Whether you're an entrepreneur, a start-up, an SME or an established company, the online crowdsourcing market offers you more choice to choose the best to help your business reduce costs, increase profit and accelerate growth
BANGALORE, INDIA: After outsourcing, it's time for crowdsourcing for SMEs and entrepreneurs to cash in on how to get their job done online at the best possible price and quality. "Build Me a Website", "Get Traffic to My Site", "Design Me a Logo..." are the types of projects that seem to figure high on the online crowdsourcing marketplace like freelancer.com, Directfreelance.com, etc.
Crowdsourcing enables you to send out an open call to the large group of crowd online called freelance marketplace. The online outsourcing taps into the combined intelligence of huge online communities to accomplish tasks that an SME would outsource to a third-party service provider or complete themselves.
In the same way individuals and businesses can post goods for sale on eBay, users can post projects, tasks, and jobs for users around the world to complete.
Freelancer.com, one of the largest crowdsourcing marketplace, recently launched its Indian website Freelancer.in – bringing localized features and enabling users to work in Indian Rupees.
The site is currently helping about 1.2 million Indians earn a total of $28.5 million through its platform, says Matt Barrie, CEO of Freelancer.com. Over seven per cent of the jobs posted on the site are from India, making it the third biggest country of employers on the platform.
"With a third of our user base coming from India, and with many of our employers choosing to hire Indian freelancers above others, it was apparent that we should provide our Indian user base a more personalized experience on our site," adds Barrie.
Istockphoto is another example. The site, started in 2000, grew out of a free image-sharing exchange used by a group of graphic designers. Today they offer vector illustrations, videos, music and sound effects, Flash and, coming soon, logos. They have thousands of artists, designers and photographers from all over the world. They created a marketplace themselves bringing together amateur photographers – homemakers, engineers, students, etc.
Portals like Directfreelance.com or Freelancer.com are designed to take advantage of the collective wisdom of the networked world. All these companies grew up in the Internet age and were designed to take advantage of the networked world.
Crowdsourcing empowers SMEs, entrepreneurs
With the country's Internet population seeing a 28 per cent growth in 2011, and with the recent launch of the cheapest tablet in the world from India, more Indians can now easily connect with the three million professionals looking for work and looking to hire freelancers. The marketplace opens doors of income-generating possibilities for anyone with a computer and an Internet connection.
Users of freelancer.com outsource and work on tasks in fields including IT, writing, design, media, architecture, accounting, and even engineering and science. Indian employers typically hire PHP programmers, website designers, graphic designers, SEO experts, and data entry workers.
SMEs can take advantage of and benefit from the flexibility of a scalable workforce that the market offers. Small business owners can crowdsource certain tasks only on a need basis, at a fraction of the usual cost. Budding entrepreneurs can also fulfill their own entrepreneurial dreams by growing a service-oriented business.
Crowdsourcing over outsourcing
There are many advantages that an SME get by crowdsourcing its tasks. The huge global market of service providers for instance, is one where you are free to identify and choose your best bet from the large database of global experts in terms of money, quality and time frame.
Crowdsourcing works on outcome-based model where competition drives production; you pay for the best quality output at a pre-defined spend.
Transparency is the other advantage that enables you to see every aspect of every project. You can see the history of the freelancers, including their skillset, project undertaken, tasks completed, quality of output and more. Crowdsourced work typically involves breaking a project into multiple component tasks and pushing those tasks out to the online folks available on various freelancing portals.