Written by Emily Couch
Crowdsourcing. You have heard about it, but you are not quite sure what it is and if it’s the best option for your company. Here’s the skinny: Crowdsourcing is traditionally referred to as an open call – or open invitation for a “crowd” (aka: a group of people) to offer their expertise to complete a task for your business. By allowing your business to expand beyond your current talent you can put your company in a position to solve complex problems, gain capital funding, increase creativity and technical expertise and set your business up for success in 2014.
Crowdsourcing has expanded to the financial sector to create the appropriately named, crowdfunding. Funding can be difficult to secure, especially for a new small to medium business. Crowdfunding allows your small to medium business to tap into a network of investors worldwide. While traditional avenues of funding are preferred in the conventional sense, crowdfunding is a great way to achieve your company’s financial goals through investors that you may not have been able to touch prior to the use of crowdfunding. Through crowdfunding your business can gain small investments from many investors. A variety of investors can help your business fund several different projects to help your company grow in new ways in 2014!
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The creative mind is severely limited on its own. The prowess of a creative team is only as strong as its weakest member, and sometimes the energy and usefulness of a creative team can fall flat. Using the crowdsourcing method, your creative team can reach out to talent that your company does not have or cannot afford. Access to creative professionals is costly and hunting for new staff members can be a daunting process often severely slowing down or completely stalling the creative process, putting your company in a holding pattern. In 2014 try reaching out to creative crowdsourcing platforms to utilize graphic designers, photographers, videographers, and so on to expand your creative reach and take your marketing campaigns and branding to the next level. By adding another mind to your current team it may revive a stale creative environment, making your current team more effective.
Similar to the creative process, your company’s technical expertise may be limited to your current talent. Do you want to improve the functionality of your website? You can access crowdsourcing platforms to find a website guru in any part of the world. Don’t limit your company’s talent acquisition to your geographic location. Advocating for local business is important, but sometimes you have to expand your reach to achieve the level of satisfaction your business expects and deserves. To grow you must expand and strive to make your business better than it was in 2013. Use technical experts from a crowdsourcing platform to find exactly what you are looking for, and potentially more. 2014 is going to push the limits when it comes to technology and branding. Don’t get left out in the cold and behind the times when it comes to keeping up with your competitors. Blow them out of the water with fresh ideas and fresh talent for a fraction of the price of hiring an employee by utilizing the crowdsourcing method to spark new ideas.
Saving money is a great initiative for your company in 2014. By crowdsourcing the components of some of your projects you might be able to save money because you are not hiring new employees to complete one project. You can hire a freelance individual based on their skillset for a specific project instead of taking on the extra expense of a new employee. You’re saving on taxes and the cost of health insurance just to name two reasons why hiring a freelancer is cheaper and more efficient for your small to medium business in 2014. You may not need a fulltime graphic designer or coder, but with crowdsourcing you can find the most qualified individual in your price range and utilize their skills on a project-to-project basis. Saving money and tapping into a worldwide database of professionals is a great way to start 2014!
Success in 2014
I have said it a few times, but it’s worth repeating - with crowdsourcing you are literally tapping into a worldwide pool of resources that were not available to you prior to the invention of crowdsourcing. Your company is receiving the benefits from the best possible talent in the worldwide creative and technical markets as long as new sources of capital without the time and money that would be used to hire and train new employees. You virtually have an unlimited team of individuals who are trained and ready to help your company succeed in 2014. You can then allocate more money toward better expertise and still find time to enjoy the growth on your business. Crowdsourcing is going to grow leaps and bounds in 2014 – is your business ready to get to the next level?