The Gig Economy and Small Business Opportunities

Last Updated: 

July 5, 2023

The gig economy is a growing phenomenon that has the potential to be incredibly beneficial for small businesses. But what exactly is the gig economy and how can small businesses get involved? In this article, we'll explore the rise of the gig economy and how it could impact your business. We'll also show you how to find workers in this new landscape - and how to ensure that they're good at their jobs!

Key takeaways on the Gig Economy

  1. Flexibility and independence: The gig economy offers individuals the opportunity to work on a flexible schedule and be their own boss, allowing for a greater sense of independence and work-life balance.
  2. Diverse income streams: Small businesses can tap into the gig economy by hiring freelancers, contractors, or gig workers, allowing them to access specialised skills and expertise on-demand while managing costs.
  3. Cost-effectiveness: Utilising gig workers can be cost-effective for small businesses, as they can hire talent on a project-by-project basis without the overhead expenses associated with full-time employees.
  4. Scalability and agility: The gig economy provides small businesses with the ability to scale their workforce up or down quickly, allowing them to adapt to changing market conditions and manage workload fluctuations efficiently.
  5. Access to a global talent pool: The gig economy enables businesses to connect with talent from around the world, expanding their options for specialised skills and diverse perspectives.
  6. Innovation and creativity: Small businesses can leverage gig workers' expertise and fresh ideas to drive innovation and creativity within their operations, helping them stay competitive in the market.
  7. Enhanced business efficiency: By outsourcing certain tasks to gig workers, small businesses can focus on their core competencies, leading to increased efficiency and productivity.
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The gig economy is on the rise.

The gig economy is a new way of working. It's growing rapidly and changing the way we think about work, business, and our careers.

The gig economy has been around for a long time, think Uber drivers or Airbnb hosts, but in recent years it's become more than just an "alternative" to traditional jobs; it's now part of our everyday lives. According to The Conference Board of Canada, by 2020 there will be 4 million Canadians working in the gig economy (up from 3 million today).

The gig economy has many benefits.

As a small business owner, you may be wondering how the gig economy can benefit your company. Here are some of the most important reasons why it's worth considering:

  • Gig workers are more flexible. If you need someone to work on short notice or only part-time, freelancers can often fill in those gaps. You'll never have to worry about scheduling conflicts or pay rate increases for full-time employees again!
  • Gig workers are more affordable. Because they're paid by the job instead of receiving an hourly wage, many freelancers charge less than what a traditional employee would cost per hour, and that means more profit for you!
  • Gig workers are reliable and skilled at what they do (most of them). Since there aren't any long-term commitments involved with hiring gig workers as opposed to regular staff members who receive benefits like health insurance and retirement plans from their employers; there won't be any surprises when it comes time to pay bonuses either.

The gig economy has some drawbacks.

The gig economy has some drawbacks. For one thing, it can be difficult to find the right person for the job. You might not know what skills they have and if they have enough experience to complete your project. This could lead to wasted time and money because you'll need to hire more than one person in order for things to get done properly.

Another issue is that there are no benefits or health insurance involved when working with freelance workers on sites like Upwork or Freelancer; this means that if something goes wrong (like getting sick), then there's nothing stopping it from happening again next week when you hire another contractor through these sites!

Finally, some people may not be able to work full-time hours due to family commitments or other obligations - which means that finding someone with flexible hours could prove tricky depending on where they live too since many countries around world don't offer maternity leave yet so women will often take advantage by using places like Elance instead where payment rates tend towards higher averages due their demand levels being high at any given moment (elevating them above minimum wage).

Small businesses can enter the gig economy.

The gig economy is a great way for small businesses to expand offerings or services, reach new customers, and attract new talent.

For example, let's say you're a freelance artist who wants to start offering stained glass window services. You could create an Etsy shop where you sell your work and offer custom orders through the platform. Or maybe there are several artists in your city who all have similar styles of art; why not team up with them and create an exhibition together? This would allow all of you exposure at once instead of trying to do it individually!

Something else that should be noted about this type of economy: when someone hires another person via these platforms (like TaskRabbit), they are paying them directly rather than going through their employer, so if something happens at work (such as getting laid off), there isn't any recourse from losing income since the person hasn't been hired by anyone else yet.

The gig economy can be an opportunity for small businesses to expand their offerings or services.

The gig economy is an opportunity for small businesses to expand their offerings or services. For example, a company that sells pet supplies can use the gig economy to hire someone full time who will provide dog walking services in their local area.

This type of arrangement works well with customers who want a specialised service but do not have enough money or time available to pay for it themselves. In addition, many people enjoy working as freelancers because it gives them flexibility in scheduling their work hours so they can spend more time with family members or friends, or even travel around the world!

FAQs on the Gig Economy

Curious about the gig economy and how it can benefit small businesses? Here are answers to frequently asked questions that shed light on the opportunities that the gig economy presents. Discover how small businesses can tap into the gig economy, access specialised skills, and leverage the flexibility and scalability it offers.

What is the gig economy, and how does it differ from traditional employment models?

The gig economy is a model where people are hired for specific tasks or projects, rather than working full-time for one employer.

How can small businesses benefit from hiring gig workers or freelancers?

Gig workers are a good fit for small businesses that need to fill in the gaps in their workforce. For example, if you're running a retail store and have an upcoming holiday sale, you may need extra help with staffing. Or maybe there's seasonal work that needs to be done on an as-needed basis, like cleaning up after winter storms or mowing lawns during summer months.

Gig workers can also be cheaper than hiring full-time employees because they don't require benefits like health care and retirement plans, but keep in mind that there may be tax implications when using gig workers instead of traditional W2 employees (more on this below).

What are some popular platforms or websites that connect businesses with gig workers?

There are several websites that connect businesses with gig workers. Some popular platforms include:

  • Upwork (formerly oDesk) is a global freelancing platform where you can find designers, developers and other professionals who are ready to work on your projects.
  • Fiverr has over 1 million registered users offering services ranging from logo design ($5) to DJ services ($400).
  • Uber connects people who need rides with drivers who have cars available at any given time. Drivers earn money by driving around passengers when they're not using their own vehicles for other things like commuting or grocery shopping. Lyft does something similar; however, instead of paying cash directly to the driver when you take an Uber ride (or Lyft ride), passengers pay through an app on their smartphone, and then Lyft takes 20% commission off each transaction it processes through its service

How can small businesses ensure quality and reliability when hiring gig workers?

The most important factor when hiring a gig worker is trust. You want to make sure you know who you are hiring, so do your research and check references. If someone has a good reputation in the community, it's likely that they will do an excellent job for you as well.

You should also hire someone who can do the job well, your business depends on it! Hiring someone who isn't experienced or knowledgeable about what they're doing could be disastrous for both parties involved (and potentially even cost lives).

Are there specific industries or sectors that are particularly well-suited for leveraging the gig economy?

The gig economy is a good fit for businesses that have a lot of short-term, one-off tasks and need to handle peak workloads.

If your business has seasonal peaks or sudden spikes in demand, the gig economy can help you manage those periods of time effectively. You can also use it to fill in gaps in your workforce if you're having trouble recruiting enough employees on an ongoing basis.


We hope this article has given you an overview of the gig economy and its opportunities for small businesses. As we've seen, it's a fast-growing sector that offers many benefits to both employers and employees alike. With the right planning and preparation, your business can take advantage of these opportunities, whether by hiring gig workers or freelancers on platforms like Upwork or Freelancer.

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