How the gig economy has changed entrepreneurship
Posted on November 27th, 2016 by Chrissie Lightfoot
This is a guest post by Javier Gázquez
When it comes to business, the gig economy is nothing new. Even before the advent of the internet, short-term contracts, independent workers and brief engagements were commonplace. But it can’t be denied that the internet has opened up a whole new world of possibilities to those entrepreneurs and service providers who make their living on short-term partnerships. What’s more, with the right tools at their disposals, those working within the gig economy can now scale up and expand their business with minimal fuss.
Growing trends in the gig economy
As of 2016, it’s estimated that around a quarter of all workers in the US are engaged with the gig economy as their main source of income. By the turn of the next decade, this figure is set to more than double. In the European Union, there was a 45% increase in the number of independent workers from 2012 to 2013. These trends can’t be ignored, and as more and more individuals turn to the internet to connect with potential clients and income avenues, it’s a trend that will only continue.
It’s not just your everyday freelance who is working with the gig economy however. From content writers to link masters, ecommerce business to game developers, the internet serves as the perfect venue for engaging with and building business. For many of these individuals, the gig economy, with all its boons and drawbacks, is the norm.
A rise in low cost services are making it a lot easier for independent workers and smaller businesses to establish themselves and emerge as viable, if not thriving businesses. Many smaller start-ups begin in the home, cutting out the expense of rent on business premises, commuting costs and other extras. As high-speed internet becomes more affordable, accessible and reliable, even the smallest outfit can find itself competing with some serious competition.
Getting connected, staying in the conversation
It’s strange to think that only a few years ago, online scheduling, video conferencing and cloud storage and file sharing were something of a novelty. Nowadays, these things are commonplace, affordable and instantly accessible to everyone. These services are essential in the smooth-running of any business, whether it’s follow-up conversations with existing customers, or marketing tools to help identify new markets and leads.
The ability to instantly connect with thousands of potential clients with minimal hassle is one of the biggest changes within the gig economy. Sales tools can be utilised at relatively little cost, while maintaining strong and steady dialogues with potential audiences is easy thanks to the advent of social media and shift toward multiple devices and platforms. Even after you’ve identified and made connect with your market, social media is an indispensable asset that’s crucial in maintaining effective dialogue with your current market and clients, while strengthening your online authority and reputation.
The days when a simple stratus update or fresh blog post every few days would be enough are gone. Today’s internet entrepreneur needs to be tech savvy, fully engaged with the changes happening around them and ready to adapt to new developments to stay in the game.
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