14 Business Services That Will Cater to the Gig Economy

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(Newswire.net — September 29, 2020) —

As the gig economy grows, so will the business services sector. While independent contractors might not need culture consultants, they rely on professionals ranging from accountants to marketers to operate.

In the next few years, expect these business services to set their sights on the gig economy:

  1. Accounting

Traditional employees use Form W-2 to report their income and taxes withheld to the IRS. Those who hold just one or two jobs per year typically have little trouble filling out the form themselves. The story is different, however, for gig workers. 

As independent contractors, gig workers use Form 1099 to report their income. The more gigs they work, the more complex the process becomes. Factor in deductions, and it’s no wonder many gig workers go to an accountant to get their taxes in order. 

  1. Marketing and Advertising

Gigs don’t just show up. Although those in some sectors can be found with an app, others require gig workers to advertise their services. 

Gig workers use many of the same advertising tactics that traditional businesses do. Social media, word of mouth, and email marketing are popular tactics. Digital marketing generally costs less and takes less time to roll out, making it ideal for one-person operations. 

  1. Software

Because remote work is the norm in the gig economy, software services are critical. Project management software and videoconferencing tools are popular picks. In creative fields, the Adobe Suite is the standard. Other gig workers rely on cloud storage, sales enablement software, and text editors. 

  1. Insurance

Getting general liability insurance is a great idea for gig workers. If something were to happen, whether it’s a customer lawsuit or a natural disaster, their livelihood is on the line.

Gig workers can get themselves and their vehicle insured, of course, but those who work from home can also find plans for their computer. This can speed up repairs while lowering their cost. 

  1. Procurement

Certain companies specialize in selling bulk items, such as paper and other office supplies. Known as group purchasing organizations, they help businesses secure discounts they wouldn’t qualify for when purchasing directly.

Most GPOs welcome gig workers. The larger a GPO’s buying consortium, the better rates they can get — which, in turn, lowers per-product costs for their individual members.

  1. Payment Systems

Most gig workers are paid by the job and responsible for invoicing their own work. As a result, they typically turn to services like PayPal to simplify the process of getting paid. 

Not only does that save gig workers time, but it allows them to keep their bank details private. Payment programs have their own secure connection with banks, ensuring funds are transferred safely.

  1. Legal Work

Gig workers aren’t immune to lawsuits. Although setting up an LLC can prevent a litigant from “piercing the veil” — targeting the owner’s personal assets as compensation for a bad business decision — hiring an attorney makes sense for more complex legal needs.

A common one is non-paying clients: Because gig workers are individuals, some bad actors try to stiff them. Although such situations are usually settled out of court, they still call for legal representation. 

  1. Design

Not all gig workers are graphic designers. When contractors need a logo, website, mailer, or other marketing asset, they work with designers to give their services a splash of color.

In some cases, gig workers also work alongside designers. Software developers, for instance, need an artist’s eye to make sure their applications look the part. 

  1. Networking and IT

Most internet service providers distinguish between personal and business use. A gig worker who operates out of his or her home falls into the latter category.

Many digital gig workers deal with large volumes of data. Others spend a lot of time on the phone. And in certain sectors, they need specialized cybersecurity help to protect their intellectual property. 

  1. Distribution and Logistics

Gig workers who ship physical goods — think Etsy sellers — need delivery services to get their product in the customer’s hands. Often, those truck drivers are gig workers themselves. 

Logistics services are also important to independent delivery drivers. Finding a more efficient route could double the number of deliveries that the contractor is able to complete in a day. 

  1. Training

Gig workers are responsible for their own training and development.The good news is, online training is available in just about every industry. Certifications can help gig workers attain new skills and prove their worth to potential clients. 

Sometimes, gig workers will hire consultants directly. A copywriter who’s drafting web copy for clients might enlist an SEO expert to make sure it performs well in search, for example. 

  1.  Coworking

Like everyone else, gig workers need work-life balance. One way they find it is by leasing coworking space. 

Not only do coworking arrangements give gig workers a place other than their home to do business, but they make networking and sales easier. Rubbing elbows with other professionals is a great way to crack the door to new clients.

  1. Virtual Assistants

Gig workers have a lot on their plate. Like corporate executives, they often hire virtual assistants to give them more time to focus on their business.

Virtual assistants can handle a lot of the day-to-day tasks that suck gig workers’ time. Everything from answering emails to booking travel to taking mail to the post office is fair game. 

  1. Gifting

Gifts make the business world go ‘round. Gig workers use gifting services to promote retention, boost their customer experience, and simply say “thank you” to their clients.

Can’t gig workers choose and send their own gifts? Sure, but it takes time, and identifying the perfect gift is no easy task. Outsourcing gifting is a decent business decision. 

Gig workers get flexibility and unlimited income potential, but those perks come at a price. Just like other entrepreneurs, they need a slew of services traditional employees don’t. Millions of gig workers, the market suggests, see the work as worth the squeeze.