The Sharing Economy and Your Business

There’s a brand new world of transactions forming and it’s named the sharing or collaborative economy. The standard definition of this new trend is an economic model for individuals to borrow or rent assets owned by someone else. This peer-to-peer (P2P) interaction is catching on and it could start affecting your business.

There are many benefits to the sharing economy and many people are getting excited about how easily the new services create jobs. Never before has the average consumer been offered such a variety of convenience, however there plenty of bugs to work out for these budding companies. This “what’s mine if yours, for a fee” philosophy is spreading due to the overwhelming demand for instant, cheaper gratification. The system uses items/services that are widely used and baits consumers to trust each other with carrying out these services.

Take a car, for example. This expensive, everyday commodities are being transformed by businesses like Uber or Lyft. This service connects riders with drivers, creating an alternative to taxis and public transportation.

Crowdfunding is another sector of this trend that provides an outlet for anyone to raise extra cash. Websites like GoFundMe and Kickstarter are raising money for entrepreneurs and small business everyday. Meanwhile, more business-focused crowdfunding platform exist that offer business loans of up to $100,000. Suddenly, starting your own business could be as easy as creating a profile and a compelling enough bio.

Errand services like TaskRabbit give people the ability to outsource commonplace tasks like picking up dry cleaning or running errands. Even a business’s empty parking lot or unused conference rooms can be rented with companies like Work Space On Demand and LiquidSpace. The “second hand campaign” is rising in popularity as people look for ways to save on time and money.

The main worry is regulatory uncertainty. Will room-renters have to adhere to hotel taxes, for example? The rules need to be updated to protect consumers and other businesses from harm, but for entrepreneurs and small business owners, it looks like it’s time to start caring about sharing.

Do you feel that you’re ready to get started? Let FranNet connect you with the business you’ve been looking for. Ask us about a free consultation with a qualified and experienced franchise consultant. Our purpose is to connect the dots and make the transition from corporate employment to the freedom of business ownership manageable and safe.

Jun 3, 2015