At this point, many are aware that the sharing economy is in a full-on boom. What started as an altruistic attempt to navigate a sputtering economy has blossomed into a full-fledged economic model that beautifully blends innovative technologies with available resources.
The Brookings Institute estimates that the sharing economy will be a $335 billion industry within the next decade, and its independent ethos seems to align with the proclivities and personalities of younger generations. What’s more, In 2016, the Pew Research Center conducted the first large-scale study on the sharing economy, and they found that 72% of Americans had used some service related to the sharing economy.
For users, the sharing economy is providing fresh, innovative services that meet the mass market in a meaningful way. By nearly all accounts, it’s a capitalistic dream.
Interestingly, that doesn’t mean that it’s always easy to make money in this economy.
Big Fish in a Big Pond.
In addition to determining the sharing economy’s popularity, the Pew study found that only 7% of Americans use more than six platforms associated with the sharing economy.
Although dozens of unique companies and thousands of individuals comprise the sharing economy, just a few name-brand companies dominate the market.
Uber, perhaps the most famous member of the sharing economy, was, at one time, the wealthiest private company in the world. According to Businesses of Apps, Uber has more than 150,000 people participating in their platform as Uber drivers, and their services are so popular that “Uber” is as much verb as it is a noun.
In different ways, in-demand services like Lyft and Airbnb boast similarly high numbers of participants. As a result, it can be difficult to gain entry into this economy without joining one of these companies.
Three Ways to Make It In the New Economy
Thankfully, that doesn’t mean that it’s hopeless. There are ways to make money in the sharing economy without driving an Uber or renting out your bedroom. New technologies, including the much-lauded blockchain, are making it easier than ever for people to participate in this growing movement. By following a few steps, anyone can launch a side hustle or even begin a new business. The possibilities are endless for those with initiative and knowhow.
#1 Build a Platform
The sharing economy is as diverse as it is lucrative. It includes everything from on-demand freelance services to renting a hammer to someone in your city. The only requirements are a good or service to “share,” a willing market, and the requisite technology to disseminate those services.
To make development as effective and efficient as possible, there are platforms like Origin that provide easy-to-use tools for creating a unique, compelling platform. Sharing economy participants don’t have to be technological experts to build a platform, but word of mouth, and a classified ad won’t cut it either.
Use the available tools to build a platform that sets your services apart.
#2 Establish Connections
Discoverability and usability are key components for entering the sharing economy. After all, if people can’t find your service, it’s unlikely that you will establish a compelling market share anytime soon.
ShareRing, a blockchain-based platform brings the sharing economy together in a single app, is one way to accomplish that. There are dozens of available sharing economy services, but they are dispersed around the internet with very few connection points. Since random discovery is unlikely, place your services where others can find them.
In this way, ShareRing functions like the Amazon of the sharing economy by providing a singular platform where users can discover new services, make and receive payments, and participate in the entire process by completing reviews and ratings for the companies that they like the most.
Since the blockchain was initially created to facilitate digital payments, it is uniquely positioned to facilitate these actions for the sharing economy. Furthermore, it establishes trust in an economy that is heavily dependent on reliability. By building connections in such a secure environment, anyone can proliferate their services to make them as profitable as possible.
#3 Refine the Process
There is no secret sauce to being successful in the sharing economy. It’s such an inclusive and entrepreneur-friendly environment that almost anyone can discover a way to thrive. Even so, that doesn’t mean that the first attempt will be a burgeoning success. Adjust your platform to meet the needs of the market and use client feedback as a tool for shaping and revising your current approach.
In an economy designed for anyone to succeed, the possibilities are endless. By relying on the best technology and the most innovative ideas, individuals can play by their own rules to create a business that works for them and for their customers. There is room for everyone, so build your platform, establish connections, and refine your process to make the most money possible as a member of the sharing economy.