Small business owners and rising companies are looking for ways of benefiting from the collaborative consumption within the sharing economy. The sharing economy refers to the socioeconomic network, developed around the exchange of physical, human and intellectual resources. Sharing economy includes shared conception, manufacture, distribution, trade and the utilization of goods and services by individuals and organizations.
The sharing economy works in various ways, including sharing office spaces, using the information to enable the redistribution of goods and services and the inclusion of the individual participation in economic growth by allowing professionals to market and sell their services and products. Businesses that rent unused assets to consumers are generating extra revenue while small business owners are presented with the opportunity to access services and products necessary for the growth of their companies. Below are ways to which your business can benefit from the sharing economy.
Your rented or bought office space can appear bigger than the team working in it depending on the dynamics of your business operations. Perhaps the kind of trade your company does involves frequent travels to several locations, and the staff members make proper use of their physical workspace occasionally. You can let start-up businesses or freelancers in need of temporary office space to share the space with you. Such kinds of collaborative systems enable small companies to earn revenue alongside their primary income generators. Other than making use of the “idle” space, a company may have in its possession unused assets, and the sharing economy system allows for such assets to be rented out. Therefore apart from having others share your office space, they can put into use facilities like printers and infrastructures like desks that are not in use by your team. Many companies have made income by renting out as many unused assets as they can.
Sharing office space does not necessarily have to follow the same path of one company subletting their “idle” space to freelancers and startups, it is also about several companies renting a coworking space such as ours. Coworking spaces are fully equipped offices in a more cozy setting compared to the traditional workspaces. The coworking spaces can be rented by different companies, individuals or bigger companies for non-fixed periods. The good thing with coworking spaces is that an entity or individual can hire a desk for an hour or take up some fixed number of desks for periods extending up to three years.
Most shared work spaces come with facilities such as telephones, the internet, scanners, copiers, fax machines, and printers. There is also the provision of infrastructures such as seats plus cleaning services and a general reception or front desk area. Such working areas, therefore, present individuals or groups seeking to save on startup costs with affordable and flexible means of continuing their operations until they fill big enough to rent their own office spaces. Alternatively, an entity can maintain hiring shared workspace to save it from the complexities of office management.
Individuals and small businesses can use shared websites to reach larger audience with information regarding their services and products to the local audience. Professionals operating on a freelance basis such as house cleaners, handymen and landscapers can avoid buying the expensive advertisement space on online classified pages and the newspapers, by using a collaborative website. Online platforms such as TaskRabbit and Zaarly enable professionals to look for clients or manage credit card payments and to program appointments. Sharing sites also save small companies the effort, time and money that could have been spent on running the company’s online store or website.
Moreover, the sharing economy offers individuals and small companies the opportunity to identify and collaborate with similar organizations in the production of goods and services across the globe. The internet technologies make production accessible and open for entities that wish to co-produce cooperatively or collaboratively.
Small business owners are leaders of their organizations, and one characteristic of an effective leader is cognitive ability. Knowledge of the best means to operate your business does not come without research. Many managers have acquired practical management skills from information shared online. The sharing economy provides players in various industries with information that they can use to better their services or products. The sharing economy presents open and accessible information that can be used by organizations, individuals, and communities for different purposes. For example, there is numerous information available online on where to find various office spaces and services including those of virtual offices and meeting rooms. Social networks promote education by supporting the sharing of information and enabling the flow of communication. For instance, a small business owner who had no idea on how to benefit from the sharing economy will have several useful tips on making use of the sharing economy after reading this blog.
Several startup companies and small businesses do not have big teams of personnel employed on a permanent basis. Your business can win a contract to run a project that requires a huge workforce to accomplish. It will not be prudent to turn such a business down or even refrain from looking for big projects because of a lack of enough workers. Outsource to complete your project on time and earn money. The sharing economy helps in such situation by presenting platforms both online and offline on which you can hire people to perform the tasks.
Other than the larger jobs, outsourcing can help the small business owner to enhance productivity by outsourcing the services of experts in areas such as payroll creation and book keeping. That means you should outsource what you can’t do efficiently and have it done to perfection. That way you will be lowering risks by outsourcing providers who are better at avoiding risk in their particular areas of expertise. Additionally, the outsourcing websites have numerous options for business owners seeking to have their tasks completed. The cost of virtual assistants for hire also depends on your choice. Therefore, you can choose to keep the budget level and receive quality work or pick an assistant with a higher price and receive the same quality of work.
Business start-ups, small companies seeking to grow and small businesses looking for funds to handle some challenges in their operations can utilize crowdfunding to get the required money. Crowdfunding has been a huge success for several small companies because the money obtained from crowdfunding can be used to help the business to do several projects including the purchase of important equipment. There are several crowdfunding websites such as Kickstarter and Lending Club that present small business owners with access to borrowed money and the cost is affordable compared to traditional banks.
Outsourcing is a significant aspect of the sharing economy, and it also helps small business owner identify great talents and even hire them on a permanent basis. Larger companies spend huge amounts of money to hire and maintain the most competent employees, but outsourcing exposes small businesses to the best performers and experts in various fields that can be turned into future permanent employees. People who work within the sharing economy enjoy the flexibility that comes with the jobs and they are more passionate with projects. Overall, whether you hire the experts on a part-time or contractual basis, you still have the advantage of choosing the best out of a pool of many.
Small business owners are human, the characteristics of the sharing economy, especially on the people scale, brings with it social support and care that almost all humans need. The relaxed and flexible manner of doing business only serves to enhance productivity compared to the traditional office settings. A good example is the coworking space that comes with essential office amenities, but also give users a friendly and relaxed work atmosphere. Furthermore, there is a sense of humanness when you know an asset you have not been using is helping someone else accomplish a task while you are paid for it.