Setting up a service business in a physical location with equipment, leasing and signage- to name a few of the upfront expenses; require a lot of cash (capital). If you have a skill or service that’s valuable but don’t have the cash to set up a physical business location, setting up a mobile service is a great, low-risk option to start making sales and income right away without long term lease and loan commitments and high overhead expenses.[bctt tweet=”If you have a skill that’s valuable but don’t have the cash to set up a physical business location, setting up a mobile service is a great, low-risk option to start. “]
Starting a mobile business requires a couple basic steps, but you can basically be up and running (depending on your industry) in a couple days.
What you need:
- Local certifications and licensing required to perform your service legally.
- All the equipment required to do the service in an easy to manage, transportable (preferably hassle-free roll/carry tote)
- Liability insurance.
- A reliable source of transportation
- Business phone number & email.
- Market Research – take the time to assess that this is a good idea and financially profitable. 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.
Once you have all of of the “ingredients”, it’s time to set up your business.
Register a business name.
This includes registering a domain name and obtaining 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
Create your service list & pricing.
Your pricing needs to reflect the value of the service you’re providing, be competitive with the businesses around you AND profitable enough for you to travel to your clients and provide your service in their location. If you’re not going to come out ahead, it’s not worth it to be in business.
Get your business cards and a service menu printed.
Build a Facebook page
Why? It’s free and a perfect place to start marketing and a great place to reach out to warm contacts (friends and family) who will most likely be your first customers!
Determine your payment receiving method.
In all business, the name of the game is to provide service and receive payment, it’s really important to have that all set up before you’re standing in front of your first customer. Plan if you’re going to just accept Cash, or add Credit Cards. Using a system like Square, Stripe or an integrated POS system that’s cloud-based can keep your costs low, be more accessible for most customers and don’t require a long term contract.
Running your business always requires keeping on top of your bookkeeping – this can be especially difficult in a mobile business as you don’t have one central place where all business happens. Receipts can easily get lost. With a cloud-based business management system, and some unique tools (like receipt scanning) in your accounting software, can make record keeping a lot easier to keep up to date and accurate. No more scrambling at the year end. If you start with a system in place, you’ll never have to back track.
Offering a place for clients to book you online is a great link to advertise but can be a headache if you always have to stipulate your booking range. One great feature of Yocale’s online scheduling service is the ability to set a range from your home base that you’re willing to travel. That means, when clients book an appointment, they must enter their address and if it’s not within your range, they won’t be able to confirm a booking. It’s like having an appointment dispatcher working for you full time!
Advertise yourself and start taking bookings!
Remember, It will take a bit to get your business up and running. Have patience, build up a clientele by giving organized and professional service that exceeds your clients expectations. This will not only ensure re-bookings, but also encourage great testimonials which will be the greatest value to expand your reach.
One of the main concerns with setting up a mobile service business, is of course, travel time, traffic hiccups and raising gas costs. Travel costs, set up, take down and even supply cleaning are all things you need to take care of on the run. If you’re ok with the variables here as a tradeoff for a much more flexible and low-risk business model, starting a mobile business may be the perfect way to start earning a great income right away.