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RVing: The Ultimate Side Hustle for Gen Z?

In recent years, the entrepreneurial spirit has been on the rise, especially among the younger generations. The August 2023 Go RVing Monthly Trends Report sheds light on this growing trend, highlighting the increasing number of young individuals venturing into businesses and side hustles. But what’s even more intriguing is the potential role the RV industry can play in this burgeoning movement.

A 2021/2022 report from the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM), conducted by Babson College, provides a deeper insight into this trend. The report reveals that the USA’s Total Entrepreneurial Activity (TEA) rate, which represents the percentage of the 18-64 population who are currently owner-managers of an established business, rose to 16.5% last year. This is a notable increase, especially considering a slight dip to 15.4% in 2020.

The GEM report also highlighted a distinct pattern of high entrepreneurship rates among the youngest adult age group, specifically those aged 18-24, which falls within the Gen Z demographic. This trend is unprecedented in recent GEM USA report history. 

Among this age group, a significant 67% emphasized a focus on environmental sustainability, and 58% were highly likely to take actions that would positively impact their communities. Furthermore, the 18- to 24-year-olds showcased high entrepreneurial intentions (20%) and entrepreneurship rates (19%), although they also had notable business closure rates (6.2%).

Donna J. Kelley, a Babson College Entrepreneurship professor and GEM U.S. Team co-leader, commented on this trend in the same report, stating that while entrepreneurship rates typically peak among those with ample work experience, resources, and networks, the recent GEM survey indicates a growing interest in entrepreneurship among young individuals. These young entrepreneurs “can bring novel ideas”, an understanding of youth market segments, and a willingness to embrace risk and learning.

With this backdrop of rising entrepreneurial spirit, especially among the younger generation, the RV industry’s potential role becomes even more significant. The flexibility, adventure, and promise of a balanced work-life that the RV lifestyle offers seem to be in perfect harmony with the aspirations of these young entrepreneurs.

Gen Z’s Entrepreneurial Surge

The August 2023 report from Go RVing highlights that Google searches for “side hustle” have tripled since 2018. Furthermore, an impressive 10% of Gen Z is gearing up to launch their own businesses in the next half-year. Interestingly, families with a penchant for travel have an 80% likelihood of having a business owner in their midst.

This data suggests a paradigm shift in the aspirations and ambitions of young people. The traditional 9-to-5 job model seems to be losing its allure as more and more individuals seek greater autonomy over their time and financial futures.

A significant influencer in this entrepreneurial wave is the social media platform, TikTok, per Go RVing.

The TikTok Influence

According to the August 2023 Go RVing Monthly Trends Report, TikTok has become a hub for young people to share and discover business opportunities, from remote transcription jobs to print-on-demand ventures. This trend is part of a broader movement where young individuals are actively seeking nontraditional means to gain more control over their time and income.

Moreover, TikTok’s recent foray into e-commerce with the “TikTok Shop” feature emphasizes the evolving nature of online shopping. As stated by TikTok, this feature aims to provide a seamless shopping experience, further underscoring the platform’s role in shaping the purchasing behaviors of young consumers.

A deep dive into the phenomenon of “TikTok made me buy it” reveals the platform’s profound impact on purchasing decisions. According to an article by Spiralytics, TikTok videos have become a potent tool for community commerce, a term that refers to the act of selling or promoting products on social media platforms. The hashtag #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt alone has garnered billions of views, driving millions of users to purchase products they’ve discovered on the platform.

The principle of social proof is deeply embedded in TikTok’s influence. Users tend to gravitate towards products that receive endorsements or reviews from familiar faces or trusted personalities. Authentic product testimonials strike a chord with viewers, fostering increased trust and a heightened inclination to purchase. 

Matter’s survey findings corroborate this, indicating that a staggering 82% of individuals base their purchasing decisions on positive feedback from influencers and peers.

Moreover, the allure of TikTok doesn’t just stem from its ability to spotlight products. The platform adeptly taps into the Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) sentiment. When users witness products being showcased or critiqued on TikTok, they’re often propelled by an innate fear of being left out of a trend or missing out on a beneficial product. This urgency drives swift purchasing actions, with a significant 60% of users acting on their impulse within a day, and inspiring 67% to cop a product, hyping other people to join the bandwagon.

TikTok also bridges knowledge gaps, serving as a reservoir of information. Videos frequently present solutions to everyday challenges or innovative product uses. This aligns seamlessly with users’ innate curiosity and the information gap theory, where individuals actively seek knowledge on subjects that pique their interest. With a substantial portion of TikTok users viewing the platform as an informational hub, videos that offer unique insights or “life hacks” resonate deeply.

Furthermore, the platform’s content, designed to foster joy and positivity, plays a pivotal role in influencing purchasing behavior. The creative freedom TikTok offers often translates to content that uplifts spirits, making users more predisposed to making purchases based on content that elevates their mood.

Adding to the platform’s significance, in the United States alone, the Gen Z and Millennial generations account for a substantial portion of the spending population. According to McKinsey & Company, these two generations collectively command a spending power of $350 billion, with Gen Z accounting for $150 billion and millennials contributing $200 billion. 

TikTok influenced 36% of the Gen Z population to purchase products they discovered on the app, Spiralytics reported. This immense financial clout underscores the importance of platforms like TikTok in shaping the purchasing behaviors of these influential demographics.

In light of these insights, TikTok’s influence is undeniably far-reaching, extending beyond mere entertainment. It has metamorphosed into a potent tool for businesses, enabling them to engage with a vast and active audience, amplify sales, and fortify brand loyalty. As Gen Z continues to be a dominant force on TikTok, understanding and leveraging the platform’s influence will be paramount for businesses aiming to resonate with this dynamic and influential group.

So, what does this mean for the RV industry?

RVing: A New Frontier for Young Entrepreneurs

The RV lifestyle, with its promise of flexibility and adventure, seems to resonate with the values and aspirations of young entrepreneurs. Working from an RV offers a unique blend of productivity and relaxation, making it an attractive proposition for those looking to merge work and leisure. 

The Go RVing report suggests that the RV industry can play a pivotal role in supporting these young entrepreneurs by showcasing the benefits of an RV-driven work lifestyle. This includes the potential of renting out RVs on peer-to-peer RV rental platforms like Outdoorsy, RVshare, GoCamp, and more.

Another possible venture, according to Go RVing, is starting mobile businesses that operate out of RVs such as mobile RV repairs.

The evolving “hustle culture” among Gen Z, characterized by flexible work schedules and an emphasis on personal time, aligns seamlessly with the RV ethos. 

This alignment is further underscored by recent studies that highlight the changing dynamics of the workplace. According to a study featured on Modern Campground, the number of people working from campsites nearly tripled between 2018 and 2021. 

Camping app The Dyrt revealed that as remote work became more prevalent during the pandemic, many found that “work from home” could easily transition to “work from campsite.” In fact, the 2022 Camping Report indicated that 23.8% of campers reported working from a campsite in 2021. This shift is not just about the allure of nature but also about achieving a work-life balance that traditional office settings might not offer.

Another survey featured on Modern Campground highlighted that 1 in 4 employees quit their jobs during the pandemic to embrace remote work. 

The Conference Board’s workforce survey, which captured the opinions of over 1,200 U.S. employees, revealed that flexibility in the workplace significantly supports workers’ mental well-being. 

A staggering 70% of respondents claimed that flexible working time and locations were among the most effective policies businesses could implement to support their mental health. This sentiment was echoed by Rebecca Ray, executive vice president of human capital at The Conference Board, who noted the increasing desire across generations, including Baby Boomers, for the freedom to work from any location, be it from home or an RV in a national park.

The Road Ahead

Incorporating these findings, it’s evident that the RV industry is uniquely positioned to cater to this growing demand for flexibility and work-life balance. As younger generations continue to prioritize personal time and well-being, the RV lifestyle offers an unparalleled opportunity to merge work, leisure, and travel.

Furthermore, with platforms like TikTok revolutionizing the way young consumers discover and shop, it’s imperative for the RV and camping industry to adapt and innovate. By harnessing the power of social commerce and tailoring their strategies, RV brands can position themselves as an integral part of Gen Z’s entrepreneurial narrative.

As the boundaries between work and leisure continue to blur, the RV industry stands at a crossroads. With the right approach and understanding of the changing dynamics, it can pave the way for a new generation of entrepreneurs, eager to take the road less traveled.

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February 17, 2024 11:41 am

RVing has become a thrilling side hustle for Gen Z, offering the freedom to work remotely while exploring new destinations. The rise of digital nomadism has inspired young individuals to share their RV adventures on social media, creating a vibrant community. Gen Z’s embrace of RVing as a side hustle reflects a desire for freedom, adventure, and unconventional career paths. It’s truly invigorating to see this trend shaping the way young people approach work and travel.


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Hi, you might find this article from Modern Campground interesting: RVing: The Ultimate Side Hustle for Gen Z?! This is the link: https://moderncampground.com/usa/rving-the-ultimate-side-hustle-for-gen-z/