The gig economy is an economic environment where businesses hire independent contractors for short-term engagements and those contractors maintain mutable employers at ounce to build a full-time roster of work. This can also be referred to as ‘freelance’ work. With the established trend of digitisation, the gig economy is growing rapidly. Think of platforms like Fiverr, Airtasker and TaskRabbit as examples.
People use these platforms to get work done quickly and effectively at very low cost and limited liability and the contractors get a better work-life balance from the freedom and flexibility to accept or reject any opportunity that comes their way.
In the gig economy, businesses save money on resources (such as office space, equipment, training and employee benefits). Businesses can also take advantage of extremely skilled or sought after staff that would be too expensive to maintain as full-time staff but, for a short-term, can provide the same benefits. In a perfect situation, the economy is powered by a pool of independent workers that select jobs based on interest and monetary gain as opposed to accepting every offer they see to pay the bills.
The gig economy is directly related to another trend of ‘the sharing economy’ (think of Uber and Airbnb) as they both take advantage of digitisation and social networking to connect both parties.
But how can your business take advantage of this trend?
Small businesses are primed to take advantage of this kind of innovation as they can quickly hire employees to fill skill gaps. Say you operate an IT consultancy but have no experience with marketing, you can hire a marketing expert for a few hours a week to advertise your business. Using a targeted skill set could give your business the boost it needs for a nominal cost that you would not be capable of undertaking yourself. This also wouldn’t be enough work for a full-time staff member but for an external contractor, they can build a full-time schedule by juggling multiple clients.
Platforms like Lighstapp have been created to allow small business to take full advantage of skilled, available contractors in varied fields. There are also a vast array of options when it comes to who to hire. Graduates as an example can be much cheaper than a seasoned professional but can offer insight and innovation from the next generation of contractors. Recent graduates may also be skilled in areas that experienced professionals may have no knowledge of, such as social media or activations.
Sign-up for a company page on Lightsapp now to browse contractors waiting to help with your business roadblocks.