The sharing economy affords businesses new opportunities to make better use of their resources, save money, and raise capital. 

Smart phones represent one of the several advances in information technology that have made the sharing economy possible. The sharing economy works by connecting people and information allowing for coordination that wouldn't otherwise be possible. This allows for on-demand access to a wide variety of products or services. The sharing economy reduces transaction costs and creates new possibilities for businesses and consumers where they previously might not have existed.

For example, a person who is out of town for a few days can list their apartment on an app and rent it out for the duration of their trip. Or a person who does not need their car for a few days can list it for rent. Before the sharing economy, arrangements like these would have been difficult to coordinate.

The power of the sharing economy is clear, but how can your business take advantage of the many benefits this new economic system has to offer?

Getting more out of your time and resources

One way is to look at resources you aren't always making use of. Space is a good example. Renting out parking space or work space can be an easy way to make use of otherwise empty space. Equipment or facilities are another possibility. Tools that your business doesn't always need can be rented out on a short-term basis.

If your business has spare merchandise that might otherwise go to waste, the sharing economy provides several ways to connect with potential customers via online markets. A restaurant, for example, might sell leftover baked goods directly on an online market.

Raising Capital

Raising capital is another possibility. Crowdfunding can be a useful complement or alternative to traditional investment. Rather than going to one investor for a large investment, crowdfunding allows entrepreneurs to raise capital from many small backers. Some forms of crowdfunding also double as a marketing tool allowing you to gauge interest in a business idea.

Saving Money

The sharing economy allows business owners to cut business expenses as well. Travel expenses could be cut through ride sharing and short-term rentals. Work can be contracted out on a short-term, or even per-task, basis to freelancers on the sharing economy.

At the same time many of the ways your business can profit by joining the sharing economy can allow your business to save money. For example through the use of shared spaces and short-term rental of equipment and facilities.

The sharing economy is an innovative field. It can reward businesses that can find imaginative approaches to share and collaborate. Read more about the many ways you can grow your business.