Many businesses can benefit from going mobile, particularly those that provide a personal service such as hairdressing - as not only does it reduce your costs, in terms of premises, it also makes it much more convenient for clients which can be a core strand of your value proposition.
That said, as with anything, there’s an upside and a downside. The downside of going mobile, and not having premises, is that you need to travel to clients rather than have them travel to you - in addition to the cost in fuel, there’s the cost in time, as in most service-based businesses time is quite literally money.
The other downside, is that sometimes-having premises makes you seem more established and branded; whereas somebody that only provides a mobile service tends to come off a little more amateur, as if their business is more of a hobby than a business. However, with the right branding and marketing, you can overcome this perception and it certainly doesn’t need to have a negative affect.
When you consider that today, even psychotherapists and solicitors are conducting appointments via Skype - perceptions are shifting as to what a ‘professional business’ looks like, and people are focusing more on the value of the individual offering their services rather than the glamour of swanky premises.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the most popular businesses to take mobile:
Let’s start off with a bit of a curve ball. We all know the list is going to include hairdressers, and the like, so let’s start off with something a little different. Many people like the idea of giving birth at home and many families also like to receive private midwifery support, within their home.
If you’re a trained midwife, then it’s possible to get insurance to branch off into private practice, either as a supplement to working in a hospital, or instead of. Indeed, one of the most common complaints amongst midwives are the working conditions of hospitals, and whilst they love their job in terms of patient contact, the politics, long hours, and lack of appreciation tends to wear them down.
For this reason, setting up your own private practice, either on your own or as a small group can be a great idea. In terms of equipment, there is clearly an investment required, for instance a portable ultrasound machine is not necessarily cheap, but the return on investment such equipment provides, as a private midwife, is pretty substantial.
There’s something that just makes sense about being a mobile mechanic. When you think about it, many people with car problems are unable to get their car to a garage - meaning they usually have to find a way to get towed, which can be pretty costly… whereas, a mobile mechanic will come out to you.
Mechanics, that are employed, don’t make a huge amount of money, yet those that are self-employed, particularly if they are mobile can generate a substantial amount of profit for their time.
Many people value the convenience of having a massage therapist, or similar holistic practitioner, coming to their home, or office. This is particularly true of busy executives that struggle to find the time to make it to a therapy room.
A great way to get long-term clients is to offer cheap taster sessions within offices, where you perhaps give a 15-minute massage for a small amount of money, at lunchtime, hoping that as a result of experiencing your skills, they will work with you longer term.
On-site massage as it is known, is a booming industry that’s not limited to offices, as many companies utilize on-site massage at trade shows in order to attract and engage potential clients to do business with them.
The reason this tends to be so effective is that in psychology there’s something known as the law of reciprocation which basically states if you get something, then you feel an emotional need, to give something back in return. In this case, it might be as simple as time to listen to a sales presentation. The other benefit, of course, is that the prospective client will be in a more relaxed state as a result of receiving a massage.
In a nutshell, mobile business has many benefits in terms of cost savings and presuming it is pitched in a value-added way with decent branding and a strong online presence, then there are very few downsides.
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