The sharing economy is the future. Many new successful companies have transformed a specific industry thanks to a sharing economy approach. Sharing economy, also known as collaborative consumption, is a trending business concept that highlights the ability (and perhaps the preference) for individuals to rent or borrow goods rather than to buy and own them.
At SpareSpace, we enable space owners to rent out the spaces they don’t use and provide an easy and low-cost way for companies and individuals to make use of unique spaces.
1) Think about something that has never been done before in your market. Be creative.
You can either think about something completely new in the sharing economy or offer a variation of an existing idea by adding some new features or by implementing it in another geographical area. If you think about Airbnb competitors like Onefinestay or Homeway, they differentiate by targeting a particular audience: families, luxury properties, etc.
2) Think about what people really need or “build up” a need.
No one would have thought to use Blablacar twenty years ago as sharing your car with strangers was considered unsafe; now people are panicking about not finding rides on the app when they are on the go. They invented a new way to travel and people came to like it. The more relevant the need is, the easier it will be to raise funding for your project.
3) Check the local regulations in your market.
The recent experience of Heetch, a French start-up, can prove the importance of this one. They were providing unlicensed drivers to offer cheap rides to consumers, on a one-off basis. The taxi drivers’ trade-unions took them to court for unfair competition. If you do not investigate potential legal constraints, you could be stopped on the path to success.
4) Make sure you’re providing an outstanding experience
A pleasant experience includes a multitude of different factors: from an appealing user interface to a customer service attentive to clients’ needs. If your client takes pleasure in using your product and if they feel special, they will be more likely to become a recurring customer. At SpareSpace, we do our best to find the best spaces and to create a unique experience in using and renting out un(der)-used spaces.
5) Build an active community
This is strongly linked to the previous point. Indeed, satisfied user and their experience can be considered as a word-of-mouth system, which is an important source of advertising for a startup. Social media are omnipresent in our lives and striving to create a strong and active online community is a way for entrepreneurs to assure more visibility for their companies. Content creation and interactions with consumers are necessary. Nowadays, the sharing economy is very closely associated with new technologies and social media. That’s why building a solid online strategy is a must.