We’re delighted to be working with MyShed, a new app that’s changing the way we fund gardening and DIY projects. If you’ve ever priced up a new DIY and landscaping project and winced at the cost of both the materials and the tools – you’ll know that for both gardeners and DIY fans, it’s a costly business. But that’s changing – thanks to this pioneering new app that aims to give UK home and garden enthusiasts a way to complete their projects for a lot less.

MyShed connects people who have tools with those looking for cheap rental. So not only can tool owners earn cash to spend on their projects – short-term tool users can rent them at a fraction of the cost of buying or hiring from the high street, so their project is cheaper too.

Leaf blower lying in the garage? Make some cash out of it. Power drill you got for Christmas and only used once? Use it to fund your next project. Wondering how to afford a rotivator you’ll only need for half an hour? Get your MyShed app out and borrow it from a neighbour for a small fee. It’s home and garden improvement for the tech age: cheaper… and easier.

But MyShed is about more than just saving money. It helps those who want to share the things they own – rather than buying more things, which are just going to lie unused. The sharing economy reduces our environmental impact and goods production. And it helps you build connections with those in your local neighbourhood too. Good news for everyone.

Have a read of this coverage of myShed in Your Home magazine recently – and don’t forget to download the app too: it’s free to download on iOS – just put ‘MyShed’ into the AppStore.

At GangHut we love working with The Good Web Guide – and it’s been a great week at both the Good Web Guide and GangHut HQ. First up, our friends at Gaest.com and GUARDHOG have both been shortlisted in their prestigious ‘Website of The Year’ awards.

Aron Gelbard, co-founder & CEO of Bloom & Wild will announce the winners at a reception held on Monday 12th November in London. You can read the shortlist here – good luck to all the finalists…

We’re also delighted to see Rob Brown, co-founder of GangHut client KERB, the parkshare app that’s taking the UK’s cities by storm – as guest editor of the site. Rob is a digital marketing expert and international keynote speaker who has long been fascinated by technology.

Rob recognises that parking across the world has reached a crunch point, with commuters spending too much time and money on suitable parking (and parking fines).

At the same time, a vast number of parking spaces sit empty; that is, until technology unlocks them in the form of his app kerb.works. The app, is now localised for 300 cities worldwide, in seventeen languages.

The Good Web Guide quizzed him about his favourite places on the internet. Read his interview here – you’ll be taking notes as Rob has some great tips for sites and podcasts.

You might even agree that his favourite tweeter, Donald Trump, is “for entertainment value only – not to be consumed in large doses, or while under the influence of alcohol”…

 

In the first of our new ‘Platform People’ series, we hear from Mark Watters, founder of Shareplant, the peer to peer construction plant and tool hire rental platform.

“I believe that people are increasingly realising that our assets remain unused for much of the time, we don’t need to own as many things and we can rent things when we need to use them. This frees up cash for other things and, in the case of Shareplant, frees up capital investment to be spent elsewhere in our client’s businesses to help them grow in other areas.

I remember when I first heard about peer-to-peer platforms. I was on holiday in America and I was reading about the new upstart companies such as Airbnb, Uber and Lyft. It wasn’t really big in the UK then and it felt really new, fresh and exciting.

I’ve been part of the engineering and construction industry for over thirty years and I’ve been intrigued by low equipment utilisation factors and spare capacity. I see it everywhere – idle machinery on construction sites and in owner’s yards. To me, the use of assets should be maximised – they are here to work for the owners and earn them money – period!

Until now, it’s been difficult to resolve this without spending a lot of time trying to manually rent out spare equipment to friends and contacts. Shareplant solves this – it provides a way for owners of equipment to rent out their idle equipment to people who need it. It also provides flexibility in that the rentals can be with or without an operator, rented by the hour, day or night. We also provide the option for rentals with or without delivery.

The idea came to me while I was reading about Uber, Airbnb and Lyft on holiday. The ‘Eureka moment’ came to me whilst immersed in a glass of wine by just substituting the term ‘accommodation’ with ‘equipment’ into the Airbnb model. Of course, it’s not as simple as that because we are dealing with many different sizes and types of mobile equipment plus health and safety regulations, logistics etc – so we had to find solutions for those as we built the platform.

Interestingly, my customers are now starting to think outside of the box and they are now coming up with underutilised, money earning assets themselves for rent. For example, many construction companies own equipment storage yards.  Sometimes these yards are not fully used so some of my clients are now renting out part of their yard space on Shareplant. Some are even advertising spare offices or desk space! It’s really got people thinking differently.

A typical day for me doesn’t start at the crack of dawn as it does for some entrepreneurs: I’m more of a night owl. The first thing I do in the morning is walk my dog, Baxter, or go to the gym. Then I get home and have breakfast with my family – that’s a real bonus having spent many years leaving for work early or away on business. I get to my office at about 8am and check emails and other correspondence that might have come in overnight. I then spend the morning working on blog articles, social media posts and email marketing. Generally, I spend the afternoons on client meetings or travelling to events to promote Shareplant. Evenings are then spent catching up again, but that is also when I am most creative and come up with new ideas for Shareplant.

One of our objectives is to build a community of trusted equipment sharers – we call them our Shareplant Tribe (find us on Facebook). Trust is so important in the sharing economy – especially with high value and complex pieces of construction equipment.

The construction industry is such a large, complex and diverse industry. There are literally tens of thousands of companies and hundreds of thousands of people to reach who hangout in different places. To grow our community, we use all marketing channels, including social media, to find them and let them know how Shareplant can help them to maximise their equipment utilisation.

Sharing equipment doesn’t only financially help business owners, it also provides huge environmental benefits by being able to find and rent equipment local to the construction project – rather than transporting it miles and miles, which is what currently happens. This reduces carbon emissions, wear and tear on the road infrastructure and congestion in our cities. We are passionate about the sharing economy and really do believe that we can make a difference to the world”.

It’s two weeks since our new website (yes, this one) went live, and we started to tell the world about GangHut. The response? Well, it’s been phenomenal. Our unique offering of marketing for marketplaces has been noticed all over the globe and we’ve even got ourselves some press coverage, which we’re pretty excited about.

First up was Communicate Magazine who specialise in corporate communications. They did a story about us here. Then Scottish Business News Network picked up on our launch, and shared it with their readers. Last but certainly not least, the prestigious Insider covered both our launch and our membership of Sharing Economy UK. You can read the full article here, but in the meantime, enjoy this snippet and check back soon for more news from the Hut.

“The agency offers campaigns that it says will “understand the dual nature of two-sided marketplaces and speak the language of platform technology and blockchain”. The agency also will work with businesses that support the platform economy – businesses in fintech, insuretech, trusttech, and paytech companies as well as regulators and trade bodies.

The agency says its aim is both to services its clients and to connect them, acting as advocates of the platform economy by participating in industry events as well as aiming to deliver thought leadership to move the sector forward.

The agency said that by “increasing awareness and understanding of this transformative model for global trade, GangHut hopes to help position the UK as market leaders in this space by working with clients worldwide, launching international businesses locally and taking local businesses to the world stage.”

Co-founder Shelley Wright says, “Living and working between Sydney and Edinburgh for the last seven years has given me a fascinating insight into the machinations of business and industry; how governments and corporations engage with new economic models – or not.”

“We’ve identified a niche opportunity to help businesses successfully leverage the peer-to-peer economy through savvy marketing, whether they’re operating entirely within the sector already or transitioning some or all of their commercial activities to a sharing or marketplace model.”

She said the agency would specialise in six core areas: communications strategy, content marketing, social media, advertising, search and PR. “But what’s really important is that we understand the long-term goals of our marketplace clients, so we can provide recommendations on what channel – or channel mix will deliver the biggest bang for their buck.”

GangHut has joined Sharing Economy UK, the trade body representing and championing the UK’s sharing economy businesses. Jenna Cane, Sharing Economy UK Manager, says, “We are pleased to welcome GangHut to Sharing Economy UK. Having the first marketing agency amongst our membership helps us to represent a wider range of sharing economy businesses, and supports our objective to make the UK a global centre for the sharing economy.”

The GangHut team has been working pre public launch and its clients include Switzerland’s boutique boat-sharing platform Boataffair, Australia’s parkshare app Kerb and Denmark’s classic car rental platform BookAClassic – as well as partners including Amsterdam gig economy conference Reshaping Work; US marketplace technology conference Marketplace Risk; and Arcadier, the Singapore-based marketplace software creators.