Make the Most Out of Collaborative Consumption
Having recently started a series of interviews for the lovely lasses at Business Chicks on collaborative consumption, I have found most of the #collcon businesses out there face the same problems. Those problems are potential customers like the idea of sharing, but we worry about what might go wrong if we trust another person. And we want other people to lead the charge before we dip our toe in, and if that doesn’t happen, we walk away.
So for a model built on two or more “strangers” meeting to share an experience, idea or item to survive, how can we summon the bravery needed to take that initial leap? And how can we make the most out of collaborative consumption and make sure the experience is a positive one?
Here is how you can Make the Most Out of Collaborative Consumption:
1. Stop worrying! – As consumers we trust people every day and the level of trust is the same and the risk no greater when using collaborative consumption. From driving the bus, making our lunch, sending our eBay items, renting to us, honouring our hotel bookings and so on, we trust other people to do the right thing by us. Collaborative consumption may be a new way of doing these kinds of things, but it really isn’t that different when you think about it.
2. Try it! – The difference between a great new idea surviving and disappearing 12 months down the track is how much patronage it gets. Don’t be that person that waits for a herd of others to validate you trying collaborative consumption. If you like it, give it a go!
3. Promote it!- The reality is most collaborative consumption businesses in Australia are only new and need all the help they can get with marketing and promotion. They don’t have big budgets to find new people. So if you think a collaborative consumption business would appeal to someone, let them know about it. The more the merrier really!
4. Accept it! - Most collaborative consumption sites are businesses and they do have revenue making as part of their operation model. This can feel a little weird when dealing with something green or socially responsible as we are used to the charity and/or not for profit model. But making enough money to cover costs, expand programmes and stay afloat means these are sustainable business models that will continue to do good, bring people together and create a positive impact on a continual basis. It’s a new way of doing things sure, but there is no trick or anything to be suspicious about.
5. Keep sharing! - You can check out collaborative consumption and make any kind of investment you like really. You can follow the movement on Facebook and Twitter, join individual sites, read articles and watch videos and participate in the events. The idea is built on sharing, so the more you share, the more there will be to share around!
At the end of the day, this is a movement powered by people power so your journey into collaborative consumption will be as fruitful or difficult as you make it. So do yourself a favour- be brave, have fun and explore it!
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