Looking for some extra income or more freedom in your working life? People are focusing more and more on achieving a good balance between work and their personal lives. This is why mobile businesses are so popular, and technology has made it easier than ever to take your business on the road.
What is a mobile business?
A mobile business is something you can do anywhere. It can be a mobile business that people visit, like a food truck or coffee cart. Alternatively, it can be a mobile service you provide, such as pet grooming or auto detailing. Basically, if you’ve got a skill and the right equipment that can fit in your car, truck or van, then you can build a mobile business.
The benefits of owning a mobile business
There are so many benefits to owning a mobile business, which is why they’re becoming so popular. The main reasons to start a mobile business are:
Great source of extra income
Freedom to work on your own schedule
More time with family
Low overheads and start-up costs
Convenient for customers
Let’s take a look at 10 popular mobile business ideas that you could start for yourself.
1. Specialist food truck
Do you fancy yourself as a bit of a home chef? A baking genius? Maybe you’ve got a background in hospitality but you’re looking for some more freedom in your life. Mobile food trucks are everywhere these days, and they’re a great way to dip your toes into running a business. The best food trucks usually have a certain niche or speciality, such as cakes, breakfast food, or even a certain nationality of food.
You’ll need a bit of money to invest in the truck itself and your supplies, generator and materials, but once you’re up and running, you can take your business anywhere. Don’t forget you’ll also need a way to accept payment, so you might want to consider Square Payments, which allows you to accept payments wherever you are.
If you’re an expert in a particular subject, or even a qualified teacher looking to supplement your income, tutoring is a great mobile business idea. The best thing is, you don’t need any special qualifications. Naturally, you’d want to be good at the subjects you’re tutoring and have a basic understanding of the school curriculum, but aside from that, all you need is some students and a car.
You can work as a tutor full-time, but it’s also great as a part-time job because most of your work would be after school hours. It’s great for some extra money, and also very rewarding work.
3. Auto detailing
Mobile auto detailing is an excellent way to generate some extra income, or even build a full-time business for yourself. If you’ve got the necessary skills, you can start this business without a huge amount of expense. Being mobile, you’ll need certain car washing and cleaning equipment, but you’ll be able to work anywhere.
You’ll provide a valuable service, because nobody wants to take their car somewhere to be detailed. It’s inconvenient, which is why mobile car detailers are so popular. All you need to do is buy the equipment, start advertising, and get to work!
4. Cleaning services
If you’ve got skills as a cleaner, you can work practically anywhere. Essentially, all cleaning services are mobile already, so all you need to do is buy your equipment, which usually isn’t too expensive. The great thing is, you can offer cleaning services to a diverse range of clients. You might like to start small with domestic household cleaning for people who are too busy.
However, from there, you may move into commercial cleaning such as offices and other businesses.
Generally, the larger the area you need to clean, the more specialised equipment you may need, so this is why it’s a good idea to start small and scale up.
5. Personal training
The fitness industry is booming now, and savvy fitness fanatics have found a way to make some extra money (or even support themselves full-time) through personal training. There are plenty of people out there who want the expert health and fitness skills you’ve got, and they also enjoy the motivation of personal training.
Best of all, many gyms around the country will allow you to use their facilities, under a wide range of agreements. It definitely pays to check the conditions, however, to ensure you can still make a viable income. Alternatively, you can buy some workout gear and just get started yourself. Many personal trainers use the beach or other public areas to work with clients. You can even branch out into offering boot-camp style group classes. With a business like this, you need to be organised, so consider a system like Square Appointments which lets you seamlessly manage your clients and bookings.
If you’re fit, healthy and don’t mind a bit of heavy lifting, a removal service is a great mobile business. People move homes every day, and not everybody has the luxury of being able to lift all of their belongings into a hired truck. The other great thing about a mobile removal service is the fact that there is always a gap in the lower end of the market. Bigger removal companies are expensive, so if you don’t have a lot of overheads, you can price your services affordably.
To get set up, you’ll obviously need a truck, and preferably someone to work alongside you. Another thing to consider is insurance, because you’ll need to be covered for your client’s personal goods.
7. Hair and beauty
If you’re a qualified hairdresser or beauty therapist, there’s nothing stopping you from setting up a mobile business to ply your trade. For hairdressers and beauty therapists, there’s a great market out there because many people struggle to make appointments during business hours. If you’re flexible with your time, you can access a solid target audience. In addition, if you’re professionally set up as a mobile service, you can also work for weddings and other special occasions.
To get set up, all you really need are the essential tools of your trade. If you wanted to step things up a notch, you could even set up a mobile salon/studio in a truck or van, but most people are happy for you to work in their home. You’ve also got the flexibility to take appointments at your own home.
8. Mobile coffee cart
There aren’t many people around who don’t like coffee, so this is a huge market if you can find the right business formula. Small coffee carts are becoming increasingly popular because you can set up anywhere. It’s the perfect opportunity to catch people on their morning walk to work, so when deciding on locations, think about spaces in between public transport spots or car parks and main business centres. Remember, you will need council permits to set up, even if you’re mobile.
You’ll naturally need a cart, or you can set this business up in a truck or van. You’ll also need a generator for electricity, and all of your coffee-making supplies, but ultimately, it’s a pretty cost-effective business to set up. Don’t forget you’ll need to accept EFTPOS transactions, and the easiest way to do this is with a Square Reader linked into your POS system. Essentially, all you need is a smartphone and a reader!
The tap-and-go credit card reader built for every business.
9. Pet grooming
If you’re good with animals and love making them beautiful, mobile pet grooming is the perfect business for you! There are so many dog owners out there who simply can’t bathe or groom their pets. Many people don’t drive either, and can’t go to a local groomer. So, a mobile service is very appealing.
To get set up, you’ll need a van and access to water. Most mobile dog groomers need to customise a van, to include a bath and other tools to groom pets easily. So, it can be a little bit of an expense, but if you market yourself well, there’s no telling how many furry clients you can pick up!
10. Gardening services
It’s a tried-and-true business model, but the solo mobile garden business is always a good option. You don’t necessarily need training, just some tools and a bit of knowledge about garden maintenance. If you’ve got a vehicle, a mower and a few other basic essentials, you can get started straight away. Plus, with low overheads, you can often outprice some of the larger gardening franchises. Mobile gardening businesses are easy to set up, then it’s just a matter of finding clients!