Crowdsourcing services for start-ups
A large workforce can be very cost-intensive in the early stages of a company. Many start-ups therefore fall back on the knowledge and know-how of the crowd when special tasks have to be solved. Spreading individual tasks on many shoulders saves time and money.
Good ideas, small budget
Start-ups generally have plenty of good ideas as well as a number of tasks that need to be accomplished. This can be very time-consuming and costly. Essential tasks are for instance:
- The company needs a catch name.
- A corporate identity must be developed.
- Content for the website needs to be created, sorted and structured.
- The target group must be defined and analyzed.
- Financing is also an issue.
These tasks can quickly lead small companies to the limits of their resources. Crowdsourcing is therefore an attractive alternative for creative business ideas with tight budgets. But what kind of support can the crowd provide? It can include:
- Information: Wikipedia is the most well known example. The cooperation of millions of people has produced the most comprehensive encyclopedia of all time.
- Finance: “Person to person” loans are suitable for gathering funds for innovative ideas. Many small sums quickly become impressive investment capital. Crowdfunding platforms bring borrowers and lenders together.
- Crowdworking platforms provide flexible solutions for small tasks including translations, research, tests and text creation. They bring the customer and the crowdworker together and help select the appropriate workforce for performing the tasks.
- Design: Logo, website, advertising banners etc. there are a number of crowdworker design platforms (e.g. 99designs) where projects are presented and the best design is selected.
Five reasons demonstrate why outsourcing in general and crowdsourcing in particular are effective:
- Specialization for specific task sectors
- Time saving
The success of many start-ups depends largely on saving time and money in the initial phase without involving a loss of quality.
Effective completion of tasks by the crowd
How does crowdsourcing work? Crowdsourcing outsources and distributes tasks to a crowd of Internet users. There are many different approaches and types of crowdsourcing. One of the best known is microtasking. Microtasking involves breaking a project into small similar tasks that can be quickly and easily processed. At the end the results are put back together again and transmitted to the customer.
- An e-commerce shop needs thousands of short but concise product descriptions. An employee would need months to complete the task. However, if the text creation is spread to numerous authors, the product descriptions are ready for use within a few days in the desired language.
- A start-up company is looking for a slogan. It can hire an advertising company and pay a lot of money for two or three proposals. But it can spend the same amount of money, ask the crowd to do the work and get two to three hundred proposals.
- You want to launch a new software application. The crowd undertakes the testing based on various tasks. The results are available within a short space of time. Errors are therefore avoided from the very start.
Crowdsourcing platforms like clickworker not only assume the project consulting and the online transmission of the tasks, but with tests, filters and results monitoring they also ensure that the task is solely carried out by qualified Clickworkers and that the results comply with high quality standards.
Marketing research and the establishment of target groups
The crowd plays a creative part especially in the innovation process, the creation of ideas and the development of products. Before a product is launched, crowdworkers can be used as a “virtual target group” that is responsible for testing the product and suggesting improvements. The participation in product development sharpens the awareness for the needs of the target group and the demands made on new products. At the end of the process, the product launch entails markedly lower risks. The analysis prior to the product launch rules out failures.
The crowd also provides reliable and inexpensive solutions for market research data. So-called crowdsourcing intermediaries (platforms that bring customers and crowdworkers together) use the large data basis to determine suitable groups, who exactly correspond with the respective demands of the target group. clickworker has a global workforce of over 1.5 million people at its disposal to handle these types of orders. They can, for instance, assume the following tasks:
- Answer your consumer surveys
- Research competition products in stationary retail trade or online
- Verify PoS actions
- Do web searches for potential customers who correspond with the demands of the target group
- Use web research to verify or supplement existing address data sets
The result data from these tasks are especially suitable as a basis for effective direct marketing with low spreading loss.
Product data management with the crowd
A high quality product is composed of design, packaging, price, order process and delivery. This information defines the customer’s view of the product. In addition, the online customer is used to obtaining the desired information directly. If the customer does not obtain important information or does not obtain it immediately, he will click on competitors’ websites. The availability of comprehensive and well-structured information is therefore an essential part of the business success of e-commerce. This is why product data management is absolutely necessary. The crowd helps extract important data from product texts and images and put them in the appropriate context.
Good content – generated by the crowd
Start-ups who are offering their products and services on the Internet always need good text content for their website. High quality content in the form of texts not only ensures the attention of the target group, it also improves the rankings on search engines. Good text content is characterized by its high relevance for the user, the intelligent use of keywords, a clear structure and target-specific language.
The creation and structure of good text content is a time-consuming task. The solution is obvious: distribution of the tasks to a crowd of people to ensure that the tasks are promptly processed. In addition to the creation of text content, the crowd can also tag and classify texts, images, videos, PDFs and audios in appropriate categories. The better a website is structured, the easier user and search engines can find the content, thus ensuring better visibility on the Internet.
Crowdsourcing is worthwhile. This is why both newcomers and established companies are increasingly making use of the crowd. Today, many start-up companies would be inconceivable without the support of crowdworkers. The easy and efficient outsourcing of tasks makes resources available that can be used productively, especially in the initial phase of a company.