Written by Dean Burgess
The Sharing Economy: What is it?
According to The People Who Share, the sharing economy is the “socio-economic ecosystem built around the sharing of human, physical and intellectual resources.” If you want to make money in the sharing economy, you must have some sort of good or service you can provide to those in need. The sharing economy has permeated into industries from ridesharing to niche services to peer-to-peer lending. People like these setups because they allow us to get the things we want and need without having to own as much stuff.
The sharing economy often provides a leg up that people can use to improve their standing in life. In fact, if you’ve been thinking of starting your own small business, you can use the sharing economy to launch it.
Business Ideas Via the Sharing Economy
Early projections estimate the sharing economy’s value will increase to be worth as much as $335 billion by 2025. With those kinds of numbers, there is certainly room for you. There a few different ways you can leverage the sharing economy to help start your small business.
- Build up a client base for a service or product you provide.
- Use sharing economy workers to outsource tasks you are not qualified to do; things like website development, graphic design or copywriting.
- Raise funds for your business venture through crowdsourcing or peer-to-peer lending.
You can use one of these tactics or all three if you like, but in the end none of it matters if you don’t have something other people both want and need. If your product or service is in a good market, but it’s a bit oversaturated, find a hook or angle you can use to set yourself apart. Brand recognition can make or break a small business.
Build Trust With Clients
Whenever we spend money via the sharing economy, there is always a risk, just like there is always a risk when you buy something online. However anxious you may have felt the first time you bought something on Amazon, you likely don’t feel that way when you place an order anymore. That’s because Amazon took time to build trust with its clients by backing up their orders with a guarantee, sending frequent update emails, and consistently working towards making life easier for people. After years of successful orders, Amazon users trust the company with their online shopping needs. If you want your small business to succeed, you have to work toward building trust with your clients in the same way. You have to be consistent, communicative and you have to anticipate their needs.
Designate a Workspace
When you start a company via the sharing economy, you technically work from home even if you are out and about during operations. When you work from home, it’s important to have an area where you can organize your receipts, do paperwork and respond to work related emails. Having a designated workspace helps shift your mindset to get what you need done. When you leave your home workspace, you can resume being your fun and casual self you normally are hanging around the house. If you find that you are having trouble getting in the zone at home, or just crave a little socialization, consider renting a workspace via My Office Space. Offering flexibility, no long-term commitment, and zero utility/maintenance fees, My Office Space is a huge supporter of your sharing economy endeavor.
Even if you don’t have a spare room to use as an office, you can set up a lightweight desk in a quiet corner. Establish office hours and let any family, friends, or roommates that live with you know that you’d rather not be disturbed during that time. Make sure the space has minimal distractions, but feel free to make it your own.
There are many ways to leverage the sharing economy into your own small business. You can use it to build a client base, outsource work or raise funds. Whatever your business, success lies in building trust with clients. A harmonious relationship with those who want your product or service will give you the steady income you need to make it through the start-up years. Finally, compartmentalize your home life with a designated workspace where you can process your administrative tasks.