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It's no secret that running a business is tough. There are a million things to think about and even more things to actually do. b.e.happe started as a hobby and has grown beyond my expectations. When our family of 5 decided to sell everything to travel the U.S. in an RV I didn't know how that would work. The logistics of running a product-based business from a tiny space seemed daunting. It's been an adjustment for sure, going from an office space in our home to running the hat brand from an RV.
Here's how I've made it work and the tools I use for running a product business from an RV:
When I first started planning running b.e.happe from the road, I knew that one of the biggest challenges would be finding a way to ship my product without having a permanent address. I did some research and found ShipStation, which allows me to batch print labels, change my shipping location with ease and use our mailing address as a return address.
Weigh your products with a shipping scale from Amazon, the one I use can hold 200+ lbs and it's so small! The Dymo printer was an item that I invested in and it has been a lifesaver! If you are a product based business, buy the label printer. You don't have to wait in line at the Post Office with the kiddos in tow, I print the labels on the Dymo via Shipstation and attach them to the packages. The Dymo 4XL is a thermal printer so there's no need for ink! Running a business from an RV, it's one less thing to have to worry about storing!
I use Shopify for my website and blog, which has made managing inventory and fulfillments a breeze. I use the Shopify app 95% of the time when I am working on the website, which is so convenient as a small business mama on the go.
One of the hardest parts of running a business on the road is staying organized. With a tiny space and running a product-based business it can be challenging on where to store things. What I have found that helps me is having clear stacking containers and knowing how many items are in each. For example, I know that I can fit 1,000 'thank you' cards into the clear container. I don't count each card during my inventory counts but I can visually see when I am getting low and need to reorder.
RV storage hacks coming at you with using the space you have. The cabinets are tall, but there usually aren't many shelves. I use these shelf racks to give more space and use the height of the cabinet!
Let's talk about an office, there are many RV remodels and/or alterations made for anyone who needs a space for an RV office. The kitchen table, dresser top or this collapsing desk all allow for enough space to use your computer.
The last tool that has been very helpful as a small business mom is an alternative power source. This Jackery is small enough to carry outside but powerful tool to allow you to charge any of your devices.
At the end of the day, I wouldn't trade this lifestyle for anything else. Running my business from an RV has given me a sense of freedom that I never could have found in a traditional job.
If you're thinking of starting your own business, don't let the conventional wisdom discourage you. With a little bit of creativity and some out-of-the-box thinking, you can make your dream a reality—no matter where you are in the world or what your situation is. There will never be a perfect time to start, if you have a passion for it, go for it!
This is your one stop for all products I use to run my small business! These products may contain affiliate links that at no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission.