Helping Independent Workers Grow Their Business in Gig Economy Revolution Creating an opportunity to connect on a personal level

By Samiksha Jain

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The gig economy revolution is probably in its infancy. Paul Krugmanin, an American economist in his article said, "The time may come when most tax lawyers are replaced by expert systems software, but human beings are still needed and well paid for such truly difficult occupations as gardening, house cleaning, and thousands of other services that will receive an ever-growing share of our expenditure as mere consumer goods become steadily cheaper."

However when you talk to self-employed professionals in those types of fields today, they'll tell you that their biggest challenge is to find new business referrals.

Although many service related businesses exist such as Angie's list & Thumbtack, it is still a hassle to find leads without paying commissions to such companies. Most entrepreneurs pay agencies to get introduced to new business leads however they are not sure if those leads would convert into paying customers or not.

With the rise of gig economy platforms, tens of millions of Americans are involved in some form of freelancing, contracting, temping or outsourcing.

Sensing the need to address this rising problem, Priya Jupudi founded 99Artisans, a Utah-based company which connects skilled workers with customers, making it simple, easy and affordable for entrepreneurs.

"I came across several self-employed professionals that got lost to anonymity and wanted to help them by creating a platform to express freely and to easily find new work opportunities," said Priya Jupudi Founder and CEO, 99Artisans.

While most gig-economy companies are creating platforms that give people ways to earn money between jobs or on the side, 99Artisans aims to help professionals grow their business by allowing them to send quotes to their customers for free.

"We love using technology in constructive ways," said Jupudi. "We want to support professionals and help them build and grow their businesses," she added further.

Professionals on 99Artisans get invitation or calls from people looking for professional services. If they decide to bid, they do not pay any fee to the startup. Once they are hired professionals works directly with the customer.

"We want professionals to get lots of repeat jobs from clients they find through our platform," said Jupudi.

Platforms like 99Artisans are an essential partner for entrepreneurs to improve upon their earnings and standard of living. A 2015 study commissioned in part by the Freelancers Union estimates that about one-third of the work force, or 53.7 million people, now do freelance work, an increase of 700,000 from a year earlier.

Clearly this trend manifests the rise in the need for skilled workers who specialize in tasks that computers cannot handle. According to Jupudi, majority of the professionals on the site are young upcoming tradesmen.

With over 250 categories, venture represents house painters, piano teachers, photographers, writers, tutors and many others.

As opposed to being replaced by technology, these Gigpreneurs are benefiting from startup like this.

This is the new face of the gig economy. If platforms like Airbnb and Uber got consumers comfortable with the concept, sites like 99Artisans are helping small businesses thrive and connect with their prospective leads by creating an opportunity to connect on a personal level.

Samiksha Jain

Former Staff, Entrepreneur.com

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