Join Garrick Chow for an in-depth discussion in this video Tools and gear for unexpected situations and emergencies, part of Starting Your Career in the On-Demand Economy.
For most on demand jobs that require direct interaction with clients, or the renting of your property, it's a good idea to have ready access to any supplies you might need for the comfort of yourself and your customers, and for emergency situations. Here's some things you might want to consider keeping on hand for when you're on the job. It also doesn't hurt to have most of these things around in general most of the time, starting with a first aid kit. Whether you're driving people around in your car or renting out property, having a first aid kit around is just common sense. At the very least, you'll want one that includes a selection of adhesive bandages, antiseptic wipes, and maybe some gauze and first aid tape.
If you're keeping it in your rental property, make sure your guests know where to find it. Next, make sure you have at least one fire extinguisher on hand. By the way, I'm just using Amazon here because all the items I'm showing you are available through them. You're, of course, free to shop around anywhere. If the extinguisher is for your rental property, keep it in an easily accessible location in the kitchen. If you have a large property, you should probably keep a couple of these on hand. And while you're at it, make sure all your smoke detectors are in working order and have fresh batteries. You can also find smaller extinguishers to keep in your car.
They should have a B or C class rating. Class B fires are those that involve flammable liquids, like gasoline, and Class C fires are those that involve electrical equipment like batteries. Also for your car, you might want to get a set of reflective triangles, which can help keep you and your rider safe if your car breaks down on the side of the road. Now if you want to be really prepared, do a search for emergency car kit, and you'll find kits containing the items I've mentioned here, as well as all sorts of other useful items like jumper cables, flat tire fixer, flashlights, ponchos, bungee cords, and so on.
Again, an emergency kit is something you should have in your car anyway, so you might want to use your on demand job as an excuse to get one. And ask your accountant if the purchase is tax deductible. Now there are a couple of other items I recommend having in your car, specifically for rider related issues. The unspoken fact about driving for companies like Uber and Lyft is that, especially on weekends and evenings, you're going to be picking up some people who have been out drinking, and as we know, some people sometimes overdo it. So I highly recommend having some of these on hand.
It's not pleasant to talk or think about, but it's going to be a lot less pleasant if a rider is sick in your car and you don't have anything for them to use. This particular kind of bag here contains an absorbent pad that turns fluids into a gel, so it reduces the possibility of spills. And it can also be easily pulled closed and thrown away. When I'm out driving, I keep a couple of these in the back pocket of the front passenger seat, and if I pick up anyone who looks like they might need one, I let them know they're there. So far I've been lucky, and no one's ever needed one, but I'm glad to have the extra insurance. It also doesn't hurt to have these bags available to people if you're renting your property through Airbnb or the like.
Now, both Uber and Lyft will pay for any damage a rider may do to your car, but again your best bet is to prevent that damage from happening. Occasionally, you may need to do some clean up in your vehicle, so I also like to keep a couple of pairs of latex gloves in the car in case I need to handle any trash or other junk left behind. Again, in my experience, this has never happened, but I like to be prepared just in case. And lastly, they're not necessarily emergency items, but I also like to keep a couple bottles of water and some mints in my car for my passengers. They're just nice to have on hand to offer to riders, and sometimes can earn you a higher rating when the ride is complete.
Switching to stuff for around the house, here are a couple of other things you should keep on hand for your guests when you rent your home out. Make sure you have enough clean towels and extra blankets for all the guests. Have basic toiletries like toilet paper, paper towels, and tissues. Make sure you have cleaning supplies, like hand soap, dish soap, laundry detergent, and so on. You should have plenty of trash bags on hand, including instructions on where to place them when they're full. It's also a good idea to have extra lightbulbs available in case any burn out during their stay. And make sure you provide a list of contact numbers for getting a hold of you.
You'll definitely come up with many other things you'll find you'll need, especially as you deal with more clients, but the items we've looked at here should be enough to get you started and keep you prepared for most situations.
Garrick Chow explains the basic structures of the on-demand economy and the skills and characteristics of successful on-demanders, so you can determine if on-demand work is the right fit for you. Then learn about the time commitment and expectations around pay, what the employer provides, and what one can expect from clients. Garrick then discusses tools to keep you organized, including how to best track income and expenses.
Finally, the course offers tips and tricks and a case study based on the author's firsthand experience as an Uber driver.
- Preparing to work on demand
- Managing expectations from on-demand clients
- Tracking expenses and mileage
- Optimizing your income
- Getting support online
- Case study: Becoming an Uber driver
Skill Level Beginner
Q: This course was updated on 05/26/2017. What changed?
A: A new video was added that explains how to optimize your LinkedIn profile for on-demand work.