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Need some help? Tips on sharing for your small business


The idea of a sharing economy - where peers share access to goods, services, and resources - isn’t new, but access to digital technology has made it significantly easier for individuals and businesses to pool their means and work more smartly with what, collectively, they have got.

If you’re a smaller business owner, sharing with others in a similar position might just help both your bottom line and your output - but what aspects of your business could you share to help improve its fortunes?

Office space

It could be that you have an office space that is bigger than you need, or have a requirement for an office outside the home without a substantial budget to pay for it, so why not share? You could turn your office into a workhub for small firms and sole-traders or, if it’s you that needs to find space, why not look for an environment like this in which to work? It could be cheaper than leasing a whole office.

The added bonus is that, if you work in related or complementary trades, there’s likely to be opportunities for new business from sharing a space.

There are also lots of websites to help you buy and sell very short-term lets of your desk and meeting room space online (Neardesk is one example). Usually, the trade comes from people away from their regular place of work who need something more formal than setting up in Costa for the afternoon.

Raising capital

Do you have a great idea or project that you want to get off the ground but are limited by a lack of funds? Turning to the internet could be the solution. There is now a wealth of reliable and professional sites set up to help projects raise funding through crowdsourcing - KickStarter and GoFundMe are just two. And beyond crowdsourced capital, a world of peer-to-peer finance has also emerged online to help businesses seek out further alternative sources of funding.

Forget the small stuff – outsource it

One of the issues many small businesses struggle with is time. There just aren’t enough hours in the day to wade through the little jobs, let alone tackle the bigger, more important tasks. If this is your situation, why not get rid of those little jobs in one fell swoop by sending them outside the company? There are many online sites now where tradespeople will submit bids for your jobs at competitive prices. Simply log-on, upload details of your requirement, and outsource with ease!

The trick to successful sharing is really a matter of identifying those functions or issues that fall into one of two arenas: if something is a pain point it might be lessened through sharing, equally if you have an abundance of something else, sharing it might help draw additional revenue or productivity.