The 4 Economies Of Change

How to leverage these four economies in your regional community by knowing the root cause of change and leveraging from them.

The economies of change are creating a rapid shift in the modern business landscape. I am talking about these four disruptors that are changing the way we did business in a linear sense, with over half of the  British economy, 4.3 million taking part in the gig opportunity it presents. I am going to share how you can leverage these economies in your regional town to build a stronger community.

Reports are predicting that 50% of USA Millennials active in this space. The four economies of change that I am about to unravel are the Circular, Sharing, Gig, and Digital economies.

Down under the Australian buro of statistics began observing the rise in the gig economy with the census data release back to 2016 show a rise in the gig economy being categorised by temporary jobs and part-time contracting.  

These economies of change are shaking up the way we do business. Meanwhile, the full effect is more obvious with small business regional areas are increasingly concerned about there shops fonts closing.

A visit to the little town of Maryborough earlier this year a staggering number of shop fronts are empty, and we discovered through discussions with economic development that 250+ packages are being delivered to the town daily from online shopping.

Recently this year while in regional Australia for a small business week, I was running workshops and discussing these economies with local businesses how to innovate in business and discussing these four disruptors of business. Most of the businesses I spoke with had no idea of these economies of change and complained about how they are destroying their community.

Businesses in regional Australia have a unique opportunity to jump onto the bandwagon on these change economies; there has never been a better time in history for business to thrive if we understand the source of the change.

I see a need for local governments to inform and educate the business of the changes so that they can take full advantage of these economies to enhance their towns rather than be fearful of it.

Of course, a lot of these economies of change being a circular, gig, sharing and digital, economy. They cross over but what I see one big common denominator and that is sustainability as a focal point.

That is on the top of mind for new businesses coming to the forefront. The importance of using the abundance of resources we already have.

As we travel in Europe there is a big focus on sustainability.

Yes, I agree none of the is new; however, it is a  very interesting topic because as I travel I here a lot of people complaining about the local shop closing because they rents are too high and business is not sustainable.

While in Regional Qld in June 2019 for a Small Business Week, running workshops, I bought this topic up for discussion. What I realised was that most, all of the people I spoke to who had a local business or want to start a business had no idea what the gig, circular, digital or sharing economies where and how it affected their business directly.

While meeting these business owners we spoke about these concepts of, economy and thinking global for business.

I shared some extensive experience and thinking about marketing. How businesses and jobs are shaping for the future with technology in specific industries. And how each business can jump on the bandwagon, and use these economies of change in their own businesses to stay relevant.

We discussed how to identify a problem they can solve in their community and take it global.

Having travelled to remote areas for over five years now, we hear the same stories of people local shop fronts being empty.

So how are these change economies shifting the landscape of business globally, and how can regional areas and small community’s take full advantage of it to enhance business and keep the economies of our regional towns flourishing.

Even while in the South of France in July I recognised the same issues as I see in regional Australia. It seems the first step is making small business owners aware of the change economies and start to create innovative ways to take advantage of them.

First, if we observe the way traditional linear business, so we can see where the opportunities appear.

Linear Vs Circular economy

The linear economy is the Take, Make and Dispose of model, which means take the cheapest materials, make the product and when it’s broken dispose of it, just as we do with the lightbulb for instance which means once it blows we throw it out. It creates a huge waste and is no longer sustainable. Now we have to see how we can find better ways to deal with the waste.   

Compared the linear to the Circular economy, for instance, it is more Make, Use and Return. Which means, Make the product, Use the production when you are finished with the product, return it for recycling for more sustainability.

However, the problem with this model the work required for companies to do this can be very expensive.

Currently, I am in Germany the Europeans are very active in the circular economy space and sustainability. It’s big business over here. Just throwing away the bread packet takes thought, do I put it in the paper bin, Plastics bin, general waste then they have separate waist for plastic bottles and glass bottles. It’s intensive, but the children are taught from tinny tots what to do with the rubbish and how to sort it out. It certainly makes you think about your waste and brings waste to the front of mind.

Consumer Mindset Shifts

Shopping habit is changing rapidly the consumer has a mindset of concern about how they affect the world around them. They are thinking about the distance a product has to travel, they are actively recycling and have a conscience of effect on the planet more than ever before in history. For so long now it has been a massive consumer society, look at the kid’s rooms with all the toys filling more space than you have.

There is so much choice; consumerism is now just noise. The shift the consumer mindset is starting to make is toward more sustainability to occur for the future. The mindset is slowly changing, and most communities are starting to create ways to deal with their waste the best way possible.

Here in Europe, it is what Europeans do exceptionally well is sustainability. Specifically recycling and sustainable energy. However, I think there are more opportunities we still haven’t addressed and I guess there always will be.

What I am seeing in the startup ecosystem in Europe is very much sustainability based.

What is your regional town doing to take advantage of these change economies?

From my travels and working with regional, remote areas in Australia, America and Europe, there is a common denominator. Shopfronts are closing, and the town folk are complaining. And what is being done about it?

What can we do?

There is a lot that can be done when great minds come together as a community and are mindful that most of it can come from the children of the community.

But first, we have to understand what is disrupting traditional business and why. Then we can address how to combat it.

These economies of change or disruptors being the Gig economy, Circular economy, Sharing Economy’s, the Digital Economy. It is worth having a closer look at each one of these individually.

Sharing Economy

The sharing economy is otherwise known as the collaborative consumption or peer to peer-based sharing; it is a concept that highlights the ability or preference of individuals wanting to rent or borrow goods rather than own them. Sharing rather than owning is becoming more and more popular and a more straightforward option as we move away from traditional ways of life.

  • Peer to peer lending
  • Crowdfunding
  • Apartment, house and Couchsurfing
  • Ridesharing and carsharing
  • Coworking
  • Coliving
  • Reselling and trading
  • Knowledge and talent sharing
  • Niche Services

Example project:

Renting sports gear, bikes, skateboards, surfboards, boogie boards, windsurfers, hiking gear etc.

Use thousands of rideshare apps. Hitchhike apps etc

The Gig Economy

Uberization, as they call it here in Europe, gives anyone the ability to instantly do transactions and instantly earn money, meaning that anyone can start a side hustle at any time to make more money.

A free-market system in which tempory positions are shared with independent workers for short term periods. The term ‘gig’ is a slang word meaning “a job for a specified period ” a term used in the music industry.

Example:

  • Start your delivery service for the elderly community or shopping service.
  • Add Hey You app to your local café or bar
  • Be a host on Start with Airbnb
  • Be a Nomad Stays
  • Start your own deliver with Going that way
  • Start a Deliveroo service

Circular Economy

The circular economy has an emphasises on recycling and wastage aimed at minimising waste and making most of the resources.

Example Project:

  • Hold The worlds biggest garage sale in your community.
  • Hold a startup weekend and solve

The Digital Economy

Sometimes called the Internet Economy, the New Economy or Web Economy. The digital economy refers to an economy that is based on digital computing technologies and is disrupting every industry for decades over 400 years ago, especially banks with cryptocurrencies, and quick international transfers without hash changes, allowing for trade but also making it easier to do business.

Example of how to use the Digital Economy in you’re your town and experiment:

Some other ideas you can brainstorm with your local business groups. Develop the people in your community by building an online community around your community with your specific niche.

See what Everledger and beef ledger is doing for trade integrity with their innovation see how you can apply to your trade industry.

All of it is affecting the way we do traditional business, but some small businesses are unaware of it. It’s not the future it is here now. Most people in regional areas build a business without thinking of anything but lifestyle and fail to build it to exit the market.

Why can’t you live in regional Australia or regional Europe or America and build a world-class business? 

Well, the answer is you can.

All these buzz words around like the ‘gig economy’ are not just cool words they are affecting the way we do business now and in the future. Because the landscape of the industry is rapidly changing, and we have to build something more agile.

Sure it’s all a new language, but the language of the future is simple, it’s not new concepts they just have new creative names.

But I still believe it all comes down to getting back to basics. Building something that people need and never forget that you are talking to people so speak like a person and Build relationships through trust. Be human and get back to solving the customer’s problem. And listen to their pain points.

Fear of the unknown for Business owners

The fear of the unknown social media is what most small business owners are failing to see that it is low hanging fruit.

Businesses are feeling the ‘crunch’ of technology and the pressures of keeping up. We are seeing the difference in peoples behaviours around products and services. The consumer behaviours are changing as products get easier and cheaper to buy online.  That is why it is your responsibility as a local business owner to stay up to date, ask questions to your customers and understand how they purchase and why or why not.

Technology can help a business get discovered if you tell Mr Google, for instance, Google my business. By using technology, it can help someone solve a problem or thrill their customer. Technology can also help people discover more about your business and how you can help them.

In Europe recently I walked into the local coffee shop in a town of 200 people. The coffee shop ( small Hutt with garden chairs and tables) owner sells coffee and limited drinks and food. This small business owner ‘wows’ his ( tourist) customers daily with live footage of a vultures nest and the chicks Vultures growing up and learning to fly. His live video footage is all taking place up in the mountain they just climbed. He knows what his customer love nature and wilderness, and it is a conversation piece to thrill them. His customers leave them with a story to tell, and they remember a unique experience.

However, in a small town in Australia of the same size, I couldn’t even get a real coffee let alone steak sandwich at the local pub or any local produce. That is just disappointing! Because the entire town and region suffer because the four businesses owners are not serving their communities basic needs. When business is not done well; it has a flow-on effect can be devastating.

Sometimes I recognise (we) as business owners, have to get out of our way and get on with helping people.

Regional towns benefit when they get it so right, and I have seen small towns in Australia get it right too, my point is ‘let’s try harder’ to help each other, we can be so lazy in Australia because we have it so good and this alone is hurting our economy. 

Moreover, acknowledging that small business is no longer a thing, because of social media for one is every person, everyday experience, it’s just business not. We talked about how technology is changing how we behave around the products we purchase and produce to emphasise that their market might not be here in their town, state or country, but the more significant opportunity might be somewhere else in the world. It is the same for startups in Regional Europe.

At a recent conference in Barcelona, after talking to startups, generally, they said, Australia is so far away they don’t think about Australia as an option to test a product or that their might be an opportunity there for there product, it is also a tiny population compared to other markets. That doesn’t mean that Australia is not a good testing ground for the right product.

While here in Limoux France at the coworking space the while chatting to local entrepreneurs, they are having similar issues with the economy of change affecting their small businesses, and there is a general fear of social media. Rather than being afraid of our stores closing in small towns, we need to ask why are they closing and start to understand peoples behaviours.

I believe it is essential that our young entrepreneurs, local government bodies and school children entering into the workforce are aware of these economies of change so that we can prepare our community to discover new ways of reaching our customers in the future.

In Limoux in the Sth of France, for instance, they are innovating and creating their local currency, to encourage and reward locals for buying local. They have a coworking space, and they are reaching out to find new ways to promote regional trade and for their younger community to get involved.

How are the economies of change affecting your community?

Know how big or small the problem is on a global scale.

‘Google him up’ (as my 85-year-old dad would say!) read about your industry on other continents. The latest book from Jarrid Diamond Upheaval released in 2019 as a fantastic overview of the history and how we have evolved as nations and comparisons. And just seeing who does your style of business the best in the world.

Understand the economics of change is not just changing jobs, but if we understand how people behave around these disruptors, then we can use it to our advantage.

From my experience and observation as a startup mentor and a co-founder in a startup, we stop looking at the simple stuff we get caught up in the function and forget the human experience.

Keep a focus on the human aspect. We can miss a big chunk of what matters to people, and make it as easy for them as possible to get what they need.

Ethical Transactions

It all about Ethical transactions ease of use. The sharing economy, the need to do something that matters with the circular economy and make our business more ethical with blockchain tech.

It all comes back to serving a need. That is why the economy’s change has changed the landscape of how we do business now, and we will see more of it in the future and we need to prepare.

Whether or not you see it as good or bad, behaviours are changing, even Australia post is ramping up and preparing for it the changes spending 1 billion dollars in the next 5 years to focus on the same day and next day delivery. It’s already a thing in the UK and America and Australia wants to compete.

As a startup or business, remember why you are in business and always be of service to others, so be intentional about it with the result in mind and stable core business values to help you stay consistent and aligned with the right clients.

It is always exciting to have conversations with like-minded people from all over the world. It often unexpectedly gives me the answers you have been looking for and flesh out the ideas, tell stories of what’s happening on other continents and connect people — discussing changes that are occurring in the business landscape and how we can use and work with new technology to expand and grow business. It’s exciting, and it is always the connection and conversations that are what is essential about travel to me. 

Today I’m based in Germany now for the moment possibly heading for France via Bulgaria if we can. However, I have spent the past five years circulating Australia and focused on building startups in regional communities, helping to stimulate and grow the startup ecosystem.

As an early-stage startup mentor at Business in Bare Feet, I help people with very early stage ideation. I am one part of a global team of mentors who have a focus to help regional people all over the world have access to global markets, mentors and grow business.

As a team, we are focused on helping to stimulate startup ecosystems in regional areas around Australia and around the world. We are talking with and actively assisting the startups in accessing global markets, getting access to Mentors and connecting them to the people and the opportunity’s that are ready for, we often see the same issues that pop up with start-ups and business owners.

All of which I have discussed are my personal observations are I am sharing my experience with you, none of what I discussed here is rocket science, but it is a good reminder that we are not alone, and we can make a difference.

Never feel you are not alone as a startup even if you are not in a major town or city where all the action for startups is happening, we are here to provide support for regional startups. We have Mentors ready to help you grow at Business in Bare feets Global Mentoring Club SAND TRACKSwe’re here to help and also help business incubators in regional areas gain access to global mentors so packages for incubators are available.  

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