Isn't it wild (and awesome!) how many people are entrepreneurs these days? Babson College even has an Entrepreneurship Program in their curriculum. People are finding they like to work for themselves, they like flexibility and they understand the harder they work, the more money they'll potentially earn.
And what's really spurring all of the newbie entrepreneurs we're seeing these days? One things stands out pretty clear: the proliferation of technology enablement. As a tech startup girl, it's pretty damn exciting.
The "Delivering Anything/Anyone" Apps
Uber and Lyft apps have really brought people out of the woodwork. If you can pass some sort of background check and you've got a nice car with some insurance, you're in! Oh you've got to be nice too.
By Uber's numbers alone there's now over 200,000 Uber drivers. From a recent poll of Uber drivers by Uber's Head of Research Jonathan Hall and Princeton University professor Alan Krueger, we learned that 8 in 10 cited that flexibility or being their own boss were huge factors in their satisfaction. Close to 77% have a college degree and 48% are 40-64 years old. More than 9 in 10 survey respondents cited "to earn more income to better support myself or my family" as a reason they joined and 25% rely on Uber as their full-time job. So it's not just college kids or retirees in their spare time it's people using this technology to support their lives.
Notwithstanding Uber's issues about paying people in California as consultants not full time employees, people not having the same insurance as taxi or limousine drivers and background checks potentially being "light", it's certainly put in everyone's mind that they can use a skill and an asset to make money in their spare, or full time.
And it's all about how your drivers are rated by your peers in the sharing economy isn't it? If an Uber driver gets less than 4 stars from riders they can be kicked to the curb. Conversely if the rider gets less than 4 stars the driver has the choice not to pick them up. We're all forced to be nice!
And it's not just people that are being delivered to places, it's food as well. I once found myself in a slight pinch and delivered lunch across town to my husband who was house-bound. Enter Uber Eats. Brilliant idea on Uber's part, lunch delivery between 10-2 when most drivers turn off the application. Now they get $12/hour.
DoorDash, another food delivery service app boasts that you can make up to $25/hour and on their site they quote: "We operate every day of the year. Work a few hours or every day, it’s up to you." Pretty nice if they can pay off what they say, although Glassdoor says otherwise. Either way the idea is great.
And you know when you get something delivered that needs a signature, or you order something and it might arrive while you're out of town? Or you always ship the heavy boxes to work only to have to lug them home? There's an app for that and it's called Doorman! The company hires background-checked drivers to deliver your stuff to your home by appointment as late as midnight. Delivery hours begin at 6pm so even those with dreaded 9-5 jobs can get their entrepreneur on at night!
TaskRabbit lets people who have downtime do anything they want to do. There are about 30,000 TaskRabbits who do tasks like moving, putting furniture together or running errands when you can't.
Book It Dano!
The Airbnb, VRBO, and Flipkey apps are making people a TON of money. People are making money renting out an unused room, and they're making money on their 2nd home. Sure, anyone can make money renting out the back bedroom in their flat (and many people make a LOT of money doing so) but now you can become your own travel and booking agent with these tools. And the tools make it easy to communicate with potential renters, check on their backgrounds and perform an entire transaction in minutes. If a booking agent is managing bookings for 10 properties and taking in 15% of the total, that could wind up being extra thousands in their pocket monthly!
Assist Me Please
We've uncovered an amazing target market for Dasheroo: virtual assistants. They take the virtual assistant to the next level. These guys do the mundane and menial tasks that you just don't want to do in your business and you don't want to hire full time for. So we're finding that a ton of Virtual Assistants are using business analytics tools like ours, Hootsuite, a plethora of email marketing tools like VerticalResponse and Campaign Monitor to manage marketing for a business owner who knows they need to do these ongoing tasks but doesn't have the knowledge or the time.
Hooray for technology enabling a whole new onslaught on entrepreneurs who maybe never thought they'd be able to make it on their own. Applications enable hundreds of thousands of people that new have the entrepreneurial spirit.