How to Start a Hauling Business
Looking for a side hustle to earn some extra money? Not afraid of hard work, but need a job with flexible hours and a fair hourly wage? If this sounds like you, a hauling business may be the perfect fit. Hauling businesses are in high-demand, provide local work that can’t be offshored, and have relatively low start-up costs compared to other small businesses. And, offering hauling services may be easier than you think.
Here are a few tips:
1. Get a Truck or a Van
If you already own a pickup truck, you are halfway to starting your business already. If not, now is the time to evaluate what type of truck you wish to purchase. You may consider a new or used truck. Look for a pickup truck with a high load capacity. You may have heard trucks referred to as half-ton, three quarter-ton and one-ton vehicles. A one-ton truck has a load capacity of 2,000 pounds. A half-ton can carry 1,000. Higher load vehicles will allow you to accept larger hauling jobs. In general, for a hauling business, it’s recommended you have a one-ton vehicle. Smaller trucks may be able to accept moving and delivery jobs, but could bottom out under heavier loads. Whichever size pickup truck you select, be sure to find one that is fuel efficient. You’ll rack up a lot of miles with your hauling business, and a fuel efficient truck will save you money in the long run.
2. Get The Right Equipment
While your truck is your largest investment, it is not the only piece of equipment your business will need. To get jobs done quickly, safely, and without causing injury to your back, purchase a hand truck or dolly. There are several different types of dollys, including moving dollys and appliance dollys. It’s important to have the correct tool for the job, so you may purchase more than one type.
You’ll also need equipment to secure your cargo during hauling jobs, and to ensure you don’t damage delicate items. Keep ratchet straps, moving blankets, and bungee cords on hand. Using a tarp to protect from rain and a red flag to attach to the end is recommended. The upfront investment in this equipment will prevent future damage claims for broken items. For used furniture deliveries and moving we recommend wrapping items in stretch wrap for extra protection.
3. Register Your Business
At this point, you may wish to register your hauling business. If you are the sole owner, you may look at creating a sole proprietorship. If you have partners, consider an LLC. There are many resources, including LegalZoom, that can assist with this process. You may also wish to consult with an attorney or accountant before making your decision on how to register your business.
4. Marketing Your Hauling Services
Once you have your equipment ready, you are ready to start hauling. You only need one more thing, customers! There are many ways to build a customer base. Start with family and friends, asking them for their referrals. You may wish to create a page on Yelp to help find local referrals. You can also drum up business by hitting the streets and dropping in on local businesses. Let them know about your services and leave a business card. One of the easiest ways to find business quickly is to join a gig-referral app, like GoShare, as an independent contractor. These apps will refer customers to you for on-demand moving and hauling jobs.
5. Build Your Reputation
Whether you are looking for repeat business or a high-star rating on an app, building your reputation is important. Arrive on time, dressed professionally, and with your equipment ready. Your vehicle should be clean and well maintained. Keep a positive attitude and always be respectful and polite. Make sure to communicate with your client throughout the hauling job, through texting and calling. They will appreciate the updates on your expected arrival and completion times, as well as any unexpected hiccups (like bad traffic).
Acquiring the right type of insurance is important to protecting your business in the case of accident or mishap. With a hauling business, you will want to maintain a policy for your vehicle, as well as cargo and liability insurance. Insurance policies are also important in building relationships with customers. Some customers and businesses will not hire a hauling service unless the have proof of insurance. Contractors working with apps like GoShare may find they are backed by the company’s cargo and liability insurance for jobs referred through that platform. Those that are working completely independently should contact a commercial insurance broker to learn more about available insurance options.
7. Join The GoShare Team
There is only so much you can do operating by yourself. Some common challenges you will face are building trust, accepting payments, and finding new customers. GoShare is a platform that connects drivers with trucks and vans to people and businesses who need a same day moving, hauling, or delivery services. GoShare is a trusted partner that handles payments, provides supplemental cargo insurance, and has an expert team of marketers generating demand from new customers. You can learn more and apply to become a GoShare driver by clicking here.