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Small business? Crowd source!

A long time ago, there was a baker who made the best baguettes in his village. He and his wife would get up every morning at 4am to begin kneading the dough and by 7am, the line would begin forming outside his store. Customers would wait patiently, taking in the chest-warming fragrance of fresh bread turning a golden brown in an oven. At 8am, his doors would open and by 9am, he’d be done for the day.

Out-of-towners were often confused, wondering why the baker had a “sold out” sign on the window. If they pressed their noses to the glass, they’d see a small pile of baguettes still sitting on the gleaming silver trays. But everyone in the village knew why:

1 loaf for the cobbler, his daily rate for polishing the bakers shoes

1 for the the candlemaker, for his candles kept the bakers home lit at night

1 loaf for the blacksmith making him a new knife

2 loafs for the seamstress, for his wife and daughters dresses and blouses

2 for the fishmonger who made sure he got the best catches every day

3 for the butcher in return for keeping a prime cut of beef and a piece of veal

And so it goes, the economy today started with a trade of services, and crowdsourcing is much the same. The small business owner has the idea, his employees are service-trained and the investor has the capital. With co-operation, everyone profits while customers get good products and service.

At noon on February 10th, Oakland Spokes Bike Lounge founder Brian Drayton will be speaking at Impact Hub Oakland on crowdsourcing your small business. Admission is $15 and comes a locally made soul food meal.

Talking points:

  1. Identifying resources within your network

  2. Tapping into resources: Enlisting people and trading services

  3. Donors vs Investors: What’s the difference? Is the money free or borrowed?

  4. Crowdsourcing platforms: Indiegogo, Kabbage, Kickstarter, Kiva or just a Paypal button?

  5. The importance of demonstrating and delivering the promised results.

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