With technological advancements over the past decade, automation and changes in corporate culture there has never been a more opportune moment to become a freelancer or start your own business. The rise of the internet, cloud based systems and growing broadband connectivity has seen some of the established means of production filter down to small businesses and individuals. Our parent’s generation would have needed to trek to in at rush hour to the regional workplace and work from 9 till 5 with the other 90% of the workforce. Jobs couldn’t easily be taken home and telecommunications weren’t developed to facilitate conference calls or remote working. Established companies and major corporations dominated through control of the tools of production.
The ‘gig’ and ‘sharing’ economies have empowered inspiring companies that take advantage of technological changes to make our business lives easier. The key theme from these small operators is that they have improved the customer experience by changing a traditional business model for the better. Being small or independent means companies such as altspace can be more reactive, offer lower rates and a bespoke service. Maybe some of the companies below could be the next Netflix or Airbnb?
Bloom and Wild Flower Delivery
Have you ever struggled to arrange a prompt delivery of flowers to a friend or loved one? The founders of this innovative company noticed that there were inefficiencies in the supply of flowers from international growers, wasting days of ‘bloom’ time. In addition they queried why bouquets if packaged and arranged correctly couldn’t be delivered through the letter box? Now you know where to go for fresher and cheaper roses that will arrive the next day!
If you need a presentation written up to meet a deadline or someone to manage your diary then it’s a logical step to think of a traditional secretary or PA. The twist today is that your Mister or Miss Moneypenny needn’t be in the same office, county or even continent. With uniform computer packages and a decent laptop you can liase remotely with a Virtual PA and pay an hourly rates or rate per job. This is an amazing modern business that empowers home workers and assists PA’s to balance their work with other commitments.
Most pieces of furniture that we order arrive in an intimidating flat pack that can take hours of time and a large amount of stress to put up. In addition many of us today need help completing small ‘odd jobs’ around the home. Rather than employ an over-skilled tradesman for these jobs the clever founders of task rabbit spotted an opportunity for local workers who can squeeze in a few hour to do the jobs we don’t have time for. Employees could be students and part time workers, though I’d imagine being ‘handy’ is pretty integral if you are paid on successful completion of each job!
The barriers to having your own office include lengthy contracts, business rates and expensive rents. To counter these coworking spaces offer remote workers professional desk space and associated services with daily rates and no binding contracts. The movement has democratised commercial work spaces and offers further value through local connections and support. altspace coworking office has built a vibrant community of small businesses and freelancers since it’s launch in January. The location in South Manchester also removes the necessity for a daily commute into town which further improves the lifestyle of remote workers.