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How to start a mobile business: A Handy Guide

by Alice Jackson Tweet - in Business Ideas

How to start a mobile business: A Handy Guide

Planning to start a mobile business? It’s understandable that the rising rental cost has forced many entrepreneurs to realize their entrepreneurial dream by going mobile. It means selling their products or services from a vehicle. Setting a shop-on-wheel may sound bizarre but that’s the demand of the hour. 

Mobile businesses are booming everywhere. From selling fast foods to running modern barbershops, these mobile shops are popular with their target audiences. So, instead of waiting for the customers to flock to your shop, you can take your mobile shop to them. These shops even have loyal customers waiting for the vehicle to arrive. That makes such shops a hit among them.

Here comes the main question — how to set up a mobile business? This blog discusses about all the steps and tips involved in setting up your business-on-wheel. Let’s check out. 

Top tips to start your business-on-wheel

If you don’t know how to start a mobile business, consider the tips discussed below. 

Make a well-thought-out business plan

First, start your mobile business with a plan that will guide you accurately toward spending the budget carefully. The business plan will also help you invite investors. 

When making your business plan, analyze your target market and the competitors’ strategies. That will give you a clue about surviving the competition. The plan should mention your company name and your market analysis. List all the details about your products that you want to sell through your mobile business.

The plan should include your financial projections as well. If you wish to attract investors, add as many details as possible. 

Consider the costs 

Considering the cost of setting up your mobile business is extremely important. Without estimating how much you need to spend initially, it becomes a financial burden on your budget. Here are some significant costs while setting up your mobile business:

  • Operating costs – First, check operating costs, such as investing in your vehicle. A second-hand trailer may cost you $10000 and a truck $30000 or more. A new custom vehicle will require you to fork out from $100,000 to $200,000. You will also spend on mobile business license, website or app design, point of sale system, and permit. 
  • Ongoing costs— You will continue to bear some costs for years. So, you should be prepared to pay for vehicle insurance, inventory insurance, commercial insurance, fuel, inventory, parking, etc. for a long time.   
  • Unexpected costs— Some unexpected expenditures might cause you to pay more than you thought. These include vehicle repair, which may require you to pay for regular vehicle maintenance for the business. 
  • Promotional costs— A newly established mobile business will also require you to spend money on its promotion in your target market. 

Finance your business on the wheel  

You have many options when deciding how to access financial assistance for your mobile business. Compare them elaborately and see which one best fits your business. Here are your financial options:

  • From your own sources: You can spend from your savings.  
  • Invite Investors: Explore your local business organizations and personal contacts to get investors interested in your venture.
  • Business line of credit: Apply for a business line of credit if you have a good credit history.
  • Business credit card: avail of a small finance to kick-start your business.
  • Crowdfunding: Raise funds online from others to invest in your mobile business. 

Name your business and register it  

First, make sure that you have named your business attractively. The name should catch customers’ attention with its uniqueness. Choose a name that stands out from many other mobile businesses so customers can identify it quickly. Ensure that the name tells the customers about what you sell.

Check Google Domains to find out which ones are available and pick a unique name idea. But consider its cost. Once you pick a unique business name, register it with the state authority quickly before someone else gets interested in it.  

Purchase a vehicle to transport your products

A vehicle such as a truck, bus, trailer or cart is the first requirement for conducting your business on the move. So, think of owning a vehicle.  

You can buy a pre-owned vehicle at a manageable cost, or if you have the budget, a new custom vehicle is a great option. Customizing a bus will mean you have equipped it with its interior, including a kitchen if yours is a food business. Get in touch with professionals who customize vehicles for businesses on the move.  

Get the necessary licenses.

You must first have your mobile business license to get started legally. However, each city has its specific license requirements. Here is the list of the licenses to gather for the business: 

  • Local business license – Get a license from your city authorities. You will be asked to get different licenses, such as city business licenses, signage permits, zoning permits, or tax permits. 
  • State business license – You need this license from your state government to operate any mobile business. You can visit their official website to apply and get this business license
  • Seller’s permits—You can apply for a seller’s permit from your state’s Department of Revenue website. With this license, you can collect sales tax on your products. 
  • Health department permit – The health department will inspect your business to check the health safety measurements. 
  • Fire certificates—To operate a mobile business, you will also apply for a fire certificate and have your mobile business facility initially inspected.  

When legally starting your mobile business, you may be asked to get industry-specific licenses from your city authorities. So, find out about them and apply for the one. 

Where to meet your customers?

Since you run your business from a vehicle, you can take it to any site where more people are likely to visit. However, look for some events when people get together. For instance, festivals are when hundreds and thousands of people gather in one place. You can take your vehicle there. Nearly five percent of people who gather to celebrate a festive occasion will likely buy from your mobile business. 

College campuses, shopping centers, and workplaces are where your vehicle should be parked to offer customers food, etc. 

Build a team and start selling

When everything has fallen in place right from registration to license and product stocks, it’s time to build a team. You can hire one or two people on a small budget. Or, hire professional whom you can pay regularly. But employ those who are excited to work for you.  

Launch your new business in a grand opening ceremony to let everyone know about it. Get nearby people involved in the ceremony using pamphlets, brochures, or other means of advertising if required. 

Consider these tips while planning to start your business from a vehicle. Whether it is your plant shop, a flower shop, or food business, you can start it successfully. 

If you need a logo and other visuals for your mobile business, Designhill, the leading creative marketplace, can help. You can hire a designer, post a contest, or create a logo on your own.  

Are You Looking for a New Graphic Designer?If Yes, Call Us on +1-855-699-2851 [times for calling 9am to 6pm EST (US)] or Register for a Free Design Consultation

Wrapping up 

With careful planning, you can easily set up a business on a vehicle. Such a mobile business allows you to take the vehicle and business to where the customers are in your locality. But get all the documents, insurance, and registration done properly to legalize your business on the wheel. 

Alice Jackson is a business consultant, blogger, social media enthusiast, online market analyst, amateur designer and an avid author at Designhill. She has written on several topics including social media marketing, SEO, content marketing, startup strategies and e-commerce. When she’s not writing, she loves spending her time reading romantic novels, Connect with her on Twitter: @jackson_alice1

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