The shared economy is changing how we do business. Find out what it is and how it works business to business.
The shared economy is a fast growing business model when you share something that you have. This emerging business model has companies like Uber, Airbnb or Lyft leading the way. But it is not only for public consumers – it’s also for B2B (business to business).
2020 will be remembered as the year that propelled the world into new ways of living, playing and working. The shared economy business model was one of the sectors hit hard. With many platforms serving the travel and holiday market, high flyers like AirBnB felt the downturn. But that same shared economy movement is seeing gains within the B2B sector.
What is the sharing economy and how does it work?
The shared economy (also known as the sharing economy and similar to the circular economy) is a collaborative economic system where ownership of tangible goods and services is no longer the primary means of economic exchange. It’s a worldwide peer-to-peer network uniting people with people. Those people who have unused assets with those people who need or can make use of them. Simply, people can make money by renting out things they own but don’t use to other people.
The rise of this new way to trade has resulted in new markets and new corporations such as Airbnb, Uber, Lyft, Zipcar, bike sharing schemes and more. A shared economy is a way for people to share everything – from property, transportation, fashion and even office space.
In a business to business relationship the shared economy becomes a way for businesses to share resources, earn and save money. It is also a way for business customers to gain access to resources and assets they need without spending a lot of money.
How can businesses benefit in a shared economy?
There are many benefits that come with a sharing economy. Including lower prices, more convenience, increased sustainability and new business opportunities.
Lower prices come by giving business consumers access to products, resources and assets. This allows business owners to save on overhead costs like office or equipment rental. Airbnb offers users cheaper access to high end apartments and accommodation. Similarly, businesses can get easier access to short term office space or equipment hire.
The convenience of only paying for what you need, when you need it, is one benefit of short term hire. Another is in the cost and administrative responsibilities valuable assets incur. Saving in these ongoing insurance, maintenance, repairs and replacement is another convenience won.
A sharing economy has had a positive impact on the environment. Seen through the reduction of pollutants, emissions and carbon footprints. This is especially true in transport sharing models. Ride sharing typically results in less kilometers and less fuel, so there are less emissions. Bike sharing schemes also work to reduce traffic congestion and improve healthy behaviours.
New business opportunities
Businesses are using the shared economy to streamline processes and generate new income. This new type of economy offers opportunities for your business to work with other businesses in a way that can save you both time, money, and energy. It also opens the doors to potential business collaborations and referrals.
Why should your business get involved?
The idea of a “sharing economy” is not new. People have been sharing their resources and skills across the centuries. Today, the technologies we use for communication, shopping, and online services are more powerful than ever. And digital tools make it possible for people to work together across huge distances in ways we couldn’t have imagined 10 or 20 years ago.
By joining a business-to-business platform that focuses on connecting potential customers with resources you have available, you are able to connect with a wider network that extends beyond local in-person and online networking communities.
Travelling business and sales professionals looking for business meeting and service delivery space previously conducted research using a number of different online and offline sources. With familiarity and popularity of business-to-business resource sharing platforms rising, now is the best time to get involved with no to low level entry fees and long term expected gains.
What are some examples of shared economy services and platforms
Ride Sharing Examples
Car sharing services:
Hospitality delivery services:
Package delivery services:
Personal resources and services:
- Volte (fashion sharing)
- Spacer (storage and parking)
- Mad Paws (pet sitting)
- Food By Us (home made food)
- Airtasker (local tasks and services)
Business resources and services:
The benefits of joining the shared economy for your business
We have already covered the mainstream benefits of the shared economy but here are some more ways a small business likes yours can specifically benefit by joining in with a shared economy network:
- Reduce cost and increase profit margins
- Introduce a new stream of income through existing underutilized resources
- Gain access to a wider network of people who need what you have, or have what you need
- Position yourself to compete with larger organizations by rethinking your resources
- Take advantage of backend technology systems that can support your enterprise initiative
- Leverage the advantage of the platform provider’s PR and advertising
- An increase in your potential customer base that may also use your traditional products and services
- Create additional products and services that complement your resources for hire that might also be taken advantage of at time of hire
- Benefit from the cooperation instead of competition mindset
How to get your business started in this business model
There will be many ways you can get started. Where you start, will depend on what particular resources and assets you have available and can share. Once you have determined the resources available, research the appropriate platform providers. You can start with our list of shared economy platforms above.
When researching the platform providers, give attention to the terms and conditions to ensure you do (or are able to) meet them. They may have insurance policy and tax/business registration requirements.
One place to start is right here on SpareBizSpace.com. You can start sharing rooms, or business work spaces that you aren’t utilising every day.
Spare Biz Space joins the shared economy network
The sharing economy is facilitated by a community-based online platform focused on peer-to-peer sharing of assets and resources. Spare Biz Space seeks to become the preferred online platform and community for small business owners looking to share their spare work spaces for short term hire. You are invited to register on Spare Biz Space and list your business space or to find a business space near you.
If you’re interested in learning more about space-sharing, contact us today on +61 491 477 317 for information or SIGN UP FOR YOUR FREE SPARE BIZ SPACE ACCOUNT.
Note: For a complete guide and more tips like this follow @sparebizspace across social media channels. (Remember to say hi!)