If you’re looking for a way to start your own business and be your own boss, a moving company may be the perfect fit for you. But how do you get started? What do you need to know to make your business a success?
Here’s a quick guide on how to start a moving company:
10 Steps to Launching a New Moving Company
1. Choose Your Type of Moving Business
The first step in launching a moving business is to identify the type of moving business you want to launch. You might choose from the following types among others:
- Local move: A local move is defined as a shipment that originates and terminates within the same state.
- Interstate move: An interstate move crosses state lines and is regulated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).
- International move: An international move occurs when your customer is moving to another country. You will need to work with an international moving company that can handle the necessary paperwork and arrange for the shipment of goods.
2. Name Your Moving Business
Give your moving business an identity so people will think of it as a well-known and respected brand. You can take the name of your moving business from your industry, focus on a geographical location, or use your own name among other options.
The main goal for naming your moving business is to make it sound appealing and trustworthy so customers will be more likely to use your services.
3. Determine Your Moving Business Model
There are several possible types of business models for a moving business including:
- Full-service moving: A full-service moving company will pack, load, transport, unload, and unpack your belongings.
- Self-service moving: A self-service moving company will provide the truck and equipment for you to pack, load, and transport your own belongings. The company will then unload and unpack your belongings at your new location.
- Labor-only moving: A labor-only moving company provides a crew to load and unload your belongings, but you are responsible for packing, transporting, and unpacking your own belongings.
No matter which model you choose, make sure that it aligns with your business goals and the services you offer.
4. Choose a Legal Form for Your Business
By incorporating your moving business, you will limit your liability. You can incorporate as a Limited Liability Company (LLC), a C Corporation (C-Corp), or an S Corporation (S-Corp). Or you can operate as a sole proprietorship.
The business structure you choose for your moving business will determine the amount of taxes you pay and which state or federal tax forms you need to file.
Read our article comparing the most common moving business structures.
5. Write a Moving Business Plan
All moving business owners should develop a business plan.
A business plan is a document that outlines the goals, strategies, and operations of a business. It can be used to secure funding from investors or lenders, as well as to guide the day-to-day operations of the business. The business plan should include information on the company’s products or services, market analysis, financial projections, and management team among other things.
When developing your moving business plan and strategy, you should think about the following questions your customers might have:
- How will my belongings be protected during the move?
- What happens if something is broken or damaged during the move?
- How much will it cost to move my belongings?
- Can I trust your company with my belongings?
By addressing these and other questions in your business plan, you can develop a strategy for how to best serve your customers.
Read our article about how to write a moving business plan.
6. Apply for the Necessary Permits and Licenses
There may be required licenses and permits you need to obtain before launching your moving business.
For example, if you are operating a truck-based business, you may need to obtain a special license from the Department of Transportation (DOT). If your moving business will be based in multiple states, you may need to obtain an interstate commerce license.
You must also register your moving business as a legal entity with the state where you plan to do business. You can simply file an online form through your Secretary of State website.
Registering with the federal government is also essential so you can properly pay taxes for your business. You will also need an Employer Identification Number (EIN), which you can apply for at the IRS website, if you plan to hire employees.
Read our article about obtaining the proper moving business licenses.
7. Determine Your Budget & Apply for Funding as Needed
In developing your moving business plan, you will figure out how much funding you need to start and grow your business.
If you have your own funds to invest in your moving business, you may consider taking advantage of that. In addition to your personal funds, other forms of potential funding for your moving business include traditional bank loans, SBA loans, credit cards, angel investors and family and friends.
Read our article about the costs associated with starting a moving business to help you determine if funding is needed.
8. Get the Technology & Software Needed to Run Your Business Efficiently
When you start your moving business, it’s essential to have the right technology in place to maximize efficiency. You definitely need a computer with Internet access, and accounting software for tracking expenses and revenues.
You may also want to invest in customer relationship management (CRM) software, which can help you manage your customer data and better understand their needs.
9. Market Your Moving Business to Potential Clients
Before you start selling your services, you have to let the world know you exist. The first step is to create a website so people can learn more about your services and how they benefit them.
After you launch your website, start promoting it through social media channels like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Also consider networking with other people in the moving industry through social media and blogs so they can help share your business.
You also need to start gathering the materials needed to execute on your promotions strategy, which is your strategy for attracting new customers. Moving businesses should consider the following promotional strategies for which you should start getting prepared:
- Creating a grand opening promotion
- Sponsoring community events
- Creating targeted marketing campaigns
- Offering discounts and coupons
- Creating Referral Programs
Read our article about how to market your moving business for more tips.
10. Get New Clients & Grow Your Business
When you promote your services, you’ll start to get interest from potential clients.
Make sure you’re ready to serve these clients. Also, be sure to establish systems to ensure consistency and reduce costs. And be sure to find and train the right people to help you grow your moving business.
Read our article about how to effectively grow your moving business to learn more.
Starting a Moving Business FAQs
One of the main reasons to start a moving business is that it’s a relatively easy business to get into with low startup costs. You don’t need a lot of expensive equipment or office space, and you can start small and grow your business over time.
To start a successful moving business, you need to have a strong business plan, the proper licenses and insurance, efficient technology and software, and a solid marketing strategy. You also need to find the right people to help you grow your business.
You can start a moving business from home by following the steps outlined in this article. You will need to have a strong business plan, the proper licenses and insurance, efficient technology and software, and a solid marketing strategy. You also need to find the right people to help you grow your business.
Some tips for starting a moving business include having a strong business plan, the proper licenses and insurance, efficient technology and software, and a solid marketing strategy. You also need to find the right people to help you grow your business.
A simple checklist to use when starting a moving business is as follows:
- Choose Your Type of Moving Business: This should be based on what you are best at and how much experience you have. Remember to keep your interests, skills, and experience in mind at all times.
- Name Your Moving Business: This should be done with care, as your brand is important for attracting the right customers. A simple, memorable name will go a long way.
- Choose a Legal Form for Your Business: Whether you choose to become a sole proprietorship, partnership, LLC, corporation or another option will depend on your business. Ensure that you are aware of all the implications of each type.
- Determine Your Moving Business Model: Determine how your business will make money. Will you sell products, services, or a combination of both?
- Write a Moving Business Plan: Your business plan will also help you determine what your start-up costs will be and will provide a roadmap with which you can launch and grow.
- Apply for the Necessary Permits and Licenses: In most locations you will be required to apply for a business license and/or permits before you can begin operations.
- Determine Your Budget & Apply for Funding as Needed: You will need to know how much money you have to spend on all of your business-related expenses before opening any doors. If needed, apply for a small business loan or other funding options.
- Get the Technology & Software Needed to Run Your Business Efficiently: You need to have the right tools in place to succeed. Implement software that will help you manage your time, contacts, and business operations in general.
- Market Your Moving Business to Potential Clients: A solid marketing plan will be crucial to your success. It should focus on attracting the right customers so that you can provide them with the services they truly need.
- Get Clients & Grow Your Business: Once you have a solid marketing plan, it's time to actively pursue and secure those who could benefit the most from your services.
Starting a moving company can be a daunting task, but it is definitely possible with the right planning and execution. You will need to have a strong business plan, the proper licenses and insurance, efficient technology and software, and a solid marketing strategy. You also need to find the right people to help you grow your business. With careful planning and execution, you can be well on your way to success.