How small-business owners can leverage the sharing economy

The sharing economy works on a model of access over ownership. Sharing resources is a less wasteful and more cost-effective way to access goods and services than the traditional model of private ownership. Thousands of individual Australians make and save money with the sharing economy every day, and it’s becoming an increasingly popular option for small-business owners to access goods and services on an on-demand basis, and at a fraction of the cost of ownership.

If you’re not already utilising the sharing economy in your business, here are some things you might want to consider:

Rent out your van or ute: A lot of small businesses need a van from time to time, but what about all the days it sits around idle? You can tap the services of a peer to peer car sharing platform. There are a lot of business owners who have purchased a van or ute for work, and to make an additional revenue stream they rent it out to people in the community at the times they don’t need it.

Access the space and equipment you need: Whether it’s office space, tools or storage that you need, it’s possible to rent these on the peer-to-peer marketplace. Through Spacer, for example, you can rent parking spaces, garages, sheds, office space and more for a fraction of the price of traditional options.

Better services at lower cost: Platforms like Freelancer, Fiverr and Airtasker make it possible to find people to do one-off odd jobs like packing stock, writing website copy or selling tickets, without the costs of hiring a huge staff. Or if you need an on-demand courier, services like Zoom2u have contractors doing their same day deliveries using their own cars, vans or bikes.

Get a side hustle: Research shows that one in five Australian adults are making money from a job that they do on the side, in addition to their regular income. If it’s difficult to make ends meet, your business doesn’t keep you busy full-time, or you’re just looking for a bit of a change, you might want to consider joining a sharing economy platform yourself. You could drive for Uber on the weekends, pick up odd jobs through Airtasker, or mind someone’s pet through MadPaws.

Will Davies, CEO and co-founder, Car Next Door

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