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June 20, 2013

Small business owners are notorious for doing it all. Whether it’s because of a lack of qualified staff, or a lack of money to pay them, these folks often find themselves Jacks (and Jills) of all trades. And while that arrangement might work for some, there’s bound to be times when the job is just too much for even the savviest of owners.

The power of many
And that’s where crowdsourcing comes in. Simply put, crowdsourcing takes the collective skills and abilities of a variety of professional talents and combines these with the power and reach of the Internet. The result is an online marketplace that allows people to sell their specialized services to the buyers that need them – often for less than “market rates”.

An array of opportunities
Here’s how it works. Jobs are posted by employers every day: freelance professionals are free to bid on these jobs for a specified period of time. Jobs can range from designing a logo, to building a website, or planning a marketing event – the range of job opportunities is almost endless.

Competition is king
Some of the work is available as a kind of contest – would-be workers submit their ideas for a shot at winning the specified “reward” that comes with the job. In this case, only the winner gets paid – the others are wiser for the experience. Another kind of job is a contract job: these are posted with the understanding that workers propose ideas and a budget to see the work to completion. Employers review the proposals and the related costs and choose the right worker based on fit and expectations.

Tap into talent
The advantages are clear: crowdsourcing for design and marketing allows small business owners to acquire the expertise they need when they need it. In a traditional work environment, these kind of specialized talents and qualifications are simply outside of the scope of small and even some medium-sized organizations.

Quick turnaround
What’s more, for small business, crowdsourcing makes the most of that precious commodity – time. From job post to job completion, contests can take as little as 7 days. (try that in the ‘real’ world!) Even complicated assignments can be parceled out so that projects are broken into meaningful, and measurable, tasks and milestones. Goals are set; tasks assigned; deadlines met!

Worldwide reach
Another key to the success of crowdsourcing is its ability to bring international capabilities to the small business “table”. Working with individual professionals in Australia, India, China or those European countries might not be on the radar for the average entrepreneur. But with crowdsourcing, a small business owner can “level the playing field” by hiring international specialists thus becoming more competitive with their larger, and more moneyed counterparts. Many websites offer a myriad of crowdsourcing services. In the realm of creative and marketing however, one site stands out:

Affordability without sacrifice
At Witmart, prices are lower than most other sites for comparable services. For logo design, for example, employers choose from a selection of packages that start as low as $99 and range up to $549 for the premium option. Not only are these prices sharp, Witmart also guarantees the number of designers that you can expect to submit ideas – the only site on the market that does this currently. And, just in case you’re still not convinced they also offer a money-back guarantee! You heard right – if you don’t love it, you don’t pay. Simple and hassle-free.

So the next time you need a marketing guru, but you don’t know where to start, start with crowdsourcing and harness the power of the crowd.

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