A growing number of independent entrepreneurs are converting their RVs into mobile storefronts, selling product or running businesses while traveling on the road.
According to wsj.com, the Wall Street Journal’s web portal, there is a noticeable trend toward “workampreneurs,” defined as people who convert their existing business or create new enterprises that can operate from RVs. Greg Robus, editor of Workamper News, estimates that 750,000 Americans live and work out of travel trailers, truck campers or motorhomes.
Freedom seems to be the primary motivator. But Robus said many RV-based businesses can be profitable. “Many people earn a good income,” he said, “and some people make quite a bit.”
Most mobile businesses have been geared to the traditional RV set, offering products or services that catere to the needs of fellow RVers. Increasingly, however, professionals who offer their services to other businesses or consumers, including website designers, software developers, writers and publishers, are joining their ranks.
Robus pointed to sophisticated electronic communications as being a key behind the trend, allowing mobile entrepreneurs to easily stay in touch with customers or suppliers. “It’s been particularly helpful for RVers who own business in fixed locations so they can operate in absentee fashion,” he said.
One of the main impediments to this business approach is handling inventory. As a result, many mobile business owners purvey lightweight, compact products that require little or no service after the sale. According to the article, mobile operators also need to deal with changing tax jurisdictions, an issue addressed by maintaining business licenses in multiple states or obtaining temporary sales tax permits.