Author Marcus Lansky of Abilitator
Image via Pixabay
Today’s workplace looks vastly different than those of our parents. More young adults are opting for self-employment in a world aptly named the “sharing economy.” This form of entrepreneurship essentially cuts out the middleman and allows you to bring your services directly to the consumer.
There is an almost limitless number of sharing economy employment opportunities. These range from dog walking to driving tipsy tourists to renting your spare bedroom. If you’re considering leaving the corporate world behind for this new wave of professional endeavors, you’ve come to the right place. Here, we will share a few tips on how to grow your business, mistakes to avoid and how to create a functional home office. 
Getting online
Your first task as an entrepreneur is to create a space for your business. Twenty years ago, this meant renting a building and putting a sign on the front door. Now, an online presence – website, social media, reviews, etc. – is the new brick-and-mortar. Your website serves as an anchor for all of your marketing activities, explains domain registrar GoDaddy. It’s where you will conduct the bulk of your business and helps you build credibility and authority.
Begin by choosing a business name and domain that matches it as closely as possible. Set up your Facebook, Twitter, Google My Business, and other outside accounts, taking steps to ensure your name matches across all platforms. Don’t assume that your customers will instinctively know that “Jim’s RideShare” is the same as “Jim’s CarSharing.” Your digital branding must remain consistent.
Cash crunch
It takes money to run a business. Once you begin to earn an income, you should invest much of your initial profits back into your business. If, for instance, you run an Airbnb, consider upgrading your accommodations with the new mattresses or updated decor. This will not only help you attract a new clientele, but also may allow you to rent your property more often and at a higher fee. CNBC notes that one of the biggest businesses a small business owner can make is to make poor judgments with finances.
Happy customers come back
Before you can truly be successful, you’ll need to hone your customer service skills. Kissmetrics explains, “Nurturing relationships with your customers is a crucial part of growing a successful business. In this age of automation and innovation, caring for your customers has never been more important.” Listen to what your customers want and tailor your business to suit their needs. This might mean changing your schedule to accommodate international graphic design clients or investing in new equipment to expedite orders. 
An efficient home office
The ability to work from home is perhaps the biggest benefit of operating a gig-based business. But it’s also the most difficult aspect to adjust to. It may be necessary to create a workspace that helps you stay productive. A distraction-free office is one that’s separate from the rest of your home and allows you to be comfortable during working hours, which you should absolutely establish.
When you need a hand
If you plan correctly, keep customers happy and learn to manage money, your business will grow. And this may leave you stretched a little thin. If you don’t want to hire an employee, there are numerous business services that can help you keep things running smoothly. A fulfillment service, for example, can help you pack, ship and store products ordered on your website. Entrepreneur explains that fulfillment services can also take care of credit card processing and act on your behalf to manage your inventory and handle customer returns. This will keep you from trying to take on too much on your own, free up space in your home office and eliminate the hassles of driving back and forth to post packages each day.
If you are willing to put in the extra work and focus on ways to make your business better for your customers, you will succeed in the gig economy.