From travel accommodations (Airbnb, VRBO) to transportation (Uber, Car2Go) or work (Upwork, TaskRabbit), the Collaborative Economy has disrupted many industries. Thousands of new opportunities have already emerged with successful revenue models based on memberships (Zipcar, Bag Borrow or Steal), service fees (Airbnb), and micropayments for usage (BIXI, BabyPlays).
The Sharing economy (also known as shareconomy or collaborative consumption) is a hybrid market model (in between owning and gift giving) which refers to peer-to-peer-based sharing of access to goods and services (coordinated through community-based online services). basically it enables people to get what they need from each other.
It is reinventing not just what we consume but how we consume.
The research and advisory firm Altimeter Group published a report, “The Collaborative Economy,” which outlines the landscape and its growth. The report highlights the necessity for businesses to take advantage of the collaborative economy. One conclusion is that the collaborative economy is becoming a part of the mainstream economy, and that businesses that do not leverage this model—either to make their operations more efficient, or to incorporate into their own revenue model—will struggle to compete.
Collaborative Consumption is consumer and community orientated, but its benefits are shared for businesses. First, it’s needed. Small businesses can struggle to build a business and they can’t afford unnecessary spending. Second, it is more efficient for them. It boosts their productivity, lowers barriers to entrepreneurship, and helps them maintain better relationships with their clients. Third, it’s based on Web technology, which can help to match up consumers and businesses, promote relationships based on trust, and to complete business transactions.
As companies start to redefine themselves as a bridge between individual users and the community, people will trust them more, and as a result they will begin to interact in different ways. This broader and deeper relationship provides an opportunity to offer more services, such as personalization.
Yocale is grounded in the principles of collaborative economies. By creating a large marketplace of service providers, we’re not only creating a valuable platform of shared resources and collected reviews and experiences, but also a strong interconnected network of referrals between businesses serving the same customers.
Adapting your business to the sharing economy means finding ways to collaborate with either complementary businesses to provide smarter, more in-depth service or collaborating for your customers to connect them with more of what they need.
Using the resources of combined information, complementary services and a deeper level of service relationship will increase your trust and value level to your customer. When your “know-like-trust” factor goes up, sales go up.
An example of this in the service industry might be:
- Joining or creating a referral network in your community.
- Sharing your office space for community events.
- Offering your customers valuable content in a monthly newsletter, that’s not just about your own service, but things that will make their lives better.
- Creating a group (Facebook) for your customers to share their experiences/questions/learnings not only with you but each other. Allow them to “swap” tips/ideas etc.
In the Shareconomy, business isn’t about staying secret or proprietary. As the collaborative economy grows, the more you can open your business to creating community connections and sharing knowledge, the more it will help you grow as a trusted resource. [bctt tweet=”In the Shareconomy, business isn’t about staying secret or proprietary. Create Communities & Share Knowledge to Grow.”]