Guest article written by Kelli Brewer at DeployCare
Entrepreneurs who enjoy travel and networking might find mobile business a satisfactory and lucrative career option. A mobile business is any that is not confined to one set location, and the term covers anything from a food cart to a house-painting business. One advantage of the mobile business model is that nearly anyone can find a way to turn their skill sets into a money-making venture. Another benefit is that you can start this kind of business without much overhead. However, mobile business ownership comes with its own set of challenges and complexities. So if you’re thinking of creating a mobile business, it’s important to be aware of what that goes into the startup process.
What kind of businesses are considered “mobile”?
Many different businesses can be converted into a mobile model. You could travel to different homes to offer consulting or mechanical work. You could set up a mobile salon or even a sandwich shop in a vehicle. But in general, there are three types of mobile businesses: those in which your vehicle itself is your business (transportation, shipping), those in which you use your vehicle to travel to do business at diverse locations, and those in which you operate your business out of your vehicle.
When does it make sense for a business to be mobile?
Some businesses can only function as mobile businesses. No one’s going to hire a plumber or electrician who refuses to travel! But in other cases, you need to decide whether your business will do best in a brick-and-mortar storefront, out of your home, or as a mobile business. Some questions to ask include: Are there enough potential customers in your area for them to come to you, or will you need to go to them? Do you require a lot of space for your business or can you fit it into a vehicle? What is the cost of running a mobile business versus one in your home or office space? And of course, a mobile business makes more sense if you enjoy getting out of the house and working in diverse locations.
Make sure you have a reliable payroll system
If you’re going to be taking on employees for your mobile business, it’s critical that you have a reliable payroll system to pay your employees on time and to keep accurate payroll records. The right payroll software should automate scheduling, payments, and tax filing. Some software will have features that can simplify running your business, such as same-day direct deposit and time tracking.
For a successful mobile business, having the right vehicle is essential
Even if you don’t need anything large, fancy, or specialized, one across-the-board specification for a mobile business vehicle is that it’s reliable. Additionally, it needs to look clean and presentable. It’s hard to gain the confidence of customers or clients if you show up to work in something rusty or rattletrap. Whatever type of vehicle you have, you will need an honest and dependable mechanic to help keep it in good condition.
Be aware of what kind of licenses and permits you may need
Because licensing and permits differ from one region to the next, you may need to apply for multiple permits. A business license might be required for you legally to do business at all, but such a license won’t necessarily permit you to operate beyond your listed business address. You may need a vendor’s license, as well. Additionally, if you need any extra permits to operate your specific kind of business, make sure you have one in any area you intend to operate. And of course, if you are driving a specialized vehicle, you may need a particular type of driver’s license.
Make sure you have the right insurance for a mobile business
Every small business owner needs to have insurance for their business. If your business is in a car or operating in different locations, make sure your insurance will cover you wherever you’ll be. Additionally, determine how your vehicle insurance will cover your business needs..
Mobile entrepreneurship can be extremely rewarding both personally and financially, so long as you go into this venture knowing the nature of your market and what you have to do to succeed.
If you are in the process of growing or scaling your mobile business, or just starting out, the team at Teamwork360 can help. Check out our tips and tools to help you grow!