Made popular by the likes of Uber, Task Rabbit, and DoorDash, the gig economy serves as a great way to earn extra income. With the promise of location and time flexibility, many gravitate to this style of working. I’ve met students, folks in-between jobs, and the occasional weekend side hustler. As a business analyst by trade, I implemented a few measures to my practice to help maximize my earning potential.
I track my mileage, tips, time on the job, and earnings by day. What I didn’t realize when I first started, the rate I’m paid doesn’t include reimbursements for travel time and mileage. Tracking my activity, helped me to understand some key metrics like utilization (time spent working vs. total time on the job), net wages per hour, and gross wage per mile traveled.
Keep tabs on your competitors
On platforms like Task Rabbit, you can set your own rates. I recommend to, periodically, analyze the rates your local competitors are setting and adjusting yours accordingly. I establish my benchmarks according to experience: amount of jobs in a certain category. When I first started out, I set my rates very low to help drive bookings. Today I have over 100 jobs under my belt and I have some of the highest rates in my market. Customers often times follow the maxim, “you get what you pay for.”
Travel to other markets
Larger markets naturally have a higher demand for gig workers. Higher demand usually comes with higher rates. Living in South Florida, I’ve met Uber and Lyft drivers that would primarily operate in Miami Friday through Sunday, during the hours of 12AM-7AM, to maximize their earning potential. I’ve traveled to larger markets across the US and have found that average rates and demand are significantly higher when compared to my home market.
To make the best use of your time, optimize your business and keep a close eye on your competition. Working in the gig economy can give you flexibility on earning potential, location independence, and job you decide to take on.