Emily Benson of The Fashion Truck Talks Mobile Retail
This month, we are focusing on mobile retail with Emily Benson of The Fashion Truck, a Boston based mobile boutique. We hope you enjoy her tips on considering whether to hit the road!
The mobile retail craze is not fading away! Everyone from your dog groomer to your local shoe store is popping up with a store on wheels. You’ve thought it might be great for you and your business, but is it? Let’s look at four reasons why opening a mobile retail business may or may not be the right choice for you.
- You have an established business with loyal customers. But, you are sick of the rent and being open 7 days a week. Mobile retail allows you to go straight to your customer whenever works for you or them. Your regulars will now convert into party hosts and you can pop up in their driveway or outside their work for their shopping pleasure. Starting with a customer base is the easiest way to roll into the mobile arena, but if you are starting from scratch, you can still make it work with some amazing marketing skills and PR.
- You live in an area that has good weather year round. Or, you are willing to work hard for 8 months and have 4 months off. Since you are in a vehicle, the weather is going to affect your business more than it might normally. You can work year round if you live in a snow free climate. However, if you are in the North, expect to take some time off for snowy months. Just like in a brick and mortar store, the winter is slow, and frankly, it’s no fun digging your truck out and worrying about slippery roads.You also want to consider the fact that no matter where you are, you will have to deal with the weather more than normal. Hot day? Hopefully you have A/C built in or you’ll be a sweaty mess. Raining outside? You’ll have to get used to driving a large vehicle in driving rain, and getting wet while setting up shop. Having tough skin and a good attitude is priceless in the mobile retail world.
- You love to plan events and have a flexible schedule. The good and the bad about owning a mobile retail store, is that you don’t necessarily have set hours. You’ll have to put work into scheduling yourself locations, dates and times, and advertising that information to customers. Finding local events that will accept you can sometimes be difficult, but being able to work only 3-4 days a week might be worth it to you and your lifestyle.Have kids? Perhaps doing parties at night and events over the weekend allows you to be home during the school week with them. Or just love to travel? Being mobile gives you the unique opportunity to travel the state or even the country! Want to go somewhere new? Find an event in that city to sign up for and bring your store along. Adventure seeking people have found their perfect business opportunity!
- You love the open road. Hate traffic or driving in general? Think again. A huge portion of time in mobile retail is spent on the road. If you don’t like sitting in traffic in your sedan, it’s going to be even worse in a 10,000 pound truck.To be happy in mobile retail, you have to make driving fun. Listen to podcasts or get an Audible subscription. Schedule phone calls to friends in far away places to chat on your headset while you drive to an event. So much time is spent alone driving your vehicle that you have to either have a love for the road, or make peace with it and have fun while driving. Luckily, if you get a big enough truck, the huge windshield will give you a beautiful wide view!
Whatever your motivation for going mobile, we are here to help! Whether it’s finding a vehicle, or talking schedule strategy, send us a message and we’ll help you get rolling (pun intended!).