How to use the gig economy to grow your business

As technology continues to evolve, the way we operate and manage our businesses also has begun to change. The accessibility of mobile apps, the internet, and flexible work environments has created a new niche of workers: gig workers.

With the growth of the gig economy, people are better able to diversify their resumes, have more motivation to pursue their hobbies and interests and make some extra cash.

This trend can be extremely beneficial for new companies and entrepreneurs that do not have the resources to hire a full team of personnel. The problem is, however, many companies do not have the proper procedure to leverage this new network of workers effectively.

That is why we created a guide for new businesses that are looking to effectively leverage the gig economy. From paid search advertising to accounting, there is someone, somewhere willing and able to do the work you need completed.

Benefits of the Gig Economy

The major benefit of gig-hosting websites such as Upwork or TaskRabbit is that employers can focus on their core competencies while hiring help in areas that the company has yet to hire a full-time position for. Especially for companies that do not have the resources to staff full-time marketing, web development, or accounting teams, the gig economy is a perfect way to complete necessary operational processes.

Leveraging the Gig Economy

There are many freelance websites that an entrepreneur can choose from. Before your company commits to hiring any talent, it is important to:

Identify an opportunity

Are there parts of your business that don’t need full-time staff? Roles that are high volume on occasion, such as customer service, retail, or delivery drivers are great for gig workers. There’s also a great business reason to switch to gig work for certain roles: your business will likely save money from not having to employ full-time workers for roles that have a lot of dead time, and you’re likely able to pay these gig workers a better wage per hour. Gig workers can also be hired during a peak season for just a short time, plus this will help relieve the extra work stress from your existing employees.

Research the right gig companies and set up a budget

The gig economy benefits both companies and workers from a monetary standpoint, but you’ll have to make sure you’re using the right medium to find your workers. Make sure you research the fees that are charged, as well as whether there’s a vetting process for the workers. There may also be tax and legal ramifications depending on where your business is operating. Last, but not least, set a budget! When you’re hiring a lot of hourly workers, it can all add up, so make sure you’re keeping track of your gig worker expenses.

Test before you roll out a big project

Making sure your business is scalable is an essential part of growth. Try a small batch of projects first before going all-in right away. This way, you can learn about what to watch out for instead of starting on a big project and having to backtrack when one part of the process isn’t working out well.

Use the same ‘gig’ worker as often as possible

Finding reliable and quality staff is tough for any company, in any industry. If you find a good worker who consistently delivers top notch work, don’t hesitate to use them again and again. This is also advantageous from a business perspective because you’ll save time on explaining the work as well as the onboarding process. Some companies who use gig workers even give raises after a certain number of hours worked in order to offer some incentive to great gig staff.

Don’t be afraid to switch up the vendor 

Companies sometimes get comfortable and want to stay with the same provider of staff. While it’s great to keep specific staff, comparing and switching vendor or marketplace has at least two advantages. First, trying out a new vendor often comes with discounts, as most vendors want you to try their product before charging you the full amount. This can save a business money. Second, some vendors attract specific types of clientele, and it could be a good idea to gain a wider audience for your open gig positions.

Analyze full cost of projects

It’s tempting to just look at base costs, such as salaries paid to gig workers and fees associated with using vendors, but there are side costs as well. Things like screening resumes, talking to potential candidates, onboarding, and answering questions, are all aspects of using gig workers. Make sure to set up your budget after considering all costs to avoid having to use

The Growth of Gig Jobs

If you are considering using gig workers for your business, keeping these points in mind will help you transition efficiently while saving on costs. More and more workers are picking up gig jobs, and we predict that this trend will only continue.

This guest blog was written by Emily Banks. She is a Bay Area Native who got tired of SF’s cold beaches and decided to move to San Diego. She is currently the editor for 365 Business as well as a digital marketing expert for Texas Hard Money. When she is not typing away on her office keyboard, she can be found eating street tacos in the sunshine.

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