What is it all about?
A big movement that has been made possible through the internet is that of the business of sharing economy. This is another concept that threatens to alter the way we interact with one another – and that definitely could change the shape of the global economy.
As a matter of fact, we live in an extremely exciting time for business and technology. Actually, I find it hugely satisfying and exciting that it is now possible to earn money online irrespective of your geographical location.
The web has altered the way we do business. Earlier it would have been unheard of to think that you could earn a living this way. Actually, internet marketers and digital entrepreneurs are innovators – exploring new ways to earn a living.
Nonetheless, internet marketing is only the tip of the iceberg. The web is far more transformative than just allowing us to work from anywhere. Technologies like the web and mobile phones are changing many industries in ways that we could never have imagined. Well, the future looks even more incredible.
The openings this presents for savvy entrepreneurs is massive and if you’re willing to take advantage of the changing face of business and economy, then you can not only profit enormously but also steer the course of mankind’s future.
If you look at it, the business of sharing economy is looking to ‘rearrange’ the economy to a time prior to money. Yes, money evolved as a natural progression from trade. Back in the early days, there weren’t any bank notes, online transfer or credit cards. Instead, if you wanted something, you needed to have something else that you could offer to trade for it.
What if we went back to a time where we could trade goods and services? With the internet, this is now far more practical because we have the means to partake in a global market. You can almost always find someone who has something you want and who is looking for the thing you’ve got, because you can ask the entire planet.
Although that being said, many examples of the sharing economy work on a slightly smaller scale – bringing focus back to local communities and areas. Entrepreneurs that are taking advantage of these ideas are extremely successful and are transforming the way we do business.
Some successful brands, based on the business of sharing economy
- Uber – Uber is a ‘taxi’ service, or more like a ‘taxi replacement’ company. Rather than having to hire a taxi from a taxi firm and pay huge amounts, it allows you to look for registered drivers in your local area that are willing to offer lifts for a reasonable price. Anyone can sign up to become a driver with Uber and using the app, it’s possible to see where the drivers are in real time, how much they’re going to charge and how long they would take to reach you! It has made nights-out in cities like London way more convenient and affordable.
- Zipcar- Zipcar allows people to borrow cars or vans for short periods of time like an hour or a day, may be to pick-up someone from the airport or shopping with friends in a new town.
- AirBnB – Airbnb is to hotels what Uber is to taxis. Once again, this is a solution that allows users to sidestep the usually expensive avenues when finding a place to stay. In this case, the solution is to allow users to offer guests to stay in their spare room, or out-house. That way, anyone can make some extra money and there are so many choices for accommodation when travelling.
- Couchsurfing – A similar idea is Couchsurfing, which lets users offer up their couches to strangers for free. Members can use the service to arrange home-stays, offer lodging and hospitality. In exchange, they get the good-will of other homeowners, and the idea is that you can end up with a network of free places to stay all across the world whenever you go travelling!
- Schpock – Schpock is a much more direct and straight-forward example of the sharing economy in action. Here, users are invited to trade their possessions or to sell them for a small fee. This is done using an app where you can take pictures and show them to the users.
- Up Work / Fiverr – Up Work / Fiverr are similar platforms which allows you to register your talents such as web-designing, programming, voice-over, writing etc. So anyone across the globe can pay for your talent and get what they would not get locally.
- Airtasker – This is another platform where you can register on Airtasker.com and let users know of the task to be done whether online or offline. You can propose a fair budget for the task and post the task requirements such as painting, window cleaning, web development etc. You could also browse through and look at the profiles and reviews of the taskers and pick the right one for your requirements. The payment is secure with Airtasker Pay until the job is done.
- WeWork – WeWork makes it possible for small businesses to have great office spaces which otherwise would not have been possible due to the high overheads. This has made it possible to build settings for efficiency, innovation and networking. This co-working concept has transformed businesses by unraveling the prospective of small innovative ventures.
- Rent the runway- Rent the runway lets ladies to rent designer outfits without spending a lot on buying them. This concept is working because the style, size and budget can change over time and the purchased dresses could end up piling up in the wardrobe. So the company has used the power of sharing economy to fire up the fashion sense of women.
Whatever the case, there are ample ways you can start an enterprise and make a living from these remarkable opportunities. Spend some time every day for “thinking”. Think about your local community or the things you regularly buy and sell. What could be transformed through the influence of the sharing economy? How could you create the ‘next’ Uber or AirBnB?