The Benefits of Being a Small Business vs. a Gig Worker

Making pennies vs dollars. J. Swindell

Oftentimes, it pays off to start small. This applies to careers, relationships, and even the things we use every day. However, these are different times when it comes to how money is earned and spent. Many of us are seeking creative ways to find a comfy space. Maybe that space is a niche inside another niche or you just found a way to connect with the right audience. So why not make your skills legit?

Creating a small business can be time-consuming but if you happen to like what you do, then now's the time to get your assets together and move forward. Why now? It pays off in the long run and you may find many perks along the way.

Let's say you do house painting on weekends in addition to your regular job. You like it, get work through word-of-mouth, and can see yourself doing it years from now. Going legit means you can expand your services due to a big job or increased opportunities. Someone who just sees their side hustle as just that can't do these things without going into their own pockets.

Do I Have to Say Goodbye to Gig Work?

Many people love what gig work has done for their lifestyle and I, personally, have nothing against it. However, there's the flip side...especially when it comes to delivery or shopping gigs.  In the past few years, a lot of companies have taken unfair advantage of workers in terms of workplace violations. Although a mere handful of companies, like Amazon, offer incentives like healthcare coverage and educational assistance for part-time workers, many aren't so lucky.

Let's say you do grocery shopping for Company X and you've yet to receive a raise despite doing extra for the sake of good relations. Sometimes, not having a goal can backfire when it comes to loyalty. Doing things like picking up where someone may have abandoned a job or some other emergency, would make anyone eligible for a promotion. However, some companies don't see it this way for whatever reason.

So what's wrong with starting your own shopping service and keeping more of the profits? Yes, this calls for planning but ownership also means you can call the shots and troubleshoot as needed. Sometimes people would rather deal with an individual rather than a corporation. In other words, if there's a solid market for this, then take a look at secondary demographics or additional services you can offer.

The Difference Between a Small Business and Gig Work

Here's a short list and I'd like to hear your feedback as well:

1. You call the shots. This alone says a lot for a certain type of personality and really, it cuts through red tape.

2. It justifies creating a business plan. This is the main thing needed when applying for a business grant, line of credit, or loan.

3. Getting a loan or grant makes it easy to upgrade services. Should you need equipment, outside services, or labor, having immediate funding saves time or interruption of personal funds.

4. Clients take you seriously when promoting services. It's kind of like traditional marriage vs. cohabitating, the piece of paper makes the difference in others' eyes. Having a business name (even if it's your own) goes further than someone who just "does this on the side".

5. You can create a brand that stands apart from competitors. Let's say you have an online presence that shows off your work. Using a theme of uniform colors, a logo, or all of the above, resonates better than a generic property or worse, something that's incongruent with the service.

Yes, you'll need to resume reporting income unless your yearly total is under $600. The IRS site has tax answers for gig workers, along with other rules you might not have been aware of. Then again, you may be content with the ups and downs of gig work or don't feel your personality is right for running a business. However, if you're on the fence, enlisting an experienced partner may be the answer.