How your startup can take advantage of the sharing economy

Getting your startup off the ground is no mean feat. The emotional strain is matched in spades by financial woes. Alongside courting investors, payouts, licenses and tax there is also that very basic stress of running your business day to day. It can often feel like a losing battle, with input tending to fall short of output.

You will have likely heard mutterings of the “sharing economy” by now; politicians and celebrity economists alike have heralded it as the future of modern economics. However “sharing” is not just promising new form of consumerism but a radical way of helping your business attain its maximum efficiency. Here are three ways that you can use the sharing economy to cut daily costs for your start-up.

Borrow what you need and Rent what do don’t on Fat Lama

When it comes to your company’s promo, or media, there is usually two options, either you employ an external agency to manage it for you, or you invest in all the equipment, which can costs thousands, and run it yourself. However if you want that autonomy but don’t want to spend the money then start using Fat Lama. A peer-to-peer rental platform that specialises in photography and filming equipment, Fat Lama has a vast brochure of anything and everything you would need to shoot your own promotional video. It’s incredibly simple to sign up, all you need is a debit card and your ID and works out of you local area, or city so the logistics of renting are fairly straightforward.

Conversely, if you are a company that has decided to invest in technical equipment, for the site it not limited to photography, then you can list then on the website and rent them out as a business. If you are a music studio with a PA, or a photographer, or even if you just have tools kicking about the office, listing them on Fat Lama could pad out your profits every month and could even pay for team building nights, or the Christmas party. With lenders making up to £3,700 per month, getting involved could end up having quite a large impact on your company.

Use Airbnb when on business trips

We all use it when on holidaying but how many of you know that the accommodation service has a separate page designed specifically for business trips? Usually putting your team up in a hotel costs and arm and a leg and as they are eating out for every meal the expense can quickly become unmanageable for a start-up. Airbnb on the other hand will not only lower the cost of business trips but also provide bespoke analytics for you and your team whilst you are travelling. Your business profile will tell you exactly where your team is in the world and will also monitor there spending, taking the hassle out of expenses for both parties. Moreover all of your outgoings on Airbnb are presented in handy digests that save you having to do the addition yourself.

Rent Your Offices with Vrumi

Space is the most expensive commodity in a city and for a small business it can be a killer. Looking for your first office space, or even just a conference room for meeting with investors, your are at the mercy of unregulated agencies that can charge you pretty much whatever they want. However a new peer-to-peer platform has emerged and changed all of this. Vrumi started by Roddy Campbell, who, after being treated for an injury began renting his front room out to a practicing chiropractor. Now Vrumi boasts an impressive selection of anything from banquet halls to whole office floors, all rented by the owners for a more flexible rate. As you are dealing with people rather than agencies, the transaction is more negotiable and you can secure yourself something that is perfectly suited to you and your cohort.

This article was written by Tim Slater