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Crowdsourcing Help for Small Businesses
Two minds are better than one, so thousands of minds are even better. 

Crowdsourcing

Crowdsourcing lets a small business outsource a task to a group of people through an open call for help. Whether you’re a small business looking for help creating a logo or developing software, chances are there’s a crowdsourcing Web site that can help you. Here’s a look at just a sliver of the crowdsourcing communities available on the Web.

Web and Logo Design

Let’s face it, your company’s logo can really make an impression with customers. And if yours isn’t up to par, prospective customers may stay away. A too flashy logo may unwittingly scare away customers. 99designs.com helps entrepreneurs create a Web or logo design from a community of 80,679 designers. All you need to do is post your design brief and sit back and let designers create one for you. You only pay for the logo you choose. Most projects bring in a dozen designers to compete to create a logo. Since you set the budget, the more money you offer the more designers you’ll attract. Initial pricing starts at $295.

www.99designs.com

Test your Web site

Testing a business Web site can be a time consuming and expensive endeavor. What if you could have hundreds, or even thousands, of people test it for you? Well for a fee, you can do just that with www.usertesting.com. Just fill out a Web form indicating your target market and tasks and within minutes representatives start recording themselves using your Web site. Within an hour you’ll get a video and written feedback from users using the Web site. Three users costs $87, five users $165, 10 users $360 and 20 costs $750.

www.usertesting.com

Writers for Hire

Your Web site content is only as good as the person writing it, often the small business owner. If you don’t have time to create compelling content or just aren’t much of wordsmith check out crowdSpring. The site allows you to post your project and get access to the Web site’s 72,972 designers and writers. On average, you get 110 entries for each project and opening awards start at $200. The site offers access to professionals in logo design, web site design and packaging design among others.

www.crowdspring.com

Designs for Key chains or whatever

Designs for Key chains or whatever
Simply slapping your logo on a key chain or mug isn’t going to create a buzz—but one with a sleek design might. Prova.com helps you launch a design contest, giving you access to thousands of designers around the world. You set the price and are able to interact with the designers, provide feedback and request modifications. You only pay for the design you choose and designs can be made for a variety of object including banners and stickers. Designers on Prova.com can also create audio books, radio advertisements and TV commercials.

http://www.prova.fm/advertising/

Problem solvers

Got a problem that you can’t seem to solve? Get some brain power from innocentive.com. The crowdsourcing site enables companies to post problems and award the “solver.” The web site boasts a network of 160,000 problem solvers with expertise in business and entrepreneurship, chemistry, computer science and information technology, engineering and life sciences and much more. A company seeking an answer can keep its identity completely anonymous and pays the award to the solver who best meets the solution requirements. Because there is a lot of intellectual property involved, the site includes safeguards to protect from infringement.

www.innocentive.com

Crowdsourcing Help for Small Businesses

Two minds are better than one, so thousands of minds are even better. 

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