As we head into 2023, it’s time to start planning for success as a gig worker in 2023! Below, we have guest poster Jeff sharing his step-by-step strategies for success in 2023. Jeff will walk you through a game plan, including reflecting on your past earnings, potential pitfalls, and more.

    Benjamin Franklin said, “If you fail to plan, you’re planning to fail.”  Or, he said, “By failing to plan, you are preparing to fail.” There is some confusion as to which comment or when he actually said this, but the quotes are attributed to one of the most accomplished and wisest people who has ever lived.  Winston Churchill also said, “He who fails to plan, is planning to fail.”

    A few years ago, one of my riders told me as a tribute to her parents, who she had lost, she was taking her three small children around the world. She wanted to teach them about the world and did it by herself. What would you do if you were in her shoes? Would you make some plans? She had already planned out her first few months, and I have no doubt she gave her children an incredible experience. She had to plan for her journey, and so do we.

    You are in your shoes, and I am in mine, and we both are looking at 2023, which is basically here. Whatever your business is in the gig economy, you can do better in 2023 by sitting down for one hour and planning for this coming year. 

    If it’s easier for you, sit down for two thirty-minute sessions, and I will do it with you. This is not something I came up with; most businesses do this every year in some way. I’m certain that Benjamin Franklin and Winston Churchill would agree it’s a great idea, too.

    We are not going to travel around the world with small children, we are not going to experiment with electricity, and we are certainly not going to save England in a World War.  We are simply going to figure out where our business is and where we want it to be a year from now.  By planning this out, we are choosing our destination and making all the months ahead easier for us mentally and physically by traveling on the roads we are supposed to be on. 

    Step 1: Make the Time to Plan for 2023

    Two thirty-minute sessions or one sixty-minute session; it’s your choice.  If you like to have some background music, a cold drink, chips and dip, or a pint of ice cream, you are in charge-it is your business.  I’m here, you’re there, and I will be your business planner since Benjamin and Winston are unavailable. I’m going to lay out a bunch of questions you need to answer for yourself and your business.  2023 will be a better year when you answer these questions, and you will be more confident because you will know where you are going. One bad day or week will be insignificant because you know where you’re headed.

    Step 2: What Happened in 2022? Where Are You Now?

    Being a numbers guy, I have kept detailed numbers on parts of my business as an Uber driver. At any time this year, I know how many rides I’ve given, how many tips I’ve gotten, how much money I’ve had come in, and how much money I’ve spent on gas. 

    At the end of each month, I write down that info on a large desk planner and a couple of sheets of paper. I’ve done this for several years, and I can go back to any date and quickly look at what I did.

    If you don’t have easy access to your business info in 2022, make sure you do for 2023.

    You need to put together some of this information for taxes anyway, and starting now is much better than a few months from now. If you have multiple businesses in the gig economy, you need to answer these questions for each:

    1. What did you learn this year? What worked well and what did not?
    2. What was your gross income in 2022-how much money did you bring in?
    3. How much time did you put in?
    4. What were your expenses?
    5. How many miles did you drive?
    6. How do you feel about the business? Are you more positive about it now or more negative about it? Is it working well for you?
    7. Are there slower times during the year or is the opportunity about the same all year?

    Answer the questions you can now, or with a few minutes of work, and go back to the ones you need to calculate the answers.  On Sergio and Chris’s show, “Show Me the Money,” they have discussed almost weekly what expenses to look at and how to do it.  

    Watch the Show Me the Money Club broadcasts on YouTube here: Show Me the Money Club

    Step 3: Looking Ahead for Pitfalls

    You and I have little control over things, and the easiest example is gas prices. At the end of last year, gas prices were rising and continued to rise for many months into 2022.  

    How much more did you pay for gas this year? The great news is that gas expenses should be much less this year. Are you going to continue to save money on gas the way you have this year? If you want to start saving on gas, there are many ways to do it.  The easiest way is to know which gas stations have the best prices and get gas there as often as possible – you can use an app like Upside to help you locate and find the best gas prices. 

    Here’s how to use the Upside app: How To Use The Upside Gas App To Save Money [Tutorial]

    Uber and Lyft both set-up temporary gas surcharges and Uber’s is most likely about to end, and Lyft’s is already gone.  For some drivers, an extra $.55 per ride was not enough, but I know it added another $1,000 to my income, which was substantial.  More than likely, Uber drivers will not have this money in 2023.

    In 2021 the promotion money I received from Uber was pretty high. I anticipated that there would be a significant drop in 2022 since there would no longer be a driver shortage and I was correct. I would guess my earnings will be similar next year to 2022, but this is just a guess.

    If you have upfront pricing already, what changes have you seen? Take the time to analyze your rides to get accurate information. Will they adjust upfront pricing for 2023?

    Your car can be a major expense; what do you expect with it in 2023?  Are you do for a major repair? Have you been getting regular oil changes to reduce your repair costs? Do you need a new car, or did you just get one? Will your expenses be different for your car in 2023 than they were in 2022?

    How is your health? Do you need more time off, or did you have more time off this year, and are you able to spend more time on your business in 2023? 

    Is inflation getting better? This can affect some of your expenses and, of course your need for income.  You would think 2023 will be better, but how much better?

    Step 4: Where Are You Now?

    When I meet someone randomly, and they express interest in signing up for Uber or Lyft, I ask them some questions to find out where they are. You need to ask yourself the same important questions: 

    1. How much time do I want to spend on my business in 2023?
    2. How much money do I need to make?
    3. How much money would I like to make?
    4. Where am I financially right now?
    5. Did I have any big expenses or surprises last year that I won’t have in 2023?

    Step 5: Improve Your Business in 2023

    Many of the last 33 years, I have had at least one part-time income coming in, and it was usually a driving job. It is always a good idea to have multiple streams of income coming in.  If something happens to one business, you have another one or two to fall back on.

    1. Do you need or want to make more money in 2023?
    2. Can you do that in the business or businesses you have now?
    3. If you can, what three things can you do to increase your income in this business?
    4. If not, what part-time venture will fit well into your life?

    Step 6: Implement Your Plan

    If I haven’t convinced you yet to plan your business for 2023, I will leave the final words to Winston Churchill. He motivated his country and the Allied forces on June 4, 1940, with one of the greatest speeches of all time. With hundreds of thousands of troops trapped in Dunkirk, France, the greatest rescue in history took place and saved 335,000 troops. A few days later, he said this to his country:

    “We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender.” 

    You may not be battling during WWII, but you should approach your business earnings goals in 2023 with a similar fervor. By taking stock of where you were, where you want to go, and anticipating challenges along the way, you can set yourself up for success in 2023 as a rideshare driver or any type of gig worker!

    How are you planning for 2023? Let me know one thing you’re doing in the comment section!

    -Jeff @ RSG

    Harry Campbell

    Harry Campbell

    I'm Harry, the owner and founder of The Rideshare Guy Blog and Podcast. I used to be a full-time engineer but now I'm a rideshare blogger! I write about my experience driving for Uber, Lyft, and other services and my goal is to help drivers earn more money by working smarter, not harder.