Whether you are looking for a flexible side hustle or want to start your own business without a lot of overhead, a moving business may be the right fit for you. Starting a retail business requires a storefront and inventory. But, a moving service has low start-up costs, especially if you already own your own vehicle. Further, you’ll enjoy flexible hours and good hourly wages. If this sounds like something that would appeal to you, read the steps below to get started:
1. Get a Truck or a Van
If you don’t have a pick up truck, cargo van, or box truck, you will need to purchase. This is the main source of overhead, or cost, in starting your moving business. Fortunately, there is a large market for both new and used trucks and vans. Finding the right vehicle is key. While a smaller vehicle, like a pickup truck, may be more affordable, a large vehicle may allow you to charge a higher fee. It’s also important to consider fuel efficiency, as you will be racking up a lot of miles while moving cargo. The Chevy Express Van, Ford Transit Cargo Van and the Mercedes Sprinter are popular options for moving professionals.
2. Get Equipment
Purchasing a truck or a van is the biggest step toward starting your local moving company. You should also consider some addition equipment to keep on hand for your moving jobs. Depending on the job, you may need some of all of these items. Most movers will want to have a dolly on hand to help with loading and unloading. A hand truck dolly will help with simple moves. But, you may want to look into a moving dolly or appliance dolly to expand the range of jobs you could take. A set of ratchet straps will help secure cargo. Bungee cords can also secure cargo and ensure nothing shifts or breaks during the move. To prevent breakage, make sure to have moving blankets on hand. For furniture moves, consider using stretch wrap for extra protection. The upfront investment for these items will help prevent any costs from broken or damaged items down the road. If you have a pickup truck, keep a tarp on hand to protect cargo from unexpected rain showers. Pick up truck drivers should also keep a red flag handy. If the cargo extends beyond the bed of the truck, attach the flag to the end to help prevent drivers behind you from getting too close.
3. Set Up Your Company
Determine which business structure is best for you. Many people who are the only owner of the business will choose a sole proprietorship. If you have partners an LLC may be better. Consulting with an accountant and an attorney before making this choice is recommended. This all may sound intimidating, but there are many resources out there to help. This may sound intimidating, but there are many resources, like LegalZoom, that can help make these decisions easier. This is also the step where you may name your business! A creative and unique name can help your business stand out and be memorable. Look for a name that is unique and creative, but still relevant to your moving business.
4. Marketing Your Moving Business
Now that you’ve set-up your business and have all your equipment ready, you just need to find some customers! Let family and friends know about your new business, and encourage them to recommend you to others. You may consider building a Web site to ensure people looking for a local moving service on Google find your business. Social sharing sites, like Facebook, Twitter and Yelp may also be good options for getting the word out about your company. Old fashioned networking can also help get the word out about your company. Personally stop into small businesses and let them know that if they have customers that need help transporting large items, you are available. This means you will need to buy some business cards and flyers to leave behind.
5. Build Your Reputation
Every new customer you acquire has the potential to become a repeat customer, or to refer other customers your way. So, it’s important to provide excellent service each and every time. Build a reputation for professionalism. You can do this by communicating with your customer throughout the job, ensuring they feel up-to-date and there are no surprises. Dress professionally and make sure you keep your vehicle looking and running clean. If you do a great job, they will use you again and recommend you to their friends.
Be sure to protect your moving business by acquiring the appropriate insurance in case of an accident. This could include a vehicle accident, damage to the cargo, or workplace injury. For a moving business look to take a plan that will cover your vehicle, cargo and provide liability insurance as well. Having an insurance policy is also essential for building trust with customers. Many businesses and individuals will avoid working with a delivery company that is underinsured. Contact a local commercial insurance broker to find out how much it will cost to insure your business. This cost may vary based on location, types of deliveries you make, and the perceived risk.
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, acquiring insurance coverage, 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 help. 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.
8. Save Your Receipts
As a small business owner, tracking your expenses is very important. Some expenses related to operating your business may be used as a tax write off. Consult your personal accountant to help understand which expenses you can deduct from your return. Using an app like Expensify is easy and useful for keeping track of your receipts and expenses.