Advice for New Entrepreneurs: How to Start A Small Business in the Sharing Economy

sharing economy

Guest Post by Dean Burgess from Excitepreneur.net

Have you heard of the sharing economy? While the term is still fairly new and many people are still unfamiliar with it, the sharing economy is poised to change the workforce as we know it. The sharing economy is on the news each day, and you might already be participating in it without even realizing it. For instance, if you’ve ever worked on a side project for a client or if you’ve ever used AirBNB, congratulations: You’ve participated in the sharing economy.

The sharing economy is defined by Forbes as jobs that take advantage of shared services and collaboration. This might include ridesharing (think: Lyft and Uber), renting your home on AirBNB, or freelancers and entrepreneurs who share office space in a coworking environment. Despite its title, the sharing economy doesn’t negate monetary exchange. In fact, many people are making hundreds or even thousands of dollars per month from the sharing economy. It can be a great way to boost your income, earn some quick cash, or even quit your day job and start your own business.

If you’re thinking of starting a small business or entering the sharing economy yourself, you’re in the right place. Here are some of our favorite tips for how to make the transition into entrepreneurship:

 

Becoming an Entrepreneur

Before you dive right into business ownership, it’s important to understand your strengths before taking on such a commitment. How can you tell if you’re ready for entrepreneurship? Gauge your work ethic and your personality traits. Typical big boss characteristics include self-discipline, tenacity, an eagerness to improve, and being a natural risk-taker — just a few of the signs you were born to run your own business. If you find yourself nodding in agreement, then keep reading for some advice on how to get the ball rolling.

 

Making the Transition

When determining what type of career you’d like, it’s important to ask yourself a few questions. What work do you enjoy? What draws you to this type of collaborative entrepreneurship? Do you want to leave the office environment and work from home? Do you crave the freedom to choose your own hours while doing work you love? Once you’ve pinpointed your end goal, you can start small.

If you want to be a designer, start by Googling some online coding courses. Find something you like and purchase a class on Udemy. When you feel competent, start by freelancing or doing some work on the side as you work your way toward doing it fulltime.

 

Growing Your Business

As you grow your business, you’ll want to have a business plan and some action steps for success. You might consider working with a business mentor if you’re new to entrepreneurship. They can help you create a structured plan and hold you accountable.

An important aspect of business ownership is sales and marketing. You’ll need to have a marketing plan and a sales funnel in place to help you reach prospective clients—and convert them into paid customers. If this sounds intimidating at first, this article by Entrepreneur.com provides a plethora of advice.

 

A Common Mistake to Avoid

When growing a business, mistakes are inevitable and are often a great learning opportunity. However, you should try to avoid being everything to everyone. Have boundaries and stay focused on your target market and the skills you do best. It might sound counterintuitive but sometimes, saying no actually helps you manage time and sets you up for long-term success.