This week we are happy to host an article from the very talented Lucy Reed.
The Gig Economy
The gig economy has seen a meteoric rise, and it’s certainly not showing any signs of slowing. According to Forbes magazine, it’s predicted that by 2027, freelance workers will become the majority of the workforce. And they also report that 50 percent of millennial workers are already part of the gig economy.
What’s to like about the gig economy? Ask any gigging millennial, and they’ll tell you they aren’t fans of the traditional nine-to-five work day, and they prefer more flexible hours. They enjoy the personal freedom that comes along with this type of work. They love the variety of jobs they can perform, and they enjoy the independence that comes along with being their own boss.
But if you’re thinking of joining the gig economy, there are some downsides to consider. For example, gigging doesn’t come with traditional benefits like health insurance, so how will you insure your family? Will your finances be okay when work gets slow or inconsistent? And for those that are a little less self-motivated, setting and keeping your own hours can prove challenging.
But if you’ve given it careful thought and decided to enter the gig economy, here are some things you should consider.
Working Out of Your Home
A lot of work can be done from the comfort of your own home. These types of gigs include freelance writing, graphic design, and online tutoring. It doesn’t take much time or cost to get started, either.
- Pick a space in your home with plenty of room and natural light.
- Pick furniture that’s functional, not just for show.
- Splurge on a good chair.
- Choose a wall color you love.
- Accessorize thoughtfully and be sure to include one piece of motivational artwork.
- Hang floating file holders and utilize vertical filing cabinets for maximum storage.
Depending on what service you’ll be providing, one of the best ways for freelance workers to connect with real-time jobs is via the internet. According to Entrepreneur magazine, the top five freelance websites are: 1) Upwork, 2) Toptal, 3) Elance, 4) Freelancer, and 5) Craigslist. While USA Today magazine ranks their top five picks as 1) Rover, 2) Fiverr, 3) Upwork, 4) Babierge, and 5) Efynch. Check out these sites and look for work that fits your skills.
Providing Services in Your Community
There are plenty of businesses you can run right in your own neighborhood and surrounding communities, and these types of side hustles usually require little cost output and minimum time to get started. For example, run an ad in a neighborhood newsletter or put flyers up in grocery stores to offer these types of services.
Consider services where you’ll be able to turn neighbors into clients, such as:
- Pet sitting
- Dog walking
- Elderly care
Once you’re up and running with a few customers, be sure to use the best and least expensive marketing tool known to man—word of mouth. Ask your customers to share and promote your business with their friends.
If you like being crafty, there are plenty of opportunities to sell your goods to earn a living. Websites like Etsy, Bonanza, iCraft, and Ebay specialize in selling everything from handcrafted jewelry to custom-made T-shirts, bowties, and other wearables.
So you think you’re ready to start gigging like a millennial? Start today by considering what your skill or passion is. Figure out where it fits in your marketplace, whether that’s the entire country or just your neighborhood. Then get to work!
Meet the Founder
Jeff Whittle founded and launched Whittle & Partners in 2011. Before that, Jeff practiced law in Dallas for 15 years and has an additional 20 years of executive business experience. He has run businesses ranging from startups to 300-employee operations.