On-Demand Economy Trends – The What, Why, and How
I don’t know about you, but I love the beginning of a New Year!
A New Year brings the perfect blank slate to clear the deck and think about what you want, where you want to be, and how you want to get there.
We are living in exciting times and the demand for flexible work is here. Are you positioned to take advantage of these opportunities?
Working for yourself as a Freelancer is the best way to profit from doing what you love and doing it on your terms.
The future for Freelancing is growing rapidly and coined as the On-Demand Economy.
Read on to learn about our On-Demand Economy and how you can benefit.
WHAT IS IT
Freelance, Self-Employed, Independent Contractor, 1099, Fluid Workforce, Flexible Work, and On-Demand Economy are all interchangeable terms that mean the same thing – working for yourself!
The On-Demand Economy is a term that has been around since late 2015. On-Demand refers to consumer spending in addition to business’s supporting this demand by offering more flexible solutions to satisfy customer needs.
According to a post on Forbes by Larry Alton, the On-Demand Economy is booming! The following quote is taken from Larry’s post, 4 Ways The On-Demand Economy Is Changing The Face of Business.
“Historically, there have been two types of successful professionals: (1) those who prefer to work for other people and find opportunities with companies that have significant growth potential, and (2) those who would classify themselves as entrepreneurs and prefer to blaze their own paths. The on-demand economy is sort of blurring the lines between these two categories. Entrepreneurship now permeates every level of the business world and it’s possible for professionals to have one foot in both”.
Brie Reynolds, contributing writer for 1 Million for Work Flexibility and the Senior Career Specialist at FlexJobs provides more insight in her post The Many Definitions of Flexible Work. She highlights some of the following:
- Telecommuting either some or all of the time
- Flexible hours (being able to adjust your start and end times)
- Predictable schedules (having your schedule defined in advance so you can plan accordingly)
- Job Sharing
- Condensed / compressed workweeks
WHAT IT MEANS
The 9-to-5 work schedule is quickly becoming a thing of the past.
Corporate America is offering more employees the ability to telecommute. Job seekers today are influenced more by Flexible Workforce benefits then by salary.
Many start-up companies today operate under a completely distributed team umbrella allowing them to hire the ‘best’ while working from anywhere.
Lifestyle Management is a thing and it is all about working-from-home. This benefits everyone of all ages!
Technology today completely supports safe, secure, and scalable solutions to manage distributed teams and a Flexible Workforce.
Jeff Wald, a Forbes.com contributor for the post Predictions for the Freelance Economy in 2018, talks about Cybersecurity Scrutiny, Data Will Rule, and 1099 Workers’ Comp Revolution focusing on particular sectors that are expected to grow.
Alex Chriss, Chief Product Officer, Small Business Group at Intuit also supports this trend with his post on Inc.com, 5 Trends that Will Impact Small Businesses in 2018 and Beyond. He talks about artificial intelligence, fluid workforces on the rise, niche markets rule, digital payments, and an increase in crisis preparation. There is a little something for everyone if you read between the lines.
Do you want more data supporting this trend? Look no further than the Slideshare Freelancing In America: 2017 commissioned by Upwork and Freelancers Union. This is the 4th annual study they have conducted, so the trend is real! According to their findings, we are in the Fourth Industrial Revolution – a period of rapid change in work driven by increasing automation.
WHY IT MATTERS
Changing Demographics! Marry Bennett’s post A Formal Introduction to the Five Generations of Employees in Your Workforce on Ethics & Compliance Matters, the official blog of NAVEX Global provides insight into the following factors:
- For the first time in our history, up to 5 generations are currently working together.
- Millennials (1981-2000) are now the most prevalent generation in the workplace and on track to comprise 50% of the workforce worldwide by 2020.
Freelancing offers the flexibility you’re looking for in so many ways and can benefit people of all ages with experience in all business sectors.
Millennials may be driving this bus, but Baby Boomers and Gen X’ers benefit too! Whether you’re looking to supplement income, pay off debt, add to the retirement nest-egg, or build a business for yourself, Freelancing is an easy way to start.
You can start small with a part-time project that fits your current schedule.
You can start with little to no out-of-pocket expense.
You don’t need to go back to school or buy equipment.
You probably have everything you need and don’t even realize it!
- You are a Professional in your trade with years of experience.
- You have an established network of professional’s and peers to leverage from.
- You possess the skills and experience required for the job.
- A degree is not necessarily required if you can demonstrate the ability to meet client expectations.
- At a minimum, you are comfortable working with current applications (Google and Microsoft Suites) and notable SaaS services.
- You can produce a ‘portfolio’ of accomplishments, or demonstrate finished products, or provide testimonials in support of a project. This would be in addition to a great resume.
- You are a proactive learner and naturally inclined to find answers to questions yourself. This personality trait speaks favorably to anyone wanting to Freelance. You will be a Jack/Jill of all trades when it comes to running our own business and knowing where to find answers will serve you well.
- You are comfortable approaching, talking, and working with all kinds of people in all kinds of business situations.
- You have the workspace in which to work.
- Private and secure home-office or workspace free from distractions and noise.
- Secure internet service.
- Current and reliable equipment (PC/MAC, printer, phone, office supplies, and other tools needed to do the job).
- You responsibly manager your time.
1. Know the Remote Job Boards you can trust to find remote opportunities.
2. Convert an existing hobby, passion, skill, or craft into your own business and start earning an income today.
3. Bookmark Organizations and Associations that are here to help Freelancers.
1. REMOTE JOB BOARDS
Search the best Professional Remote Job Boards.
I provide a curated list of the Top Rated Remote Job Boards, and most trusted sites for all job seekers. It’s right there on my webpage called ‘Remote Job Boards’. No sign-up, no gimmick, no opt-in, and no joke. It’s right here, take a look.
Professional remote opportunities exist today for Programming, Copywriting, Business / Exec & Management, DevOps & SysAdmin, Marketing, Customer Support, Design, and VA’s (Virtual Assistants).
Believe me when I say most of these Remote Job Boards did not exist 10 years ago. In fact, WeWorkRemotely was the only job board of its kind. 10 years ago, you might find on average a total of maybe 50 jobs postings. Today, the number is closer to 200+.
Professional Remote Job Boards generally charge employers a fee to advertise a job opening. This eliminates the spammy and fake job postings.
Use these job boards to find both Freelance and direct-hire opportunities to fill immediate staffing needs.
In addition, I provide a list of trusted Virtual Assistant Agencies where Professionals can easily find a VA and where VA’s can search for freelance opportunities.
2. FREELANCE YOUR PASSION
Turn a hobby or your passion into Freelance income. The following is just a sampling of professional sectors other ideas where you might provide a service that fills a business need:
- Customer Service / Support
- Administrative Assistant / Office Support
- Content Production / Editing / Proofreading
- Social Media Management / Support
- Blog Management /Analytics
- Email Marketing / Automation / Support
- Audio & Video Production / Support / Transcription
- Website Design / Integrations / Maintenance
- Graphic / Infographic Design
- Finance / Accounting / Taxes
- Teach others about something you’re passionate about (arts, crafts, music, business skills, trade skills, cooking, or any other craft you have become an expert).
- Event Support
- Catering Support
- Personal Concierge Shopper / Services
- Shuttle Service (Uber / Lyft)
- Beauty (Hair, Nails, Makeup)
- Pet Sitting / Grooming
Not sure what to base your rate on? Check out 5-Step Guide To Setting Your Freelance Rates Perfectly, by Abdullahi Muhammed, a contributor at Forbes.com.
3. ORGANIZATIONS / ASSOCIATIONS
Become familiar with valuable Organizations and Associations that support the On-Demand Economy and Flexible Workforce.
Did you realize a National Initiative exists today?
1 Million for Work Flexibility (1MFWF) is the first National Initiative to create a collective voice in support of work flexibility. 1MFWF is a major influencer for the On-Demand Economy.
Check out Work Flexibility Policy in the United States to see what your State is doing in support of work flexibility.
To learn more about Small Business check out the U.S. Small Business Association.
To learn more about operating as an Independent Contractor and tax liabilities check out the IRS.
Always, contact a Professional for assistance as it relates to your particular situation.
TO SUM IT UP
Freelancing is heating up in all business sectors.
Opportunities exist today for full-time, part-time in both long-term and short-term capacities as a Freelancer or direct-hire working from home.
Supplement your income to pay off debt or grow your nest-egg.
Create your own business where you get paid to do what you love.
Leverage what you already have and what you already know.
Be willing to work hard, develop skills, network, and go for it. It’s not for everyone but you have the passion and drive, now is the perfect time to develop a plan and execute.
Demand to fill positions and services will continue to grow.
Set your own schedule and number of projects/clients you wish to take on.
Freelancing is the best way to start your own business and build your own brand. A Freelance business could potentially grow by creating passive income streams and leverage affiliate marketing. Another offshoot is creating your own digital products, teaching about your trade or specialty, that you could sell and market yourself.
I’ve been Freelancing for 10+ years. I don’t have a degree. I started my Freelance business in 2007. If you’re curious about my story, you can learn more here.
When I started, there were no formal organizations for Freelancers. There was no legislation on the books recognizing a Flexible Workforce. In fact, generally speaking, many employers would not consider working with a Freelancer or offered telecommuting as a flexible option.
Freelancers Union and 1 Million for Work Flexibility are perfect examples of organizations formed specifically to support and address the needs of a flexible workforce. Both are amazing organizations with benefits, resources, and offer a supportive community just for Freelancers. Check them out for more information and membership is FREE.
Baby Boomer’s and Gen X’ers already have the business and tech-savvy from years of work experience. These generations remain active in all facets of life. We are working well into our 60’s and beyond. Celebrate flexibility! Start a business! Work from anywhere!
Freelancing does come with an element of risk. You are responsible for your own Taxes and Health Insurance in addition to all other expenses. You must find your own clients, you fully understand what this means, and you are willing to put yourself out there and go for it.
Freelancing may not be for everyone. I get it. Landing a client might be more difficult if you are new to the work-force or have not yet built up a portfolio (so to speak) of accomplishments. I’m not saying it can’t be done, just that it might take more work to build up a client base or demonstrate your capabilities without experience.
Telecommuting jobs for permanent and part-time employees are also on the rise. Again, supporting the On-Demand Economy and Flexible Workforce. With more jobs offering telecommuting options, working from home is not exclusive to Freelancers.
Freelancing is one simple solution to living your best life while working from anywhere! Managing your income and expenses can be done remotely. Becoming a Millionaire is entirely up to you!