In recent years, the sharing economy or the Gigonomy has become a fascinating business trend. Companies adopting the sharing model have become adept at tapping excess capacity of both product and services and using to their benefit. With an emphasis on trust, communalism and most importantly, peer to peer transactions, Uber and Airbnb have rewritten the rules on how consumers commuted or stayed in hotels. Consumers benefit from wider and cheaper choices, ease of use and access to user reviews. Besides Uber and Airbnb, there are many other industries offering services, forming a part of the Gigonomy. Example, DogVcay – an online community that connects pet parents with pet sitters across North America or Getaround – a peer-to-peer car sharing company that allows people to borrow cars from others.
Though the Gig Economy is nascent, it is already experiencing rapid growth. According to a Nielsen survey, 78 per cent of Asia Pacific consumers are willing to share or rent their personal resources, 10 per cent above the global average. In addition, the survey also indicated that 81 per cent of Asia Pacific consumers are also more likely to engage with the Gig Economy. This is well ahead of the global average of 66 percent. Evolving consumer trends and technological trends have set the pace for the Gig Economy to flourish. The Millennials are breaking long standing work habits of conventional 9 to 5 jobs. They no longer wish to be confined by monotonous jobs or be defined by a single organisation. They would rather start their own venture or prefer freelancing their services. A plethora of startups have stemmed from this collaborative consumption, some of them are worth over a billion dollars. While the Gigonomy is changing the entrepreneurial scenario, here’s how it can help your startup grow –
1. Distribution of production
While handling every aspect of a new business can be a juggling act, with Gigonomy, you can efficiently do so without breaking the bank. Outsourcing work for your business provides a simple yet effective method of production, simultaneously reducing the in-house expenses.
Ventures like Airbnb & Uber, have their entire business models based on other people’s resources. So what kind of tasks can you outsource? As much as it depends on your business, you can outsource nearly anything- from branding & content, business help and virtual support to odd jobs like picking up supplies or moving a piece of furniture! There are good chances that a freelancer near you will be willing to do the work at a reasonable price.
In the early stages of a business, it is a task to find funding and get investors. This is when crowdfunding comes to your rescue. It simply means that many people contribute to your business to support your goal (or cause) in return for some kind of a perk.
Though this approach works best when you have an innovative new product, it may not be the best route if you have an unfinished idea or if your product falls into arenas like software or mobile app. Kick-starter and Indiegogo are the most popular crowdfunding platforms. Entrepreneurs, artists and others can present their startup ideas or creative projects and find their potential funders.
3. Work space
With the changing business models and the new economy, work spaces are also undergoing an adaptable transition. If you’ve just started your business and do not have the finances for a dedicated work space, you still have the option of co-working. Co-working space is essentially a shared workplace in the emerging Gigonomy wherein the owners of a high-value estate rent out the space to different employers. This can simply be an office or a studio environment where not everyone is employed by the same organization.
Besides providing a space to work, co-working spaces offer connectivity as you work alongside other freelancers. One can either purchase a membership or simply pay for the space on an hourly basis. ImpactHub, Hubble and WeWork are one of the greatest platforms to look at. While ImpactHub offers a franchise-like opportunity to open a location in one’s city, WeWork locations act as community centres that offer shared and dedicated work spaces to meet your business needs.
4. Finding freelancer
Most of the Gigonomy platforms help users save money as they make offers on jobs, providing opportunities for people who are willing to take it. However, usually the tasks are assigned to those with the same skill set and qualifications, but willing to do it for a lower price.
Online platforms like Obuhi.com allow businesses to hire freelancers seeking flexible and short-term work. With free registration and easy access, Obuhi attracts talents from across the globe. People from various fields like, design, marketing, technology & web support or accounts, can list their skills and find gigs. On the other hand, entrepreneurs can simply select those freelancers who best meet their requirements and outsource work to them. The platform is very simple and easy to use, with a review and rating system that allows you to pick the right person for your project.
The Gigonomy is already booming and this trend will continue to grow as more and more countries get connected digitally. With further advancements and innovation, the traditional industrial sector is now finding its way to the new market. As this economy seems poised for strong growth, it would only make sense to say that we are about to experience one of the greatest change in the consumer trends. Is your business ready to take the plunge?