The thought of starting your own business is exciting and confusing. You need to make a lot of decisions, like which niche to choose and whether to go in for a product-based or a service-based business.
Next, you have to decide in your head if you want to go into sole proprietorship or partnership.
Besides all the options, starting a moving company is a business niche that fits into the trend. It is an industry that was operational even when the world was shut down due to COVID-19.
Movers and packers did the job of saviors by shifting the students and people back to their hometowns.
7 Steps to Starting a Moving Company
Since you are also looking for ways to successfully start your own moving company, here’s a concrete plan to successfully launch it:
1. Make an in-depth business plan
For starting any company you need to have a solid plan. Before you start your own moving company, you need to understand that it is not only about packing and moving boxes. You need a proper roadmap in the form of formal documents to start your moving business.
It should consist of all your financial estimates based on market research. Set concrete preferences and goals for your business.
To make your research easy, here are a few parameters you should look into:
The expansion plans:
Initially, you can start by launching your moving company on a small level. For that matter, take up local moves for your acquaintances, friends, and neighbors. Conduct the move so effectively that they leave a nice testimonial for you. You can also get some behind-the-scenes pictures and videos from your small-scale move.
Later, you can use these testimonials and videos of your team doing all the hard work remaining behind the scenes to do some online marketing while going to the next level. It is also beneficial to start at the local level first, as while moving things within the same town, you can pick up a small truck and take various rounds.
As you earn enough profit and are capable of investing in larger vehicles, you can expand your business to the interstate and intercity levels. A bigger team will require more in-house personnel as well. You can now look for a property on lease. Inquire if the local laws permit you to operate a moving company in that area.
Determining the pricing structure for your services is another important aspect of your business. Conduct market research and see what your competitors are offering.
Try to dig out the strategy behind which moving companies are making great deals: the ones offering premium services at high prices or the ones offering basic services at lower prices.
Various other variables affect the pricing structure of a moving company. Some companies charge according to the weight of the carriage, some charge on an hourly basis, and some charge according to the number of men deployed on the task.
While you provide a quote to your clients as per the variable that you choose, also keep the distance factor in mind. The longer the route, the more you have to charge to cover the expenses. Once you have framed the pricing structure, start looking for strategies to make a profit.
Compare the moving prices you have estimated against the expenses for a hypothetical moving solution. It will give you a rough idea of how long it will take your business to become profitable. It is also known as breakeven analysis.
Competitors and Hindrances:
Every successful business goes through some roadblocks at some point in its journey. So, while structuring your business plan, include some contingency plans for the probable hindrances that your business may face.
For instance, how will your business handle customer dissatisfaction or an economic slowdown? Likewise, make a list of more such problems and find backup solutions.
2. Write a marketing plan
Making a creative marketing plan is another important aspect of your business. It is necessary to have a creative marketing plan to reach out to your potential customers. The marketing plan should be structured as per the services you will be offering and the price that you will set.
Look for your target market:
When you start framing your market plan, you have to define it by being specific to your target market. For example, you can be a specialized furniture mover and do your marketing based on keywords that target furniture moves.
If you want to take on overall tasks, then you can mention piano moving, pool table moving, furniture moving, villa moving, etc. in your marketing plans.
In some places, the target audience may want packing services. It is usually in business-class areas where people have long working hours and do not have enough time to deal with the packing hassle. They would rather pay a premium packing amount instead of spending long hours on packing.
So, as per demand, you can specify your services. Identify if you will be targeting customers who want superior customer service or low prices.
As you will be dealing with moving services, you will not get the same customers for at least a few years. But your previous customers can always give you a reference. You can give your business cards to them so that they can pass ahead.
Also, tell them about your website and social media handles and ask them to leave positive reviews.
Strong online presence:
You have to make people know about your business; that is the whole purpose of a marketing plan. Focus on finding innovative ways to spread the positive word about your business and spread awareness about it among your target audience. One popular way to do this is to have a strong social media presence.
It will help you have an interactive experience with your customers. Next, you can get ad space on some related websites and spread the word about your business. You can advertise your business on various platforms, but be cautious when choosing the platforms as they may charge a premium.
3. Choose a unique name for your business
The most important aspect is to choose an appropriate name for your business. The name should be unique but easy to remember. You also have to look that your name is not taken by any other firm already.
It is important because if any other company finds that you have used their trademark, then that company can legally sue you. You will then have to face the repercussions and also change your company’s name. You can ensure this by searching online for the name you are thinking of.
Next, you can search it in the Patent and Trademark Office’s files to see if there are similar trademarks. After going through these files, you can visit your state agency website or the local secretary of state’s office and look for registered names.
Once you have done enough research, you will be confident that you have not violated another business’s trademark. Apart from it, there are other rules that your state may specify.
These restrictions include specifications like not including words that may confuse people into thinking that your firm is a government agency. Your organization should also not have any words that may show any sort of affiliation with any university, bank, or other entity.
4. Decide on a legal business structure for your company
Every business has a legal structure. If you start a business by yourself with no partners, the structure is known as a sole proprietorship, since you are the sole owner of your business. If you start it with two or more people, then the structure is that of a partnership.
It is recommended to structure your business as a corporation initially. This structure will give you some tax advantages and limited liability. In cases of limited liability, you have the advantage of not being personally liable if your business gets sued. Thus, you can protect your assets, like your home, cars, etc.
5. Look for funding
Initially, you will not need outside funding for your business. You are good to go with a truck or a van when you begin.
Apart from the vehicles, your other expenses would be:
In a startup, such minimum-level investments are good to go. But whenever you decide to take your moving business to a bigger level, you will have to make a bigger investment to take care of your high-volume moves.
The high volume moves will require spacious vehicles and you may also require to take a warehouse on rent.
6. Get the licenses and permits that you need
Being a moving company, you will require a lot of permissions to operate legally. As per the rules of your state, your moving radius, and your location, you will have to take the federal exam.
It will give you the authority to carry out interstate moves legally. Even for local moves, you may need to register with the state transportation agency.
7. Hire Employees
Dedicated employees are the backbone of any successful business. During the initial days of your moving company, you may feel that you do not require a huge staff.
But as you grow, you will require more people to handle different bookings, more people to provide support to the customers, more trucks, more drivers, and more packers and movers. Hiring the right personnel will play a major role in the success of your business.
You should hire capable employees and build an effective team by training them thoroughly. After you build a strong team, provide your employees with workers’ compensation insurance. It will help you aid your employees if they face any health-related issues.
These were some of the important factors that will help you in starting your moving company. Follow these steps in the above-mentioned order, and you will be able to actualize your dream without much stress. I hope you have clarity about how to go about it and are all set to embark on that entrepreneurial journey.
Kinza Siddiq has been a professional packers and movers for more than 5 years, she is an expert in logistics and transportation. Kinza has been living in Dubai for the past 10 years. She is passionate about travel; Kinza effortlessly blends her experiences with writing. She loves adventure, travel, and writing. When she’s not working, she spends her spare time with her pets and writing blogs.
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