Did you know that Americans, on average, move 11 times over their lifetime?
That’s a lot of moving around, which for many, is impossible without the help of a moving company. Especially since the average U.S. household owns 300,000 items!
With the U.S. being such a geographically-mobile nation, it’s time you get a piece of the action. Starting your own moving company, however, requires more than just brawn and a truck.
As such, be sure you start your business on the right foot by following these tips!
1. Write Up Your Plan of Action (AKA Business Plan)
The first step on how to start a moving company, a business plan is a summary of all your business’ objectives. These include operational and financial goals, and how you plan to reach them.
A critical part of your moving company business plan is detailing your target market. Do you intend to carry out intrastate jobs that only need manpower and a small moving van? Or will it be an interstate moving service transporting all the contents of an entire house?
You also need to consider what you will move and what you can’t or won’t move. You can read more here about the items that movers usually transport for their customers.
All these will affect your initial and ongoing costs, which your business plan will also go into. Moreover, these factors will dictate what licenses, permits, and insurance your business needs.
2. Know Your State and Federal Insurance Requirements
Both federal and state governments have their own insurance requirements for moving companies. For example, interstate trucks should carry FMCSA-required minimum liability insurance. The lowest insurance coverage limit property movers should carry is $750,000.
Depending on the state you will operate in, local moving laws may still require insurance. Often, these moving company insurance requirements include cargo coverage and general liability. Many states also mandate worker’s compensation (for hired drivers and movers).
Check with your state or local transportation agency for specific requirements. You may have to get these policies first before you can register your moving business.
3. Decide between Used and Brand-New Vehicles
With an average price tag of $120,000, a brand-new Class 8 truck may be too much for a small moving business. Unless you’ll provide major hauling services, you can stick to a cargo van or box truck.
Either way, the vehicle you’ll use to move your clients’ stuff will be your biggest expense.
You can trim your costs down by opting for a used van or truck instead. Make sure you invest in a fuel-efficient vehicle though, as all those moves will quickly rack up a lot of miles.
4. Invest in the Right Moving Equipment
Keep in mind that one workplace injury occurs every seven seconds in the United States. Overexertion injuries (lifting and carrying) make up a third of all workplace injuries.
Don’t injure yourself carrying and moving your client’s stuff using only your muscles. Invest in moving equipment, such as utility, four-wheel, and appliance dollies. Load them safely onto your truck with ramps and keep them secure with tie-down ratchet straps.
5. Get the Word Out About Your Moving Company
As soon as you’ve registered your business name, secure your web presence by getting a domain name. Your domain name will be your website address, which will serve as your “digital” address. It’s best you secure your domain name ASAP, as someone else may register it before you.
Once you have an amazing-looking website, you can start marketing online and offline. Make potential clients even more excited about your business’ launch by offering promos. These can be discounts on moving services or free add-ons like packaging materials.
Make sure you also get those print ads out, including fliers and newspaper inserts.
Start Your Moving Business off on the Right Foot
So long as you keep these tips in mind, you can start the legal operations of your moving company ASAP. Take your time in comparing equipment, especially cargo vans and box trucks.
These vehicles will be the core of your business, so be sure they’re reliable, especially if you’ll buy used.
Don’t forget to keep checking back for more useful posts!
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