Gig work has become more popular since the pandemic began. There are tons of people who have opted in to contract with companies to do deliveries, rideshare, and overall freelance work, companies are starting to see that they don’t actually need a brick and mortar and many of them have been cutting costs amidst these unprecedented times. To stay on top of things, gig workers have found themselves focusing on what really matters and what is deemed a necessity or not.
Below are a few tools that most gig workers deem to be a necessity no matter what type of gig work you do. So if you are new to this or don’t know exactly what to expect.. Keep reading!
More than one source (app) of income
As an independent contractor, it is crucial that you have more than one (or a few) ways to make money. In a traditional sense, the suggestion would be to have more than one gig app under your belt. This means that if you are into rideshare, you should have a contract/account with not only Uber, but also Lyft, and maybe even Veyo.
If you are into deliveries you may have an UberEats account, but you may also have a contract with DoorDash, Grubhub, or Postmates for contingency purposes. The same goes for any personal shopper apps. It is all about making sure you have a backup plan. Today you can be in contract with the company and tomorrow you can be removed from any platform without any consideration from the company.
Multi-apping is what we like to call it. You should always place yourself in the best predicament to reap the benefits of the work that you do. Always have a backup!
A mileage tracker
Tracking your mileage as a gig worker is massively important. Why? Because for every mile that you travel for work (in the United States), you can reclaim on average (subject to regulations) $0.57 per mile for the mileage deductible at tax time. This is crucial especially if you are in rideshare, as you tend to drive longer distances than most people. However, year after year, this tends to be one of the heavy hitters for all independent contractors.
Some of these companies do track your “online time”. However, they don’t always capture the moments (offline time) where you have to travel across the city just to begin work. There are apps such as MileIQ, Everlance, and Stride that can help you make the most of your work travel.
Bookkeeping software or system
Keeping track of your income and expenses as a gig worker is extremely important. As a self-employed individual, whether you are full time or part time, you will need to document your cash flow.
There are applications, such as Quickbooks, that can assist you with seamlessly keeping track of your income. There are alsotools such as Excel or Google Sheets that will allow you to stay organized and manually keep track of your revenue.
Many gig workers are looking for mortgage loans or hoping to purchase a new vehicle. Keeping track of your pay can be of benefit when it comes to these life changing circumstances. Either way, documentation is very important no matter which platform you decide to go with. Just make sure you keep track, as it is easier said than done!
Timestamp camera (especially for delivery contractors)
Doing gig work deliveries must have been one of the most difficult things to document before the arrival of Timestamp Camera. This application changed the game as it allows you to take a picture or video with a precise geotag. It will literally showcase to you the exact GPS coordinates, the address, and the exact time down to seconds.
After making a delivery, whether the customer has opted in to “leave at door” or “meet in car”, you can quickly record and it automatically saves to your camera roll. Unfortunately, customers are not always honest. But thanks to this type of application, you can have solid documentation that will keep you covered in any event.
As time progresses and the culture of gig work evolves, there are just some things that will remain constant. It will always be a necessity to keep yourself organized and maintain documentation for EVERYTHING! These tools can help you to keep things in order. You never know when you want to buy a car, invest in property, or even if you will get an email from one of the platforms stating that "the customer never received their order”.
Stay healthy, stay WEALTHY, and remember to always see the glass half full!