In the sharing economy the idea of creating businesses that harness the notion of “we” has never been hotter. By creating innovations that leverage technology and the unique passions and expertise of individuals, new successful businesses are cropping up at a blistering pace with the ability to change daily life.
Whether it is Postmates, the delivery app that blends the best of Task Rabbit and Seamless to reimagine on demand delivery, or zTailors which marries the best of the Uber model and my suit.com to extend the possibilities of bespoke tailoring, the sharing economy holds no limits on who can become an artist of business and a successful entrepreneur.
By following just a few quick guidelines, anyone with a unique passion that has scale, can share it with the world in ways that create new innovations and pockets of profitability.
1) Create a clear and unique story.
In today’s environment storytelling must become a business competency. Develop a concept and transform it into a story that immerses consumers in the idea. For example, Whistlepig is not just a whiskey, it’s the dream of two guys who moved to Vermont to fulfill their destiny of making bespoke spirits in a way that helped launch a renaissance for dark liquor. Clearly the brand is far more than a beverage.
2) Combine your passion + the power of we
Develop an idea that seeks to follow the winning formula of passion + the power of we. Postmates would not be nearly as successful as it is of it didn’t have a legion of businesses participating, and “Postmates” signed up to make the on demand deliveries they imagined a reality.
3) Small is the new Big
Remember that in today’s environment small is the new big. Success today is predicated on the idea of not being all things to all people, but rather finding one thing, and doing that one thing better than anyone else. For example Airbnb is a lodging company only. It has bridged over to media to help deepen and expand the experiences they offer, but they have not extended into travel transportation or travel booking agent in an attempt to create new profit centers. Keep your focus niche to survive and thrive.
4) Act global but think local
In today’s environment the flip side of the original act local think global mantra is true. Today, if you have a winning idea, the democratizing power of technology can easily catapult your business globally. However, remembering that local communities both online and off are the spark for growing any business is critical. Most successful sharing economy businesses such as Uber, TaskRabbit and Neighborgoods started in target cities to perfect their offerings before becoming global powerhouses. Hone your idea, customize it in ways that can be scalable on a local level, and then view the entire globe as your canvas of creation!
In the world of the sharing economy the most critical point is that if we remember that today’s innovations are powered by the we and not the me, there is nothing that we cannot imagine and create together.
Billee Howard is Founder + Chief Engagement Officer of Brandthropologie, a cutting edge communications consulting firm specializing in helping organizations and individuals to produce innovative, creative and passionate dialogues with target communities, consumers and employees, while blazing a trail toward new models of artful, responsible, and sustainable business success. Billee is a veteran communications executive in brand development, trend forecasting, strategic media relations, and C-suite executive positioning. She has a book dedicated to the study of the sharing economy called WeCommerce due out in Fall 2015 as well as a blog entitled the #HouseofWe dedicated to curating the trends driving our economy forward. You can read more about “WE-Commerce: How to Create, Collaborate, and Succeed in the Sharing Economy” right here!