|Susan Solovic, The Small Business Expert is an award-winning entrepreneur, an attorney, a New York Times best-selling author, a media personality and a highly sought after keynote speaker.|
How to Successfully Crowdsource Anything for Your Small Business
Most of us have heard the legendary question medieval theologians asked, “How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?”
A modern day version of that might be, “How many people can you fit into your office, who are willing to help you with funding, projects and brainstorming?” The answer would be thousands from all around the world. That’s the power of crowdsourcing.
Think of crowdsourcing as a kind of Internet dating approach to finding your small business the capital, creativity, help and ideas it needs to take it to the next level. And just as there been an explosion in Internet dating sights, there’s been a boom in crowdsourcing sites.
There are some standard categories into which these sites fall. Different sites specialize in these categories. Some won’t be of much interest to small business. I’ll cover the ones you’re more likely to use.
This is perhaps the most well known application of crowdsourcing. Within this category there is great specialization. Here are some of the major players:
There are crowds waiting to help with you all kinds of tasks you need to complete, from those that require a lot of talent to those that just take time. We’ll start with the second group.
Occasionally we read about NASA posing a problem and asking for ideas. You can do the same thing today. Need some killer new menu items for your restaurant, or the best way to market your new product? Try Idea Bounty. You post a brief and how much you’re willing to pay and the ideas start rolling in. You select the winner.
I have one more resource for you, Crowdsourcing.org. You’ll find a directory of crowdsourcing sites here, a great blog and other useful crowdsourcing information.