Thanks to guest blogger Lucy from Gigmine for contributing this article for you on the ever growing share economy.

Getting started with a small business has become a lot easier in recent years, particularly with the rise of the sharing economy. In the sharing economy, you share the benefits of a good or service with others as a way to make income.

Some examples include Airbnb, a company that allows you to rent out space in your home to others. Other examples include ride-sharing like Uber, car-sharing that allows you to rent other people’s car, and coworking, which lets you share the costs of necessities like office space. Read more about the sharing economy here.

Pros and Cons of the Sharing Economy

These types of businesses have their share of benefits and drawbacks. Benefits include the flexibility of work schedule, the freedom from the traditional workspace, and seamless methods of payment. These types of businesses don’t require owners to put in a significant investment. They also provide a more sustainable use of resources, as Cebit.com reports.

However, the challenges of the sharing economy include safety concerns, increasing regulations on these industries, and negative effects on the local community. While work and convenience may be more readily available, remember that you are responsible for your own benefits and retirement.

Setting Up a Business in the Sharing Economy

The sharing economy has another advantage: You can dip your toes into a field before deciding if you want to create a full-fledged business out of it. Starting out as a side hustle will allow you to debate the pros and cons for yourself.

After that, you’ll need to learn how to expand that side hustle. This article from USA Today shares some of the most important ways to do that:

  • Set up a website and social media accounts. This is critical, as social media marketing can bring in leads you might not otherwise discover.
  • Run your business as efficiently as possible. This means the right software, apps, vendors, and contractors who can help you.

Setting Up Your Home Office

You are going to need to set up a home office in order to manage the administrative side of your small business. Here is some advice on how to handle that.

  • Purchase the best equipment. You’ll need a smartphone, a reliable internet connection, and a computer that can handle your needs.
  • Find the right space in your home. Be sure that you have privacy and a “no-go” space for friends and family, especially if you have small children.
  • Have a plan to deal with distractions. Schedule work hours and time for family and friends. Compartmentalising your time  will help you focus whether you are working, socialising, or relaxing.

Maintaining Your Small Business

As you manage your business, you’ll need to pay attention to the following:

  • Keep track of your expenses and income so you can report your taxes on time and file them properly. Invest in good accounting software to help or hire a reliable accountant.
  • Succeed As Your Own Boss recommends separating business and personal finances. This will help you with tracking as well as with any legal requirements.
  • Remember that you are now responsible for your own superannuation. It’s a great idea to identify a percentage of all income to be allocated to this.

Finally, remember that insurance and taxes will need to be considered as a business owner. Read these tips from H&R Block on the tax implications for the sharing economy.

The sharing economy has opened the door to small business opportunities for just about everyone. Making your way in this business can lead to economic freedom.

CareerSmart Mums helps mums to develop the practical skills and motivation they need to pursue a career they love which could include the very flexible share economy. You can sign up to the CareerSmart Mums monthly newsletter for information, resources and inspiration at www.careersmartmums.com.au.