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Small Business Problem Solving Is Easy With Crowdsourcing

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.

What is Crowdsourcing?

In a nutshell, crowdsourcing refers to using outside sources to accomplish a one-time project. According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, 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 crowdsourcers 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.

Grow Your Business with Crowdsourcing

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.

Another piece of small business advice? 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.

There are several ways the savvy entrepreneur can use crowdsourcing for growth. One way is to solicit feedback from a group of individuals who don’t have a vested interest in the outcome and are thus likely to give you honest feedback. This works well for testing new products or services or an online ordering procedure, for example. This group can also help you name a new offering or even come up with ideas for your business tagline.

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 reaching your target market. LeadVine is another good website to use; it’s free, but you pay for referrals that result in finding qualified prospects.

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!

Comparing Business Gas and Electricity

As consumers suffer the brunt of ever hiking prices of gas and electricity, businesses suffer just as much. The fact is that many industries solely rely on electricity and gas to run their daily operations and the prices can be quite hefty and expensive to keep up with. The production and sales of such businesses can be affected and hence they need to have flowing gas and electricity at all times regardless of the prices and the effects they bring about.

For a business to sail through the harsh economic times, the usage of electricity and gas should be checked on. The management or the owner of the business should find a strategy of working around the prices, thus reducing the effects the hikes can bring about affecting the overall business. The business gas and electricity bills need to be kept at a level whereby they do not end up consuming the business profits and this means choosing a supplier whose rates are reasonable enough for the business to keep up with. It is the only way higher profits can be reached as well as savings made on the essential utilities.

The increasing costs of utilities can be vague in a business and this is because most of the times the management is too busy checking on smooth operations and the rising costs are overlooked. They are costs which should be managed since they can make a huge impact on the profits. By being aware of the price changes, a business will be in a position to come up with workable strategies on how to use electricity and gas, thus ensuring that no wastage is present all round.

Even though the business might wish to stick to one supplier for loyalty purposes, at times this bind might need to be broken just to save the company a great deal of expenses. By comparing the current prices from other suppliers, a business can find a supplier whose rates are friendly and strike a deal for long term services under the same pricing. When a business makes this huge switch from one supplier to another with better rates, it is a given that the business in entirety stands to gain.

Comparing the business prices is not as hard in the modern world since the use of websites on the internet providing all the details on the current prices helps in choosing a reliable supplier.

Things to Consider Before Starting a Small Business

Starting a small business takes considerable time and effort. It requires comprehensive planning and ability to execute the same. If you are planning to start a small business, you need to have a complete grasp of various things to ensure its success. If anything goes wrong, it may affect your plan. Following are basic things you need to consider before you start a small business.

Self-evaluation:

First, you need to identify your skills, talent, expertise and weaknesses. You need to evaluate your ideas. Examine the issues – Is there a real market for the product or service? Will your income be adequate? Is your product or service competitive with others? Do you have the required expertise? You need to consider with extreme care before you get started.

Do in-depth research:

Analyzing the market from the beginning is one of the most important things to consider before starting a business. You need to research thoroughly about your target customers, your competitors and your industry. You also need to identify potential market and understand which products and services are in demand.

Make the plan ready:

Have a plan for your start-up small business. It should be properly structured and should focus on the aims and objectives. Depending on the type, you need to describe which products/services you are selling. The plan should also include company description, market analysis, financial and management plan.

Create an initial budget:

Creating an effective budget is a challenging task for any business owner. Depending on the size of your business, you need to structure the initial budget that includes start-up costs and weekly or monthly maintenance expenses. While budgeting, you need to know how to manage your financial aspects.

Choose location:

Finding an optimal location is crucial. When you are looking for a location, you need to consider a few things such as – whether the site is located near potential customers, how safe the area is, whether it is convenient and accessible to traffic, how long the competitors have been in this area, and how strong they are.

Legal issues:

You need to get the relevant licenses and permits beforehand. You should also look into legal matters such as registering your business, taxes and potential legal liabilities. Take professional help in these matters, if required.

Do frugal shopping:

Have a small budget; cut down expenses and go for cost effective and durable (not fancy) equipment and furniture. Be frugal and just buy what you require for your business. It will save your money and you will be able to build sound finances later.

Taking into account these things will help your business meet the challenges ahead.