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My wife has been visiting our daughter in Baltimore a lot to help with a new baby, three trips in three months. She now has her own “driver service,” someone she met through one of the ride share companies whom she now books direct.

On the radio last week, I was listening to a discussion about how an Airbnb host gave a guest their phone number and said it would be cheaper to book direct.

I’m sure Uber, Lyft, Airbnb, and others plan for some circumventing of the system. It’s not ethical but I’m not sure what they can do about it as the drivers and hosts are independent contractors, not employees.

And I’m guessing there are other issues related to the above including proper insurance, which I believe the parent companies insist on, reliability, and, in Seattle and other places, the push to allow these drivers to unionize (can you unionize someone completely independent?).

All businesses have issues as there’s are no perfect businesses (and in the buy-sell world, no perfect deals). The more business models evolve, the more (new) issues arise.

Small business owners can be isolated, which is why there are facilitated, peer-to-peer roundtable groups, advisory boards, and business coaches. It’s important to have someone who will ask you tough questions, tell you when you’re off base, hold you accountable, etc. To see more on this watch my video, “A Sounding Board = More profit”

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