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What you can learn from the rise of sharing economy companies

58546447_SThe sharing economy today is dynamic and continues to make its mark on our culture. Take for example, Uber. What was once a novel concept, is now a viable alternative to taxi cabs. Not into hotels? No problem. Airbnb, a household name, connects homeowners with consumers looking for accommodations. But these successes are not limited the companies’ respective industries. Here’s what business owners in any market or specialty can take away from these powerhouses:

  1. Efficiency matters. Uber continues to innovate and improve the user experience. One way entrepreneurs can follow their lead is by investing in technology. Remember that, although costly at times, an upfront investment can pay dividends down the road. Technology can simplify many processes, resulting in more streamlined transactions.
  2. Trust is king. The success of the sharing economy hinges on trust between all parties involved. This can be difficult at times because companies usually like Uber, Lift, etc. simply act as the go-between and do not deliver the service. You as the business owner, however, have the advantage in that you have more control. Yet your business is only as good as your employees. They must be willing to trust you and your concept. Rewarding and motivating your team can pay dividends,
  3. Think local. Companies like Uber and Airbnb are successful at grassroots marketing because they maintain a consistent feedback loop between buyers and sellers. You can get plugged in, in a similar way. Use social media sites at your disposal and listen to what people are saying about your brand—good, bad and indifferent. Engage in the conversation. Address any concerns or problems in a timely manner and don’t make excuses. Support local charities and causes while abandoning concern for personal gain.

By investing resources in these three areas, you might be able replicate the success of these ventures in your own right.

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