A mobile business is usually a business where a professional travels to see clients and is often done in the convenience of the client’s location.
Having a mobile business can increase your client radius but it can also increase your liability and work load.
Sure you have an amazing service and want to serve as many people as you can and taking it mobile is something to consider. However there are several important factors to ask yourself before you make that commitment and see if your service is mobile friendly.
1) Will I be able to provide my service anywhere my client is?
Not all services are created equal and it’s important to know first and foremost if your service is really something you can take on the road.
Take a look at your tools of the trade and see first if it’s something traveling with is even possible.
Some services like reiki and yoga require very little tools while a hair dresser or massage therapist may require special equipment and supplies both for yourself and your client. If you do require special equipment or supplies is this an investment you want to make?
2) What is the distance I wish to travel?
Understanding how far you are willing to travel to provide your services is #2 on our list because it basically determines how large your client base will be. If you are only willing to travel 30 minutes and live in a rural area you will likely have fewer clients than if you choose to drive an hour radius in a city. So when looking at the distance you wish to travel you will also need to look at how many clients can you actually serve in a day, week, etc.
It’s also important to take into consideration the cost of maintenance and gas that you will incur with your vehicle. Often mobile services will include travel fees determined by miles as well, so it’s important to understand the distance you’re willing to travel and what additional cost might be associated with your vehicle.
3) How will I handle business transactions on the road?
Luckily there are more ways than ever to handle your business on the road. There are online scheduling programs and merchant processing tools to easily accommodate businesses of all sizes.
Many mobile services just starting out will request exact cash before service is rendered but if you’re choosing a more tech friendly route you need to be able to make sure internet is available or schedule/ get paid in advance to avoid complications at the location. Often online scheduling with a pre-payment choice is the best option.
4) Will I offer only mobile services?
Sometimes the open road is the only way to go and you know it from the start but sometimes you want to test it out and offer both mobile services and services at a fixed location.
If you are not sure if it will work it may be best to do a little of both or only offer certain mobile services.
Getting clarity on what is right for you before you start is essential and then you can build from there.
5) What type of hours will I offer in my mobile business?
Along with the distance, hours are an essential thing in determining if a mobile business is right for you.
- Will you travel earlier or later in the summer time or even cut hours in the winter?
- Will you work late if there is an issue with road conditions or simply re-book clients?
- How flexible are you with your schedule?
- How will you handle getting to a location too early?
Setting up hours with clear boundaries will help you and the client focus on having the best session possible instead of having scheduling issues.
6) What types of locations will I travel to?
The types of locations you choose to work in can also be one of the most important things to consider. Are you looking at going to businesses only or are you looking at going to residential locations or both?
Often mobile businesses will offer their services at another company’s office as they can reach more clients and a designated space is provided. Some mobile business owners however like that individual personal service that you can only provide in a client’s home.
These are some really important questions to ask yourself to determine if a mobile business is right for you but this list is certainly not all of them. Other questions to ask before starting a mobile business might include:
- Are there any state or local laws restricting you from operating a mobile business?
- Do you have the proper insurance to protect you from claims in any location?
- What other businesses offer mobile services in your area?
- How does running a mobile business affect your personal life?
Most importantly when trying to figure out if a mobile business is right for you make sure you take the proper time you need to get all the answers. Take the time and speak to your local boards about laws in your area, insurance companies about the liability risk you have as well as speak with local businesses in the area to see how you can work together.
Last but not least, always check in with your own heart when considering mobile services. With some clear answers and a clear heart you will find what is the best road for you and your business.