For some, working in the same place day after day is not appealing. If you’re looking for a career that offers both flexibility and variety, a mobile business may be right for you. Nomad entrepreneurs of all stripes can find a business idea that suits their skills and interests on our list of mobile business ideas below!
You can also read our business formation guide to start a mobile business today.
Top Mobile Business Ideas
In this guide, we’ve broken down our top mobile business ideas and assessed each business based on startup costs, required skill level, and earning potential.
1. CARPET & UPHOLSTERY CLEANING BUSINESS
Carpet and upholstery cleaning is an excellent, stable mobile business venture with consistent demand. Just about everyone has either a home, car, boat, or other upholstered items in need of cleaning at some point. Owners who put in the work to properly market their business and elicit strong word of mouth recommendations will excel in this industry.
Startup costs can be high and will depend largely on whether you open your own company or purchase a franchise. The latter generally costs between $20,000 and $50,000 before equipment, which can add as much as $30,000 more to the bill. You can keep equipment costs down by finding lower-priced used equipment online.
Learn how to start a carpeting & upholstery cleaning business.
2. CLEANING BUSINESS
Anyone with a strong work ethic, the ability to perform manual labor, and an eye for detail may be a good fit for a mobile cleaning business. This can be a great way for someone with previous residential or commercial cleaning experience to move to the next level. While no formal education or training is necessary, you should have strong people skills and the physical ability to work long, sometimes arduous, hours. Some advertising or marketing skills will come in handy as well.
Startup costs are low and include basic cleaning supplies, a website, and other advertising materials. A great deal of your business will be generated through word of mouth referrals, so ensuring you leave each customer completely satisfied is paramount to your success. If you’re able to do this, the earning potential is great, with the average small cleaning business generating from $50,000 to $100,000 per year. If you’re able to grow your business into a larger operation there’s the potential to bring in millions.
Learn how to start a cleaning business.
3. GARDENING BUSINESS
If you have a green thumb and a general love of the outdoors, opening a gardening mobile business can be extremely rewarding. A gardening business provides a range of services from mowing and weeding to basic landscape design and maintenance. Having a general knowledge of horticulture is also a plus.
Startup costs are low since you can generally begin with the lawn and garden tools you already have. As your business grows, you may consider adding additional employees and equipment. Typically, gardeners bring in around $700 per week, charging somewhere between $15-$30 per hour. This can vary significantly, though, depending on your skill level and geographic location. With the annual revenue for gardeners rising year after year, there is great potential to earn a solid living in this field.
Learn how to start a gardening business.
4. LANDSCAPE DESIGN BUSINESS
If you have a background in gardening or lawn care and an eye for detail, a landscape design business can be a great opportunity for professional growth. This mobile business involves creating custom-designed landscapes that may include ponds, flower beds, shrubs, and patios. Most landscape designers have a bachelor's degree in landscape architecture and have completed an apprenticeship in the field.
The cost to start this type of business is generally around $5,000-$10,000. This will go primarily toward purchasing a high-end computer and necessary design software. You will also need to invest a moderate amount of money towards marketing your services, especially when first starting out. Once established, earning potential is great for this business, with some landscape designers bringing in $4,000-$5,000 per project.
Learn how to start a landscape design business.
5. POOL CLEANING BUSINESS
Pool cleaning is a great mobile business idea for anyone with a strong work ethic who enjoys spending time outside. While no formal education is required, there are several courses and certifications available to expand your knowledge on the particulars of pool maintenance. The National Swimming Pool Foundation offers a Certified Pool/Spa Operator Certification Program that’s widely respected in the industry.
Startup costs for a pool cleaning business can be kept as low as $2,000 and earning potential is solid. Most services bring in around $200-$300 apiece. In this $3 billion industry, there is a lot of room for growth if you can cement a solid client base. A great way to expand your business is to find consistent commercial clients, like health clubs and hotels, who will need your services year-round.
Learn how to start a pool cleaning business.
6. PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZING BUSINESS
If you find joy in decluttering a space and have a knack for keeping things organized, starting your own mobile professional organizing business can be a great pursuit. With life getting busier and more fast-paced all the time, people are finding it harder and harder to keep up with everything on their to-do list. Having someone to help simplify their lives can be invaluable.
The startup costs for this business are extremely low since all you’ll need to get up and running is some advertising and a means of transportation. The average professional organizer brings in $26 per hour, with a great deal of variation depending on where you live. And, since this is not yet a saturated market you will have a lot of room for growth.
Learn how to start a professional organizing business.
7. LAWN CARE BUSINESS
Unlike a gardening or landscape design business, a lawn care business focuses on just that - caring for lawns. This means everything from mowing to clearing to fertilizing to weed and pest control. The main focus is to maintain beautiful, lush grass. Business owners should be in good physical shape and able to work long hours outdoors.
Typical startup costs for a lawn care business are less than $3,000 for equipment (mowers, leaf blowers, etc), marketing, and transportation. There is a good deal of competition in this business, so maintaining positive reviews and strong word of mouth recommendations will help you stand out among the crowd. With hard work and a solid client base, you can expect to bring in around $30,000 to $50,000 per year, with this rising as you add more to your crew and expand your operation.
Learn how to start a lawn care business.
Find a Web Domain For Your Mobile Business
Securing a web domain and creating a quality website is important for the overall success of a mobile business. You can search for an available domain below:
8. COMMERCIAL PHOTOGRAPHY BUSINESS
Commercial photography can be a great mobile option for photographers looking to focus their work on their specific interests. The main goal of commercial photography is to help businesses market and sell their products or services by creatively showcasing their work. Aside from experience in photography and a strong portfolio, you’ll also need to create and maintain a professional website and effectively market yourself.
Startup costs will vary depending on how much equipment you already possess. Purchasing a camera and studio equipment can range from $10,000 to $15,000. However, earning potential is excellent, with commercial photographers bringing in anywhere from $1,000 to $10,000 per day depending on their skill level and clients.
Learn how to start a commercial photography business.
9. DRONE PHOTOGRAPHY BUSINESS
Drone photography is a fast-growing market, with the content being used in commercials, films, and beyond. Drone photographers must be versed not only in photography, but the technical aspects of operating a drone. You will also need to obtain a Remote Pilot Certificate from the FAA before operating your drove for business purposes.
The cost to purchase a quality drone is steep, with some of the best reaching as high as $10,000. Beyond that, you’ll need to invest in your operating license and a good computer and photo editing software. Once set up, though, a drone photography business can be very profitable because of the high learning curve to enter the industry.
Learn how to start a drone photography business.
10. REAL ESTATE PHOTOGRAPHY BUSINESS
For experienced photographers, starting a career in real estate photography can be a fun and rewarding mobile business idea. Your goal will be to photograph homes and other properties to showcase them in the best possible light. Real estate photographs can make or break a home listing, so talented real estate photographers are in high demand. Beyond taking pictures, you will be working directly with sellers and agents and editing your work.
Startup costs will vary depending on what equipment you need to purchase, but most real estate photographers can keep their initial expenses under $10,000. Once up and running you can expect to bring in around $80-$500 per shoot. Because of low overhead, this can mean bringing in up to $90,000 per year or more when you’ve become well established in your market.
Learn how to start a real estate photography business.
11. SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHY BUSINESS
If you’re a photographer and sports lover, combining these interests to become a sports photographer can be an excellent mobile business venture. Sports photographers typically sell their photos to newspapers, parents, teams, or schools. Professional photography experience and a passion for sports will help you exceed in this business.
If you already possess a high-quality camera and photo editing software, your initial investment can stay below $5,000. This is a great business that has excellent growth potential. While many sports photography businesses remain small, focusing on local school or recreational teams, a photographer with the right skills, portfolio, and drive can expand well beyond their hometown team.
Learn how to start a sports photography business.
Ready to form your LLC? Check out the Top LLC Formation Services
And, use our free tools to help start your business:
- Use our Business Name Generator for help brainstorming your new venture’s name
- Learn how to form an LLC, one of the best business structures for mobile businesses
- Use our free business plan generator to start planning your business today
- Get your unique logo with our free Logo Maker and start branding your business
- After finding your perfect idea learn how to start a busines
12. WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY BUSINESS
Wedding photography is an extremely lucrative industry to enter. Anyone with a strong photography background, excellent people skills, and a desire to share in creating beautiful memories for their clients may consider trying their hand at a wedding photography business. To succeed you must have the skills to meet the high expectations of brides and grooms.
The biggest upfront costs will go toward your equipment and marketing, which can amount to around $14,000-$16,000 if you don’t already have a good camera, computer, and photo editing software. Once you’re able to land a few clients, you should make this money back quickly, as wedding photographers typically charge anywhere from $2,500 to $10,000 per wedding. How much you charge will depend largely on skill level and geographic location, but earning potential is extremely high for anyone in this business.
Learn how to start a wedding photography business.
13. CATERING BUSINESS
If you have culinary experience and a knack for business, opening a catering company can be a great next step. Running this business involves both serving excellent food and meeting with clients, event planners, and venues. For this reason, experience in the service industry can also be a great advantage.
Startup costs can vary a great deal. You’ll need a kitchen, equipment, transportation, advertising, and software for organizing your clients. You can keep costs down by renting kitchen space when first starting out. The good news is the catering industry has grown tremendously in the past five years, bringing in over $32 billion a year. A successful catering business has the potential to bring in $100,000 per year, making this a lucrative choice for anyone interested in the food industry.
Learn how to start a catering service.
14. FOOD TRUCK BUSINESS
If you have experience in the culinary world, particularly working in a commercial kitchen, a food truck can be a great way to set out on your own. This mobile business lends itself to creative food on the go, so if you have a new culinary idea or a fresh spin on an old classic, consider opening your own food truck.
Startup costs are fairly steep, with the initial investment for a fully outfitted truck often exceeding $100,000. It’s possible to save money by opting for a used trailer, but this will still require a lot of customization. Additionally, licensing, permits, and insurance vary by state and can cost several thousand dollars. Once established, a food truck business can expect to bring in around a 30% profit margin.
Learn how to start a food truck business.
15. GROCERY DELIVERY BUSINESS
Grocery delivery is a new and rapidly expanding market. It taps into the many service opportunities created by new technology. This can be a great mobile business opportunity for organized, tech-savvy people looking for a flexible, on-the-go job. Grocery delivery businesses partner with local food stores to offer delivery to customers.
Startup costs for this type of business are small. The biggest expense will be developing the technology needed to provide a smooth and user-friendly ordering experience. You will also need vehicles that can accommodate large grocery orders. Your primary source of profit will come from delivery fees and other markups. As more people turn to technology to make their lives easier, there is a great opportunity for growth in this industry.
Learn how to start a grocery delivery business.
16. MOBILE BARTENDING SERVICE
Anyone with bartending experience and a bit of business savvy may consider starting a mobile bartending business. Mobile bartenders will be doing more than just serving drinks and crafting cocktails. They will be building an atmosphere and creating a great experience for their customers. Someone with people skills and event planning experience will excel in this field.
The cost to start this type of business is small, especially if you already have a vehicle to transport your mobile bar. Beyond that, you will need bar tools, a website and business cards, some liability insurance, and a license to serve alcohol. You can choose to keep your business small, remaining a one-man operation, or expand into a fleet of mobile bartenders. Earning potential for this business is solid. Profits generally start slow, but with a few years of experience under their belts, some mobile bartending businesses are bringing in up to $76,000 per year.
Learn how to start a mobile bartending business.
Start a Mobile Business In Your State
17. WINDOW WASHING BUSINESS
The market for window washing is huge, with buildings of all sizes and types requiring this service at some point. Someone with a strong work ethic and great customer service skills may find this a particularly appealing mobile business venture.
Startup costs can be steep since, beyond transportation and equipment, most window washing businesses will need to start off with at least small staff. Typically, you should plan to invest at least $50,000 to get your business off the ground. Once established, seeking out long-term commercial clients is an excellent way to increase profits. Providing exemplary service will set you apart and ensure great word of mouth recommendations. Growth in this industry is only limited by local competition and your capacity to take on clients. With the right drive and resources, a window washing business can grow exponentially, with industry insiders estimating about $60,000 in profits for the average business.
Learn how to start a window washing business.
18. AIR DUCT CLEANING BUSINESS
If you have previous HVAC training or other home maintenance experience, an air duct cleaning business can be a great option. If you do not have previous HVAC training, The National Air Duct Cleaners Association offers courses to build a foundation, as well as two certifications that will get you started on the right track.
Your startup costs will range from around $5,000 to $10,000 depending on whether you are looking to start a residential or commercial cleaning business. There is a good deal of growth potential in this industry, which brings in about $4 billion per year, but you may also choose to remain a small local operation. Most air duct cleanings cost several hundred dollars, so once established, there is good earning potential.
Learn how to start an air duct cleaning business.
19. BOAT CLEANING BUSINESS
Boat cleaning is a bit of a niche market, but in the right area with a strong customer base, it can be a great mobile business venture for a hard working person with strong attention to detail. While there is no formal education requirement, gaining some level of expertise in boat detailing can help your business succeed. There are several organizations that offer courses to help you hone your skills.
Boat cleaning businesses offer a lot of flexibility. You may start a small local outfit from the ground up or purchase a franchise. You can keep your business small, local, and even part-time, or work to expand regionally or even nationally. Profits will depend a lot on your location, which will offer either year-round or seasonal business depending on climate.
Learn how to start a boat cleaning business.
20. GRAFFITI REMOVAL BUSINESS
If you have cleaning or painting experience, love to work outdoors, and want to help beautify your neighborhood, starting a graffiti removal business can be a rewarding career. Graffiti removal businesses are typically hired by business owners, schools, and other city or municipal organizations. While graffiti can be found just about anywhere, your mobile business is much more likely to succeed in cities and other heavily populated areas.
This is a very low-cost business to start since you’ll need little more than transportation, a power washer, and some paint. You can generally charge between $1-$3 per square foot, plus a flat rate to cover your transportation and supplies. The growth and earning potential for this business will vary a great deal depending on where you work and how much business you’re able to get. If you can find a market with consistent demand, you can build a fairly stable business removing graffiti.
Learn how to start a graffiti removal business.
21. GUTTER CLEANING BUSINESS
Gutter cleaning is a hassle that many people are willing to pay someone else to do. If you live in a residential area and enjoy working outdoors, a gutter cleaning business can be a great opportunity. No formal education or training is required, but you should have some basic knowledge regarding the best methods for cleaning different types of gutters on different types of roofs.
Startup costs for this mobile business are very low since you’ll need little more than transportation and equipment. Growth and earning potential will vary depending on the competition in your area and the size of your crew. Gutter work is generally seasonal, which can mean a great deal of fluctuation in profits throughout the year.
Learn how to start a gutter cleaning business.
22. HANDYMAN BUSINESS
Starting a handyman business can be a great and flexible career path for someone with home improvement and problem-solving skills and a strong work ethic. To succeed in this profession you will need to be a jack of all trades, able to take on a number of different projects throughout homes or businesses.
Since most people starting a handyman business will already have a good selection of tools, startup costs are very low. Most handyman businesses remain small and local, often sticking with a one-man operation. However, if the business climate is right, there is the potential to hire on staff and expand. With steady work, a handyman business can bring in around $40,000 annually.
Learn how to start a handyman business.
23. LOCKSMITH BUSINESS
If you love a good puzzle, enjoy working with your hands, and have a background in mechanics or engineering, opening a locksmith business may be a great fit for you. As security changes along with technology, it’s become important for locksmiths to be tech-savvy and current on the newest locks and features. You will also need to obtain relevant certificates and complete an apprenticeship before starting your mobile business.
Startup costs are moderate, but manageable, with most reporting an average of between $5,000 and $10,000 to get up and running. With good business and a small staff, you can expect to bring in around $40,000 to $60,000 per year once you’re established.
Learn how to start a locksmith business.
24. ROOF CLEANING BUSINESS
If you’ve spent time in roofing, cleaning, or maintenance, and are ready to take your career to the next level, starting your own roof cleaning business can be a great pursuit. This is a great mobile business idea for hard-working people who enjoy spending time outdoors.
Startup costs are low and mainly consist of basic equipment and supplies and reliable transportation. There is a high demand for roof cleaning since most people are unwilling or unable to clean their own roofs. For this reason, a roof cleaning business can charge a significant premium for the service. Most roof cleaning jobs bring in at least $1,200, with this price growing exponentially depending on the size of the roof and the geographic location. A successful roof cleaning business can make up to $130,000 per year once established, with profits dependent on the size and salaries of your crew.
Learn how to start a roof cleaning service.
25. SEPTIC TANK CLEANING SERVICE
Septic tank cleaning is a dirty job, but somebody has to do it. If you’re willing and able to take this on, starting your own septic tank cleaning service is a solid mobile business venture. The job involves a great deal of travel, interacting with people, and can be extremely flexible.
Startup costs can be considerable since you’ll need to invest about $20,000 to $30,000 to acquire a truck. Fees for tank cleanings will range from around $75 to $200 but can be much higher depending on the specifics of the job. Growth and earning potential will be limited by local competition and overall demand. If you can find steady work and a stream of consistent clients, you can bring in solid profits.
Learn how to start a septic tank cleaning service.
26. MOBILE OIL CHANGE
People with a passion for cars and an appreciation for working with their hands are ideal for this mobile business. A mobile oil change business travels to customers to change their oil. Because changing oil does not require any specialized knowledge or training, it can be a great opportunity for just about anyone.
While you’ll need to make an initial investment to build a diverse stock of oil types and the basic equipment needed to perform the job, the profit margin on this job is excellent. A traditional oil change can cost anywhere from $50 to well over $100. Since you are traveling to your customers, you can charge an additional premium for your time. If you manage to put together a full-time schedule throughout the year, you can easily bring in six figures.
Learn how to start a mobile oil change business.
Learn more about starting a business by visting the U.S. Small Business Administration.
27. HOME TUTORING BUSINESS
Starting a tutoring business can be a great option for former or current teachers looking for more flexible work or supplemental income, but anyone with the right knowledge and skill can succeed in this business. Patience and strong communication skills are vital in this field.
Startup costs for this mobile business are essentially nonexistent. While you will need to do a bit of advertising to get your name out, most of this can be done at no cost by networking in your community or on social media. Most tutors charge around $30-$40 per hour. With just about 100% profits, there is the potential to bring in a respectable income in this field.
Learn how to start a home tutoring business.
28. MOBILE DOG GROOMING BUSINESS
As people’s lives become busier, consumers are looking for ways to save time wherever they can. For the busy pet owner, a mobile dog groomer is a perfect solution, offering both convenience and individual attention for their pets. Since groomers will spend the bulk of their time with dogs, some previous experience working with animals is important, and experience working for a traditional grooming service is ideal.
Startup costs are high since you will need to invest in a large van and outfit it with all the tools necessary to get your job done. Once you’ve established yourself, however, profits can be steep. With enough clients, you can bring in up to $400 per day, or about $100,000 per year. While many businesses will bring in more modest profits, there is still a great opportunity to build a strong and lasting business.
Learn how to start a mobile dog grooming business.
29. MOBILE VET BUSINESS
Starting a mobile vet business can be a great way for a trained veterinarian to expand their practice or for someone new to the industry to get started. This can be an especially good mobile business to start in rural areas where many residents do not have immediate access to vet services.
Startup costs are high since you will need to outfit a vehicle with all or most of the equipment you would find in a traditional veterinarian’s office. While this cost can range from about $300,000 to $750,000, the average cost to open a brick and mortar veterinary clinic is $1.4 million, making a mobile unit significantly more economical. With the high costs of veterinary care, once you recoup your startup costs, it’s possible to make significant profits.
Learn how to start a mobile vet business.
30. MYSTERY SHOPPER BUSINESS
Mystery shopping can be an interesting and flexible career move for a dynamic individual with an eye for detail. This may be particularly appealing to those with sales experience. The goal of a mystery shopper is to visit businesses to elicit information about how things are running and whether all policies and protocol are being followed. You’ll need to pay attention to the service provided by staff, product quality, and any legal issues that may arise.
Startup costs are extremely low. You’ll need a smartphone, computer, transportation, and some advertising. Your earning potential will vary by company and can range from $30 to visit a fast food restaurant to $100 to assess a larger or more complex company. With little to no overhead, you’ll be bringing in almost 100% profits.
Learn how to start a mystery shopper business.