Retirement Entrepreneurs Blog

Comments, rants and tips on baby boomer small business ideas
and working after retirement.

Author: Ingvar - Retiree In Training  

Working after retirement

There is a major paradigm shift taking place that will potentially change the way we purchase and consume goods.  As a business person, there is tremendous potential to benefit from this movement.  I recently read an article about Rachael Botsman who wrote "What’s Mine is Yours:  The Rise of Collaborative Consumption”.   Among the many thoughtful ideas in the article, was the concept that access to goods is becoming more important than the actual ownership of them.  

For years we have been groomed and conditioned to buy products.  Ownership and prestige go hand in hand.  So much so that even if the item we need for a particular event or chore gets used only once, we buy it then store it, sometimes for years.  How about that power washer or rug steam cleaner in the basement?  As we accumulate more things, we need more space to store them.  Possessions possess the possessor. 

The concept may seem retro but the realization being expressed is that we underutilize so many of the things we purchase and there is great potential and a financial benefit in the business of sharing or renting a vast array of products and services not previously considered.  This is partially made possible by the increase in efficiency and access to computer technology and social networking. 

Sharing goods or skills makes sense.  The recent economic crisis has left many people cash poor or at least cautious about spending.  Concern for the environment has made it more popular and principled to recycle and repair to get the maximum usage from an item.

Look around you and make note of some of the items that are being shared that would not have been contemplated years ago.  Notice such things as cars (zipcar), bicycles, rooms, land for gardens (Landshare), as well as many services.  With the trend being the concept of sharing versus ownership, there are so many potential opportunities for creative and innovative business entrepreneurs to thrive.   The important aspect is that people want to access goods, tools or services readily, as they need them and they won’t need to purchase them.  That could be a good thing for a new business and also for the planet and its resources.

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