Having a business that is mobile, and not set in one location, offers a wide range of challenges. Unlike conventional businesses, which either have an office location, or some sort of store front, your business is on the move. This means you need to find a way to bring everything that you need with you, manage your employees from afar, and go to your customers, rather than having them come to you. If you are thinking about starting up a business that will be on the go, below are some things that you are going to need.
Obviously, you are going to need a way to get to your location. For most mobile businesses, this will be some kind of car or truck. You probably don’t want to be carrying around your supplies while you take the train, so having a mode of transportation that you can store things in, and which is controlled by you, is usually preferred. If you are going the car/truck route, be sure to get regular maintenance performed on it, as you don’t want to get stuck on the way to a job.
Since you are on the go, you don’t have the luxury of keeping everything you need in a supply closet. You need to pack everything you can into your car or truck, and space there is limited. Still, you want to bring more than the bare minimum, because you never know when you will run out. Bring as much as you possible can when it comes to supplies, so that you don’t have to make a run during your job to pick up more.
Unless you plan on dealing exclusively with cash payments, you will want a way to accept credit cards or mobile payments while on the go. Luckily, with new technologies that are now available, you can process payments right from your mobile device. All you need is a top notch Point of Sale system (like these from Accupos.com), and a mobile device. Your customers will be happy with having more payment options, and your life will be simpler if you are not always dealing in cash.
One way that many businesses market themselves is through signs in their stores. As a business on the go, you do not have that luxury. Instead, consider doing something like putting large stickers on your car that advertise your business. That way when you drive, you are essentially acting as a mobile billboard. You should also place a large emphasis on your online marketing efforts – particularly geared toward mobile users. Your customers are on the go, just like you, and so you want to reach them wherever you can.
Since you are going to be on the go most of the day, you need technology that is going to continue working throughout the day. You don’t want your GPS to fail as you are looking for a location, or your phone battery to die as you are calling a customer. When shopping for a mobile phone, look for one with a long battery life, and also spend a few more dollars on a car charger. Lastly, make sure you have a backup plan in place in case something does fail, like printing out the directions in case the GPS dies.
Lastly, since your employees will not be showing up to the office each day, you need a way to organize them, stay in touch with them, and make sure they are getting to where they are supposed to be. If you are going to be in a different location than your employees, consider using tools – like this one from Google – to track where they are. Also, you need to be well organized so that each person knows where they need to be each day, and that there is no confusing.
If you can put the 6 things mentioned above into practice, you should find that your mobile business runs more efficiently. You are certainly going to face different challenges compared to a traditional business, but if you prepare properly, they shouldn’t be anything too difficult.