Consumers have the ability to share almost anything in today’s economy, including houses, cars and clothing. You can also take advantage of the sharing economy when you start a peer-to-peer (P2P), business-to-business (B2B) or business-to-crowd company.
What is the Sharing Economy?
Sharing brands, including Uber and Airbnb, grow annually, in part because 68 percent of people like the idea of renting their resources, services and goods for a short time, and 66 percent of people are willing to rent those items. These consumers understand that sharing offers numerous social, economic and environmental benefits. If you want to tap into the growing trade and swap market, consider 10 ideas.
Diamonds, watches and other jewelry accent special occasion outfits but can cost a small fortune. As an alternative, consumers can rent jewelry from Adorn or Borrowed Time Watch Company. Consider starting your own jewelry rental company to equip consumers with beautiful accessories, including vintage items, precious gems or costume jewelry, for any occasion.
Many men and women have closets full of clothing they no longer wear or only wear occasionally. Companies like Vinted offer buy, sell and swap options while Gwynnie Bee provides a clothing subscription service. Sharing clothing allows people to clear out their closets, find great clothes on a budget and make extra money. You could also start a clothing rental company that specializes in formal wear, special occasion outfits or work clothing.
3. Sporting Goods
Consumers who enjoy skiing, biking or surfing may not indulge in their sport every day. With a sporting goods rental company like Spinlister or Rent It Today, they can share their equipment and love for fitness and fun. Rent bikes, skis, surfboards, yachts, or golf clubs through your new sharing business or select a sport that’s popular in your area or one that participants nearby enjoy.
In busy downtown areas, near transportation hubs or during the holiday season, parking can be in high demand. Renting parking spaces through websites like Parkatmyhouse offers convenience to consumers and provides the parking space owners with extra money. Start a parking share company in your community to improve convenience and maximize resources.
Students can save money and enhance their education when they take classes through an education sharing site such as Khan Academy, Coursera or Udemy. You can open a similar company and enhance K-12 school classes or teach skills like visual design, cooking or management.
Hiring someone to pick up dry cleaning, edit your promotional videos or walk the dog makes life easier. TaskRabbit operates an errand sharing service, and Rover connects dog owners with private pet sitters. You, too, can connect local consumers with an errand service, or create a specialized service that meets the unique needs of aging seniors, new parents or college students.
Consumers who don’t have time to clean their house, business or vehicle may hire a housekeeping service. Your cleaning company could connect consumers with general housekeepers, organizing specialists or restoration cleaners who take on tough tasks like mold removal or restorative cleaning after natural disasters.
Instead of tossing extra food after a party or letting food in the fridge spoil during vacation, people can share their food via an app like Olio. Another resource, Cropmobster, connects farmers with people in need. These and other food sharing options reduce waste, conserve resources and fight hunger. If you’re passionate about these benefits, begin a local food sharing business.
9. Office Space and Equipment
Sharing office space, furniture and equipment like printers and phones maximizes a company’s budget and gives freelancers affordable workspace options. Up to 43 percent of people in the U.S. will work as freelancers by 2020, and you can improve flexible working conditions, enhance collaboration and support freelance and small business owners with a B2B sharing company.
Individuals or small business owners who struggle to secure personal or business financing need creative options. Lending companies, including Lending Club, connect peers who need and have money. With affordable interest rates and low transaction and service fees, a financial sharing company is a smart idea if you want to help others meet their financial goals.
Why Start a Sharing Business
The sharing economy is growing, and now’s a great time to join in the trend and meet a need. Your business will provide numerous social, economic and environmental benefits to society. Plus, you save money thanks to reduced overhead and administration costs. This year, consider starting a business and take advantage of the growing sharing economy.