Whether you call it the “gig” economy or the “on-demand” economy it’s really the same thing. Today technology is changing the way we look at products and services, providing ways to get the services you need right now by cutting out much of the corporate overhead in between. Services that used to be reserved for the wealthy are now available for the masses.
When it comes to the gig economy you can find a host of services to simplify your life and alternatives to just about anything you can imagine. With the unemployment rate dipping to 5%, making money in the gig economy is somewhat easier now than when there were millions out of work. The advantage is you can work during your spare time and at your own pace. You’d be surprised that, for just about anything you do well, there’s someone willing to pay for it.
Rent a Spare Room On AirBNB
Spare rooms, condos, townhouses, apartments and even boats can be rented out on AirBNB. It’s like being a landlord, except on a shorter time scale and you can reserve days for yourself. You’ll have the occasional bad renter, just like any landlord, but AirBNB’s rating system means the worst renters quickly get screened out. The only caution with AirBNB is because it competes directly with hotels and resorts, many of which have much higher overhead rates, working with AirBNB is actively discouraged in many areas. Understanding the attitude of local regulatory officials to the service before you sign up for customers is a wise move.
Be a TaskRabbit
TaskRabbit is a service that matches up people willing to do a task with people needing the service. Some of the elite rabbits can charge $150 an hour or more. Those fully committed to the service can make $2,000 a week and $7,000 a month, though it’s more typical to make between $750 and $800 a week, depending on the job. If you don’t need benefits and enjoy meeting people and doing odd jobs on the spur of the moment, this is a great option. Busy people will gladly part with $30 to $50 to offload routine tasks.
You’d be surprised how in demand this job is and people will spend ridiculous amounts of money pampering their pets. If you’re willing to go the extra mile and set it up as a real business with a transportation option, a day trip to the dog park is a premium service. If you’re going to do this a lot, you’d be wise to look into commercial insurance.
Open An eBay Store
It takes a bit of work but running an eBay store is still a decent part-time living for a lot of people. It works better if you have a niche market, a specialty where you can build a loyal legion of followers. There is one vendor who specializes in used video games for a specific platform, another specializes in nothing but salt and pepper shakers. If you have a hobby or an interest, then that’s an ideal starting place for an eBay store.
If you’re artistic or crafty, then consider selling your crafts on Etsy. There you’ll find artists who handcraft things, one at a time, just like the old days. You can find anything from paintings to photography, clothing, pet supplies and a virtual world of handicrafts.
One word of caution, for any of these options, you have to treat them like jobs. Money isn’t going to fall out of the sky; you have to hustle. But, for those who can master its intricacies, the gig economy offers nearly boundless opportunities.