How To Start a Moving Business
In this post, you’ll find several issues you’ll need to consider before deciding to start a moving business.
You’ll find a lot of articles and resources to help you research your business idea. You’ll have a broad overview of what you can expect from operating this kind of business.
Before you get to the resource section further down the page, let’s go over the issues you need to consider.
Moving Business Insights
Some Interesting Facts From MoveBuddha
- Average Americans move around 11 times in their lifetime. In 2019 around 10% of the United States population moved.
- Close to three million people in the United States move from state to state every year.
- The busiest time of the year for people moving is in the summer with June, July, and August as the most active months.
- The slowest time of the year is in the winter, with December and January showing the slowest activity.
- The busiest day for moving is Friday, and the slowest being Sunday. Hint, you can give special rates on Sundays and during the winter months.
- Interstate moves are in the $4,000 price range. While moving in the same state averages around one thousand dollars.
A Break Down of the Kind of Customers You May Encounter
- Families and individuals account for most of the market at 44%. Second, you have companies for 38% of the market. Military moves are around 16%, leaving 2% for government agencies that move.
Statistics on the Items People Move
- Household items come in at the top with 73% of things moved, second you’ll have office equipment and electronics at 20%. Next on the list, you’ll find 6% for trade shows, and last, and pretty much least, offices and supplies at 1%.
- Interestingly, of all the moving companies in the USA, 47.8% have less than five employees, and 8.5% of moving companies employ more than 100 employees.
For more facts see MoveBuddha
How Will You Setup Your Moving Business?
Have you considered how you’ll set up your business? Do you plan to offer moving services only? Will you provide storage for people that have sold their homes and need to store their belongings until they find a new home?
Storage services are another stream of revenue, but for storage services to be profitable, there needs to be a demand for the service, and your warehouse needs to be full most of the time.
If you plan to offer moving services without storage, will you operate from an office or park the trucks in your driveway and run it from home?
Is There a Demand for a Moving Business in Your Area
If you live in a small town, you need to determine if there is a demand for moving services. If there is not enough demand, then it doesn’t make sense to operate in your town. You will have to run your business from an area where there is more demand.
If there are many moving businesses in the area, you’re dealing with a saturated market. You’ll have to compete with the other companies in the area. Unless you can provide a better service or a service that is new to the market, it will be difficult to compete.
Whether you’re dealing with low demand in the area or a saturated market, you will be competing with nationwide movers like allied.
A Collection of Resources Related to Starting a Moving Business
Sections Included In This Post:
A Collection of Resources Related to Starting Moving Business
Considerations Before You Start a Moving Business
How to Start a Moving Business
In this section, you’ll find an overview of what you need to know about starting a moving business from various authors. You’ll notice all the titles below are similar, which allows you to gain a broad overview from different perspectives.
These articles are not the end of all you need but rather a starting point. You’ll need to research the industry according to your state/province, and municipality.
See the collection of articles below that I have selected for an overview of starting your moving business.
Trends and Statistics
In the trends and statistics section, you’ll gain an overview of the moving industry’s strengths and weaknesses. You’ll be able to identify if this is a growing or dying industry and make a fair assessment if this is the kind of industry you want to invest your time and money.
See the resources below to gain the insights you need to know about.
Profitability and Revenue
As mentioned earlier, ballpark figures of the rates charged for moving are:
- Interstate moving fees are in the $4,000 range
- Moving fees in the same state average around $1,000
- The average hourly rate is around $60-$120 per hour
The above will give you an idea of what you can charge. But you have to keep in mind the above is the amount you bring in, you still have expenses.
If, for example, you charge $60 per hour and you have four employees on the same moving job, you’ll lose money.
In addition to the labor cost, you have other expenses, including labor, fuel, insurance, truck payments, maintenance, etc. You need to keep your costs as low as possible to increase profits.
Startup and Operating Costs
Your startup cost can only be estimated when you know how you’re going to set up your business.
Will you be operating from home, or will you be buying or leasing a warehouse?
Will you purchase, lease, or rent a truck?
The way you set up your business will determine your startup costs.
See the articles below for more on startup costs.
Here are a few items you’ll use when moving:
- Moving Blankets
- Furniture Covers
- E Track Straps & Tie Downs
- Moving Straps & Mover Bands
- Moving Dollies
- Hand Trucks
- Floor Protectors
- Moving Kits & Packing Supplies
- Vehicle Safety Supplies
- Piano Moving Equipment
- Tape guns
- Bungee cords
- Hand Wrapper
- You’ll also want to keep some supplies handy, like shrink wrap, bubble wrap, tape, cardboard boxes, markers, large plastic bags, etc.
In addition to the above, you’ll need a truck, which will be the most expensive piece of equipment you buy.
See the articles below for details of the equipment you’ll need.
Licenses Needed to Start a Business
In addition to your business license, there are permits and regulations needed to operate your trucks.
The permits you need for the truck will depend on whether you plan to offer services within your state or province or plan to provide interstate moving services.
Whether or not you’re planning to offer services in different states and provinces, you will need a commercial driver’s license (CDL ) for the person driving the truck.
See the articles below that offer insight for what you need in terms of making your business legal.
Speak with a qualified broker to ensure you have the right coverage for your moving services.
Accidents happen. You could drop a fridge or a TV or other expensive items during the move. There could be a traffic accident where the entire load is destroyed.
You want to make sure you have at least two million dollars in cargo insurance.
If you damage small items, you would be better off paying for them yourself instead of going through insurance. The more claims you have, the higher your insurance rates. If you have a lot of insurance claims, you are viewed as a high-risk client, and you may not be able to get insurance.
See the articles and resources below for a complete overview of the insurance you’ll need.
How to Finance Your Business
If you plan on purchasing trucks or a warehouse, you’ll probably need a loan. The first step is figuring out how you will set up your business and what you’ll need to start.
To get financing, you’ll need to create a business plan. Without it, you won’t be able to get a financial institution to consider your loan.
See the articles and resources below for what you’ll need to finance your moving business.
Business Name Ideas
When you consider a name for your business, remember that it is the name you’ll use to market your business. It’s the name you’ll be saying and telling people about for many years. You’ll refer to it, even if you have sold your business or moved on to something else.
Business names rarely change, so take your time and choose a name you really like!
You’ll want to make sure that the name you come up with is not in use and available for registration, and you’ll want the same domain name for your business.
See the resources below for ideas and tips to name your moving business.
Trucks For A Moving Business
The truck you use is an essential factor in this kind of business. You can’t have vehicles that break down or are always in need of repairs. On the other hand, you don’t want to buy trucks at 50,000 dollars each when you don’t have enough work to keep your vehicles busy and make the payments.
You can also look into leasing a truck. If you are considering a lease, you’ll want to pay attention to the details, such as mileage restrictions, required maintenance, and what happens if the vehicle is damaged.
You may be able to rent trucks. When you rent a truck, the company will take care of maintenance and repairs, pay the rental fee and fuel, and the company takes care of the rest.
See the resources below for more on the issues to consider for moving trucks.