The sharing economy is undoubtedly growing at a rapid pace. RateSetter’s recent ‘Sharing Economy Trust Index’ report claims that 68% of Australians are now spending and earning money through the sharing economy. Businesses are accommodating consumers calls for convenience, choice and competitive rates by cutting out the middle man. Rather than businesses supplying the product or service, they provide a platform for the general public to offer and seek services from each other. And while companies like Uber and Airbnb have become household names, they have also proved to be a problematic threat to traditional industries. The sharing economy has, however, asserted itself in many verticals of consumerism and, rather than fight it, businesses should look to utilize it. As consumers have found, businesses are beginning to find they too can benefit from what the sharing economy has to offer.
The Marketplace for Space
People who have spare space don’t generally need it, and those who need it, don’t have it. Through sites like Spacer, the sharing economy has connected these two groups so people can find the space they need while people can turn their unused space into income.
From the perspective of business, big companies can often have unused space in their offices, while smaller companies can’t afford to rent bigger office spaces for their storage needs. Using Spacer allows small companies to find extra space for cheap, while bigger companies can draw in extra revenue from renting out their unused space.
Sites like Freelancer and other industry-specific sites have collated freelancers and freelance jobs from around the world meaning businesses can quickly and cost-effectively find freelancers for their projects. For startups with one-off projects and small jobs, this is a great way to hire a freelancer without searching, interviewing, and screening possible candidates.
Applying for a bank loan can be a long and difficult process depending on what type of business you have. Thanks to the sharing economy it could also be a thing of the past. Crowdfunding websites and peer-to-peer lending have seen many businesses gain investment while bypassing the whole bank loan situation.
Traveling for business can quickly become an expensive cost. The sharing economy has addressed this through a variety of sites and apps, the biggest of which are Uber and Airbnb. By allowing almost anyone to become a taxi driver or rent out their room or home, the sharing economy has found a way to significantly decrease costs for consumers.
Save or Make Money Through Unused equipment
Businesses, particularly those who manufacture goods, will likely need pieces of equipment and other resources that are only used during certain processes. Bigger businesses will have equipment that goes unused for days or weeks on end, while smaller businesses might need the same equipment even less frequently. The sharing economy connects these two groups so those with equipment can lease it out to those who need it.
Save or Make Money Through Delivery Space
Similarly, businesses can make or save money through the space in delivery vans. A lot of delivery vans make trips half empty and return trips completely empty. Sites like Freightmatch let drivers pick up extra jobs while allowing businesses to send freight and packages for a much cheaper cost.
The Sharing Economy is Environmentally Friendly
Additionally, sharing vans, car rides and office space will reduce your environmental impact, and so in turn, make your business greener. As a simple example, rather than 2 half empty vans on the road, a business can find a van with spare space and ship it with a van that was going to be on the road anyway.
The sharing economy is changing the way we do business. For many businesses, it can be perceived as a threat. However, it has helped many other businesses flourish. It can be used to save money or make money, make more efficient staffing choices or even become more environmentally friendly. That’s just some of the great reasons your business should consider using the sharing economy.