if budget is a concern.

Product Naming
If you’re having trouble narrowing down the right name for your business, a new product or service, consider using a naming service. Again, you can tap into the minds of creative professionals at reasonable cost. Remember though, that it is your brand on the line. Don’t simply go with an idea just because the community likes it. You need to love it, too.

Generating Sales Leads
In the past, sales representatives pounded the pavement and depended on referrals from happy customers for sales prospects. Today not only can you do much of that legwork online, you can even outsource the task! There are sites that allow you to post the kind of lead you’re looking for, the ‘community’ will find it for you, and you pay a referral fee.

Images
Many times you need photographs or images to use on your website or on other marketing materials. However, hiring a photographer is likely not in the budget. This is another task that may be crowdsourced with websites like Flickr that offer literally millions of free photos from which to choose.

Research
There is no better way to garner input across a truly diverse cross section of the population than using crowdsourcing for research. Everything from online focus groups to managing online polls can arm you with the information you need to make informed decisions about where your business is going, product feasibility, new service launches and so much more.

Traditional research is one-way, where the brand, or presiding organization, has control and utilizes rigid methodologies. Crowdsourced research offers far-reaching access, monitoring tools, video chat capabilities, access to social networks and more making it easier, cheaper, and quicker to do.

 

Ben Sharp has been a successful entrepreneur since he built his first lemonade stand. To keep his writing professional, he leaves the editing work to the pros at the web’s best grammar checker. For networking, he recommends EONetwork.org.

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