Leverage the Gig Economy to Launch Your Real Business

By Chris Porteous,
business.com writer
Mar 15, 2019
Image Credit: Tero Vesalainen/Shutterstock

Gig economy apps can help you earn the money you need to start your dream business.

It should come as little surprise that many aspiring entrepreneurs are turning to ridesharing, delivery and other gigjobs to supplement their income and establish a professional network for themselves. After all, Lyft and Uber are clearly establishing themselves as the transportation leaders that will come to define the future, scooping up as many drivers as possible to meet the ever-growing demand of customers who want to get to where they’re going as soon as possible. 

With those high earners being the most likely consumers to use ridesharing apps like Uber and Lyft, struggling entrepreneurs may find ridesharing to be an astonishingly effective way of bolstering their personal network and drumming up some investor interest. Some mistakenly believe that ridesharing apps are largely used by those just trying to enjoy a night out on the town, but, in reality, many of those who enter your car will be accomplished business professionals always ready to add another friend to their contact list.

If you want to leverage ridesharing so as to more effectively launch your real business, you need to understand that this endeavor can backfire if you’re not dedicated to proving an ideal user experience. Customers who leave your rideshare experience disappointed with the cleanliness of your car or the friendliness of the driver are unlikely to become future customers of your real business, after all. That's why it's imperative to remember that you can't ignore your ridesharing customers in the pursuit of launching a real business if you don't want to accidentally tarnish your future brand.

Marketing your forthcoming business through your side gig

So, how do you go about actually using your side gig to increase the buzz surrounding your rising business? You can't be afraid to chat, as many customers you encounter will be perfectly willing to hear about your forthcoming company or give you some feedback. You should also carry a business card with you wherever you drive; you’ll be surprised at the number of customers who are intrigued in your potential and ask about a way to contact you in the future. 

Many Uber drivers improve their user reviews by including complimentary water bottles or snacks for their customers, for instance. By doing this (but supplementing in your products or services for snacks) you'll seriously get people hooked onto your products before they even hit the open market. Never underestimate the value of giving out free samples.

Finally, learning about the importance of saving and generating additional income for yourself through ridesharing can be the difference between your business surviving or crashing within its first few years.

Generating the capital you need

Starting a business is no easy feat, not only because it requires creativity and perseverance, but also because it demands a great deal of capital if you're really hoping to succeed. If you ask many aspiring entrepreneurs why they haven't quit their day jobs and started their own companies, they'll likely tell you that they simply don't have access to the funding they need.

Driving for services like Uber or Lyft, delivering for Doordash, or completing gigs on Handy, are a fantastic way to earn some cash on the side. There are a number of resources out there that provide great driver advice for new gig economy workers, and can help if you’re struggling to pony up the needed amount of funds to get your shop off the ground.

If you're going to make money ridesharing or working in the gig economy, you'll want to listen to the advice of the experts who have used it to start their own businesses in the past. Many top Uber drivers have put forward their thoughts on how to capitalize on your time driving by focusing on the big fish clients and rush hours when payments are the biggest. With an injection of much-needed capital and some additional marketing under your belt, you’ll likely see your real business taking off in no time. 

Gig economy apps are nearly unparalleled in their ability to introduce you to a diverse series of new prospective investors and customers, so don’t hesitate to hand out your business card or offer free samples when shuttling travelers to and fro. Before long, you’ll find that all your real business ever needed in order to launch was a little boost from your ridesharing side hustle.

I'm a serial entrepreneur and owner of three internet ventures, including My SEO Sucks. A contributor to ZeroHedge, Entrepreneur.com, Forbes, Inc.com, and dozens of other media outlets, I believe in SEO as a product. I developed a proprietary technology fueling the #1 rankings of My SEO Sucks clients. In guest speaking ventures across North American, I advocate for organic search traffic as the backbone of any comprehensive digital marketing strategy.
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