A shared resource is a long-lasting asset that can be used by many people. With a shared resource, you can create the asset once, then charge your customers for it use.
To create a successful business that offers a shared resource, you must:
- Create an asset that people want to use.
- Serve as many people as possible without reducing the quality of each person’s experience.
- Charge enough to maintain and improve the shared resource over time.
A gym is a great example of a shared resource. A gym owner can purchase twenty treadmills, fifteen exercise bikes, ten elliptical machines, two sets of free weights, and other fitness equipment that is durable. The gym members benefit by being able to use all of the equipment without buying each piece individually. Rather, they pay a membership fee, which is much more affordable.
Most gyms offer access to their shared resource through a Subscription. Along with this, many gyms also provide personal training Services, which is an example of Bundling.
Businesses including theme parks and museums work in a similar way. Whether it’s riding Splash Mountain at Disneyland or enjoying a painting at the Getty Museum, shared resources provide many people with the opportunity to have an experience that would otherwise be too expensive.
The challenge with offering a shared resource is carefully keeping track of usage levels. If you don’t attract enough customers, you won’t be able to spread out the cost of the asset enough to cover initial costs and regular maintenance. But if you have too many customers, overcrowding will result in an unpleasant experience and frustration for your customers. Not only will they stop using your resource – they’ll tell others not to use it as well, hurting your Reputation.
Finding the balance between not enough customers and too many is the key to making your shared resource work successfully.
To learn more about a shared resource as a form of value, check out The Personal MBA by Josh Kaufman.
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