How To Make Money In The Sharing Economy
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How To Make Money In The Sharing Economy

One of the first things we learn in school
is to share, and with the sharing economy predicted to be worth $335 billion by 2025,
that simple classroom lesson might just make you some serious cash.
Whether sharing homes, cars, or even goats (we’ll tell you about that later), it wasn’t
until 2008 that the sharing economy really took off. It meant that customers weren’t
just consumers anymore; they themselves could become vendors and sell temporary access to
pretty much anything. Lucky for budding entrepreneurs, the sharing
economy is making peer-to-peer commerce the norm. Which begs the question: do you have
anything worth sharing? Even if you haven’t heard of the sharing
economy, you’ve probably already participated in it. From ride-sharing to couch-surfing,
this new style of business is all about providing short-term access to goods and services. So far, the sharing economy has been successful—maybe too successful. There’s a fear that it’s growing too fast and threatening established
industries and businesses. It’s not just services like taxis and hotels that are being
reshaped by the sharing economy, but a range of industries from appliances, cosmetics,
and even camping gear. So if you’re only going to use something
a few times, why buy it? Well, that’s exactly what Rachelle Snyder and her partner wondered
when they created Arrive, a company that provides access to premium outdoor gear for a fraction
of the retail price. “We decided to launch Arrive because we
knew that the sharing economy and the experience-driven consumers were becoming more and more prevalent.
We’ve been around for 2 years and have been growing pretty rapidly.” If marketed effectively, even the wildest
ideas can make some dough in the sharing economy. And we mean anything: have you ever needed
a goat but didn’t want to buy one? Well, Rent-a-Ruminant, a business based out of the
Seattle area, will loan you goats to trim your lawn so you don’t have to burn gas
with a mower. “You know, it’s taken a while to get it
going but every year it just gets better and better and better. That to me shows it’s a
success. And I am getting more and more franchises in different parts of the country.” Most sharing-based businesses have three things
in common; they use some element of technology to make an existing industry more convenient,
they make it cheaper by cutting overhead and management costs, and they’re often more
environmentally sustainable. So how could these three factors affect the
restaurant industry? Dog-walking? Even clothing? This is where Angela Pastor can provide some
insight. She founded The Fitzroy, a company that offers affordable dress rentals for special
occasions. She believes new businesses have to be sustainable if they hope to stick around. “We think the sharing economy is completely, the way of the future. That kind of thinking, I think, is more forward-thinking
than like the old way of just everything for me and I need to own. I think people, especially
young people, are realizing it doesn’t need to work like that anymore.” Considering about half of American millennials
prefer to fork over cash for experiences instead of possessions, it’s clear that they’re
the driving force behind the sharing economy. And with a shocking 80% of our belongings
being used less than once a month, this looks like a step in the right direction. And if you’re an entrepreneur who needs
a little help getting your idea off the ground, there are sharing-based companies for exactly
that. From crowdfunding to businesses that link borrowers and lenders directly, you no
longer have to rely on big business to support your idea.
So, if the future of business is in sharing, your next idea might just get you a big share
of the profits. P.S. you might want to get started now by
sharing this video.

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