If a small business owner wants to show up to a meeting in an upscale car, it is now within their means to order one within minutes using their smartphone. The burgeoning ride-sharing economy facilitates these experiences by allowing people to offer their car as a taxi of sorts.
This situation presents challenges for small businesses as luxuries tend to be of lower priority versus necessary operating costs like payroll, development and office space. With the advent of the sharing economy, small businesses now have low-cost solutions that will impress clients without breaking the bank.
Shared luxury at their fingertips
Not only does the end consumer benefit from scoring a relatively inexpensive ride in a luxury vehicle, but the car owner also benefits, generating income by providing their services on one of the many ride-sharing applications.
“Most of the population cannot afford a private driver. What we’re doing is relentlessly innovating to bring the price point down”.
Logan Green, founder of Lyft.
Sharing economy disrupting more than just taxi and limousine services
Small businesses can also benefit greatly from co-working spaces where operating costs have become split between multiple companies. This practice reduces monthly expenses such as rent, utilities, office supplies and storage for all companies involved.
When entrepreneurs and employees travel for business, sharing services can dramatically reduce accommodation costs. Instead of paying for expensive hotel rooms, small businesses can now avail of home sharing services, enabling the rental of full homes, extra rooms or even castles for any duration.
Giants of the sharing economy
Multiple billion-dollar companies have emerged from the sharing economy. Uber and Airbnb are titans. With a late 2017 investment from Softbank, Uber’s valuation jumped to about $48 billion. Airbnb’s 2017 financing raised over $1 billion, with this funding, it is now worth a purported $31 billion in itself.
This figure is remarkable for a company that was initially intended to fund the founders’ rent while they came up with their “big idea”.
“Airbnb was never meant to be the big idea. It was meant to be the thing that paid the rent so we could think of the big idea.”
Brian Chesky, CEO of Airbnb.
Numerous companies have followed suit, striving to be the next multi-billion-dollar company within the sharing economy. With this endless supply of new service offerings, smartphones have become bloated with multiple apps, some of which serve the same purpose.
The overload has led to inefficiencies and inconveniences for users in the sharing industry as it can be tedious switching from app to app.
ShareRing, a new blockchain technology company based in Australia, aims to solve this problem by developing an easy-to-use, consolidated application showing all of your favorite sharing services on one platform.
It is tokenised such that all of the goods and services exchanged on the platform are paid for using the company’s native token. This eliminates the hassles of currency conversion and international transaction fees.
What does this mean?
It means that a small business owner in Liverpool can book a home share in Tokyo and a limo for pick-up at the airport within a single application.
Small businesses can also list their services on ShareRing to grow their own business. The platform offers increased exposure and client reach through its established user base. It also offers companies the option to list and promote their services at minimal cost, allowing for a quicker return on investment.
”The bigger companies and standard rental businesses are not going to really build the community and ecosystem, so we want to give an opportunity for startups to get involved and help us build a sustainable business.”
Sharing economy offers endless opportunities for small businesses
Owning a small business comes with a need for significant amounts of capital to thrive. The sharing economy has produced an ecosystem in which small businesses can use upscale service offerings at a portion of the purchase cost.
These sharing services will continue to augment the capacity in which small companies can profitably operate their businesses.