In 2011, Airbnb reached a milestone: its one millionth listing booking. It was a clear sign that the sharing economy had been embraced by people all over the world. Today, three years later, it’s evident that the sharing economy is here to stay and that the Airbnb model can work in other sectors. Boats, office space, parking spots, and bicycles are just a few things available to rent via a peer-to-peer sharing platform, with more niches likely to spring up over the next year.
Do you have an idea in mind for the next great sharing platform? If so, here are a few reasons why working with a professional business plan writer is a must if you hope to get your idea off the ground.
Despite not being a brick and mortar operation, launching an Airbnb-style business requires plenty of capital. Implementing a fully functional, scalable web-based solution doesn’t come cheap. There are bandwidth costs, data storage expenses, design and development costs, and domain registration fees, just to name a few. Add to that marketing expenses, legal counsel, and mobile app development, and the first year in business could cost six to seven figures.
That’s why many sharing economy businesses seek out investors. Airbnb, for instance, raised $7.2 million is Series A funding from private venture capitalist firms in 2010. So if you’re looking to raise capital, be prepared to showcase your vision and strategy with a professionally written investor business plan.
While Airbnb started out by competing mostly with hotels, motels, and hostels, the company now faces much more direct competition in the form of imitators. Roomarama, for example, was launched shortly after Airbnb. Meanwhile Park Circa, ParkatmyHouse, and ParkShare all offer the same service.
Simply put, competition in the peer-to-peer sharing space has never been more direct. By working with professional consultants at a business plan writing company, you’ll have access to industry-leading market research. This will allow you to fine-tune your strategic roadmap in the face of direct competition.
Partnerships are important to all businesses, but particularly so for businesses in the sharing economy. The grassroots model of the sharing economy often relies on partnering to enhance business. For instance, peer-to-peer boat rental marketplace GetMyBoat has partnered with XINSURANCE. This way, users have simple, one-click insurance to go along with their boat rental, while owners and renters both have peace of mind knowing that they’re insured against disasters.
Without a business plan in hand, companies are more likely to pass up your offer of collaborating simply on the basis that you might not be entirely prepared. If you plan on forming lasting partnerships, having a carefully crafted strategic roadmap to share will help you secure the best partner for your business.