Technology has made The Sharing Economy Possible. For example, smartphones facilitate finding out about a room to rent for two nights in an apartment in Stamford, Connecticut. However, at its core and where businesses can profit and nonprofits can enhance their brandnames and fundraising, The Sharing Economy is a mindset.
In its cover story on The Sharing Economy, THE ECONOMIST (subscription required) hammers that this way of conducting transactions gives access to just about everything to just about everyone. On a commercial level, Zipcar brought that maintream in college towns. Students had access to cars to run errands or take day trips without the resources or responsibility of owning a car. More recently Airbnb gives tourists access to great lodging at a much cheaper rate than traditional hotels do.
How can you leverage the sharing mindset to generate better outcomes for your enterprise or nonprofit? Here are three tips:
Collaborate. You have down cold how students get admitted to elite educational institutions. The neighbor’s public relations firm has the resources to prepare the application materials and coach the interview process. Put that together and you both can be more successful, without having to “own” any additional lines of business. The additional payoff is the partnership can expand the brand identities of both.
Be more opportunistic than strategic. You might not have planned to lease the back of your hair salon to the psychic whose space flooded. But you do. Soon enough you’re passing on customers to each other. The local paper covers this match. Eventually, you both need more square footage.
Parachute in and help. Networks often are built on the pooling of different assets. At the top of the list are information, skills, and contacts. The new solo lawyer can’t attract clients. You tutor her on how to market, re-do her website for organic search (SEO), and bring in your friend who was busted for a DUI as her first case. As her practice flourishes, she refers business to you and others on your network.
How much you can gain and give through The Sharing Economy depends on how much of a shift you can make from the status quo to out of the box ways of approaching individual and organizational success.
Kate Sirignano invites you to a complimentary consultation for your “Sharing Economy” inititiaves, partnerships, marketing, public relations, special events, and social media. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org, 203-404-4868.