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The Sharing Economy and Your Business

By: Jania Bailey

 

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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 is 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. These 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.
 
This article was originally published by FranNet
Published: July 7, 2015
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Jania Bailey

Jania Bailey is president/COO of FranNet, North America’s most well-respected franchise consulting firm. Bailey sits on the board of directors for the International Franchise Association (IFA) and is a certified franchise expert. Her background includes over 25 years experience in the banking and franchise industries.  Bailey also authored the book, “Thriving – The Journey to Success in the Business World.” 

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