By Jamie Viggiano, Head of Marketing at TaskRabbit
Britain continues to encourage entrepreneurship. So far this year, 350,000 companies have started up in the UK. This is not surprising. After all, making money and being your own boss is something that appeals to most of us. However, starting a company takes a lot of hard graft. Challenges inevitably arise – concerns around cash flow, staffing, workspace are common. Ultimately, the question is “Is it worth the risk?” That can dishearten a lot of us, who have the security of our regular 9-5 job.
Fortunately, there is a lower-risk way to start your own business. Enter the “sharing economy” where the risks just described are significantly reduced, if not eliminated.
While sharing has always been a principle that school-aged children learn, the concept of sharing recently has moved from a standard practice into a profitable business model. This increasing legitimacy is reflected in more polished terms used to describe the phenomenon, like “peer-to-peer networks,” “collaborative consumption,” the “access economy” or the “sharing economy.” Just as peer-to-peer businesses, such as eBay, allow anyone to become a retailer, “sharing economy” platforms let individuals act as an on-demand taxi service, personal assistant or boutique hotel as and when it suits them.
Inspiring trust between strangers and utilising unique talents
Rationally, it makes sense to share. Sharing increases utilisation of assets and creates value on both sides of the transaction. Sharing also has emotional value – knowing you’ve helped someone out. Around the world, more people, more than ever are sharing their homes, cars, time, skills and knowledge. Furthermore, new business models, such as AirBnB and JustPark, are not only inspiring trust between strangers, but also offering new and unique experiences across the UK.
At TaskRabbit, we’ve built a platform, which ensures that people can best utilise their unique skills and talents, whether you’re a dab hand at cleaning or handy with a hammer and nails. We connect those who can’t (or simply don’t have time) with those who can. We work with local vetted, micro-entrepreneurs in London whose skills vary from cleaning to being an expert in calligraphy. The common tie is that they’re happy to pick up tasks for those in need. In return, they get paid to do something they enjoy on their own terms – working when they want, where they want at their preferred rate.
Jumping on the opportunity
The sharing economy is revolutionizing how people work. Increasingly, people are ditching their desk for a more flexible way of working, introducing a new breed of entrepreneurs. The British government is beginning to see the opportunity the sharing economy offers to entrepreneurs. As a result, it has started conversations with sharing economy companies of all kinds to see what they can do to help this activity thrive even further in the UK.
My advice to anyone who has entrepreneurial flair, strike the iron while it’s hot and embrace sharing. It’s a simple way of earning money by utilising your own unique skills and assets. The opportunity is there, you just have to jump on it.
For more information visit www.taskrabbit.co.uk