Start Your Own Small Business: The Sharing Economy Can Help Get You Started

Written by Dean Burgess, Excitepreneur.net

How the Sharing Economy Changed the Way We Consume

For a long time, the words “sharing” and “economy” didn’t appear by each other in any context whatsoever. Over the past decade or so, however, the sharing economy has reshaped the way we travel, the way we raise funds, and the way we spend our hard-earned dollars every day. As the Financial Times explains, the sharing economy allows consumers to “value access over ownership.”

A great example of this is crowdfunding. Inventors are able to promise their commodity to a large group of micro-investors in return for first-round funding, bypassing your typical lending institution and getting the final product in the hands of people who want it. The sharing economy makes it easier for businesses to reach and build a client base, but that’s just one of the ways it can help you start your own small business.

Rent Out Your Assets

If you own valuable property — be it a city-adjacent apartment or a closet full of fine clothes and accessories — you can rent it out to those who would rather not invest, but need it for a short amount of time. The most obvious example of this particular moneymaking venture is AirBNB, one of the many websites that allow property owners to rent out their space per night. AirBNB allows travelers to find affordable lodging and experience a local’s lifestyle. Becoming an online property rental marketplace host requires a limited time investment that you can adjust based on your availability. If you are interested in getting financing for AirBNB hosting, LendEDU details several financing options and tips for pursuing them.

Get Paid for Your Skills

Working in the sharing economy gives people the freedom to make their own schedule and be their own boss. While there are tax implications and other drawbacks to working on contract, a number of people prefer the freedom to a point where they have made their gig economy jobs full-time. Even if you aren’t ready to do your sharing economy venture 40 hours a week just yet, you can start making money and building a clientele on your own time.

  • Love pets? A dog walking and pet-sitting service is an enjoyable job that helps out fellow animal lovers in your area.
  • Have a craft? You can sell handmade items and vintage finds on Etsy. Millions of people use the site as a shopping search engine, connecting you to consumers with little to know marketing needed.
  • Drive a car? Help people get home safe and reduce traffic in your town by driving for a rideshare service.

Raise Capital

If you have a great idea that you believe in, crowdfunding can help you realize it. An estimated one-in-five Americans have contributed to some sort of crowdfunding campaign, but their contributions are typically smaller and spread out among different causes. Because of this, successful crowdfunding depends on a widespread appeal. Full-time marketing and promotion efforts ensure crowdfunding success. Furthermore, niche markets may have trouble finding funding through these platforms.

Should You Start a Small Business?

Not everyone is cut out for running their own business. Being the boss takes a tremendous amount of self-discipline, drive, and a passion for the project at hand. Before deciding on your new venture, evaluate whether you’ve got the typical traits of successful business owners or if it sounds more appealing than it is practical.

People who are born to run a business:

  • Are self-critical
  • Take risks
  • Are adaptable
  • Love puzzles and problem-solving
  • Are unhappy sitting still
  • Admire other risk takers
  • Always give 100 percent
  • Are tenacious
  • Instill their own regimens
  • Are very competitive
  • Have a plan
  • Are eager to improve

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The sharing economy can give future small business owners a leg up when it comes to connecting to clientele. Whether they are renting out their assets, selling their services, or drumming up funding, sharing economy platforms bring people and ideas together. While starting a small business via the sharing economy isn’t for everyone, risk takers who are self-motivated can build the life they have always wanted.

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