Leave it to creative entrepreneurs to turn potential obstacles such as high overhead costs into assets.
Taking a cue from the explosive growth of food trucks, more small businesses are forgoing costly brick-and-mortar offices and instead running startups from their cars. "Lately, businesses-on-wheels have come to encompass hair salons, high-tech repair shops, and even makers of artificial limbs," the National Federation of Independent Business said in a recent post.
And businesses, running out of cars, have a particular allure for millenials, who are embracing nontraditional work environments and are used to operating pretty much anywhere with a smartphone and Wi-Fi connection.
Consider CrackedMacScreen, a 2-man business that brothers Trevor and Colin Lyman run from a Toyota Prius, Scion, scooter and bicycles in Washington, D.C. They offer affordable screen repair for Apple Mac, iPhone, iPad and iPod products. With their business logos prominently displayed on both cars, they're a mobile billboard as they drive around the city doing repair jobs.
Beyond free, mobile marketing, other perks of going mobile include no rent or mortgage to pay on a physical office space or shop.
The Lyman brothers — perhaps like other millennials — have a unique take on business overhead. Weaned on technology and fluid work environments, paying for stationary retail space and waiting for a landline phone to ring seems antiquated. Millennials — those between 18 and 34 — are redefining traditional work lifestyles as they carve out career paths and opportunities in a still stagnant economy.
By being mobile, the CrackedMacScreen guys are able to drum up business and enjoy the immediacy of delivering services right to clients' doors. "If you can do what you do from home or from a Starbucks, why would you pay for an office?" Trevor Lyman asked.