Outsourcing to Gig Workers: The New Standard for SMBs


For people who run SMBs (small and medium businesses), time is their most precious commodity. Every minute spent on non-core tasks is a minute that could otherwise be spent growing the business. These “non-core” tasks are things like laundry in a spa. They’re essential for the company to function but aren’t the way you drive revenue. While larger businesses or chains might have in-house laundry or be able to afford expensive, long-term contracts with commercial services, SMBs are left out in the cold. 

We don’t think that should be the case. SMBs should be able to outsource their essential but non-core business tasks to other companies. This isn’t just about laundry; it’s about creating a healthy symbiotic relationship between small and medium businesses where everyone wins. The best way for this to happen is with gig workers. SMBs can offload tasks to companies (like hampr) that utilize gig workers instead of traditional employees. This makes the price for these services more affordable and flexible to fit the unique needs of smaller businesses. 

Enter: hampr’s commercial laundry service, built to be flexible and affordable for SMBs. It’s time for the next stage of the hampr revolution, let’s get into it. 

Need for Outsourcing

When you’re running a business, you have to be on top of a lot of moving parts. For instance, if you run a hair salon, you have to find a location, hire qualified hair stylists, keep your space clean and aesthetically pleasing, manage finances, etc. The list goes on and on! If your main focus is to do hair and keep your business running, these tasks can be incredibly overwhelming. Things like laundry for all those towels and deep-cleaning your space regularly are difficult or impossible to get done during the day. Where does this leave you? Taking laundry home in the evenings or spending late nights trying to get every nook and cranny clean in your salon because your days are full.

This isn’t exclusive to running a spa or a salon. Most SMBs have these types of tasks that take extra time and attention away from the owners or employees that would be better spent on other areas. These tasks range from inbound marketing, payroll, training, and managing staff, facilities management (cleaning your office/work space), and taxes, among many other things. In fact, studies have shown that SMB owners only spent around 31% of their time actually growing their business and the rest of their time handling day-to-day tasks and putting out fires. 63% of business owners work more than 50 hours a week, and 73% say they wish they could spend more time on their business strategy

Clearly, this isn’t a sustainable way to run a business. It’s also likely a contributing factor to why so many SMBs fail within the first few years of existing. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, only 25% of new businesses make it longer than 15 years, and 20% don’t even make it past the two-year mark. These numbers have remained fairly constant since the 1990s, so why do so many businesses fail early? What if there were more businesses aimed at supporting other small and medium businesses? Creating a healthy, balanced support system where SMBs give each other business and support their own business at the same time could help. If SMB owners were able to access flexible, affordable services, they’d be able to spend more time growing their businesses and working on long-term strategies. 

Issues with Existing Services

Existing services really cater to large, established businesses that can afford expensive contracts and sign long-term agreements. One of the largest commercial laundry facilities, for example, offers contracts that range from 3-5 years long. They are more costly and are not flexible with pick-up days. When you sign the contract, you get your laundry pick-up day, and it doesn’t change. So what if something comes up and you need an earlier pick-up? There is no flexibility for unforeseen circumstances. This could leave you still doing your business laundry after hours, in addition to paying for this expensive service. Not to mention that if so many businesses fail within the first two years, it isn’t reasonable to sign a three to five-year contract.

On top of all that, they’re incredibly expensive, and most SMBs won’t be able to afford it. Their pricing models are geared for large businesses and their volume. This means if your business pays for the same service but has less laundry than a larger business, you’re paying more per load than larger businesses. Auditing services that work to monitor billing discrepancies with these large contractors claim to save their customers 30-40% on their bills. Imagine overpaying for a service by that much. This is enough of an issue that companies survive off finding these problems. This does not leave many with a feeling of confidence in signing these long-term contracts. If the SMB is able to afford the cost, they likely can’t risk the loss associated with these huge overpayments. 

Furthermore, existing systems and services often lack the customization and personalized support that SMBs need. Large corporations have the resources to negotiate custom contracts and tailor services to their specific requirements. SMBs, on the other hand, are often offered one-size-fits-all solutions that do not address their unique challenges and operational constraints. This lack of customization can lead to inefficiencies and higher costs for SMBs, as they are forced to adapt their operations to fit the limitations of existing services.

Overall, the mismatch between existing services and the needs of SMBs highlights the need for more tailored and flexible solutions. SMBs require services that are affordable, adaptable, and scalable to meet their evolving needs. By addressing these challenges, service providers can better support the growth and success of SMBs for everyone’s benefit. 

Cognitive Load

SMB owners have a lot to contend with. The odds are stacked against them; existing services aren’t built to support their needs, and limited resources leave them spending a lot of their time on non-core tasks. All these tasks contribute to the cognitive load a person is able to manage each day. Cognitive load is the amount of working memory your brain uses to function. If your cognitive load gets high, processing slows down. You aren’t able to make decisions as well or analyze data as effectively. 

When a business owner’s cognitive load has reached max capacity, the business is sure to suffer. The pressure to grow their business while ensuring smooth operation can be overwhelming. SMB owners are left with little time to care for themselves or their families. This constant balancing act leads to stress, burnout, and a decrease in quality of life. Outsourcing these non-core tasks becomes a necessity very quickly. If an SMB owner wants their business to succeed, they have to find ways to make that happen. 

Benefits of Gig Workers for SMBs

Something SMBs have to contend with is losing their employees to larger businesses. More often than not, smaller businesses can pay enough to compete with large corporations. SMBs can help reduce turnover issues by outsourcing some of the tasks that overwhelm their employees (and themselves!). Gig workers are the obvious choice for these situations. The gig economy has exploded post-Covid, with nearly 53 million Americans participating in some type of gig work. People are driven to gig work for many reasons, but one of the most common is the need for flexibility. Millennials are a “sandwich generation”, which means they are taking care of young children and their aging parents simultaneously. Care for these people is expensive and unaffordable for the average American family. This leaves people looking for flexible work they can do from home. 

Gig workers are much cheaper since you don’t need to pay for benefits, conduct training, or pay a full-time salary. You also typically won’t be signing any lengthy contracts, so if things don’t work out you’re not stuck paying for three years. Outsourcing tasks like laundry, cleaning, HR, and payroll will reduce the cognitive load you and your employees feel. Not to mention, you’ll be supporting another small business or person trying to make some extra money on the side. 

Economic Impact

There is a massive hole in the existing market for companies that use gig workers to fill the needs of SMBs. The community benefits because flexible gig work is copacetic with the demands of parenthood and caretaking. SMBs benefit by being able to afford help, offload non-core tasks, and focus on growing their business. There is a space for companies to step in and fill this void. It’s an underrated market with huge growth potential for the right business idea. 

Companies that utilize gig workers, like hampr, not only benefit SMBs but also contribute to the overall economy. Supporting SMBs creates a more diverse, innovative, and resilient economy. Utilizing gig workers means you can scale up or down depending on how things are going without the commitment to a full-time employee. The cost savings for SMBs can be a game-changer. You only pay for the work you need to be done, so slower months will cost less instead of staying the same. The market for gig workers has never been better. Now, there just needs to be a way to bridge the disconnect between these workers and SMBs. hampr is on a mission to make this a reality. 

hampr’s Commercial Laundry Services

Our commercial laundry service is part of our mission to support gig workers and SMBs further. Knowing everything we do now about how existing services aren’t designed to support small or medium businesses, we knew what needed to be done. So, we introduced our Premium Commercial Laundry service. We understand that SMBs need flexible, affordable options for their laundry service. While we’ve been helping people keep their home laundry in order for a while now, we saw an opportunity to help SMBs with our elite team of washrs. Salons, spas, short-term rentals, and gyms all have huge laundry needs. In order to compete with larger, more established companies, SMBs in these sectors need hampr. 

Setting up in-house laundry is incredibly expensive for SMBs. From buying commercial machines to the costs of water, detergent, and electricity, it’s more than most small businesses can afford. SMBs also need a service that is able to scale with them during times of rapid growth. hampr does just that. When you need laundry picked up, just get on the app and schedule a pick-up time that works for you. There are no contracts, no forced schedule, and no driving to drop off or pick up your laundry.

A “Managerless” Workforce

A powerful way to leverage gig workers to the benefit of SMBs is through software. By using well-made software to give assignments, monitor active work, and manage payments, you can create a “managerless” workforce. These platforms can use algorithms to match gig workers with assignments based on their skills, availability, and location. The best part? No need for managerial oversight by the hiring SMB. These platforms can also provide real-time tracking and monitoring to ensure projects are completed when and how you need them.

The software solutions can also help SMBs create a more flexible and dynamic workforce. Businesses can easily scale up or down based on demand by simply adjusting the amount of tasks on the platform. For hampr, this means you request a laundry pickup when you need it. There is no strict pick-up schedule or rigid obligations, just laundry done right. This flexibility also helps SMBs respond to changing market conditions and tap into a broader range of talent than they wouldn’t have access to before. 

Using software to create a managerless workforce significantly reduces overhead costs and helps improve operational efficiency. All this while still maintaining quality and accountability in their workforce. This manager-free approach also lets gig workers take more ownership of their work and schedule, which makes them happier and more productive. Overall, using software with gig workers can provide SMBs with a competitive edge. 


The benefits of outsourcing non-core tasks to gig workers are multifaceted and significant. By leveraging the gig economy, SMBs can achieve a level of operational efficiency and flexibility that was previously out of reach. The ability to offload tasks like laundry, cleaning, HR, and payroll to gig workers not only reduces the cognitive load on SMB owners and employees but also allows for better allocation of resources and focus on core business activities.

Moreover, supporting gig workers contributes to the growth and dynamism of the gig economy, which in turn stimulates economic growth and innovation. Gig workers, often driven by the need for flexibility and autonomy, provide a more affordable solution for SMBs that cannot bear the overhead costs associated with traditional employees. This flexibility extends to the scalability of services, allowing SMBs to scale up or down depending on their needs without the limitations of long-term contracts.

Services like hampr’s commercial laundry service are paving the way for a new era of business operations. By offering flexible, affordable, and on-demand laundry services tailored to the needs of SMBs, hampr is not only meeting a critical need in the market but also fostering a mutually beneficial relationship between gig workers and SMBs.

As the business landscape continues to evolve, SMBs that embrace outsourcing and gig work will be better positioned for success in the long run. It’s time for SMBs to recognize the value that gig workers bring to the table and to take full advantage of the opportunities they offer. By doing so, SMBs can not only streamline their operations and reduce costs but also contribute to a more diverse, innovative, and resilient economy for all.

Now, join us as we dive deep into the world of working mothers, gig work, and the care economy in our latest blog “2024 Report on Gig Work”, trust us, it’s a must-read!

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