You can find all sorts of mobile business ideas through a quick Google search. But I want to go beyond a list and actually dive into some of the most profitable themes happening in the mobile space right now.

The business options inside this post come from my experience as an operator or customer of these services. In other words these are all based on my opinion so let feel free to let me have it on social media or in the comments if you disagree.

Mobile coffee shop setup.

Before we get started, my definition of a mobile business is any company that delivering a product or service direct to the consumer. This could manifest itself as a food truck serving customers at an office complex or a maid service cleaning a residence. In both examples, the business drives to the customer to make a sale.

While you might only looking for a lucrative side hustle some of the businesses listed here could be grown into good sized organized with a dozen or so employees if it’s something you want to do. In fact, the home services segment of the United States economy (most of which are made are mobile businesses) is estimated at $600 billion in annual revenue. This means there’s plenty of room for you to grab a tiny slice of the pie.

I believe these sorts of businesses are huge opportunities for entrepreneur for three key reasons:

  • People are spending money on home services. There’s the potential to expand and grow this type of business.
  • You don’t need to invest 6-figures in a retail location to be able to start doing business. You just need to show up at your customers house, look professional, and provide the service.
  • In most cases offering these services do not require any advanced degrees that will cost money and time to acquire. In some cases, you might need to attend a low-cost class to get a permit.

Now that you understand the reasons why I’m bullish on mobile business (low barrier to entry, in-demand, high-profit potential), let’s get into the nitty gritty and discuss some of the different paths you could pursue. Some of these I think are great long-term opportunities, while others I think you should pass on due to low profit margin or competitiveness.

Mobile Business Options:

Home Service Business

Home service businesses are every where. If your neighborhood is anything like mine, you probably see these businesses driving in and out of the community all day long, every day. Here are a few examples:

  • Maid and cleaning services
  • Lawn mowing and landscape businesses
  • Plumbers
  • Handyman services
  • Pool cleaning
  • Windshield replacement / repair services
  • Drive way power washing
  • Weed control and fertilization companies
  • Vehicle cleaning
  • Pest and bed bug services
  • Pool cleaning
  • Holiday light setup and take down
  • Home inspection services
  • Notary Public
  • Pool cleaning
  • Custom closet builder
  • Interior decorator
  • Mobile dentist
  • Moving company
  • Personal chef
  • Computer repair and tech help
  • Commercial window washer
  • Mobile salon
  • Pet groomer
  • Laundry services
  • Personal trainer
  • HVAC repair and maintenance

This list is only the tip of the iceberg. All you need to do is look around at your own home to find more ideas. Every major piece of your home likely has a service opportunity tied to it (your water heater, fridge, oven).

I can’t think of any service business that couldn’t benefit from being mobile. Customers are only beginning to have groceries delivered to their front door instead of going out to shop. The trend of increased convenience a consumer mega-trend we see unfolding right in front of us each day.

Now let’s dig into some of the specifics of these different business models to access the best opportunities from the limitless of options.

Garage Door Repair

According to Doors & Access Systems Manufacturers International (DASMA), there are 2.5 million new garage doors sold each year. This is a component of every home that can break down at any moment for home owners. The garage door could go off its track, the door could stop going up all together, and a hundred other different potential problems.

I’ve had an issue with a garage door not going up in the past and let me tell you it was a major pain. If you have a family that’s going in and out of the house a lot you know what I mean. I called a garage door repair person that was referred by a friend and had to wait 2 – 3 days for the guy to come over to my house because he was so booked with work.

When the repair man did arrive a few days later, it took him all of 15 minutes to fix the problem. I was charged about $100 including a tip for the service and was more than happy to pay the fee to get this problem solved.

What I love about garage door repair is there’s a huge market opportunity. Literally every home in America has an electric garage door that will break sooner or later. It’s also a service that doesn’t require you to get dirty or bust your butt climbing into attics to complete the task.

The most common problems are can be easily fixed. If you can’t figure out how to solve the problem, you could always up-sell the customer into buying and installing a replacement opener.

What I Like: 

  • Don’t need a big vehicle.
  • Don’t need a lot of expensive equipment for repairs.
  • You aren’t lugging any heavy equipment around and putting strain on your back, neck, etc.

What I Don’t Like: 

  • These are usually lower ticket / one-off jobs unless you are replacing the garage door opener.
  • You could end up driving a long distance in between small jobs if you’re not careful. You’ll need to establish a strict service area.

Mobile Disc Jockey

Weddings are lucrative events for these types of businesses.

I used to operate a mobile disc jockey business and cover band while in college. I have a few good stories from the experience and it was terrific money for a broke college student. I know for a fact I could build a DJ business like this again, but I have a family now and don’t want to spend my weekends at a party or wedding.

If you like the idea of getting paid to party this can be a very lucrative business. This business model is straight forward. There are all sorts of events like weddings, class reunions, corporate parties, or other events happening in your city every weekend. You will bring the music and entertainment to these events.

To start, you’ll need to accept gigs on the lower end of the price spectrum. When I ran the DJ business in college, we would started doing gigs for $100 and a case of beer. Eventually, we moved our way up to around $500 per event and turned down the rest. There were a handful of events where we made about $1,000 for a few hours of playing.

Everyone I know that started a successful DJ business, got their start doing low-paying or free gigs. It’s just the way it is. You start by doing a few free or almost free gigs to get your name out there and then you work your way up to more profitable events like weddings. If you want to make the most money possible in this business, set your sites on appealing to weddings or corporate clients.

The biggest pain when operating this business is the setup of your PA equipment. You’ll be unwrapping cables, putting those cables into speakers, testing the audio levels, and plugging in lights well before the event kicks off. You’ll encounter electrical problems and people stumbling over equipment (especially later in the evening) when you run this business. The setup and takedown process can get to become a real grind even if you really enjoy the live show aspect.

What I Like: 

  • After you invest in the audio equipment, your expenses are very low.
  • Great way to net between $500 – $1,000 a day.

What I Don’t Like: 

  • Setup and audio testing takes a long time. Expect to spend at least three hours before an event starts for setup and two hours after an event ends pulling everything down.
  • The most profitable events are held on weekends at night.

Holiday Light Setup and Takedown

Christmas lights on a food trolley.

If you live within driving distance of wealthier areas, a holiday light setup and takedown business can be a profitable seasonal venture. If you an older homeowner, you may not want to climb up on a ladder to the second story to setup your own holiday lights. If you have a family, it’s easier to let someone else handle this festive project. Either way there’s likely demand for this service in your area.

There’s no major investment needed to start this business. You could purchase tools and replacement bulbs for under $100 at Home Depot or not. You show up at a home and setup their lights.

The downside of operating this business is if you get a home owner that likes to micromanage the light setup. The homeowner may have a very specific vision on where each bulb is strategically placed. They may also be extremely concerned about how the lights are folded and organized when it’s time to clean up everything. This is going to be a reality of operating this business since every house and homeowner is a little different.

All that being said, if you’re looking for some extra cash around the holidays this is a proven model with minimal upfront investment.

What I Like: 

  • Almost no initial investment.
  • Low skill level requirements.

What I Don’t Like: 

  • Almost impossible to turn into a full-time business.

Party Rental Company

snow cone setup

Check out that bounce house.

Ever see a big bounce house sitting outside a 7-year olds birthday party? That playhouse was probably a rental from a local business. The nice thing about being a party rental company is that you show up, setup a piece of equipment, then come back a few hours or days later to pick it up. Your investment in the bounce house was made one time, yet you can make a profit by renting it out for years to come.

It may surprise you that the bounce house you rent out for a $200 – $400 per day only costs the business owner a couple thousand dollars all in to own. This means after renting out the equipment 5 or 6 times there’s a 100% profit for the business after each rental moving forward (outside the cost of delivering and setting up the equipment for every event of course).

What are some things you can buy and rent out to customers? Folding chairs, tables, tents, helium machines for balloons, shaved ice machines, ping pong table, surf boards, video game machines and anything else people might want to rent out for a party, but is too big to store in their house. This is one of the business opportunities I really like.

What I Like: 

  • Buy a product one time and keep making money off of it for years.
  • Simple business operations.

What I Don’t Like: 

  • You’ll need a lot of storage space. You may also need a trailer or large truck to haul the equipment.
  • Higher upfront cost to start the business since you need to purchase everything first. Start out with just a few key pieces and only buy items that are in demand.

Retailer on Wheels

A rad t-shirt design.

You can sell all sorts of products through a truck or van. Selling in a mobile environment is not exclusive to food trucks. You could sell t-shirts, jewelry, clothing, books, art, tools, and anything else you can fit inside a vehicle. But if you don’t have experience selling stuff profitably at flea markets this is a mobile business opportunity I would steer clear of.

First, you’ll need to invest in inventory in order to make this business work, which can be expensive. Second, it’s a tough business trying to sell clothes or other trinkets at farmers markets or fairs. Just go to an event in your area where vendors sell their goods… I’d bet there’s a lot of idle time and very few sales in most cases for the vendors selling these products. Seriously, take the time to watch a someone at a flea market try to sell products. Usually they are just standing around from my experience. There are better ways to spend an afternoon if you’re not making sales!

What I Like: 

  • The only situation I like this is if you have a unique product that you’ve got proven experience selling.

What I Don’t Like: 

  • Retail is a brutal business.
  • Investment in inventory can be high.

Food Delivery Service

food delivery service

You could start a food delivery business.

Here’s another one I don’t like. Getting into mobile food delivery. Sure you can make a couple of bucks by signing up for a program like Uber Eats, but this won’t make you rich. You could also attempt to setup a food delivery business locally and hire drivers, but that will be a tough slog.

This is a hyper competitive space that’s being targeted by tech companies able to operate their business for years at a loss due to massive funding. It’s just not going to make sense to try to compete with these guys locally. You are outgunned and as a small business owner and need to be profitable as soon as possible.

What I Like: 

  • Nothing.

What I Don’t Like: 

  • Too much competition.
  • Low profit per transaction. You’re talking about making a literally a buck or two in profit after delivering each meal.

Junk Pickup

Picking up other people’s junk and hauling it away is big business. The company 1-800-GOT-JUNK makes $300 million dollars per year just to pick up the stuff people don’t want anymore. Here’s an example of one man’s trash being another man’s fortune (literally).

You can create a similar junk pickup service in your area. All you need is a run down pickup truck and a little muscle to get started. The thing that I really like about this business is that it won’t take a whole lot of skill to operate. Pick up old fridge, put it in truck, haul it away and get paid.

Things will of course get a bit more complicated if you are called into commercial spaces or hoarder houses. In these cases hauling away trash can literally become a 1 – 2 day project depending on the mess. Of course the price tag to clean it all up gets bigger too.

There’s room for numerous businesses like this in every market. Many scrappy entrepreneurs have seen success posting their services on Craigslist or within local Facebook groups when starting out to drum up business. After that setting up a free Google My Business page and investing in some pay-per click advertising is a worthwhile tactic to generate more leads.

What I Like: 

  • Minimal skill requirements.
  • You might find collect some valuable items that could be flipped for cash on eBay or Craigslist.

What I Don’t Like: 

  • You’ll want to hire some part-time help sooner than later with this business model. You don’t want to be the one carrying off couches and other large appliances for too long.

Cottage Food Business

ham breakfast sandwich

You could sell sandwiches.

Have experience cooking and serving food? Starting a cottage food business could be a great fit for you. After all, no matter what market you’re in people are always hungry.

When most people think about starting a restaurant they stop when they find out how expensive it is to get into (mid six-figures to seven figures is not uncommon). But it doesn’t need to be this way. You can start small by selling grilled cheese sandwiches at a farmers market, baking at home and selling cookies to friends, or starting a kettle corn business during the weekend.

Thanks to the updated cottage food laws, you can get started in this industry for minimal investment and a handful of permits. The big “catch” is that you’re limited to the total amount of annual revenue you can make with this business. The annual revenue threshold is different in each state. This is the ideal way to start a food business for passionate home chefs.

What I Like: 

  • Low startup cost requirements.
  • If you there’s a type of food you love to make (pizza, tacos, cakes), you can sell it legally with a few exceptions.

What I Don’t Like: 

  • Food businesses become more difficult to manage when you grow the business.
  • This is can be a capital intensive business model when you decide to grow.

Airport Commuter Van

If you live within 30 – 60 minutes of an international airport this can be a good one. Every day there are people that need rides to the airport for work or vacation. But parking at the airport can be both expensive if you plan to be away for more than a few days. It’s not uncommon for one day of on-site parking to be $35 or more per day.

Hitching a free ride with a friend to the airport is another option, but I don’t like asking others for a ride to catch a 6 a.m. flight

As a result of these issues there are a lot of local companies that will load passengers into their vans and drive you to the airport. I’ve taken one of these rides locally and it cost me about $60 one way. There were three other passengers with me in the same van meaning the company made $240 for this one ride. The maximum capacity for this van was eight passengers. I’ll let you do the math on that, but as you can see this business opportunity could be lucrative.

The driver said he does about 3 – 4 transports like this per day. Based on this estimate, it wouldn’t be unfathomable to be able to net $1,000 per day, per shuttle with this type of business assuming you could fill the spots. You can also collect tips, which is a nice side benefit.

What I Like: 

  • Simple business to operate.
  • You could start by driving people in your own car or truck before investing in a passenger van.

What I Don’t Like: 

  • You’ll have to book new riders daily to make this profitable.
  • Competition from ride sharing sites and taxi companies can make this a challenge.

The Bottom Line

There are literally hundreds of mobile business opportunities out there. You just need to keep your eyes open to what’s happening around you for inspiration. Sometimes the best business ideas are the ones happening in plain sight.

My advice? Pick one that sounds interesting, will make you comfortable profit, has the potential to grow bigger, and aligns with your skill set. And last but not least after finding the right opportunity, get started!

Want to start your own food business?

Hey! 👋I’m Brett Lindenberg, the founder of Food Truck Empire.

We interview successful founders and share the stories behind their food trucks, restaurants, food and beverage brands. By sharing these stories, I want to help others get started.

If you liked this story, sign up for our newsletter that includes our food business startup kit and most popular interviews sent straight to your inbox.

Know someone interesting that should be interviewed on the website? Tell us about them here.