People don’t only want access to things, they want to have genuine connections with others. In an article for Management Today, Alexander Garrett discusses how the sharing economy is growing, but how do you create a business that will thrive in this landscape?
The bicycle sitting idly in someone’s garage for the past five years could be part of something bigger, says founder of compareandshare.com Benita Matofska:
“There is an estimated $3.5 trillion of idle resources in the world - from sports equipment to accommodation - and in the sharing economy entrepreneurs are using technology to build businesses that connect idle resource with demand.”
- It’s not just efficiency
It’s about people wanting to connect with others in a community. People get involved at first to make or save money, but it’s important as a company to have a strong social conscience. For instance, Streetbank, encourages neighbors to share household items.
- Convenience is critical
Companies like Lyft and Instacart offer services on demand. There is an aspect of convenience that unburdens people. The new motto is “Live large, carry little.”
- Think global
Here at Near Me, we have customers that are both local and global. A marketplace can be either, but it helps to combine the strengths of both. People are engaged when your company has a local feel because it shows that you are connecting to your community.
- Be even handed
You need providers but you also need consumers. Having supply is key, but the notion of consumption has changed so that a supplier can be a consumer too.
- Anticipate regulation
Be prepared to show that you are responsible. The sharing economy is a relatively new model so you can anticipate “defensive” regulations until concerns are fully grasped.
- Establish Trust
Rachel Botsman said, “Trust is the new currency.” Gaining trust is key to maintaining long- term relationships with customers.
- Create your brand
Successful sharing economy brands put more effort into how they stand out. They are more engaging, have a personable voice and their CEO is involved in various aspects of the business. Give yourself a catchy name like TaskRabbit or RVwithME.
- DO SAY
“Our mission is to match demand with under-utilised assets, help people to share - and make money for ourselves.”
- DON’T SAY
“We're really cheap because we've found a neat way to sidestep regulation.”
Although there are still knots to be unraveled, the collaborative economy is growing and there is no end in sight. If you love what you do, it won’t be difficult to succeed because passion is key in any business. Add to that a service that makes people’s lives easier and creates a sense of community, and you’re on the road to building a high-value marketplace.
Read source article here