How to Crowdsource
Now that you know what crowdsourcing is and what it can do, how do you implement the process, especially when it comes to recruiting the right “crowd" of people?
First off, the biggest advantage to crowdsourcing is that it’s either free or can be rewarded through a sample product or offering of a service for participation—that means no wages and no 941 employee taxes. The exception is if you actually do pay the people who participate an amount over $600 annually, in which case you would have to issue a 1099 Miscellaneous tax form. You can alleviate the need for a 1099 form if you change your crowd of people periodically. If you offer a free product that is over $600 in cost, check with your tax professional on 1099 rules.
Next, think about the issue at hand. Do you want to know how to improve a product, service, or a process? If so, choose some customers who have used the product, service, or process and some that haven’t. Students, retirees, and stay-at-home Moms and Dads are great choices for your group and flyers can easily be posted at colleges, senior centers, and elementary schools or daycare centers.
Try and keep the group even on the “users" and the “non-users," and, in addition, keep the crowd small—not more than 10-20 people; especially if your business is small. Larger companies such as Dell have a vast amount of users to utilize where you may not. You may also want to consider groups of all ages or, if your product or service is geared toward one age group, then gather a group that reflects that generation.
Image Credit (Google Images)