How Mobile Technology has Turned Everyone into a Small Business Owner
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Becoming an entrepreneur is no easy task, and people have usually been jumping through the hoops of starting a small business for years in before becoming successful. These days, going into business for yourself isn’t quite the same as it used to be. Now, you can be your own boss by selling crafts, selling used items, renting out your home, or driving people around without the hassle of traditional small business logistics. Technology has turned everyone into a potential small business owner, and all from behind their mobile phones.
Commoditizing Free Time
It doesn’t take a lot of your time to start making at least supplemental income as a pseudo-small business owner through mobile technology. It’s basically about commoditizing free time, whether that means driving for a few hours, or renting out an extra room you’re not using.
You can make your side business even more profitable by targeting the right types of people at the right times, or in the right locations, etc. as noted by ironSource in this article here: ironSource specifically talks about how “it’s important to treat every user as an individual. Singling out and segmenting certain users will allow you to to market to and engage with them in a very targeted and personalized way…” Not only are these small business ventures utilizing free time to make money, it’s also giving the average person an understanding of marketing and customer reach.
These companies are finding ways to monetize the side-hustle for themselves while finding solutions for the average person’s extra time or resources. The results have been successful and now, people are making entire careers out of these mobile born small businesses. In a world where millennials are taking a different path in terms of career choices, sharing apps are catering to them. The downside is that sharing apps generally won’t hand you a 1099; you’ll have to track and report this side income on your own.
Skipping the Investment
A traditional small business venture is a gamble. It’s gambling with a large sum of money, with your financial security, and with your credit health. Your career is your most consistent financial asset, and mobile sharing apps are taking some of the investment out of small business ventures. With little to lose, why not take the plunge into mobile small business for yourself?
Technology has improved the availability of the platforms needed to find customers and get paid, all you have to do is download the app with no large investment necessary. Technology is not only changing personal finance in terms of budgeting and online banking, it’s also changing personal finance in terms of how people make money. When you have the option to skip the initial costly investment, the world of availability opens up to more people than ever.
Skipping the loan process upfront or leveraging crowd funding can simplify the early stages, but might make you think you don’t need as much planning, budgeting, or preparedness to succeed. That lack of upfront planning can lead to lost income, damage to your credit, blurring the line between your money and the business’s money, etc. The bottom line is that small business is always a gamble, even if the initial investment is low with high liquidity.
So becoming your own small business owner is easier than ever, but it’s also complicating the logistics of business. Things like tax status, tax reporting, employee status, and employment benefits are all logistics of business that aren’t outlined in sharing apps for small business. You’re not an employee of your chosen ride sharing app, you’re an independent contractor. You have possible deductions involved with materials or car maintenance depending on which type of side hustle you’re doing. If the money you make with your mobile technology is your only form of payment, you may be in a tricky spot with healthcare or retirement savings. The next steps for personal finance technology is unknown, but with more technology comes more availability for education on these subjects. Until then, the logistics may be a bit more complicated for some. Making tax mistakes can have long-term consequences, so complicating logistics of small business is a serious concern.
Blending Personal Finance and Business Technology
Personal finance and small business technology are blending into each other as mobile technology continues to grow. In the same way that these small personal business ventures are complicating the logistics of employment, technology is working to remedy them. Tax apps, mileage trackers, budget savings apps, hour tracking, and inventory help are all examples of personal finance technology blending into business technology. The technology is blending because the spheres are blending. There are tons of ways to make extra money, and it’s never been as easy as it is now. Make money, budget money, and manage work finances within your own finances with the mobile technology that blend the two. Tax and hour tracking apps are meant to help small business, and now that’s everyone.
Blending personal finance technology and business technology is working to combat a lot of the forgotten issues of small business due to it’s availability. Regardless of how you make money, it has to be reported to the IRS or you can be in serious trouble come tax time. The availability of business technology will help so that the everyday mobile small business owner won’t make mistakes sacrificing their credit or taxes in the process of earning money.
Blurring Work Lines
With so many opportunities available to work extra hours to make extra money, employment lines are being blurred. Burnout is a real thing and for people looking to make extra money, whether their small business venture is their main form of income or not, there’s a ton of personal management involved. With so much free time or hobbies being commoditized, it can be difficult to balance life with work when the two blur so frequently. For those taking part in mobile small business ventures, it’s important to make the distinction.
Mobile technology has given the opportunity to virtually everyone to be a small business owner. By commoditizing free time, skipping the need for investment, and blending personal finance and business technologies, being a small-scale entrepreneur is easier than ever. Despite complicated logistics and the blurring of work lines, people are making money in new ways.
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Chelsy is a writer from Montana who now lives in Boise, Idaho. She graduated with her journalism degree from the University of Montana in 2012. She enjoys talk radio, cold coffee, and playing Frisbee with her dog, Titan. Follow Chelsy on Twitter @Chelsy5
This post was updated December 7, 2017. It was originally published August 13, 2017.