O2 Business LBC Week Three: The Sharing & Collaborative Economies
This week on The O2 Business Show on LBC, we focused on ‘working smarter’- how areas such as networking, collaborating and online crowdfunding can boost your business ventures.
All of the above are crucial to the burgeoning sharing economy, which we also talked about in the show. A trend that has been growing for years, Emma suggested that the sharing economy was a sign that we are ‘moving towards a cashless society’ with people using their skills and assets – for example food (supper clubs) and clothes (swishing) – as currency.
We were joined by entrepreneur Debbie Wosskow, who is preparing a report for the government on the sharing economy. What was just a conceptual idea has recently grown into a huge trend and a means of living and earning for millions across the globe. One estimate puts the global worth of the sharing economy at $26 billion. Debbie noted that technology and social media are making sharing, or ‘collaborative consumption’ as it is also known, much leaner and more accessible. Debbie owns a sharing economy venture too – Love Home Swap. The business allows homeowners to ‘swap’ homes so they can holiday cheaply or rent their homes and earn points when people stay at their property.
Eamon Conway, founder and MD of Climote was also on the show. Climote is smart technology that allows you to control heating and hot water remotely. You can do this via SMS, online or using the Climote app so you can ensure your home is heated or you have hot water before you arrive home. The growth of Eamon’s business is a great example of collaborative working. On air he told listeners that as the business developed his team recognised the need to gain access to more customers. As a result, they struck a deal with Scottish Power, which allows Climote’s technology to be seen by a huge UK-wide customer base.
As always, our O2 Guru was on hand to share tips and tools to help you work smarter in your own business.
Working smarter – As some of the callers on the show pointed out, having a small team requires more flexible ways of working collaboratively and often remotely too. Read about the tools that can help you work smarter below.
Office 365 – Flexible remote working across a range of devices, enabling you to access those all-important documents that are stored in the cloud. You can also build bespoke websites and emails to share your business with the world online.
Box – Quick and secure file sharing. Box enables anyone with permission access files on their smartphone, tablet, laptop and desktop computer. Online collaboration with partners and clients is made easy, with the option to use either the Box app or the website.
Evernote – A favourite of entrepreneurs, Evernote lets you add handy tags to your notes and also boasts convenient sharing functions to make collaboration easy. You can also use the Evernote Web Clipper to save links, text and images to your account for access at a later date.
Networking – Networking is key to the sharing and collaborative economies and below are some great initiatives that could help your business. You can find more groups local to you on MeetUp.com.
UX Café – A meet up for start-ups that have a product, but need help with design and user experience.UX Café is a community of 1100+ designers, developers & product folk, working together to make products that people love by providing feedback, skills and networking opportunities.
3Beards – 3Beards is a content, promotion and events company focusing on empowering start-ups and the UK’s exciting tech communities. Hosting a range of networking events often involving beer, it’s a great place to meet like-minded people with a range of skills at different stages in their entrepreneurial journey (beards are not a prerequisite).
Seed Camp – A brilliant initiative spanning Europe, Seed Camp was founded by 30 investors and provides start-ups with seed money, mentorship, office space and support.
Angel List – An online platform that enables start-ups to join the ‘Angel List’ so that investors can find them. It also helps business owners find skilled team members to recruit, and jobseekers to apply for positions.
Funding Circle – This site enables businesses to borrow directly from a wide range of investors, including more than 30,000 people, the UK Government, local councils, a university and a number of financial organisations.
Don’t forget you can enter our weekly competition here. This week you’ve got the chance of winning a cash injection of £1,000 for your business.
If you missed this week’s O2 Business Show, you can listen again to our podcasts here. Be sure to tune in next Thursday at 9pm when we will be discussing ‘Working anywhere’ with more special guests – whether it’s working on the move as a freelancer or remote working, we’ll look at the tools that can help. If you have any questions or advice be sure to call in or tweet using the hashtag #O2BusinessLBC.