Guide to Starting a Moving Company
If you are looking to start a moving company, there is a right way and wrong way to do it. There are also things to keep in mind when deciding whether it is right for you. It can be very lucrative if done right since everybody moves. With this high demand also comes competition. Follow this guide to starting a relocation service to ensure your success.
- Research the industry
Begin by doing an analysis of the moving industry. Research the standard rates and expenses. Research competitors to find out what the successful ones are doing right and what the failing ones are doing wrong. Determine that starting a moving company is right for you based on your research. We highly suggest having a strong moving background prior to starting the business so you know the ins and out. The moving industry can be a great business to get into because everyone moves. It is a very popular service with lots of money to be made. The downside; however, is that with this popularity also comes intense competition. What will make you stand out? Will you offer better rates? Better service? Better marketing? These are all questions to ask prior to starting your moving business.
- Write a business plan
Once you have researched the moving industry, use this information to write a business plan. Your business plan should include a summary, description, market analysis, competitive analysis, sales/marketing plan, operating plan, and financial plan. This is an imperative step to set yourself up for success and ensure you have all your ducks in a row. Determine the scope of your business. Will you move difficult items such as pool tables and pianos? Will you do just in-town relocations or move clients interstate as well?
- Get the right permits
Do some internet research or talk with your business lawyer to determine what permits you need to operate your moving company. You will need special permits for interstate moves vs. intrastate ones. It will also vary by city, so be sure to do your research to ensure compliance with your local laws and regulations.
- Rent a warehouse and office location
Now its time to establish your brick and mortar location. You will need a warehouse to store your equipment and possibly an office. To save costs, we suggest just creating a makeshift office space inside of your warehouse until you get your feet on the ground.
- Purchase or lease your equipment
If you choose to be a full-service moving provider, you will need your own truck and equipment. At a minimum, you will need one box truck, several dollies, moving blankets, boxes, and packing tape. Since the moving truck will by far be your biggest expense, consider leasing a truck at first until you start generating revenue. If you are a “labor only” moving company that does not provide the transportation, then you will need less equipment to get started.
- Hire employees
As with any business, you will need employees to execute your business. First and foremost, you need at least a few movers. As a startup, it is also likely that you will be wearing many hats and doing a lot of the moving yourself. Search for employees with a prior moving background or at least people who are willing to learn and can lift 60 or more pounds comfortably. College kids make excellent moving employees since they are typically clean cut and career oriented. You can find your employees through word of mouth and internet job listings on sites such as Indeed, Monster.com, and Craigslist.
- Start marketing
Now that you are a fully functioning business, it is time to start generating inbound leads. You need to make yourself discoverable so you can generate business. There are many routes to marketing your moving business. Making sure you have a good internet presence will be imperative. You will either want to outsource your digital marketing or hire someone in house to make sure your website is ready to generate leads. You can also purchase moving leads from companies such as Thumbtack, Move Honcho, or Moving.com. This is the most pain-free way of closing deals since rather than trying to generate your own leads, they are delivered directly to you for a very affordable rate.
- Get Moving
Now that you have business generated, it is time to get to it. Be sure to provide a high level of service so you can get referral business and develop a positive reputation. Continue to refine your processes to become as profitable as possible while upholding a high standard of service.
Starting a moving business can be an extremely profitable decision if done correctly. It also may not be for everyone. Follow this above step-by-step guide to set yourself up for success.