There are many types of businesses that are timeless. For example, the packing and moving industry will always be needed. People will move from place to place and need strong people to move their stuff for them. So if you are looking at starting a business, moving and packing is a great place to start.
It’s not enough to just have a truck and get to work. If you want a business that will thrive and provide you with a good living, you need to put in the work and the investment to make it happen. That doesn’t mean you need a warehouse and a fleet of trucks to start. You can start small and build up. In fact, recent research reveals that starting a moving business as a side hustle can be a very attractive business opportunity.
Here are the steps to take to start a packing and moving business.
Choose Your Type of Moving Business
There are several types of moving businesses, and your first step is to choose which one is right for you. Many entrepreneurs start with a local service moving business. That means that they operate in a small geographical area, usually around 100 miles. They mostly work with homeowners and move their furniture and household goods around that area.
There are also long-distance movers. These businesses will handle small moves but will also branch out to international or cross-country moves. Having this type of business involves understanding federal and state laws for transporting goods and international laws. The logistics are more complicated and often involve heavier loads.
Commercial moving companies also work with businesses that are changing locations. Often these businesses need more staff and equipment because commercial moves involve more furniture, equipment, and other items. You may also require special storage and moving equipment for particularly sensitive or unusually-sized equipment and furniture.
Create a Business Plan
You need an action plan, no matter what kind of business you want to start. A business plan will outline exactly how you will go about your business. For example, you should include your projected costs and revenues and how you will market yourself. In addition, writing a plan will force you to truly consider all the ins and outs of owning and running the business and how you can find success and run into pitfalls. Plus, if you look for funding from other sources, such as government grants or business loans, you will be required to provide them with a plan.
Get Your Permits
Every state has different requirements and laws for how moving companies must operate. In every state, you require a permit to operate legally. Plus, you may need licenses or permits to transport across state lines or internationally. Make sure you have all these in place before you start marketing yourself. You don’t want to tell a customer that you can do something, only to find out that you can’t get the permit on time. They will be stuck, and you will be left looking foolish.
Every business needs insurance for certain things. For example, with a moving business, you are taking possession of someone else’s property, which opens you up to a wide range of risks. Therefore, you will need to have general liability insurance and commercial property insurance. In addition, you will need coverage for the vehicles that you use to transport your clients’ possessions. If you need commercial auto insurance, then you can get it online quickly. If you add vehicles to the fleet, just make sure you get them covered.
Purchase Your Equipment
There is a lot of equipment that you will need to have before you start your business. If you want to start small, then a cube van or a small trailer could work for you. If you are starting bigger, then you will need a vehicle that holds substantially more. On top of that, you will need things like dollies, moving blankets, and trolleys. Don’t forget that you will need safety equipment, gloves, and even work boots for your staff. You may also decide that you want your employees to wear a uniform, which you will also have to purchase. You certainly don’t want to end up at your first job without everything you need, so be thorough when you are making your initial equipment purchases. For the packing side of the business, you will need a selection of boxes, tape, and packing styrofoam to keep things protected. If you want to increase productivity, be sure to purchase tools and technology that are geared to your industry. For example, you may want to sign up for a load board service for brokers if you want to find new loads. This will keep your truck full and maximize your earnings.
Build a Team
You need more than a couple of people with strong muscles for a moving and packing company. You need someone to work in the office, you’ll need someone with the ability to pack things efficiently, both in boxes and in the truck, and you’ll need someone to manage everyone. You might be the manager, but if your business grows, you may decide that you have to delegate that work. Your team should be diverse and have all the necessary skills covered, including the strong workers to move boxes and furniture around.
Market Your Business
Now it’s time to get the word out about your services. Most new businesses don’t have a huge marketing budget so you can be strategic with it. Online advertising can be targeted toward individuals who have shown an interest in relocation. You can also use search engine optimization to help get visitors to your website. Most internet users now search for local businesses on their devices. You want to show up high on the rankings list for searches similar to “moving” and your city. Businesses that show up on the first page of rankings are more likely to get visitors to their website than those that do not.
At this point, you will hopefully start raking in cash. People care deeply about their possessions and can be rightly very picky about who they trust to take care of them. As a moving and packing business, do not take this responsibility lightly. You can find great success in this industry if you work efficiently, provide excellent customer service, and get your clients’ possessions where they need to go intact.