Today’s sharing economy in a true sense is a revolution in mobilizing latent assets and talents. The ones which were not used earlier are now being put to use for the monetary benefit of all. It has been giving an opportunity to earn for everyone the college students to retired community.
If we think about the companies which utilize the sharing economy concept the few major ones that comes to our mind are Uber, Airbnb, TaskRabbit. Several companies similar to these were few years back a start-up and now a global company.
The rise of these companies comes from the fact that they are useful to both the people at the end of the transaction. Ease of getting goods and service and an additional source of income for others.
Struggling entrepreneurs benefit from the connected network rather than trying to build their own space. There is a readymade platform and a minimum amount of recognition is guaranteed.
Minimal costs for starting the business, they don’t need someone to invest and less hassle of going around in search of source for money.
The globe is composed of 5 billion people who are above the age of 16 and can provide one or the other sort of service to each other but we are yet to tap this talent to the benefit of faster services. Sharing economy will boost this and fasten process.
Goods and services sharing
When you mean goods or assets it can be anything from a taxi to a room or a commercial kitchen.
We have networked based Transportation Company which gives the customers the benefit of getting a taxi at any place and drivers an additional source of income.
There are networks which give you a commercial kitchen space for use when it is not used by the main user. This will help both the budding chefs and the kitchen owners who otherwise will keep it unused for at least 10 hours a day.
Chefs at the beginning of their career who make cater food to bigger network of food chains find this an excellent opportunity. They can make jams or sauces to supply to bigger brands.
And Airbnb has given many people an opportunity to rent out unused space for tourist which otherwise would end up as a storage room for waste.
Justpark is a start-up which offers parking space in the inner city area but so far they have not moved a single stone to create space. Such is the power creating a common platform.
The start-ups of fashion industry are catering expensive clothes on demand for customers through rental basis. There are tailors available on demand and you can even get stitched the clothes with designs and patterns as you wish.
London based start unmade provides customers the option to customize their clothes with patterns and colors. This is a fresh approach to the same old mass produced clothes of the fashion industry.
Service sharing or on-demand economy
From house cleaning to photography every service you require is available on demand. Beginners and entrepreneurs can start to work through platforms built for these professionals.
Home cooks have come forward in the US to create a network that will supply homemade food to their customers.
Photographs, stylists and cleaners everyone has now formed their networks to be available when the customers need. This will give the customers enough choices and ease of availability at the comfort of their house. Neither the service providers need to go in search of customers and opportunities.
There are platforms where you can hire chartered accountants for professional accounting.
For entrepreneurs who are creating a platform to bring the service providers and the customers this is what you need to concentrate on:
Building any sharing economy company takes time it is not going to be as fast as you think. Overnight successes are restricted to the pages of fiction. A strong determination is what will keep you going.
Know the valuable assets
Let it be the on the giving side or receiving side it is necessary that you maintain quality. Your reputation is the fuel which will take you into the future and quality is what flames that reputation.
That is where the concept of rating drivers and ways to ban customers evolved in Uber. The company rose not because of the novelty in its idea but the cleanliness and customer satisfaction it gave which the taxi industry lacked.
The internet is the medium for all the transactions so having all the tech aspects of your business in place for flawless customer and service giver interactions.
More than any time, now more people are interested in investing start-ups based on sharing or on-demand economy. They see a future and are interested to be a part of it. So it is all in your hands to convince an investor about your idea.
Building on existing business
The taxis are here from a long time but what changed is the way they are being catered to the people right now. The same way you can build platforms for existing business which will make it easier for customers to access.
As you create a platform, maintain and run it, your source of income comes from how your registered service givers perform. You go on a partnership deal with them over the revenue generated. So it should in a way be affordable to them you and the customer.
Your revenue system should have clear definition as who gets how much and who is responsible to pay what. This has created a lot of problems for Uber like companies for possible tax evasion.
Customer safety as well as the professional or service provider safety is essential. There should be clear lines drawn around this topic and all the registered members of your platform should be made clear of this to avoid any future legal issues.
Other terms and conditions
Any company which is building itself should be clear about all the terms it would follow and over the conditions it will follow.
Follow other companies
There are several companies starting and some well established ones in this line so follow all of them and learn from them both success stories and failed ones.
The world governments are starting to frame legal laws only now for these economies so keep you updated with them. The European Union has recently started to frame rules for these companies after Uber and several other companies approached the union after several backslash in various countries of Europe.
Here are some of the popular companies and their functionality
Snapgoods: Renting and borrowing household goods of high value such as camera, kitchen equipments or musical instruments
DogVacay: When you want to go on a vacation then you can find hosts who will take care of your boy at the best prices.
Taskrabbit: To hire people who can complete tasks
Instacart: on-demand grocery delivery
Zoomcar : for car rentals
Luxe: valet parking for vehicle in places around you.
Miluxe: stylist who will offer their services at your doorstep
It has never been a better time to start a company with lots of investors and customer eagerly welcoming new companies with new ideas.