How to open a moving company?
Starting a new business today would be a scary undertaking considering the state of the economy. Yet many people would like to take the risk and start a new business and thus become financially independent. Actually, entrepreneurship has been encouraged ever since the economic crises started in 2008 because it meant more security in time companies were laying off people. Some people think that they need those big commercial trucks and a huge warehouse in order to start the business when in fact you can start small. How to start a moving company? Here we will share starting a moving company business ideas, steps and requirements.
Starting a Moving Company Ideas
To start a moving company you don’t need to buy those big trucks and rent a warehouse. In most big cities 80 percent of the moves are small, local moving jobs for which you don’t need storage facilities or big trucks. Many people are also looking for in-house moving help that only requires man power to move a bedroom worth of furniture. Thus, you can easily start your new moving company with a smaller van. Many customers today prefer to call a small moving company because usually is less expensive and still quality moving service. This though does not mean you won’t be making a profit. Moving is a hard labor and it is not cheap.
Starting a Moving Company Steps
Starting a moving company requires you to follow some standard steps. There are some differences types of moving companies for you to choose from. You should decide if you want to provide moving labor services only or become a full service coast to coast mover. A few general and mandatory steps will get you started on how to open a moving company business.
Draft a Business Plan
You can’t start a business without a business plan. No matter the size of your new moving company you will need a plan of action. Writing a business plan for starting a moving company is necessary, just like when starting any other business. A business plan will help you answer the question how to start a small moving company. A business plan is vital for running a successful business. It will help you forecast business development, allocate resources and markets, focus on key points and opportunities and prepare for possible problems. You need to include some standard elements, but you have to consider components that make it work for your new moving business. More importantly, a business plan will help you think about how to set your company apart from the rest. Since today the moving industry is flooded with movers, it is essential that you consider offering variety of services or, even better, something new.
Moving and Transportation Permits
Permits are legal authorizations you need to start a moving company in any state. Since you want to open a legal business, you will need to apply for certain permits depending on what type of moving company you want to start. For more information contact your local state regulatory authority or go to The US Department of Transportation to get information on registration and licensing.
Starting a Moving Company Costs
Purchase moving equipment
Depending on how big you want to start, the amount of money you would need will vary. When starting a moving company, it is a good idea to start small. Buy or rent a van or smaller moving truck to start your new moving company. If you already have a van or a pick-up truck, your initial costs will be fuel and some moving equipment. You may need a couple of moving dollies, ropes, furniture belts, moving pads (also called moving blankets) and some packing and wrapping materials. Buying an initial inventory of various moving boxes is a good idea. These necessary moving basics will make you look professional in the eyes of your first customers. You can even rent a dolly for around $10 and approximately a $100 more for the rest. If you have to rent a truck for a day, it will be additional $80 – $160.
However, if you are serious about starting a moving company business, you should definitely consider buying a small truck. You can find great deals on used trucks or talk to any truck rental company near you for their inventory for sale. Of course if you want to open a moving company that will be your main source of income, then you should consider investing in a new truck with a moving body. Keep in mind that additional insurance requirements come with purchasing your truck.
Once you have your moving truck, you will need to register it with the US Department of Transportation. You will receive an unique US DOT number for your company. In some states, having a valid US DOT registration is enough to operate as a moving company. Depending on the state, the local regulations differ.
Moving and Transportation Insurance
When starting a moving company you need to have liability and cargo insurance. Contact your insurance agency to obtain a reasonable insurance coverage for damages and liability. You need vehicle and cargo insurance. Some states have specific requirements on what is the minimum legal amount for your cargo and vehicle insurance. Check with your state authority or insurance agent.
Advertise your New Moving Company Business
You should develop a brand that stands out. Branding your new moving company successfully will result in more sales. Put your logo and company numbers on your moving truck, so people can see it in the city while you are working. most moving companies have unique branded t-shirts for all of the employees.
Offline or Online advertising? This is the question. Today your online strategy is your business strategy. There is no other answer. Sure you need to make some connections, become member of local chambers of commerce and get listed on local business directories, online and paper based publications. Become a member of the most popular moving associations and become one of the accredited BBB moving companies. You should also join us and become a registered moving company at My Moving Reviews. But think about how many of us today look for services in the newspaper classifieds? Very few people utilize this old fashioned search.
Nowadays, people search online first. According to Google today we do more than 30 billion searches each month, and 80 percent of them are about services and products. Thus, having a strong online presence is a major component of your business. This means you need a well designed, professionally looking website, which can become your main source of jobs. This is where you will list your moving services provided. Consult with a professional web design and online marketing company to secure your online presence.
If you want to kick-start your newly opened moving company, contact some online brokers and lead providers. You need to have a source of jobs as soon as you are in the business. Starting a moving company is not an easy job, but it is totally doable if you are persistent. Having your moving schedule filled up all year long is not an easy task to accomplish.
If you decide to provide moving labor services and not full service moves, you can join some of the online communities, marketplaces and services that offer moving labor services. Some of the popular moving labor services are Emove by Uhaul and Hire a Helper.
Here are some marketing ideas for movers you may want to go through to boost your business.
Starting a Moving Company Tips
Obtain moving training. You will definitely need some kind of training if you have not moved households before. Even if you have, moving training will help you better understand the mechanics behind proper packing and loading. Moving training will teach you how to be more efficient in all aspects of the moving process, which will ultimately help you save on money. It will make you look professional in your customers’ eyes. Having a good reputation is very important in this business.
You may need to obtain some sales training. This is when you start growing and getting busier. Employing proper sales techniques will teach you how to book more jobs and respectively help you increase your profit. This would be the moment when you will start thinking about hiring employees and renting an office. But for now, your home is your office. Start small and then grow when starting a moving company – moving a business office is easy once you have your company working well.
Secure a warehouse if offering storage when you start your new moving company. If you are thinking of starting large by offering storage services, you will have to find the space. This will be an additional cost because you will have to rent storage space and secure it. You may also contact the local storage facilities and get into a long-term contract with them. Check your storage insurance options as well.
Take good care of your customers and turn them into referrers. Make sure you can answer all frequently asked questions to ask movers. People say that word of mouth advertising is the best and in the moving industry this is particularly true. Many moving companies owe huge percentage of their business each year to repeated customers and referrals.
Please, let us know if we have not addressed any question you may have about how to start a moving company. We will gladly give more details or direct you where to find the right information. Share your thoughts in the comments below.