The Reality of the Shared Economy
You may or may not realize it but the world is moving steadily towards a shared economy. And it’s not so much because the population is getting bigger but resources are getting scarcer (In fact, because of technology, we live in a society with unprecedented abundance than any other time in history – but that’s a topic for another time). The reason for the steady movement of society towards a shared economy is a connectivity – the internet.
The internet has allowed, not only instantaneous access to information, but also unparalleled access to resources and tools we can use to live a convenient life.
Think about it: 30 years ago when the internet was still in its relative infancy, computers are bulky, complicated and expensive machines. But in just a span of 10 years as the internet broadened and information became much more readily available, anyone who can read a manual can put a computer together at a fraction of the original cost. And after just 5 years, we don’t even need to use computers to access the internet anymore. Smartphones practically democratized the internet and put its power at the palm of our hands.
To put it in perspective: the smartphone you may be using to read this right now has almost 100,000 times more processing power than the computer used on the spaceship that put the first man on the moon. And we use the smartphone on a daily basis as a gateway to access all kinds of information, products and services.
One of the inevitable results of the democratization of the internet is the demonetization of some products and services. This has given rise to industry disruptors that have since taken a life of their own.
Grab, Uber and Lyft became popular because they’re cheaper and more convenient than taxi cabs and other traditional transportation.
AirBNB users are growing because it is cheaper than hotels and offers a much more unique experience.
Handy and TaskRabbit have made the search for home utility installation and repair services as well as residential cleaning and other allied services largely digital.
InstaCart has revolutionized the way people shop for groceries.
The driving force behind these new disruptors is the internet. The fact that these can be accessed using just your smartphone adds a level of novelty and innovation. Most of these disruptors were products of necessity. But over time, these have evolved into a unique economic movement known collectively as the shared economy.
Millennials are among the strongest advocates of the shared economy with their YOLO (you only live once) mentality. In fact, this has grown into a sub-culture and sub-ideology centered around the belief that access is preferable to ownership – a concept that’s clearly an offspring of the idea of the shared economy.
But it does not end there.
A lot of industries that have been existing pre-internet have slowly found their places under the umbrella of the shared economy.
Timesharing has always been a more inexpensive means of accessing vacation properties or resorts. And with the integration of internet-based features, timesharing is slowly becoming popular again and has found its way under the shared economy model.
Fast food has made the dining experience more economical, efficient, and accessible compared to more traditional restaurants. And now with the internet, fast food has become even more convenient with app-based ordering and delivery.
Other business models such as franchises, ecommerce, logistics and more have all begun to benefit, entirely or in part, from the shared economy. And the bridge that connects all of these together is the internet.
So what’s next? What commodity, service or product can get that proverbial shot of steroids from the internet and bring it under the fold of the shared economy?
The answer – manpower.
Shared Labor – The Future of Freelancing
Shared manpower or shared labor has been going on for quite some time now. We know it as freelancing.
There are currently 57 million freelancers in the US alone. And that number is climbing fast, not just in the US but in the whole world. In fact, freelancing is growing at such an increasing rate, Peerism.org predicts that by 2030, 80% of the global workforce will be freelancers.
But why would professionals want to abandon the security of working full-time for one company in order to freelance? The answer is freedom and flexibility.
The current pandemic has clearly shown us, there’s really no such thing as security of tenure when it comes to employment. Employees are dispensable commodities. Employees can be let go from a company they have spent half of their lives working for in a blink of an eye. Do you know which group of people are largely unaffected by the pandemic inasmuch as their work and livelihood are concerned? Freelancers.
Freelancers can earn as much or as little as they want. It all depends on their individual time management and actual work skills. And since they’re not contractually tied to a single company, they can take on as many clients as they can. So there’s rarely any financial question involved with freelancers’ work. And that’s what draws professionals to freelancing.
The concept of freelancing derives much of its meaning from the perspective of the worker:
- A freelancer is not contractually tied to a single company
- A freelancer gets paid proportionally to the amount of actual work done
- A freelancer can take in as many clients as he can serve
- A freelancer has control over his time
Freelancers usually serve multiple clients. These clients may or may not know it, but they’re actually sharing one freelancer between themselves.
When you look at the concept of freelancing from the perspective of the company management, the CEO, the entrepreneur, or the business owner, you get the idea of shared labor or shared manpower:
- You’re not contractually tied to the worker – so you can hire and fire as often as you want until you find the right talent
- You only pay for actual services rendered – no downtimes, no labor lulls, no more paying for people who just drink coffee and chat all day, and no long-term benefits
- You may take on as many projects as you want to and just hire as many freelancing teams as you need to
- You have control over time and dollars spent per project
When you open your eyes to the possibility of shared labor, you’re also opening yourself to the possibility of increased operational capability for your company.
Just think about it: Not all your employees work the full eight hours of their workday. Smart ones will figure out how to do eight-hours worth of work in four. The lazy ones will drag their feet through every task. But you still pay the full eight hours of each workday, plus long-term benefits. Of course, you have employees who work the full eight hours of each workday. These don’t fall under the category of workers who can work freelance.
What if there’s a way for you to replace your less productive employees with freelancers whom you only have to pay for actual work rendered? So instead of paying a regular full-time employee a monthly salary of $4,000 (wherein actual work rendered would only amount to an average of 80-100 hours per month), you hire a freelancer for $20 an hour and have him do the work instead. Makes sense, right?
And while we’re at it, let’s take it a step further.
What if you can conduct your business operations in such a way wherein you only keep a bare minimum of full-time employees under your own payroll? What if, instead of hiring just one freelancer, the bulk of your operation is done by a full freelancing team? And what if you can hire one freelancing team to work on one project, and another team to work on another project? Can you imagine how much you can save on payroll costs? Can you imagine how much more productive your business can become once you start to scale this?
And that’s not all.
Once you transition to using freelancing teams in your operations, you also cut down your need for physical workspace. Most freelancers work offsite. That means, instead of needing a workspace good for 50 people, you would only need an office for 10 because your freelancing teams either work from home or from your local Starbucks.
On the part of the freelancing teams, won’t they be at a disadvantage for working less hours? No, because less hours of work for one project means they have plenty of time on their hands to take in more clients. More clients, more work. More work, more pay.
You actually don’t have to imagine this anymore. Many companies are transitioning to this set up especially in light of the pandemic.
Remote Work is the New Normal
What COVID-19 taught us is that the physical office is obsolete.
Many companies right now have been forced to allow their employees to work from home so that they can continue operations. Most of these companies would have never thought of doing this back in January of 2020. But do you know what they’ve all realized after several months of doing this? They discovered they don’t need an actual office to continue operations. Most of them realize now that entire building floors of office space are just wasted resources.
On the other hand, employees who have been sent home to work remotely have, by now, discovered they can do eight-hours worth of work in as little time as possible. Actually, most have already started to moonlight for other opportunities.
The bottom line is that working from home is the new normal and as a thinking CEO, entrepreneur, or business owner, you need to start thinking of ways to use this to your advantage, not just to lessen overhead expenses, but, ultimately, increase your operational capability.
This is the extraordinary opportunity presented by freelancing teams – the next evolution in business staffing.
Shared Freelancing Teams: The Next Evolutionary Step
One thing you need to understand before moving forward is that hiring individual freelancers to form a team is different from hiring already-formed freelancing teams. While the concept is similar, the application and total advantages differ greatly.
As stated earlier, the biggest advantage you can get from using freelancing teams is financial savings. You’ll only have to pay for actual work rendered and you’ll have access to more skilled professionals you may need for your operation at a lesser cost.
Leveraging shared freelancing teams also means you save on workspace. Some companies who have started deploying shared freelancing teams have shrunk their office space requirements from entire building floors to single office units that can house their top-tier management positions.
When choosing a freelancing team, start by looking at what skills you need in your normal operation. Do you need a web designer, a web developer or a full-stack developer? Do you need a graphic artist, a motion graphics designer or a video editor? Do you need a copywriter, a creative writer or a technical writer? Once you have a list of required team members, you can start looking at available teams online.
Make sure you’re hiring a freelancing team that actually knows what they’re doing. How do you spot them? An effective way is to have your prospect do a test project. An easy example will be a simple Facebook ad campaign. You may require the team to come up with a suite of ads that may include some static image ads, carousel ads and/or a video or motion graphic ad. You can initially set the timeline and have them work their magic. If they’re able to come back on time with their output, complete with ad copy and launch strategy, you just found a winner.
But the real beauty of using freelancing teams is scalability. Once you’re familiar with using one freelancing team for a project, you can start to scale up. You can actually hire one freelancing team to work on one project and another team to work on another project. The top tier management team you kept around from your original operations can help you manage your deployed teams.
Imagine how much more you can accomplish with freelancing teams.
Now the question, I know, that’s running in your mind is, “Where can I find such a team of freelancers?”
You’ve actually found it already. We’re called C9 Freelancer.
C9 Freelancer is a company that specializes in putting together specialized teams of battle-tested industry professionals to fit your company’s needs. Our freelancing teams have been working together for some time now and already have several completed projects under their belts. We know how to work together like a well-oiled machine.
C9 Freelancer was built with scalability in mind. It doesn’t matter if you have a small or big project. It doesn’t matter if you have a short-term or a long-term project. You have access to C9 Freelancer’s full suite of freelancing professionals.
And when we say a “full suite of freelancing professionals”, we mean a team that includes a dedicated account manager or project manager, a web designer and developer, a copywriter, graphics designers, motion graphics, video editors and more. You can even mix and match professionals to fit your needs.
Our service packages range from Startup for $99/month (8 consumable professional hours), Standard for $499/month (40 consumable professional hours), Pro for $999/month (80 consumable professional hours), and Pro Max for $1,497/month (120 consumable professional hours). Regardless of the package you choose, you have access to the full team’s capability. And if you happen to exceed your consumable hours, additional work will just be for as low as $12.50 per extra hour. Nobody can beat this value!
C9 Freelancer teams know how to work as a single unit towards a singular goal. That means we’ll spare you logistical and management headaches. You simply call us to talk to our account specialist. You will be asked about the project details and we’ll help you estimate your project completion time. Once you’re in agreement, you pay the service package that suits your needs and off to the races you go.
So, are you ready to push your company’s operation into the new normal and grab the challenges and opportunities of our changing world by the horns? Talk to one of our account managers now so we can see how C9 Freelancer can help you achieve your goals today.