How to Start a Mobile Services Business
A mobile service business is a business that travels to its customers. There are many types of mobile businesses, and many traditionally office-centered businesses venture into mobility in order to promote to a broader customer base, provide for greater customer convenience and cut down on the overhead involved with maintaining a stationary storefront or office space. If you are interested in owning or operating your own mobile business, follow these steps to get up and running.
Choose a mobile service.
- Assess your talents, interests and experience. Starting a business in an area you are already familiar with, comfortable in and good at is ideal.
- Determine the practicality of taking your business on the road. You need to consider the cost and feasibility of transporting whatever equipment you will need to make your mobile service jobs run smoothly.
- Size up the competition. Cancel out ideas that you don’t feel you’d be able to gain a competitive edge in and study the business practices of the apparent successes. Not only is this a good way to narrow down your options, but it is also a way to get ideas for how and how not to run your own business.
Invest in the things you will need to make your business successful.
- Education. Learn as much as you can about the industry you are going into, and about running a small business in general. Check out books from the library, attend trade shows and seminars, sign up for some courses at your local community college or technical/vocational school and ask other, non-competing, mobile service business professionals about how they do business.
- Business expense budget. You will need advertising, start-up, equipment and a way to transport your equipment. Additionally, you will need to pay fees toward the appropriate licensing.
Decide on a business name. You will need to register this name with your government’s business regulatory agency.
Obtain the necessary licensing from your government’s business regulatory agency. This may be as simple as paying for a general business license, or you may be required to complete other licensing requirements as dictated by your specific mobile service. For example, if you plan on opening a mobile lunch service, not only will you need a business license, but you will also need a food handler’s license and an association with a licensed commissary.
Establish business travel accounts. Setting-up business accounts with airline/hotel booking companies is a good way to keep track of travel expenses associated with operating your mobile business.
Mobilize your technology. Besides a cellular phone, you should have access to wireless/mobile Internet wherever you go so you can send and receive emails, monitor your website and communicate with employees while you are travelling.
Advertise your mobile services business.
- Internet. Having a website is beneficial for any business, regardless of the industry. Use your web address on all of your marketing materials.
- Print. Take out print ads in local newspapers, lifestyle magazines and industry-specific trade publications.
- Vehicle advertising. Make sure the vehicle you use for your mobile business has a bold, clear display advertising your business. Include your contact information, including a mobile telephone number that you can be reached at even while you’re on the road between jobs.