Fundamentals of the Gig Economy Business Model

In the last decade, the gig economy has steadily gained steam. In many cases, the modern digital age has fueled its growth as more and more workers can afford the tech needed to work remotely or from home.

For businesses, however, the gig economy model works well for tight budgets as well as roomier ones, for big companies as well as smaller ones.

To make it work, there are a few important considerations you need to understand.

Freelancer who makes the gig economy business model works

How Do You Make a Gig Economy Business Model Work for You?

Whether you’re a business that hires freelancers or a marketplace platform facilitating the connection between gig workers and employers, there are a few ways to make it work long-term.

1. Tap into On-Demand Services

Think about all the on-demand services and products you can buy these days: Call up an Uber if you need a ride, order your groceries online and get it delivered today with Postmates, or search Airbnb for a rental.

Need your business blog edited by midnight? Need an image designed for your presentation? Want someone to develop an app? All of these positions can be contracted for one-time gigs.

Some of the most successful businesses thriving in the gig economy are tapping into this “get-it-when-you-want-it” mentality, according to

2. Invest in Special Projects

Another way to make the gig economy model work: When you have a special project that will result in obvious ROI for your company, invest in freelance talent to help you get it done.

Say you want to overhaul your website. Instead of cutting corners and using a template, you decide to hire a freelance web designer to do the work. You know that a more useful, beautiful site will result in better satisfaction for users, which will boost sales.

In order to accomplish these projects using freelancers, there are a few things to consider. One of the most important is managing these resources to ensure the work is being done the way you want it and on time. Using a project management system like Basecamp and having regular meetings are great way to keep things on track. Don’t just have meetings to have meetings though. Set a clear meeting agenda and stick to it.

With the gig model, you save a significant dollar amount by not hiring a permanent designer. You also save time by avoiding a lengthy hiring process.

3. Make Your Contracts Crystal-Clear

Successful businesses that hire freelancers also have their contracts in order. These essential documents stipulate exactly what work will be done, how long it will take, and what deliverables are expected.

Without a crystal-clear contract, your expectations for hiring a gig worker will have a lower chance of fulfillment. Marketplaces, especially, need to ensure that contracts are an essential part of freelancer/employer connections.

Freelancer working at home

4. Value the Freelance Talent You Hire

Businesses that work with freelancers also highly value the talent they hire. They understand that these workers are allowing them to dig into growth opportunity projects while saving money and time.

At the same time, successful companies hiring freelancers know these workers have options. Freelancers will choose the marketplace that lives up to their expectations, and offers the best work experience:

  • Who pays fair rates?
  • Who pays on time?
  • Who stipulates exactly what the job/payment entails?
  • Who sets reasonable deadlines?

All of these elements need to be in place for freelancer job satisfaction.

The Freelance Economy is Booming – Are You Ready?

About 50% of Millennials are part of the gig economy. In a few years, it’s expected to dominate, with over half of the workforce made up of freelancers.

If you can tap into this trend now, you’re on your way up.