The ‘gig economy’ is booming – and doesn’t look to be going anywhere anytime soon. That’s good news! This new way of working is the perfect springboard for any entrepreneur and new startup out there.
What Is The Gig Economy?
It used to be that you graduated from school or college, found a job, and stayed in that job for life.
A few decades ago, you’d maybe move on through three or four jobs in your life.
Now, it’s commonplace for people to have a new job every few years – and often a ‘side hustle’ alongside.
The ‘side hustle’ is popular in the gig economy: many apps such as Deliveroo rely on self-employed ad-hoc workers, who’ll carry out tasks based on demand and available time. The same goes for new freelancers, such as graphic designers, who will take on ‘gigs’ of a company logo here, a menu design there – all for a bit of extra cash.
The gig economy has received some bad press in recent years, however. Some companies have seen this new willingness of people to take on self-employment (and the benefits such as flexible hours) as a chance to take advantage. For example, taxi service Uber came under fire for using self-employed drivers that, after costs, were earning less than the National Minimum Wage AND not receiving standard employee benefits such as sick pay.
Don’t let that put you off, though.
Why Is The Gig Economy Advantageous To Entrepreneurs?
These side hustles are how many entrepreneurs start out: they earn a reputation and build business while still earning a steady wage from the day job. When the time comes to go full-time, they’ve already established a client list.
The gig economy is perfect for savvy startups that need to find new clients – but make sure you’re not going to be taken advantage of by others. Remember to stand your ground: a common problem around the gig economy is the race-to-the-bottom rates new entrepreneurs will charge in order to secure work.
>>> Here’s how to respond when your client says you’re too expensive <<<
Three Ways To Make The Gig Economy Work For Your Startup
Now you know the ‘why’, it’s time to check out the ‘how’: how can you make the gig economy work for your startup?
Work Remotely And Save On Overheads
More and more companies are willing to hire freelancers and new startups without a physical office address. Even if you’re designing a logo for the Next Big Thing, you can just as easily do this from the corner of your bedroom at home as in a big office!
See Other Startups As Partners, Not Competition
The growth in new startups and an increasing number of ‘side hustlers’ means there’s a wealth of experience and skills out there that you can tap into, for free.
When you’re just starting out, look at other entrepreneurs as your new friends rather than your competition. Find out what skills you can trade, for free, to help build each other up – and provide valuable testimonials and referrals for each other, too!
Make The Most Of Short-Term Contracts To Build Your Startup Reputation Fast
The gig economy is full of must-do-now short-term jobs. While this isn’t a sustainable model for a business, it’s a great way to get started as an entrepreneur.
Take short contracts when you can, and you’ll quickly build up your portfolio and network. As your business (or side hustle) becomes more established, you can call on your contacts from the short-term jobs for either more lengthy contracts or valuable word-of-mouth referrals to new clients.