To Gig Or Not To Gig
Prefer flexible, short-term, temporary jobs over permanent jobs? The gig economy just might be right for you.
According to the IRS, the gig economy is an activity where people earn income by providing on-demand work, services, or goods, often through an app or website. While gigs have been around for a while, the recent spotlight placed on the gig economy due to Covid-19 has more and more people now looking into their gig options.
Top reasons why people have decided to take on gig jobs? To save up extra money, cover gaps or changes in income, control their own schedule, be their own boss, do something fun in their spare time, or maybe because there are not a lot of job opportunities in their area.
In this article we’ll cover all things “gigs”, including of course, business insurance for gig workers. Let’s go.
Gig workers are self-employed workers, often referred to as independent contractors, and are hired to work on demand. Many gig workers will juggle multiple gigs at one time, while others will focus solely on one task. Currently, nearly 60 million Americans, which is more than one-third of American workers, participate in the gig economy.
Many businesses are now looking into hiring gig workers because they want to save money. When hiring a gig worker, businesses will save because they do not have to pay expenses that come with hiring a new employee, or pay for any benefits (like insurance).
When choosing to work gigs as a source of income, you must be adaptable in order to stay competitive.
What exactly are gigs?
Gigs, also called side hustles, are jobs that support people who are in need of either supplemental income or a main source of income. Some gigs are temporary while others are long-term. This means you can find gigs that last anywhere from 15 minutes to two years!
When it comes to how much money gig workers earn, it depends on the type of work you are doing. Delivery drivers can make upwards of $30,000 a year, while computer programmers can make over $100,000 a year.
The gig economy is extremely diverse. While most gig workers stick to working within one main niche, others will work a variety of gig jobs. Most gig workers find their next gig online using websites and apps.
Need some inspiration for your next gig? Check out a few ideas below:
- Childcare worker
- Computer programmer
- Artisan contractor
- Delivery driver
- Freelance copywriter
- Furniture flipper
- Graphic designer
- Healthcare worker
- Marketing consultant
- Social media manager
- Internet technology
- Virtual assistant
- Web developer
Popular gig businesses
So, what are some of the more popular businesses that are hiring gig workers nowadays? To apply for a gig with any of the above businesses, you’ll need to fill out an application on their platform.
- Airbnb: You set your own price, Airbnb takes a percentage, fees involved
- DoorDash: Average pay is $20 an hour
- Fiverr: You set your own price, Fiverr takes 20% commission
- Instacart: Average pay is $14 an hour
- Lyft: Average pay is $23 an hour
- PostMates: Average pay is $13 an hour
- Rover: Average pay is $15.52 an hour
- TaskRabbit: Average pay is $23 an hour
- Uber: Average pay is $18 an hour
- Upwork: You set your own price, Upwork takes 20% commission up to $500, 10% after
Should you gig?
Can you make a living off gigs? Yes! It is not only possible for you to make a living off working gigs, you can potentially make more money than you would if you were working a 9 to 5. If you have a special skill set that would make you stand out when applying for gigs, you are much more likely to get hired.
The pros of gigging:
- Independence – Most gigs offer flexible hours allowing gig workers to work at a time that is convenient for them
- Variety – Many gig workers enjoy the variety of gig jobs because they enjoy new challenges and enjoy working with different people
- Passion – Due to the wide variety of gigs, gig workers can easily pursue their passions when searching for their next gig job
When not to gig
What are the cons of gig work? In 2020, Statista performed a survey and found that American gig workers were most concerned about two things – an economic downturn and the ability to save money.
- Unpredictability – Gig workers are always looking for their next gig
- Inconsistent – Because gig jobs are temporary, the ability to earn a stable income can be difficult for some
- Isolation – Gig workers who work alone may find themselves lonely when working remote gig jobs
- Burnout – Gig workers who perform the same gigs over and over again can experince worker stress and fatigue
- Taxes – Gig workers are responsible for paying their own income taxes, which will range somewhere between 15% and 30%
- Lack of insurance – Most gig workers do not receive any employer-paid benefits, including necessary insurance
Getting new gigs
If you are just starting out as a gig worker one of the first things you need to do is identify your skillset. Once you figure out what skills you have to offer, you need to make yourself stand out from the rest of the people within your niche. One of the best ways you can do this is to create a simple website that lets people know who you are and what you can offer them.
Be sure to include all of your marketable skills!
Is being a gig worker worth it?
Being a gig worker is worth it if you have the skill set required to work in certain gigs. If you have really great skills, then you will spend more time gigging vs looking for your next gig. While the gig economy does not provide the same level of security as working a 9 to 5 job, it does offer workers a variety of other benefits.
If you have any fears about freelancing gigs, there are things you can do to get over your fears and take the leap!
Small business insurance for gig workers
As a gig worker, you want to make sure that your business is protected. This requires you to buy the right types of business insurance so your career is not at risk. The last thing you want to happen is for someone to sue you and you not be covered by the insurance that could save you a good chunk of money in damages and legal fees.
Examples of what business insurance can cover:
- Replacement costs of stolen tools or equipment
- Repair costs of a fender bender while delivery driving
- Court costs if you face a lawsuit due to failure to deliver promised goods or services
Great commercial insurance policies for gig workers:
General liability: This type of insurance covers the two biggest risks gig workers face – third-party bodily injuries and property damages. This type of insurance also protects you if someone suffers from personal/advertising injury as a result of your gig services. Examples of this include libel, slander, copyright infringement, and false advertising. General liability insurance is especially important for gig workers who interact with the public often.
Professional liability: Protects you if someone were to claim that you were somehow negligent when providing your services. This includes making mistakes or failing when delivering a promised good. When professional errors are made, professional liability helps pay your legal costs.
Workers’ comp: Workers’ comp insurance protects you, any employees you have, and your business if someone were to get hurt on the job. Most states require workers’ compensation, so be sure to check with your state laws to know what is required of you.
Business auto: Do you use a vehicle while performing your gigs? If you do, know that your personal auto insurance probably does not cover business-related vehicle accidents. Check your personal policy and if you are not covered for work purposes, you need to get business auto insurance. Note: Your vehicle needs to be in your business name in order to allow for a business auto policy. If the car is in your personal name, you may want to consider hired & non-owned auto insurance.
Whether you are considering taking a gig approach to earning money or have already been a part of the gig workforce for many years, you need business insurance. Without insurance you are not protected, and costs that are associated with accidents could potentially put you out of business.
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