With the economic challenges lingering on, even highly successful local business owners are cutting back on staff hours, which is limiting these owners’ abilities to get some critical business chores done. Where can they turn for help on a project — be it copy writing, help marketing their business, or even testing new software they have developed?
Here are a few online resources that I recommend, some of which will connect you for free or for a modest fee:
Elance: A service that connects businesses with freelancers in the areas of programming, design, writing, marketing, administration, and consulting. Both small businesses looking for help and freelancers looking for work can sign up for the service.
Guru.com: A site dedicated to “getting projects done.” Guru.com lets you search for consultants and freelancers from a wide variety of fields, or you can post your project description to get quotes from people without having to search for them.
Utest.com: A site dedicated to helping companies developing software applications get access to a vast network of testers that will debug your software overnight or over the weekend.
Constant Contact MarketPlace: Yes, my company recently launched its own marketplace for finding small business consultants, designers, and other service providers. It’s a great place for not only our customers but all local businesses to find a wide variety of help with marketing.
For those small businesses looking for specialized help when it comes to developing content for their website, blog, or email newsletter, here are a couple other sites that can lend a hand:
Ezine Articles: Loaded with content that you can use for your content marketing efforts. There are some strings attached, including the stipulation that you must post the entire article without changes and have to include the author’s bio at the end, which usually promotes his or her own service. Read the Ezine Articles Terms of Service before proceeding.
IdeaMarketers: Another content-laden site that lets you pick from articles to use on your own website or newsletter. Writers and experts can use this, as well as Ezine Articles, to get their name out there. Again, be sure to read the Terms of Service before publishing any of these pieces.
For those who prefer recommendations to website listings, use social media networks to “crowd source” and find what you’re looking for. Post a note to your Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn accounts specifying what you’re looking for and ask if anyone has a recommendation. Businesses love people to provide word-of-mouth marketing via social media, so harness that power to fulfill your own project needs.
Got a good resource that you use? Drop me a line by hitting the Contact button above, or leave a comment below. I always love recommendations from readers.