Challenges Faced By Solopreneurs In The Gig Economy – The gig economy is taking over the world. Research shows that approximately 57 million Americans are currently participating in this dynamic job market. In less than five years, more than 50% of US workers are expected to join the world of freelancers and independent contractors at least part-time.
The proliferation of gigging apps, such as TaskRabbit, Airbnb, Lyft, and YouTube, has created opportunities for grassroots service providers and creators to compete directly with established companies. For years, these types of online platforms have been hitting loss-making taxi companies, hotels and TV networks.
Challenges Faced By Solopreneurs In The Gig Economy
These modern workers celebrate the freedom to earn money based on output rather than input to maximize their economic potential. They also retain the newfound flexibility to complete tasks in their spare time for a better work-life balance.
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Freelancers and freelancers are relieved to know they’re not tied to traditional nine-to-five jobs.
As the gig economy grows, however, its limits and implications for our society are beginning to emerge. Key market participants—gig workers, companies that outsource tasks to self-employed professionals, and politicians—all face unique circumstances that could undermine the long-term sustainability of technological independence.
For one thing, gig workers often don’t have to take care of themselves. They lack access to unemployment insurance, employer social security contributions, and other safety nets enjoyed by their regular peers.
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Also, gigs can’t help but become more competitive as more and more American freelancers go full-time. Digital platforms have also opened up foreign labor markets that were previously largely inaccessible to most American employers. Logic dictates that the influx of talent from abroad could pose a serious threat to the careers of many local freelancers.
Concert work is not a static field. Professionals are constantly under pressure to expand their skill set and use new tools to stay relevant in a job market where the demand and supply of talent is rarely in balance.
Moreover, the assertion of independence from any particular affiliation to an organization is sufficient. As solo entrepreneurs, gig workers do not have employer-sponsored workshops and must pay for online courses out of pocket.
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As one-man armies, they must wear many hats to seamlessly perform key business functions such as marketing and tax compliance. Third-party online services may offer help with banking and insurance, for example, to ease many of the burdensome responsibilities of self-employment, but freelancers and independent contractors can’t outsource everything.
The globalization of the gig economy affects not only the lives of solopreneurs, but also the operations of small businesses – both positively and negatively. Small organizations are turning to the digital job market to hire skilled professionals on an ad hoc basis to keep capital to a minimum and scale up and down easily. However, supervising remote team members in different time zones who do not speak English requires strategy and patience.
In addition, the growth of the gig economy is increasing the pool of American workers seeking temporary work on a permanent basis. Online platforms that act as intermediaries between freelancers and independent contractors go with companies that actually prefer to have people on staff and feed internal candidates for future leadership roles. When it comes to attracting top workers with high salaries, small businesses find themselves at a disadvantage because they often can’t outpace larger companies.
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Of course, the only clear winners from this booming job market are the digital platforms that facilitate freelancing and outsourcing. The tech companies behind some concert channels can get away with almost anything.
Many concertgoers, and rideshare drivers in particular, have called on the government to step in and end the exploitative practices of digital market operators.
The gig economy lobby is actively working to indirectly draft bills to establish a worker misclassification that effectively does not provide basic labor rights to our fellow freelancers. As of 2017, several states have already introduced proposals (some of which have been signed into law) that aim to specifically classify gig workers for digital platforms as freelancers or independent contractors rather than regular employees.
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Although unions may call the apparent collusion between the giants of the giant economy an unfair alliance, some economists disagree.
One such economist is John J. Horton, who, in collaboration with Uber, recently conducted a study on the potential effects of raising the hourly rate of ride-hailing drivers. His research revealed that the economic benefits of such a business decision would be immediate and few. Drivers may initially enjoy more income, but their income will eventually decrease due to greater competition. At the same time, drivers will have to deal with higher driver fees, which in turn will reduce the demand for rides.
2019 proved to be a watershed year for the gig economy. California passed a law requiring gig workers to finally be treated as full-time employees, giving more rights to one million professionals in the Golden State next year.
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The passage of California’s Giant Economy Act could have a ripple effect across the country, given the state’s reputation as America’s lawmaker. Powers in the private sector are aware of this, and the first lawsuit challenging the sweeping new labor laws was filed shortly after Gov. Gavin Newsom’s signature dried up.
The moment of truth has arrived – the fate of the future of our gig economy now hangs in the balance. Will freelancers and independent contractors have their cake and eat it too? Or will the business models that helped grow the digital labor market finally collapse? Only time will tell.
From a very early age, Sasha began abusing computers. With a degree in Business Information, he assists the Fortunly team as a content expert on all matters related to technology and its effects on the global economy. These assignments consist of a variety of research activities that are often centered around areas where technology intersects with finance. Copyright © 2023 Media, LLC All rights reserved. ® and related marks are registered trademarks of Media LLC
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