The sharing economy disrupted a lot of traditional methods of buying, selling, and getting things done. It’s challenging industries and shaking things up for the better by giving people career freedom and affordable alternatives to the things you use every day. The best thing about the sharing economy is that it isn’t just for consumers – businesses can also get in on the game.
Starting a business is expensive, and by utilizing the sharing economy, costs can go down significantly. The sharing economy gives business owners (and aspiring business owners) the freedom to think outside of the box and do things their own way.
By Allowing You to Borrow
The sharing economy is great for borrowing things and cutting down money spent on services. People will rent out almost anything indefinitely, or allow you to pay to own those things in installments. Need some extra desks? Rent them from a member of your community, or from a business that has more than they need. Rent a printer and a copier until you can afford to purchase your own.
You can even borrow office space from someone who has too much. If your startup is small and you need headquarters for you and your modest team to get things off the ground, look for an office based business that has a little too much space. They can rent an empty conference room to you for much less than it would cost to get your own dedicated office space.
By Helping You Outsource
Businesses that revolve around food absolutely adore the sharing economy. Almost everyone wants their food delivered, and delivery is expensive to institute. McDonald’s is a great example of a sharing economy success story. They don’t offer delivery in most countries, but there was certainly a demand. Rather than setting up delivery for every location, they decided to pass it off to more capable hands. Uber Eats filled that market need. Sharing and gig economy food delivery services pop up every day, and aspiring restauranteurs would be wise to utilize them at the beginning of their business.
Skill sharing websites also help entrepreneurs learn and prepare. If you need advice from an expert to help you start your business, learn bookkeeping, or research advertising, look for one on skill sharing websites. Get a mentor on-demand who can help you navigate some of the challenges you’re likely to experience while you’re still in the learning phase.
By Giving You Some Extra Cash
The sharing economy gives small businesses a few easy ways to make money. If you already have office space or a building, utilize it to make some cash. Any extra space in your building can be rented out to other startups as a workspace. Extra storage area in your storage room can easily be monetized by members of your community. Let them pay to keep some valuables locked up in your back room.
You can even monetize extra space in your parking lot. If you have more room for cars than you have employees that arrive in cars, rent out the extra spaces. This is particularly lucrative if your business is in a big city where people may need event parking on the weekends or during special occasions.
The sharing economy provides many valuable (and sometimes unexpected) alternatives that will help small businesses launch with a modest budget. Before you go the normal route, always look for a sharing economy solution to your business obstacles.
About the Author:
Sarah Kearns is a hardworking mother of three daughters. She is a part of the team behind Parkhound – a place where you can find cheap parking spots. She loves cooking, reading history books and writing about green living.