It is not enough for most of us just to wake up and go to our same hum drum 9-5 job anymore. Most people I talk to feel like the typical job, working for the man, who dictates when you work, when you get your vacation and what your earning potential is, seems…well out of date. With the limitless possibilities of becoming an entrepreneur from online to on wheels, just about anyone can do this freedom business and because of it life is getting more interesting. More and more people are trading in their degrees for time freedom, travel opportunities, and the chance at being their own boss.
When I quit my job 5 years ago as a family therapist to move to Thailand to get out of the rat race and "join the new rich" as Tim Ferris so eloquently put, I had no idea what life after Thailand had in store for me. Somewhere in the fantasy there was making money traveling the world, scouring artisan markets and bringing back stories and art/ jewelry to my friends in America. I would tell the stories of my finds and of the people I met who lived such a different reality than me. My fantasy became my reality. Going mobile was the best way for me to find my niche and get the experience I need to start something big.
1. Mobil Business Have Low Overhead and Low Start up Costs
The average cost to set up shop at a farmers market is only about $25 per week. You can start with a single booth, some fabric from JoAnn's Fabrics, a few fold up tables from Walmart and some cool props and displays you find a Goodwill. Pick a color palate, and build from there. Your story and your creativity go a long way. When we first started we had no idea what we were doing. We just looked for things that were cool to us. Our first shipment of 3.5 cubic meters was a mixed bag of experiments. We shipped everything from jewelry, to sandals, ceramics, woven bullrush bags, and silk scarves. We had no idea what would sell or where we would sell it, we just went for it, knowing we would figure it out as we went.
2. You Have Flexibility and Time Freedom when You Want it.
I will admit, commitment totally freaks me out! I have always needed to be able to pivot and run when I want to. Owning a big store with a big lease and a huge overhead totally scares the hell out of me. In my 20's I owned a coffee shop with my husband on Ft. Myers beach and within 3 months I wanted to kill myself. I just hated going there everyday, day in and day out. Like a baby I could not set down, the shop took constant care that burnt me out. I learned having a brick and mortar store was not for me. Having a mobile shop changes the game completely. You can sell when you want to, take road trips when you see fit, or stay in bed with a book if you feel like it. I won't kid you and make you believe that it is not work. Of course it is. But its yours! To do with it as you want. You can put in as much or as little time as what fits with your schedule and your personality. Since I am an overachiever by nature, I am constantly trying to improve, grow, expand, market and promote my business that does take a lot of time. But you can do as much or as little as you want to because YOUR ARE YOUR OWN BOSS! Your mobile business also allows you to go to the customer instead of waiting for them to come to you. There is nothing worse than waiting all day in an empty store waiting for someone to walk in the door. With a mobile business you can go to your customer. Like this mobile jewelry boutique. She is clear she is never going back to a brick and mortar store because mobile is the new model for small businesses.
3. Make More and Work Less
When you take your business to the center of all the action wether you are at a farmers market or a festival, success happens when you combine creativity with foot traffic. This is where your mobile shop has an advantage over your average retail business that has to wait for customers to come to them. In an average weekend working at a farmer's market I can sell between $500 - $1,500 a day depending on the time of year and the amount of people at the market. And festivals bring even more money. The investment is much higher to get into a festival, but earning potential can average between $3,000- $15,000 in one show. Working as a family therapist I only made $36,000 a year working 5 days a week. Now I feel like I am able to make a sustainable living working less time and having more fun.
Over are the days of dressing and behaving according to some staunchly corporate culture. When you have a mobile business you become the heart of your brand and people love that! We are tired of cold offices and professional images" that keep us from really connecting. Having a mobile business you become your brand so don't shy to be yourself and to shout your message from the roof tops. Dress and express as free spirited as you can and let your creativity flow. The more out there you are, the more you will attract your raving fans. When you put yourself in the front of your business, people will know who you are, what you stand for. This helps people to connect to you and your story (and your product). Customers shop for a feeling, so when buying what you have gives a feeling of freedom or ____________ insert a feeling you give your customers, they will buy a piece of that. Appealing to the masses appeals to no one. Become the character of you. Live it, breath it, and dress as if you are in the play of your life and your business is you stage.
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