The sharing economy is relatively recent, but it’s been rapidly well received. In a world where everyone is trying to save a little money, people found a way to help each other be successful. Small businesses, startups, and entrepreneurs all regularly use the sharing economy to accomplish as much as they can for as little as possible. Whenever and however you need help, there’s always an expert waiting for you.
For Office Space
If you aren’t yet at the point where you’re looking to get your very own office (ahem, budget concerns), you probably feel trapped running your small business from your kitchen table. Coworking spaces may not provide you with the environment that you need, and traditional rent can be quite steep. When you find yourself in this situation, you can use sites like Spacer to rent office space from someone who has the extra room. You’ll feel a little more legitimate, and you won’t wind up running yourself into debt while you’re trying to get the ball rolling.
If your small business makes occasional local deliveries, you’ve probably encountered a few snags. You can’t always leave to make the deliveries yourself, and it’s expensive to hire someone whose sole job is to make those deliveries. A lot of smartphone app driven ride sharing services offer their drivers as couriers. When something comes up, you can call to arrange a pickup and a delivery. It will all be done the same day, and no one has to interrupt anything they’re doing in order to perform a task that might be outside of their job description.
Temps and Freelance Work
If you only need 20 or so hours’ worth of work done a week and putting someone permanently on the payroll isn’t an option for you, you don’t necessarily need to learn to do that work by yourself. Outsourcing specific jobs to freelancers, such as blog writing or social media management, gives you some room to negotiate. You can pay them per task completed, and since they’re freelance, they can work from anywhere.
The same goes for temps. If you experience a busy season during your business (i.e. florists around Valentine’s day, toy stores in the winter), you can hire a seasonal temp to help you juggle everything you’re dealing with.
Finding Small Investors
If you’re trying to develop a new product and you’re low on cash, the idea of taking on more venture debt probably feels intimidating. Instead, you can always turn to crowdfunding platforms. These people don’t want to be paid back, and they don’t want any equity in your small business. They just believe in your concept, and they want to preorder for a lower cost. Crowdfunding campaigns are easy to launch and manage. At the end, everyone is happy because they’ve gotten what they wanted.
Networking and Trading
Small businesses and startups trading products and services isn’t new. As long as you aren’t competing with the business you’re networking or trading with, it’s mutually beneficial. It’s important to meet other small business owners or employees. Use your professional social networks to find people who would be willing to trade service for service. Even if a local restaurant needs some supplies that you could provide with your advertisement on them, it all works out at the end.
The sharing economy is changing the way a lot of people buy and sell. The modern consumer has adopted it with open arms, and your small business only stands to gain by following suit.
Emma Lewis is a loving mother, a devoted wife and a part of the team supporting Spacer – a company helping you find storage space whenever you need it. Emma is also a staunch supporter of the sharing economy and often mentions its benefits.