In an ever mobile nation like the United States, moving services are a necessity. According to the US Census Bureau, around 32 million Americans moved around the country. With the growing demand for professional movers, the moving industry in the US is estimated to reach a $14.2 billion market in 2024.
Whether moving within the city or state, across the country, people hire professional movers for packing and transporting their stuff on a daily basis. Majority of these relocations are local moves, which puts local moving companies in the best position. It is not surprising why many small moving companies are thriving across the country.
Essential Things To Know When Starting a Local Moving Company
Starting a moving company can be a daunting endeavor. But if you start it right, it can be a lucrative business, especially that moving services are always in demand.
Read on to learn how to start a local moving company.
1. Start with a well-defined business plan
A business plan is a vital document that serves as the blueprint of a company. It provides a clear plan of action, expectations and goals, and program specifics.
A business plan contains the details on how to source initial funding, allocate resources and budget, and manage revenues. It determines the type of organization, the manpower requirements, and the equipment and assets needed. You will need to determine the services you’ll offer and how you’ll run the day-to-day business operations. The business plan includes studying the market, the competition in the business niche, and the strategies to overcome challenges. Successful businesses are built on well-planned business plans, so make sure to spend time on this crucial step.
2. Establish your business
Once you have a foolproof business plan, you can start establishing your business entity, such as corporation LLC, sole proprietorship, partnership, etc. Check with your local authorities on how to register your legal entity. To help you understand legal terms and processes, you might need to seek the help of a corporate attorney. You’ll also need to register for taxes.
3. Comply with local regulations
Before you can legally operate, you will need to register your moving company to your local state regulatory authority. Local state regulators set different regulations and rules for moving businesses. Visit your local state authority to get a complete list of requirements and permits.
4. Financial aspect
After a legal entity has been established, you can then open a business bank account. A separate account for your business is crucial to help you accurately monitor your financial status. This will also avoid mixing your personal and business finances, which is important when filing annual taxes.
Next, you’ll need to secure capitalization for your moving company. You can source funds from your personal savings, credit card, bank loans, and other financing schemes. If you plan to take out loans, make sure you have feasible plans on how to pay off these debts. If you are setting up a large business, you might need to find investors.
At this stage, you also need to determine the cost of your services. The rates need to be competitive at the same time reasonable to pay off all your dues.
5. Find space
Initially, you’ll likely need a small space for your office and equipment. If you have a big space such as a garage, you can start your operations there. Make your home your office. As your operations scale up, you’ll need to rent a commercial space that is large enough to accommodate your growing company. Eventually, you’ll need space for your fleet as well as storage area for clients in between moves. Don’t rush building or renting a large space.
6. Get insured
According to experienced professional movers at Torex Moving, damages and liabilities are the major risks of operating a moving company. In case something happens to their belongings while under your custody, you can be held liable. As such, insurance coverage is necessary for moving companies, particularly the small ones. Look for an insurance company that can provide comprehensive coverage as well as vehicle and cargo insurance. This can save you from headaches when unexpected things happen. Insurance coverage protects not only your moving business, but also yourself and your employees.
7. Assemble moving equipment and supplies
Contrary to what many people think, you don’t really need to buy heavy equipment and trucks upfront. You can always start small by renting a van or a smaller truck. For the warehouse, you can use your garage or a rental space.
Once you’ve started earning, you can then invest in brand new moving trucks. Initially, what you’ll need to purchase are packing supplies and moving equipment like trolleys. You should be wise in spending your budget to ensure sustainability.
8. Hire staff
Typically, you’ll need at least two people during the initial operations. They will assist you with your moving projects. It is best to put them through moving training to ensure that they know the basics. You will also need to orient them on the company policies, employee duties, safety procedures, and proper use of equipment. Make sure to choose dependable personnel as your manpower is critical to the success of your business.
Once everything is set, you need to promote and introduce your brand to your target market. Build online presence by setting up websites or social media accounts. Invest in traditional marketing strategies such as advertisements in local radio or TV, print ads in local newspapers, promotional giveaways, flyers, brochures, and posters.
Provide promotional offers such as discounts or referral coupons. Collaborate with local businesses and organizations, and join local events where you can showcase your services. You can also volunteer your services to charities who can then promote your company to potential customers. Marketing is a major part of your business and is vital to success.
10. Keep your customers satisfied
Employing effective sales strategies can help you book more jobs and increase your revenues. However, the most important marketing strategy is taking good care of your customers. Consider each project as if your first and last – and always do your best. Keeping your customers satisfied will turn them into referrers and repeat customers. Word of mouth advertising is still the best and most proven approach.