Moving company business is an all-season business.
Moving company business is one of the businesses that thrive in every economy. That is, there will be business opportunities for moving companies when the economy is booming. Also, moving business is not affected by recessionary economy. Why? During booming economy, citizens usually have sufficient disposable income. Some will build house and relocate. Tenants may decide to move to better environments. All these constitute business opportunities for moving companies. In the same vein, during recession, economy bites hard on people. You see people selling their houses. Some will not be able to meet up with their mortgage obligations. The property involved may be put on foreclosure. Some tenants that have been living in luxurious apartments may need to move out for a cheaper accommodation elsewhere. Apart from the dictate of the economy, some will relocate for job related issues. So, whatever the situation of the economy, people will always move.
I believe you can now see why starting a moving company business is not a bad one. Households and business establishments will always seek the help of movers to move their things. Besides, you can run a moving business as a side business. It offers flexibility. You can decide to set the time that is right for you with your clients. However, operating a moving business requires strength and stamina. It requires lifting heavy items.
If you like to start a moving company business, the points illustrated below will be helpful.
Define your market
Moving companies offer different moving services. Moving companies are in the following categories:
- Long distance moving companies.
- Nationwide moving companies
- Residential moving companies
- Local moving companies
- Full service moving companies
You need to focus on a particular market that you know you have the capacity and resources to serve effectively. You may intend to operate a long distance moving company. This is a particular niche indeed. Notwithstanding, it is better you start as a local moving company. After you have successfully operated as a local moving company and you have gained enough experience, you can expand your moving business to cover long distance.
Register your moving company
Remember that you are creating a moving business. Therefore, you need to register it legally. The moving business is flooded with amateurs with no business name. Having your moving company registered will earn you some credibility.
Develop a business plan
It is always good to have a business plan prepared. With business plan, you will be able to analyse all your costs which include both the initial costs and other on-going recurring expenses. While preparing business plan for your moving company, you will need to conduct market research about the target market moving needs and what the competitors are already offering. Gaining information about your competitors’ pricing will help you determine the right price for your moving business. When people request for moving quotes from you, your price will not be abnormal compared to your competitors.
Source for Fund
Moving company business is not the type of business you can start with no capital. Even if you have a vehicle already that you want to be using for the moving business, you still need money for business registration, license, permits and insurance. It is easier for moving company to secure bank loans as the trucks they will use the money to buy will add up to the collateral. Having a good business plan for your moving company will also facilitate the granting of loans. With good business plan, you can also approach other investors.
Read Also: Funding Options for Small Businesses
Purchase your equipment
The main equipment needed to start a moving business is moving truck. There are different types of moving trucks. The moving truck you will buy will be determined by the market niche you want to serve. A truck that will be needed by local moving company may be different from the one needed by a long distance moving company.
Obtain insurance and permits
As a moving company, you need to obtain special license and permits that will allow you to operate either locally or nationwide. Some people that operate moving companies as amateurs usually avoid this. One of the ways you can distinguish yourself from amateurs is to ensure that you obtain all necessary licenses and permits. This will give you confidence to work and you can easily promote your moving business. Also, you need to obtain insurance that will cover your vehicles. In addition, you need insurance policy that will provide reasonable amount of coverage for damages and other liabilities.
In moving business, you can hardly do it alone. You need to hire packers and movers who can help you lift and arrange things properly. Such people are expected to have organizational skills. Carry out background checks on them and ensure they don’t have robbery or theft record. A wrong hire can ruin your moving business. Therefore, be careful to hire right persons.
Any time people want to move their things, they go on internet to search for moving companies so that they can place a call. Therefore, it makes sense to develop a website for your moving company. Besides, you can put up advertisements in your local newspapers and also on the internet. When you advertise, you should make your title catchy. Because of the limited space you have for the title of your advert especially if you are using text ads, your adverts have to be concise. For examples, you can use the following title for your adverts:
- Moving out of state?
- Cheap moving company
- Cheap moving companies
Your advert should reflect the moving service you provide. For instance, the first advert title above suggests that the company is a long distance moving company.
With the little information in this article, you should be able to know what to do when starting your moving company business.
Read Also: Best Business Ideas in a Recession
SWOT analysis of a Moving Company
Without having any specific moving company in mind, below is the SWOT Analysis any moving company has likely have. The essence of this SWOT Analysis is to provide a guide to anyone who may consider starting a moving company. If at all you like to carry out your own SWOT Analysis as it relates to you, you will find one or two information useful in the one provided below:
Moving skills and experience: If I ask you what is the most important thing you need if you want to start a moving company, you may probably say that it is a moving truck. That is absolutely incorrect. Do you know that you can start your moving company without having a moving truck? It is possible. You can decide to hire a moving truck if you don’t have enough funds to buy one yet. The most important thing you need is moving skills and experience. Moving service is not just about parking things into a moving truck and then off load them when you get to your destination. If it is just like that, then it means that everyone can start a moving company. Your skills and experience will count in the handling of various items. The way you will handle fragile porcelains will be different from how you handle family heirlooms or valuable antiques. You need experience and skills to know the right steps to take to protect the belongings of your customers. Certain items may require special care by using double or triple walled carton, stretched wrap or cushioning wrap. Some may just require the use of paper and packing tape.
Good team: Moving service requires that you hire packers and movers. If your moving company has dedicated and trustworthy packers and movers, your mind can be at rest that nothing will happen to your customer’s belongings. Having professional movers is quite alright but you must blend this with good character. Nevertheless, it does not matter how trustworthy your packers and movers are, there are certain things you should allow your customers to handle themselves. These may include cash, stock certificates, bonds and other notes. Also, it is safer to allow your customers hold the keys to safe and other furniture. You may not allow your packers and movers to handle sensitive documents like titles, deeds, cheque books and medical reports. With these precautions, your moving company will not be exposed unnecessarily to risks of theft and pilferage.
Leadership and management skills: As the owner of a moving company, if you possess leadership and management skills, this will be a good strength. As your moving company begins to grow in size and capacity, you may not need to get involved directly in the moving services. However, you should be able to motivate, direct and coordinate your packers and movers. You can’t just assume that they know what to do per time neither should you allow them to do things the way they like. Remember that if anything should go wrong, you are responsible for whatever that happens in your moving company. Your customers will not hold packers and movers for any damage they might have caused; they will hold you or your moving company.
Reputation: A good name is better than gold they say. If you are able to build a good reputation for your moving company, this can give you an edge over other moving companies. No one can successfully build a good brand with good reputation. With good reputation, you will be surprised that people will be requesting for moving quotes from you without you prospecting to them.
Capacity: Not all moving companies have capacity to handle certain moving services. Capacity to handle some moving services may be limited by the size and number of moving trucks a moving company has. If you offer long distance moving services, you may likely be able to record more revenue than local moving companies as a result of the geographical restrictions they suffer. Also, some customers may require both moving and storage services. The capacity of your moving company will determine what moving services you can provide for customers.
Low overheads: There is no moving company that will not like to grow. But if you don’t have a good growth strategy in place, your overheads may soon overrun your revenue. A good moving company should know how to keep overheads as low as possible. One of the strategies moving companies usually adopt is to have part time packers and movers. This means that you will only pay them for the moving services they provide for your moving company. Also, your moving company needs not to tie money down on the acquisition of moving trucks. You should only buy additional moving truck when there is enough justification for it. This should be evident in the number of orders you receive.
Environmentally moving practices: In this era of green environment and need to be environmental friendly, compliance with environmental laws should be given a priority. Moving companies in most cases are directly exposed to some of these environmental laws. If your moving company has well established environmentally moving practices which you have imbibed into all your packers and movers, you may not need to suffer fines and penalties unnecessarily.
I don’t think I need to dwell much on what may be the weaknesses of a moving company here. Weakness is the opposite of strength. Strengths and weaknesses are both internal factors. This means that you or your moving company has influence over the factors mentioned under each heading. What you need to do is to identify which areas you consider as your weaknesses and learn how to overcome them. If your competitor is strong where you are weak, you need to quickly do something about it. Otherwise, your competitors can use it against your moving company.
Opportunities are external factors that can contribute to the success of your moving company. Few of them are discussed below:
Change in economy: Moving services are all seasons business. It can thrive in any economy but it thrives more when there is a change in economy. For instance, if the economy becomes recessionary leading to downturn of economic activities, many things will be affected. Companies will begin to sack employees, disposable income becomes low and many families may not be able to pay their house rents. This will force many to relocate to areas where they can secure cheaper apartment for their accommodation. This can also affect corporate organization. I remember a company that lost its major client. Meanwhile, the company was strategically located close to that client. When they lost the client, they could not afford to pay their rent any more. Therefore, they needed to relocate.
The same thing can happen when suddenly, economy begins to boom. The standard of living begins to improve and people like to move to a more comfortable place. That is why moving services are good business ideas in any economy.
Crises: If there are crises or clashes in any part of a state, region or country, people tend to relocate from such place to another place which they consider safer and more peaceful. If peace is restoring, people will like to return to their original base. So, moving companies usually take advantage of every situation.
Massive constructions: Anywhere there is massive construction of residential or industrial estates, you can be sure that very soon, moving services will be required there. Therefore, if you notice such constructions going on around you, it may be a good opportunity for you to quickly start your moving company before the opportunity passes you by. However, don’t forget that I mentioned that you need to acquire skills and experience before you can operate a moving company successfully. You can use the period when constructions are still going on to learn whatever you need to know from any of the reputable moving companies around you.
Having talked about the opportunities, we should not close our eyes to the possible threats which may impede the business of a moving company.
Competition: In any business, there are giants who have already established their brands. If you are just starting your own moving company, you may not have resources to compete with them. But the good news is that, some of the moving companies will be too big to go for the type of moving services you will like to provide. This alone has reduced the effects of competition considerably. To be able to compete effectively with other small local moving companies, you may need to adopt penetrating pricing strategy any time you want to submit moving quotes. By the time your moving company has become well established, you can then review your prices upward.
Global warming: Moving services demand that you will be exposed to sun and harsh weathers. Global warming and climate change are affecting weather conditions. Temperature is rising and the effects of the heat from the sun are becoming increasingly high on humanity. For somebody who cannot withstand stress, moving services may not be the right business ideas for you. Also, it may be difficult to find people to hire as packers and movers. The few available ones will become expensive to hire. This may drive down the profit margin of moving companies.