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What the Sharing Economy Means for Small Businesses

To share - to have a portion of something with others

When we think of the verb “to share,” we often think of commanding our kids to share their toys or, for our younger readers, being commanded to share our toys. But the concept of sharing is not reserved for childhood. At work, we share responsibilities with our coworkers. We share our living space with family members or roommates. If you live in an apartment building, you probably share a laundry room and gym with your neighbours.

Since we are so accustomed to sharing in our everyday lives, why is the sharing economy (think: Uber, AirBnB) such a hot topic these days? More importantly, how does the spread of sharing from our private lives into the economic sector affect our small businesses?

Bad news: we’re all new to the sharing economy game.

Good news: we’re all new to the sharing economy game.

  1. Founders can cut corners. You don’t have to be in the entrepreneurial field for long to realize that most businesses start with very little. There’s absolutely no shame in this, and with the sharing economy, founders have access to more resources to make their little capital stretch as much as possible. One example that we love? Jamie Wong of Vayable saved money by ride sharing, and even raised some money by renting out a spare room on AirBnB.

  2. Getting one thing done no longer requires a hiring process. Have a to-do that occasionally pops up, but not enough to hire a full-time team member? Look no further than freelance-finders TaskRabbit and Upwork. You can choose from hundreds of qualified and rated individuals to get to job done, and save a ton of money while doing it.

  3. Cowork and collaborate. With coworking spaces popping up in virtually every city, there is no need to rush on renting an expensive office space for your small team. Coworking spaces often provide refreshments, reception service, and conference rooms just as in a traditional office. Additionally, the open floorplan allows for easy communication between team members and networking with other entrepreneurs in the space!

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