Here’s What You Need To Know About Starting a Moving Business
Running a moving business can be physically demanding. A typical day may start with you arriving early at a home.
Once there, you may need to pack items and household goods into boxes. After packing, you will have to stack and organize the boxes to fit them inside your truck, trailer or van.
Finally, you will have to drive to the new location and unload the boxes and furniture into the new house.
There are a few things to consider before starting.
First, determine your delivery radius. Some companies may not leave their city or state. Others move people all around the country.
Second, think about your vehicles. Some companies specialize in large box trucks. Others use Semi trucks.
If you want to offer more options to your customers you can offer storage, and truck rental services.
Finally, you may want to think about buying a franchise such as Two Men and a Truck.
- Ability to lift very heavy items
- Ability to work through very hot or very cold weather conditions
- Excellent driving skills
- Ability to follow directions; know the area or use a map/GPS
- Good organizational skills
- Scheduling pickups, loading, and delivery
- Large vehicle handling
- Truck and/or van upkeep and maintenance
- Keeping an accurate mileage log
- Packing various articles to fit together in one space well for travel
- Packing items appropriately; i.e. additional care and packing for delicate items
- Skill for moving furniture and appliances in tight areas
- List of Common Business Skill
Employee and Job Consideration During The Start-Up Phase or In The Future:
- Packers and Movers
- Common staff positions needed to run some businesses
Equipment, Supplies, & Services During Start-up OR In The Future:
- Safety equipment (such as road flashers and flares)
- First-aid kit
- Packing materials
- Bungee cords
- CB or other radio equipment
- GPS system built into the vehicle
- Warehouse for any needed storage
- Backup vehicles (or just more of them)
- Hitched trailer(s)
- Essential office Equipment
Monthly Expenses and Operating Costs To Consider:
- Vehicle payments
- Vehicle maintenance
Depending on the size of your trucks you may also need a commercial driver’s license (CDL).
Approximate Daily Hours Needed:
General Hours of Operation:
You may have an office that is open during normal business hours, 9 to 5. However, your day may start very early (6:00 a.m.) and end late at night or even a few days later (coast to coast moves).
Hours Needed to Prepare:
You may need an hour or two at the beginning and end of the day. This time is for loading/unloading the proper equipment, vehicle checks, logbook maintenance, and planning for the next move.
Approximate Minimum Startup Cost:
Entrepreneur Magazine estimates that the average startup costs for a moving service is between $10,000 USD and $50,000 USD. However, this will depend on whether you have a truck and trailer already or have to buy one.
Pros and Cons:
- Your hours are more or less your own, depending on the schedule you set for each job
- You get to travel and meet new people
- This service is stable; people are often relocating
- It is easy to add a related service
- Physically demanding
- You may have to work in bad weather conditions
- Pickups and deliveries can be delayed due to road conditions or road construction
- You are completely liable for the loss or breakage of your load
- You may have to work long nights, weekends, and holidays
Type of Customers You Need to Attract:
Your customers are people who are in the process of relocating. They are easy to find through realtors and through garage sale ads in the newspaper.
In addition, you can find customers who are business owners by posting ads and handing out business cards to business owners at local functions and network meetings.
See Moving Services Industry Research in the US by IBIS World for current statistics for your particular niche.
Interesting fact: Berger Transfer and Storage is a $90 million company handling more than 25,000 moves a year. However, it started out 100 years ago with just one man, one horse, and one trailer.
Today, with so many fluctuations in the economy, this service can bring in approximately $90,000 a year for a one-man operation.