How to Join the Booming Gig Economy

This week we are happy to host an article from the very talented Lucy Reed. 

Lucy Reed has been starting businesses since she was a kid, from the lemonade stand she opened in her parent’s driveway at age 10 to the dog walking business she started while in college. She created GigMine because she was inspired by the growth of the sharing economy and wanted to make it easier for entrepreneurial individuals like herself to find the gig opportunities in their areas.  

 

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.

 

Be sure to pay careful attention to creating a work space you’ll want to spend time in. The experts at HGTV offer these tips:

 

  • 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
  • Babysitting
  • Elderly care
  • Landscaping
  • Tutoring

 

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.

 

Getting Creative

 

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!

 

 

 

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