How to Start Your Own Moving Business
If you want to become an entrepreneur and start your own business, you must be self-motivated and willing to make sacrifices. If you think you have what it takes, creating a moving company is an option.
You may not have considered this option because you believe you need large commercial trucks and a big warehouse to start. People often prefer to hire less expensive smaller companies when making a local move. Here are some tips for you if you’re considering leaping.
1. Do market research
You need to diligently, methodically do your research. Find out what your competition is like, decide if there’s something you want to specialize in and more. Some people are looking for in-house moving help that only requires the manpower to move a small amount of furniture.
The people who are relocating locally often want movers who only perform local moves as they often offer better deals. You may decide only to provide labour services or to become a full-service mover.
2. Write your business plan
Even if you start small, you need a plan of action. Writing a business plan is not that difficult today, with the business plan resources available online. You can even use an online assignment writing company to register your business plan.
Writing a business plan forces you to answer critical questions that you can’t afford to ignore if you want to succeed. It should answer these questions:
- What is the purpose of my business and what problem does it solve?
- Who are my customers?
- Who is my competition and why should people choose to use my business?
- How will I price, position, and market my business?
- What are my financial projections for my business for the next 3-5 years?
You will also need to decide on the structure of your business (sole proprietorship, partnership etc) as this has future tax implications.
3. Make initial purchases
If you already have a van or small truck, your initial costs may consist of fuel and moving equipment. If you need to purchase a car, you can find good deals on used trucks. Of course, if you can afford a new truck, it will be worth the investment.
Some of the moving equipment you will need to buy if you want to impress clients with your professionalism is:
- furniture belts
- moving dollies
- moving pads or blankets
- packing or wrapping materials
- moving boxes
You need to make sure that all the equipment you work with is up to the task and can stand the test of time.
4. Get the necessary permits and insurance
You can buy a van and call yourself a moving company, but unless you have the right permits, you’re starting on the wrong foot. You will need to apply for permits, depending on the type of company you want to start.
In every state, requirements for moving companies differ. In some states, getting a valid US Dot registration may be all you need if you want to operate as a moving company. Information about registration and licensing is found on the US Department of Transportation website.
When starting a moving company, you must take out insurance. Some states have specific requirements for minimum insurance for cargo and vehicle insurance. Contact an insurance agent to obtain the right insurance cover for liability and damages.
5. Develop your branding
Branding is what makes you stand out from your competition. Think of a good name and invest in a great logo. Please put your name, logo and contact number on your moving truck so that people see it while you’re working.
Get branded T-shirts for your employees to wear and create company moving kits and folders for doing estimates. It’s important to create a website, too, as many people today choose to find service through an online search.
6. Market, market, and market some more
It’s always good to acquire clients through word of mouth (which will happen if you offer great service), but you will need to have a good marketing strategy to further your business.
When a lead comes in via your website, you need to jump on it. The person has probably requested information from other companies too, and if you’re the first to reach out, you have more chance they will use your service.
When you first start out, you may consider making a free offer to attract clients. For example, you could offer a saving on boxes and packing material.
Think about what services you offer that have the best margins and come up with ways to use them. This could sway a client in favour of using your services rather than those of a more well-established company.
You can always use online writing companies to help you with your marketing efforts. They can undertake tasks you may not have time for such as creating online profiles, writing content for your website etc. Some online writing services you can use are:
7. Stay organized
If you don’t have the right systems to stay organised, you won’t offer your clients the best service. For example, you need a sound bookkeeping system to make sure you charge correctly for your services and get paid on time.
If you spread yourself too thin and take on too many clients, you won’t be able to give them excellent service – you need to have systems in place to track the time spent on jobs.