Business tips

Building a profitable mobile business [4 top tips].

By Jereme Sanborn on
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Do you dream of taking your business on the road? Launching a mobile business gives you freedom to travel from place to place, providing services or selling products to the niche market of your choice. Here’s what you need to do to get started building a profitable mobile business.

Choose a popular business type.

You can’t turn a profit without customers, so you need to start with a business model that is designed to attract attention. Consider the kinds of tasks people prefer to pay someone to handle, many of which make good mobile businesses. These include:

  • Auto cleaning and detailing.
  • Handyman and repair services.
  • Decluttering and junk removal.
  • Home organization.
  • Pet grooming.

Food trucks, mobile boutiques, mobile book stores, and other specialty businesses are also popular, particularly among young consumers. 

Map out a budget.

Making a detailed list of startup costs and ongoing expenses helps maximize the cash you’ll have available to reinvest in your business. Common mobile business expenses include:

  • Insurance, licensing, and permits.
  • Purchasing a vehicle and equipment.
  • Vehicle and equipment maintenance.
  • Mobile payment processing equipment.
  • Fuel.

You may also need to invest in roadside assistance coverage for protection in case of emergencies, or purchase special permits to park your vehicle in some cities. When you know how much to set aside, you’re less likely to wind up sacrificing profits to cover expenses.

Connect to the cloud and automate.

Business tasks take up a lot of time that would be better off spent promoting your business and connecting with customers. Set up low-cost or free software to handle bookkeeping. Then, invest in a point of sale system with integrations to collaboration tools to keep employees connected. Make sure the information from your mobile payment processing system updates in real time for accurate sales data, inventory tracking, and customer management.

Market, market, market.

Since a vehicle or market stand is the only “storefront” a mobile business has, you need to make your brand visible in other ways. Online marketing through platforms like Instagram makes the most sense if your products or services have a particular visual appeal. Use your ads to play up the best aspects of your business. Showcase your most popular products or best work to generate curiosity and excitement. Highlight the benefits of bringing services to customers, or talk up your presence at the hottest events in town.

Create a mobile-friendly website to provide more details about what you offer and to show customers where they can find your mobile business. Encourage connections by providing easy contact information in all your online marketing materials.

All this strategic planning, advertising and brand building is essential to making your mobile business profitable. It might not be easier than running a traditional business, but it can be lucrative, if you focus on visibility and customer relationships. Start with a strong business model and smart budgeting, identify your target audience, and make your dream of mobile entrepreneurship a reality.