Tag Archive for 'Outsourcing'

10 Best Crowdsourcing Tools For Small Business

I first learned about Crowdsourcing in The 4-Hour-Workweek, but since the book’s release the idea has taken off in a big way. Crowdsourcing simply means outsourcing tasks to a group of people rather than a contractor. This allows businesses to save money while getting valuable tasks completed, and can be used for many different projects. As productivity geeks, we’re always trying to delegate as much of our work as possible, so let’s take a look at some of the things we can crowdsource and make our lives just that much simpler.

Amazon’s Mechanical Turk

One of the oldest and most used crowdsourcing platforms is Amazon’s Mturk, which is primarily for small, basic tasks that require a person rather than software. There is no limit on what tasks you can post: it can be anything from filling out a survey, keyword research, writing an outline, researching information or leads, etc. You can price your task however you want, and most tasks on the site are listed under $1.


CrowdFlower is all about data. If you need a large data set analyzed, edited, or generated, you submit the project to CrowdFlower and they break the project down into small tasks that will be completed by people all over the world. Once the small tasks are done, the CrowdFlower team will ensure quality and send you the results.

Genius Rocket

This site is like a creative video agency without the fancy Madison Ave. skyscraper. Genius Rocket creates commercials, education videos, viral videos, sales videos, and animations for your business. By crowdsourcing writers, directors, and producers you save a ton of money on multimedia that would costs tens of thousands of dollars at a real creative agency.


PopTent is very similar to Genius Rocket and connects videographers and commercial directors with brands. They can produce everything from a viral video to a legit national TV spot.


Need your software tested? Look no further than uTest. By using the many uTest users to test your application, you can immediately find crashes and bugs, and receive feedback and quickly find solutions. They offer functionality tests, security testing, load testing, localization testing, and basic usability testing.


Similar to uTest, Mob4Hire tests only mobile applications and delivers in-depth results on user experience and usability.


Need documents translated but don’t want to spend a bunch of money on a translation service? Submit it to the translators at GenGo and your document will be translated, checked, and edited by their extensive team of translators.

99 Designs/Crowdspring

Both of these are hugely popular ways for brands to get logo or graphic design on the cheap. 99 Designs offers logo, business card, apparel, postcard, flyer, brochure, product packaging, web site, mobile app, icon, banner, or book cover design. Crowdspring does that as well but helps with brand and product naming as well.


SmartSheet is a unique project management platform that allows you to assign tasks to your own team and then fill any holes or gaps with their virtual workforce. The SmartSheet crowd is integrated with Mturk and other platforms so you get access to a massive amount of people around the world.

Outsource Your Tasks To Maximize Your Time

The 4-Hour Workweek approach has really brought small business outsourcing to the mainstream, but more than part of any productivity system it just makes sense. Do the math: By outsourcing time consuming tasks, you can apply your time to the stuff that really brings home the bacon money for your business.

When it comes to spending your time working smarter, not harder, it’s important to look at the time consuming and repetitive tasks that cut into your work time. A realtor needs to sell property, not spend time updating her blog or fixing up her website. A salesperson needs to close deals, not spend hours doing research or telemarketing. By outsourcing the things you don’t really have to do yourself, you free up all the time you need to do what only you can do.

Outsourcing Research

Research is a crucial part of any business, but the internet creates an endless stream of information and the research time never stops. Whether you need someone to hunt down new leads, do market research, or even summarize an article or book, outsourcing your research helps you get the information you need without the busy work that it takes to get there. In college, it was “wrong” to hire someone to give you the CliffsNotes version, now it’s one of the best ways to free up your busy schedule.

Outsourcing Marketing

Whether your marketing strategy is based around advertising, social media, content, cold calling, or anything else, you can find someone who can free up your time to focus on sales and running your business. Odds are, they can do it better than you as well because a) they specialize in marketing and b) they don’t have to juggle a ton of different business tasks. The same goes for other time consuming projects that are not entirely business related, like web design. Don’t spend your time doing a mediocre job on many things when you can hire specialists and do a great job on the few things you are great at.

Outsourcing Errands

Many people often talk about how much easier their life would be with an assistant without realizing how accessible they are. Virtual assistants are growingly popular because they can help you with just about anything you need, and don’t cost nearly as much as a full-time live assistant. Need someone to organize files, book a flight or hotel, follow up on calls, fill out paperwork, transcribe files, or even order food? Virtual assistant services and freelance assistants can do just about anything that doesn’t require their physical presence.

For basic tasks, you can even outsource to a low-cost ($4-$15 per hour) foreign virtual assistant service based in India, Thailand, or Australia. For more advanced tasks or those where native English skills are important, you can just as easily hire an American assistant for $10-$25 per hour.

The two keys to outsourcing the right way are a) doing the math to make sure this helps you make money rather than spend it because it frees up your time and b) making sure to be very specific about your needs and requirements to ensure that the project is handled properly, on budget, and on time. Don’t make excuses though: There are only so many hours in the day, so don’t spend your hours doing tedious tasks that don’t help your business grow.