Bye Bye Brick and Mortar
It seems that the days of the old fashioned brick and mortar business are quickly becoming a thing of the past. With sites like Amazon that will literally drop things off at your house in one day if you are a prime member, why does anyone need to visit the mall, Target or any place else for that matter? We as consumers are getting awfully spoiled. We want our food brought to us, our groceries delivered to our porch, our dogs walked for us and now it seems we want our manicures and haircuts to come to us too. So how, as entrepreneurs, can we cater to this evolving trend?
Oh boy have we got 50+ Mobile truck business ideas (that do not sell food) for you.
I promised a list of NON-food mobile concepts. However, keep in mind there may be a snack concept or two in the mix. Only because I have seen concepts like this in action and boy do they seem like a great thing. Keep an open mind and see if there is something on this list that excites you.
HINT: Be sure to check out Used Vending for great prices on gently used trailers.
Before we begin, below is a before and after example of an old horse trailer that someone made fabulous. I doubt the owners had to spend a lot of money. Just some creativity, paint and they were off to the races (no pun intended).
It may be small but it is enough to carry their wares. Keep in mind that traveling mobile like this can be wonderful. You can arrive at your location, pull out your awning, set up your tables and rolling racks, display your goods and start selling using your square on your cell phone. Amazing!
Below is a list of ideas and actual businesses for you to check out and see how they are doing it:
#1. The Vintagemobile: mobile retailer
Jeremy and Kelsey Turner decided to open a mobile vintage clothing store, “The Vintage Mobile” after spending part of their honeymoon shopping in the Mission District of San Francisco.
#2. The Nail Truck mobile nail salon
They offer a variety of great colors, will come to your office, party or special occasion and their logo is adorable!
#3. Pretty Parlor A Go Go: mobile salon
Pretty Parlor A GoGo is the dream machine of soul sisters and waxing gurus Misty Briglia and Sarah LaShelle. In 2009, Sarah opened the charming wax studio Pretty Parlor, tucked in the eclectic Mission District. Good friend, Misty, joined the parlor posse as Lead Aesthetician and make-up artist. Both share a passion for pretty, perfect eyebrows, and a painless service when it comes to the beauty experience… They are taking their expertise to the streets of San Francisco and BEYOND!
#4. The Butler’s Pantry: mobile catering and party planning service
#5. Moving Petals: Local House and Office Moving service. The website is nice, straightforward and offers a lot of good advice should you want to start a local & very mobile moving service.
#6. The Shoe Chick: mobile paint parties.
# 7. Mobile billboards
CLICK HERE for an article on how to start a mobile billboard business
#8. Mobile Gym & Personal Training Business – Start your own personal training or traveling gym business
# 9. Extreme game truck business – mobile video game parties for kids. It looks like a pretty fun way to exist!!
#10. A Mobile Fashion Boutique. Below are some images of people who have taken their boutique “on the road.” They travel to trade shows, street fairs, events and city streets , open their doors, set out their wares and sell. Exciting!!
#11. Mobile Shoe Business
#12. Open a Mobile hat and accessory store
#13. Own your own MAC Tool Truck Franchise
#14. Open A Mobile Shredding Business
#15. OMG Kettle Corn
OK, so this is a food concept but it is such a fun and easy one I had to include it here. Their motto is KISS for “Keep it super simple” and I love that. They set up a vehicle just outside the Cabelas store in Glendale, AZ and sell freshly made kettle corn. It smells and tastes so good I grab a bag every time I am there. I think it is a great idea.
#16. Mobile Make up artist for weddings, the movie industry and special events
#17. Mobile Vintage Boutique combo – they buy and sell vintage and handmade goods from a traveling trailer, store front (which they acquired later) in Portland Oregon and and online via an Etsy online boutique.
Once we had the idea, we found our 1969 Cardinal Deluxe travel trailer on Craigslist and spent the summer building out the trailer and turning it into the perfect mobile shop. For over two years our shop on wheels has specialized in vintage goods and handmade accessories for you and your home. We travel to events like street fairs and craft shows, towing the trailer and selling our wares. Our trailer shop has been featured in places like Bust magazine, Lucky magazine, the Today Show, USA Today and the front page of MSN.com.
In Spring of 2012 we stumbled upon an available storefront on bustling 28th Street next door to Holiday Hair, a new brick-and-mortar salon that was previously run out of a trailer. It seemed like fate to expand into a new storefront location right next door to another business that had just done the same thing. In July 2012 we opened the new storefront on Southeast Ankeny.
They offer buying by appointment only and will also travel to their customers.
#18 Mobile Farmers Market – something for you extreme growers out there. Here is a great article from Mother Earth News on getting started.
#19. Double Decker Quirky Shop like Lodekka
Check out Lodekka’s Facebook page for up to the minute events
#20 Traveling Jewelry Boutique. Gypset sells via a traveling truck along with an Etsy Online Store called GypsetCo.
#21 Mobile Motorcycle Repair. Here is an article about getting started with your own Mobile Repair Shop.
#22. Mobile oil change for personal autos and fleet services. Here is a great article for getting started.
#24. Mobile dog grooming. Here are a few websites you can check out for franchise information.
#25. Mobile Mini Market. Sell the things people want and need ever day.
#26. Mobile Cupcake Business. Check out Twisted Sister Cupcakes for truck location and see how they are making their business soar. The trucks are parked and sell and are also rented out for parties, weddings, school events, fund raisers and more. Some really good ideas here.
Here are two excellent videos we found from cupcake truck owners who love what they are doing and have some great advice to share!
#27 Mobile handyman service
# 29. Mobile Vending Or Concession Trailer Business.
Here is a great article on how to get started.
# 30. Mobile Barber Shop – Check out the Luxury Mobile Barber Shop for some great ideas.
#31 Mobile Kids Spa Parties – I’m not even sure you need a truck for this one.
Check out Mobile Beauty Systems for some pointers and opportunities
#32 Mobile Flower Truck Business
Watch this helpful video below from florist, Kimberly Williams, with some great advice for learning the business. You might be surprised at what she has to say.
Here is a great website to check out for flower store owners.
#33. Mobile Book Store – meaning on wheels and on the water. Very creative ideas here.
#34. Mobile Junk Haul Service
Here is a Great Article about learning the Junk Hauling business.
#35. Start a mobile tree trimming business.
Click here for an article on how to get started.
# 36. Start a Mobile Lemonade Business
Check out Bay Side Lemonade
Here is a great article on how to get your lemonade business started.
Here is a great article linking to several potential lemonade franchises. Many have kiosk or mobile opportunities so check them out.
#37. Start a Mobile Pressure Washing Business.
Watch the video below for more information:
#38. Mobile Masseuse
Here is an article on how to get started.
# 39. Mobile Beer Bar.
Here is an article on how to get started.
Mobile beer delivery bars are often found at weddings, parties, corporate events, fairs and other special events, providing the convenience of a beer bar and bartender without the need for an actual bar.
Your mobile beer bar can be as elaborate and stocked with variety as your heart desires, or a simple affair with a bicycle and two kegs.
While you get to make your own schedule, be your own boss and attend lots of parties, opening and operating a mobile beer delivery bar requires time, effort, professionalism and often a significant amount of capital.
# 40. Start a mobile Shaved Ice Business
#41. Open A Mobile Cigar Lounge. Check out Mobile Cigar Lounge to see how they have turned their passion for cigars into a business model.
In Tampa, Florida, long known as Cigar City, cigars are a celebrated, storied luxury. Finding a decent cigar is easy. But, because of the city’s no-smoking laws, finding a place to enjoy a cigar isn’t.
Former Tampa Bay Lightning 2004 Stanley Cup Champions and cigar lovers Dave Andreychuk and Stan Neckar aim to remedy that with the Mobile Cigar Lounge.
It’s more than a mobile lounge. It’s an environment and an experience rich in history, luxury and personality. An elegant extension of any celebration or occasion, it’s the perfect escape and meeting place—a space where you can relax or enjoy a shared passion, the well-known website Boss Design Center mentions.
#42. Mobile karaoke lounge or party bus. Check out Gig Masters
#43. Mobile ATM Machine Business – start an ATM business and focus on permanent locations or setting up mobile machines for special event functions.
#44. Mobile Hair Salon
Here is an article to help show you the way to be your own boss.
#45. Mobile Henna Tattoo & Essential Oil Business
Here is an article to help you get started in the henna tattoo business.
#46. Who’s Your Daddy: mobile DNA testing
Here is a great article on DNA testing.
Here is a website to learn about DNA testing business opportunities.
Here is another website to check out for DNA testing opportunities.
#47. Start a mobile handmade soap and gift business. Angelic Soaps & Gifts has an online shop and also a traveling truck available for:
- Girls Night Out
- Private Parties
- Fund Raisers
- School Functions
- Craft Fairs
- Holiday Shopping Events
Check out the website to see how the founder got her start.
#48. Start a Mobile DJ Business. Here is an article to help you get started.
#49. Photo Booth for parties business – you bring the ipad and the props and your clients provide the customers. Photo booths at weddings, parties and special events are becoming a “must have.” Could this be the business for you?
#50. Popcorn or Kettle Corn Business – I know this is a “snack food” but I love the idea and it looks fairly quick and easy so wanted to give you a few examples. Below are videos on how to start your own Kettle Corn business as well as Franchise concept Doc Popcorn. I have tasted their product at my local mall and it is DELICIOUS. To see their franchise page click here.
Here are some great videos below:
Our Mobile Business list keeps growing. As we find interesting new concepts, we add them to the list so bookmark this page.
Remember to share this list with everyone you know who wants to “fire their boss” and start their own business!
Feel free to email me at [email protected] and let me know your thoughts.