Are you a beginner when it comes to crowdsourcing? Don’t worry; you’re not alone. To many business and entrepreneurs, crowdsourcing seems like an elusive concept. Have the public do the work for you? How does that work? Isn’t it cheating? Even if you’re familiar with crowdsourcing, you might not realize how simple and sensible it really is.

To give you a brief information of what crowdsourcing is, check this video.

What is Crowdsourcing

If you’re considering crowdsourcing for your business, or are just interested in how it’s actually practiced, there are seven steps to learn. The seven steps of crowdsourcing are actually quite simple when you get down to it – and here they are.

Step One: Your Business Has a Problem
In the first step, your business realizes it has a problem that needs to be solved. This can be any type of problem at all. You try to come up with a way to fix things, but you think that would be better done externally. Rather than hiring another business or new employees, you decide to try crowdsourcing.

Step Two: Your Business Shares Its Problem
You can’t gather a crowd if no one can hear the excitement, so the next step is to share your problem with everyone else. Most businesses will post their problem on a popular crowdsourcing website, or they’ll put it on their own website or Facebook profile.

Step Three: The Crowd Suggests Solutions
Once your problem is stated, the crowd will come to the rescue. Your customers, people with related expertise, and people with no credentials whatsoever will attempt to solve your problem by suggesting solutions you could try. Lots of these solutions will be viable, and some won’t be. The key is that you’ll have a diverse collection of ideas to explore.

Step Four: Your Business and the Crowd Discuss the Solutions
Ideas usually aren’t perfect from the get-go, and they require fine-tuning. With crowdsourcing, either the crowd will vote or you will choose the best solutions. Then, you’ll join the crowd in discussing the potential solutions, expanding upon and improving them.

crowdsourcing

Step Five: Your Business Decides on a Solution
Next, it will be time for your business to make a decision. You’ll have to choose the solution that works for you. It may have been chosen for you already by the crowd, such as with voting, which makes coming to a decision even easier.

Step Six: The Key Crowd Members are Rewarded
While many people in the crowd are nice people, they aren’t doing this for free. The crowd does expect to be rewarded for their efforts. In most cases, the person who came up with the winning solution, or the people most involved in designing it, will be monetarily compensated. Sometimes the compensation can be high, but no matter what, crowdsourcing will be less expensive than other options.

Step Seven: The Problem is Solved
Now that you’ve successfully used crowdsourcing to find a solution to your problem, your problem is officially solved. All you have to do is implement the new ideas or strategy, and your business comes out on top. The crowd, as well, has accomplished something great.

Ben Sharp lives for the thrill of the start-up. As a busy professional, he saves time editing with help from his favorite grammar checker. Building his client base is easy thanks to his work in a global entrepreneur network.