If you’re looking for a lucrative and flexible side hustle or considering starting a business with minimal overheads, there are few ideas better than launching a local moving company.
Unlike most other businesses, a moving business doesn’t require a storefront or inventory. Don’t get us wrong – there are start-up costs, of course, but these are negligible, especially if you already have your own van or truck, which is the biggest expense you’ll incur in this venture.
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The low start-up costs aside, you’ll put your knowledge of the area to good use while enjoying the attractive hourly rates that come with it.
Sounds rosy and all, but the sixty-four-thousand-dollar question is, how do you go about starting a local moving company exactly?
Step 1: Get a truck or van
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As we’ve mentioned, this is the biggest expense you’ll incur. If you have a cargo van, pick-up truck, or box truck by any chance, you’re laughing. Otherwise, you will need to find a way to secure one.
Good thing is, the market for both new and used trucks and vans is huge. If the money is happy, opt for a larger vehicle. It will be costlier, but a large vehicle means no job will be too big for you. Plus, it will allow you to charge higher fees.
When shopping for your transport vehicle, keep fuel efficiency in mind.
Step 2: Get Equipment
The truck aside, you’ll need to invest in some equipment to aid in the moving jobs.
Some of the must-have items include:
- A dolly (opt for an appliance dolly which supports more jobs)
- Bungee cords
- Ratchet straps
- Moving blankets
- Stretch wrap
- Tarp (if using pickup truck)
Investing in these items in advance can help you prevent any damage-related costs down the line.
Step 3: Set up your company
Starting a company means you’ll need to make a decision on the structure that’s most suited for you. If you’re the only owner, a sole proprietorship will work. If you have partners, consider an LLC.
We would advise to consult with an attorney or accountant before you decide which option you want to take. We know, it may sound daunting, but you’ll find plenty of resources to help in making your decisions easier. LegalZoom, for example.
This is also the part where you get to choose a name for your moving company. Opt for something unique but still relevant to the business.
Step 4: Marketing your business
Now comes the hard part: looking for customers.
Craigslist is a good place to start. But you might want to make sure you have a business website up and running first; social media channels too.
You can also reach out to furniture stores in your area to discuss the possibility of delivering furniture pieces to their clients. Do the same with your local Ikea and drop them some flyers.
Old-fashioned networking still works, so talk to as many small businesses in your area as you can regarding your transport services should their customers need it.
Step 5: Build your reputation
The success of your company will be largely dependent on the level of service you provide.
Establish a professional reputation at all levels, including in your dress code, and never compromise on the quality of service.
Step 6: Insurance
Insurance is an important aspect to think about.
Not only does it come in handy in the event some misfortune befalls you, but also many potential customers will avoid working with a moving company that is underinsured.
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Step 7: Accounting
As with any other business, staying on top of your books can only work in your company’s favor.
Not to mention, some expenses can be used as a tax write-off, so tracking them is super important.