How to start a moving company (including money and equipment needed)

I interviewed 3 people who each run a profitable moving company. They explain how you can get started in the moving business, and how to get customers.

Updated December 14, 2021

Written by

Benjamin Davis

Contributor

How-to-start.org

Experts interviewed:

Brent Caito - Owner, Vantage Moving Solutions in Boise ID

Darion Chest – Owner, Smoove Movers in Portland OR

Kenny Gardiner – Owner, Gardiner & Sons Moving & Storage in Port Charlotte FL

NOTICE: This article is long. You can skip directly to the guide if you prefer.

A moving company can be a solid business when run properly. The earning potential from just one truck is impressive, and the skills and equipment needed isn't anything special. Demand is high, and is predicted to continue to be strong into the future, with more people relocating than at any point in history.

I interviewed three people who run a moving company, and asked them what you should know about how to get started in the moving business, and how to run and grow your moving company.

First, I wanted to know what background they came from – do you need to work in the industry first, perhaps working for another moving company? Or is it common to just get started and figure it out as you go?

So I asked my three founders – how did you get started in the moving business?

How did you get started in the moving business?

did you work with someone as a mover before? or did you just get started on your own?

Brent: When I was fresh out of high school, I worked for a moving company for a little bit. I ended up quitting due to the terrible customer service, poor time management from upper management, and negative views from customers. After a couple of years, I found myself working in the special contracts division with another company. There I was delivering telecom, fiber, secured shipments, and high-value items. It was here that I discovered a unique approach to delicate instruments and travel techniques, but found myself missing the customer service aspect of moving. Due to staffing issues, I found myself getting into the drilling industry. Fast forward to living in hotels and constantly moving around, I developed a new sense of adventure for those moving and going to new locations. In my off time, I would do side work with my pickup and a 17ft flatbed trailer. After a while, it became difficult going to work drilling due to the joys and challenges of helping others as well as building relationships with clients. In late 2020, in the middle of the covid-19 pandemic, I quit drilling. This led me to open Vantage Moving and from that day forward we have been delivering quality moving services, while making friends along the way and building relationships with everyone we interact with. 

Darion: When I was in college, I was working at a large moving company. And then in between there I kind of had sales jobs – I left that and then got sales jobs, but then I came back around to another moving company with someone who was actually a friend of mine. And so, it was just the two of us and we kind of got it going from the ground up. And so, I got to see what it's like to really grow and start a business up. And then I also was able to get promoted to a manager position. And so, I was able to see the ins and outs of a moving company and with the knowledge and the experience that I had, I was able to take the next step.

Kenny: Everybody in my family was in the business – my dad was a mover. I’m the youngest of eight. My older brothers were movers. So, this is kind of a generational family business. Although they weren't owners of the business, they were in the industry.

Tip: Most moving companies start with just one small or mid-sized truck. It doesn't take long to start earning good money, and you can use that money to upgrade your trucks and equipment.

The idea of starting a moving company seems to come up when people are either exposed to the industry in some way, or they know someone who is already working in the business, or maybe they want to take the next step for their own career.

I wondered if there is a minimum set of skills you need to operate a moving business?

What training, what skill, and what experience is needed? Could you hire experienced people to help you?

I asked the three successful moving company owners:

Do you need experience as a mover to start a moving company?

can you start a moving company with limited experience? can you learn most things as you go?

Brent: Being blue collar my entire life, I genuinely think it's best to have the experience under your belt to be able to start. You can always hire an experienced crew to do the work for you. But coming from a working relationship with coworkers and employees, having the experience will allow you to be a leader and lead by example as opposed to being a “boss” and telling people how to do a job that you can’t do yourself. Not only does having the experience allow you to set proper expectations for clients, but it allows you to have respect from the community as a professional and a leader. 

Darion: You don't necessarily need experience in the industry. I think, it does help to make the processes more efficient and to kind of cancel out the learning curve but you definitely don't need it. I would recommend it just because it's good to have that perspective from what it's like to be a mover and then how the customers feel like on move day so you can find ways to make it a little bit more comfortable for them and a little bit less stressful but, I think, overall, you don't need it. People have done it. Actually, some of the top guys who are like the, you would say, mover gurus, some of them have never actually done a move. So, it's not necessary.

Kenny: I would say they definitely need to have experience in the moving industry, in my opinion. Unfortunately, that's a lot of the problem with the moving industry. Everybody thinks that moving is simple because they've moved their grandmother or something like that and that's the minor part of it. I mean, there are so many different aspects that in order to have a good grip on what's going on, they definitely need some experience in the moving industry.

Tip: In my step-by-step guide on How to Start a Moving Company, I show you how to get industry experts to teach you everything you need to know, 1-on-1, completely free of charge. You can check it out >here<.

My three founders offer different perspectives – one of them says you don't need any experience to get into the business, another says it might help you, and the other said you should have the industry experience.

However, you go about it – whether you get to work yourself, or, whether you hire an experienced crew and leap-frog the learning process for yourself, you really only need one truck to get started, and a crew of movers.

I asked my three experts how much money you need to get started in this business, and what you need to buy.

How much money do you need to start a moving company?

is it an expensive business to start? what equipment do you need as a minimum, to start earning money?

Brent: The main item to do a move properly would be a truck. These trucks range from 8’-26’ for the standard moving trucks. If you run as a labor-only moving company, the only tools and equipment you would need are some dollies, consumable materials, hand tools, and personal vehicle transportation. In our 26-foot box trucks, we carry a variety of tools, such as; dollies, blankets, bands, appliance dollies, Escalera, H-dollies, drills, hand tools, tape, boxes, pool noodles, floor runners, door jamb protectors, specialty furniture tools and a cooler for the crew to keep cold drinks in.  

The amount you need to get started varies greatly depending on what you're looking to accomplish. When we started, we had a pickup with a flatbed trailer that we did part-time work with. This allowed us to get the finances to purchase a $3k used box truck (that had seen better days!). We utilized our skills to get the truck up and running, purchased blankets and dollies online, and used the hand tools we had laying around to tool-up the truck with everything needed to get into entry-level moving. As we booked more moves, we funnelled a lot of the money that we earned into buying specialty tooling, as well as making improvements. We strive on being debt-free with as little overhead as possible, allowing us to focus on advertising and purchasing proper tools. 

We were able to successfully start with roughly $7k.

On the other hand, if you're looking to start brand new with everything all set up for you and with new equipment, you can be looking at between $50-150k to start up.

Darion: I would give you a range between about $5,000 and $10,000 to start up and that's just kind of depending on what your budget is and what you're looking to accomplish. That's really mainly on the equipment you're going to be buying. And transitioning into what you'll need – you'll mostly be spending the money on a 26-foot truck because that's going to give you a lot of space for the moves. But you can rent the trucks, and you can also rent furniture pads, and hand trucks but those three are all necessary to make sure you have an efficient move.

I know they have U-Haul here in the US and Canada, and that's something that most movers use to rent their trucks and they also provide hand trucks and furniture pads. And then some other things you would need for sure is an impact driver for just disassembling and reassembling. An impact driver is like a little hand drill but it's a certain type, it's not as powerful as a drill unless you need it to be, so it won't cause damage. And then plastic wraps and some bungees and rope. So, not too much but just a little bit to get you going. The furniture pads may be the biggest thing you'll need besides the truck.

Kenny: It would depend on what you're trying to do – because local moving and interstate moving are two different animals in and of themselves. So, of course, there's going to be two different answers for each of those. I mean, a local moving company, depending on how you wanted to start, if you were going to either lease or buy a truck versus rent a truck, I mean, I would think $25,000 to $30,000 – something like that.

It depends on what kind of operation you're going to do but, I mean, if you figure your auto liability insurance, your cargo insurance, your licensing, whatever city and state licenses you need, if you're going to do interstate moving, now you need federal licensing, you need higher insurance premiums, whether or not you're going to have a warehouse building to park your trucks, just some overhead cash for fuel and registrations. It's been a long time since I started. So, it's kind of hard to name a number but the main thing that a lot of people miss is they want to try to skip over the licensing part. A lot of them do the state licensing. And depending on which state you're in, there can be a huge difference in that too. For instance, in Rhode Island, as a place that I’m familiar with, you have to put in a tariff of your rates and then the state has to authorize you to change your rates whether you want to increase your rates or decrease your rates whereas in Florida, you don't. You can charge somebody a dollar an hour or you can charge them $1,000 an hour for the same crew. There's no regulation wherein, I think, Washington State, California, Chicago area, I know Rhode Island has a moving commission. So, it can vary wildly. I mean, I know Florida is like one of the most lenient ones. You can have a minimal insurance coverage. It costs you, I think, $600 for two years plus whatever your city licenses are but what people miss is you can't go with cheap insurance and expect to fare well because it takes one small mistake and you don't realize the amount of damage that you can do by accident. And if you're not covered to protect it, you're in trouble. So, some of the places we do over here, they got the whole house, two-story house with the same wallpaper. Well, you tear it in one little spot, there's no place to replace it. So, now you're re-wallpapering an entire house or some kind of exquisite paint job or something. So, to do it right, insurance and licensing is the most important thing, in my opinion.

Tip: Buying second-hand equipment is going to save you a small fortune, but remember that it will take longer to find good second hand equipment at a fair price. There might not be a 26-foot truck listed on Craigslist today at a super-good-deal price, but, someone might list one in two weeks time. You'll save the most if you can watch and wait, versus if you need it today.

Once you get your truck and a crew of movers, you'll be earning an income almost right away. And it can be a fairly good income, depending on how you charge.

The moving company owners I spoke with told me they usually have plenty of work.

I asked the three successful moving company operators how much you could expect to earn as you get started in this business, and as you get more established.

How much does a moving company earn?

is it a profitable business to run? can you expect to earn a good income quite quickly?

Brent: With the small crew that we have, running only one truck, we typically bring in 10-15k/mo. Our current ambition is to steadily make 15-25k/mo as we create more solid relationships with larger clients and begin traveling farther away from our local area. With having just over a year in business, it's hard to tell what the projections serve for the upcoming months. During our time so far, Jan-Feb seems to be the slowest month. 

Darion: $20,000 I would say is a good month, once you get going. And you can do that with one truck if you're just renting one. So, say if you buy one and you can also rent another one during busy times, $20K would still be a good range for the month for a moving company with one truck.

Kenny: For a guy operating in Florida, with a small crew and maybe one or two trucks doing only local moves and no interstate moves – and depending on the size of the moves he's doing, but if he's busy Monday through Friday, I would expect that you should be able to make somewhere in the range of $30,000 to $60,000 a month.

A moving company can bring in a very good income, and once you get established online, you'll be able to generate enough incoming enquiries to keep your crew busy, and expand your fleet of trucks and hire additional crews.

Generally, the ranges of income seem to float somewhere in the tens of thousands – with $10,000 to $20,000 a month seeming like the average range for a newer operator, and a more established business doing somewhere around 2x or 3x that amount.

It all starts with the first move, and then, more of the same.

I asked my three successful moving company business operators:

How do you get clients for a moving company?

do you advertise? do you buy leads? is there something that works really well?

Brent: When we first started, I quit my job and took a couple of weeks off to regroup and focus on getting paperwork lined up and insurance set up. During that time, we advertised heavily on Facebook as well as on our Google My Business page. This allowed us to get our name out there, as well as create a few organic clients to be able to refer us more work. We had a few existing regulars from our pickup and trailer days that helped us by sharing our page with friends and family. And now, at this time, about 70% is referrals/word of mouth from previous clients. The other 30% comes from Google, Yelp, ThumbTack, HomeAdvisor, and Nextdoor. We are steadily busy with no advertisement at this time. 

In terms of what performs best and worst – for us, the worst performing method has been HomeAdvisor. They were frequently billing us for leads on services that we did not offer, and even after fixing the account, the leads that were being sent were often disconnected numbers, invalid email addresses, and fake accounts.

Yelp, Facebook, and Google have been extremely beneficial in keeping our business going. 

Darion: My first customer was actually from Google. What I had done was I put up a Google ad. I created it myself and just put up a Google ad and it was up there for a while but I got my first customer from that outside of family and friends – and that first booking actually was a pretty large move. So, from there, I was able to take a good chunk of the profit and put some more into marketing. And then with the first couple of moves, we were able to take pictures and use those for marketing. Then I was able to pay for leads and instead of doing the Google ads, I actually transitioned into the organic Google search results over time, and that's actually helped out a lot.

Now, I would say that the worst way of getting customers in this business is Google ads – which was what I used for my very first non-referred customer. I put a $100 budget up there and I got one call and that was like, I think, three weeks into it. Actually, I think I put more than $100. I think they matched it. So, it might have been $200.

So, that one didn't really go well for me. And then I was able to find a local service provider platform called Thumbtack – and Thumbtack definitely was helping out big time. It still is. We actually still use Thumbtack a lot today, not as much but it's still a good one to start up with.

I didn't really have the best experience with the lead providers for the moving companies just because you're paying for leads that may not be in your area and you have to kind of dispute those and get a refund. For those lead websites, you have to be really specific and sometimes they're not able to be as specific as you like.

 

The best ones for me were Thumbtack and Google organic SEO, which is different than the Google ads.

I found a good marketing & SEO team and it was actually specific for the moving industry. So, these guys knew exactly what keywords I needed, they knew what my competition was doing and they definitely knew their stuff.

I was paying $750 a month at first and, I would say, it took about a month before I started getting actual calls. And for the time being, I was using Thumbtack but once I started getting the calls and started building the reviews, that's when it started really kicking in.

Kenny: I originally started doing local advertising in stuff that I could get into right away like the local newspaper and small publications and then I also purchased leads for a short amount of time. That's not a bad idea. It is super competitive but some people make it work.

Using the lead generation platforms – buying them from somewhere else – it's not a bad idea. Unfortunately, with the internet now, sometimes they tell you that they're going to give it to three people. Well, those three people sell it to another three people. And I was starting to find that a lot of customers were getting angry with me because either you called them immediately and they just filled it out or if you waited too long, you were the 18th caller and they were pissed off by the time that you contacted them.

Most of our customers now come via referrals from other customers and then organic online SEO.

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As you're getting established in the industry, you'll have phone calls and online enquiries coming in. People will be enquiring about your services, and will be asking you to help them.

Turning those enquiries into confirmed bookings for a move is the next task.

Usually, that's pretty simple – just be helpful and answer their questions, and they'll use your services. If you do a good job, they'll probably use your services over and over again, as well as recommend you when their friends and family ask if they know someone.

I asked my three industry experts – how do customers choose which moving company they'll hire?

How to make sure a client chooses YOUR moving company?

what do clients really care about? what are they looking for in a moving company?

Brent: Our clients are encouraged to do their homework and compare us to other local moving companies in the area to ensure they are making the best decision for their situation. One of the biggest things in creating that initial relationship is building trust and communication on that first interaction. With every customer we speak with, we send them an email outlining the discussion of their move, as well as we respond to all inquiries in a prompt and professional manner. Every client is different as to why they choose a particular service provider. In our area, there are a lot of companies that are cheaper than we are, there are other companies that offer a broader variety of services and a lot have been around longer than we have. One of our advantages is being upfront and truthful, while providing any discussions in writing to secure peace of mind with the client as well as to show good faith that we are not just telling them what they want to hear, but what they need to know to make an informed decision with their homes. 

Darion: Well, for their furniture and their belongings – they want a quality move, and they want quality movers.

So, if they see that you're insured and that you're going to protect all their furniture and you have a process that you do every time to make sure that their furniture is protected, I think, that's what they're looking for the most. And so, when they see that in the reviews, it's reassuring to them – but it's not necessarily the reviews that's bringing them. When they see that you're an insured company and then they see that in all of your pictures, you're protecting their furniture and then also the wording of the reviews reflect that as well, the customers are saying that you're wrapping everything up and you're taking care of the furniture and making sure the process is smooth, that's a big deal for customers. And we wrap everything that's wood or glass. Even the couch, we wrap that with plastic wrap. There's sometimes certain pieces that you don't need a furniture pad but we may wrap it with plastic just to protect the material of it.

Kenny: Unfortunately, too many times, customers are solely price driven – but it depends on the demographic of people that you're moving as well. I mean, reviews do have a lot to do with it and then the length of time in business but cost is a major contributing factor, unfortunately, because that's why a lot of people get mixed up with rogue movers because they think that somebody's going to do it for a third of what you told them.

Tip: The worst thing you can do is offer a 'cheap' moving service. You'll earn no money, you won't be able to hire a good crew who will take care of customers belongings, and your customers will be annoyed and give you 1-star reviews, which will eventually kill your business. I've dedicated a whole chapter in my guide (available for sale, or for free here) to the topic of setting your fees properly.

When you start advertising your moving company, you'll start getting marketing calls from other businesses – all trying to sell you something. But how do you know what is worthwhile, and what is a waste of money?

I asked my three founders whether there was an item or service they regretted spending money on.

What is the biggest waste of money when you're starting a moving company?

is there something that sounds like a good idea, but is actually a bad purchase?

Brent: There's not really been a big waste of money for us yet. However, the biggest loss of an asset has been HomeAdvisor and Thumbtack. When we first started we had focused a lot on these lead websites. That included getting a lot of reviews on these pages. When we ran into issues with the leads we were getting, we shut down the account to avoid having to pay for the bad and misleading leads. When we did that, we lost all the positive reviews we had acquired and had to start the review process over and find a way to show the reviews to potential clients and from that point forward we encouraged reviews to be left on the Google My Business platform only. 

Darion: I almost got locked into a 12-month contract with a bad marketing company – and this is after I had spent $600 dollars already with no results. So, they'd locked me in and said that after three months, they could guarantee I would be on first page of Google and if I’m not happy, then I can back out but then they didn't notify me after three months – and then I had to go and beg for my information, to see if it was on the first page and they had said that it was somehow but they gave me half of what I was supposed to get back. So, it was a nightmare.

Kenny: Maybe a third-party review site. The ones that ask customers for reviews and try to get more reviews for you. And, again, I don't want to say it was a waste of money but at this point, after learning, I could have probably done without that.

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I wanted to know whether there were any 'bad operators' in the industry, or if other moving companies were taking nasty shortcuts.

I asked my three experts:

What sort of CRAZY things happen in the moving business?

are there shady operators doing things the wrong way? or is the industry mostly full of professionals?

Brent: We come from a strong customer service background and have a solid belief in taking care of one another. The idea is to take care of your employees, then they take care of the client, and the client takes care of the money, and money takes care of the business. With that being said, there is a moving company here that we have worked with in the past. Their trucks are parked in a storage lot across town from where the office is located. The crews have a direct person to report to and rarely have interactions with management. The disassociation between management and crews is appalling, considering the fact that the crews are the lifeblood of the company. Without knowing who your crews are and what challenges they face in the field, you as the leader are not able to fix and resolve issues before they become a big problem and reflect negatively on working abilities, effort, motivation, and demeanor amongst employees. 

Darion: The worst customer experiences in this industry are around pricing and the total bill on the day of the move.

We actually ask the customers to send a list of their inventory, to avoid any surprises. And we have a system where we can enter in the inventory list. We can type it in. We could enter “couch” and then put “40 cubic feet”. And so, we customize this. So, when we get the inventory list, we'll figure out what the cubic footage is. And we know much space the trucks can hold. So, once we've found about how large the move is and what size truck we need, we also know how many guys we’ll need on that move. There's not really a standard in the moving industry. I think that's why there's always such a far-off scale from one side to the other but I actually broke it down since starting my own company because when I first started, it actually was kind of all over the place. It was hard to figure out how to estimate them exactly but once I broke it down to how long typically 500 cubic feet takes for two guys to move, and then for three guys, it was easier. And once I was able to actually get the experience and see and reflect back on the jobs that I had, I was able to see “Okay, it takes about this long to do this job with an elevator. It takes this long to do a job with no stairs, two guys.” And then I broke it down and we're able to now just add it all up ahead of the booking – if the drive time is long, or an elevator is on the job, we can just add the time necessary and it comes out pretty accurate now. It's based off of breaking it down to labor time and then additional time like drive time and then stairs or hallways and elevators.

Kenny: There's a lot of people that are doing interstate moves without proper licensing. And, unfortunately, what they don't recognize, is, for instance, if you get caught doing an interstate move without the proper licensing, the fines start at $25,000 apiece. So, if you can't afford the insurance and the proper licensing, you darn sure can't afford the fines that come along with it. And the bad thing about it is if somebody were to get into a situation like that with a customer's job on their truck, they're going to have to come up with the money for the fine before the stuff is going to get released or they're going to have to have a licensed moving company to go and get it. So, there's a lot of internet companies that actually give prices over the phone, they have people sign stuff digitally and then they purposefully leave off items. There is a perfect example. A customer that wanted me to try to go bail them out which we couldn't, they filled out an online form with an internet moving company and they purposefully left items off of the list – they had to do an inventory sheet with the people over the phone. Well, then they left stuff off and the lady noticed it and called them and said “Hey, you didn't include these items. So, I just wanted to make sure that we're okay to move.” And his answer to her was “Well, if you're going to bring more items, it's going to cost more money.” And she's like “Yeah, I know but I told you about the items.” So, they went back and forth and he was like “Look, we'll just have the driver do it when he gets there and it's going to be more money. How much more do you want to spend?” So, unfortunately, there's some of these people that are out there on the internet that are just really screwing people over and the people have no clue because, if you think about it, if you inventoried you had an inventory of everything in your house and I didn't put down five of them, are you even going to notice?

Then what happens is they sign these contracts saying that they're going to bring this amount of items and then when they decide to add them, your triple dresser in your bedroom, when you add it, now you've broken the agreement that they had originally. Therefore, that gives the moving company the right to change the bill to whatever they want because you've broken that agreement. Your only option is to not take the triple dresser or whatever – or to only take what's specifically on the list. And it's really a shame that people get taken advantage of.

With some sharks in the industry, it's easy to stand out by doing a good job at a fair price, and sticking to your word. It seems as though people are often expecting to have a bad experience with a moving company, so by giving them a pleasant surprise, you're winning a new referral source.


I asked my three experts whether it's a super competitive industry in the markets where they operate, or, whether they just offer their rates and let customers decide whether they pay full price or go with a cheaper option.

How do you compete against other moving companies? Or do you compete at all?

do you follow up quotes and estimates? do you offer discounts? or do you just give your rates and leave it at that?

Brent: Yes, and no. Here locally, there are a few moving companies who work together in the mindset of “we're all here at the same table to eat”. Frequently, we exchange crew members to facilitate larger or specialty jobs. This gives us peace of mind when we are short-handed. Instead of having to find someone who's on a labor board, or Craigslist, or a random stranger – we're able to work together and know we can utilize an extra set of hands who have been trained, background checked, and are a familiar face that we've worked with before. We're in business to make money. We help each other out to keep money and services with small businesses, as opposed to sending a client to a national conglomerate. 

Darion: I think the competition happens before the customer ever even calls you.

I call around with another number to see how other companies speak with their customers and how they book their jobs and what they're doing.

I kind of just capitalize on what they're not doing and but for the most part, I don't really try to sell the customer at all. I feel like our company sells itself. So, my thing is to make sure that they're as informed as possible. And I also want to give them the best bang for their buck. I don't want to sell them short. So, if they have a small move and I know other companies out there that charge a two-hour minimum but we charge a three-hour minimum, I’m going to be upfront with them and let them know that but sometimes even still the customers will still book with us because I’m being transparent and they want to provide for a local company and they see the reviews and they know that my relationship with them has just been a great one. So, they want to keep that relationship going.

Kenny: We don't really participate in price matching or anything like that. We're kind of “This is what it costs us to do the work.” I don't want to sound ignorant but I’m not going to cut my rate by 15% to get a move or 10% even. The price is the price. So, basically, we're trying to sell our service more so than our cost.

Tip: Knowing exactly when and how to offer an extra, an add-on, or an up-sell can mean the difference between almost nobody saying yes, and almost EVERYBODY saying yes. I have dedicated an entire section in my guide to the topic of selling the easy way – you can check it out >here<.

What other additional services can a moving company offer?

are there add-ons, or up-sells and cross sells that you can offer clients to earn more revenue?

Brent: There are a lot of options when moving companies choose to offer additional services. Some examples include carpet cleaning, move-in and move-out cleaning, packing & unpacking, crating, junk hauling, debris removal, thrift donation, consumable supplies sales, flooring, fencing, landscaping, etc. Almost any regular service home can get, a moving company can branch out and have a division to assist in these services. For example, if you have a moving company, you can have a sub-business that is residential cleaning. This allows the movers to upsell “white glove moving” (dusting and cleaning furniture before moving it into the new home) as well as a move-in clean, plus regular cleaning services once they've seen the results and have built that relationship with the company during the time of their move.

Darion: Packing for sure is one of them. So, packing and unpacking and I’ll say disassembly and reassembly.

We charge for that per piece. It's only for certain pieces like Ikea but if you train your guys to disassemble and reassemble, you can provide that service and it will add on time to the move. So, it is additional profit. And there's also donation drop-offs. And then a lot of companies do junk removal. That's something that we are going to be getting into but we're not doing it right now but yeah, junk removal. And I would say the last one, the main one would be a storage.

I’ve actually done it in the past where I’ve worked with a local storage company. They'll refer customers to me and then I’ll do to them vice versa. So, if I have a customer looking for storage, I’ll refer them to them but I’ll let them know that we are the ones who will be able to transport their goods to the storage unit and store it there. And when they're ready to move, we'll move them out. So, it's just kind of making sure that whoever you're partnering with has availability but other than that, you can profit off of that as long as you have a partner.

Kenny: I mean – packing, storage to start with. If you're good enough at it, do some crating. Crating, I guess, would go along with packing. I would say those are the things that make you the most money. I mean, you could dabble into white glove service where you actually cater to the people as much as when you're unpacking their boxes, you wash the dishes and put them away. I think I’ve only done that once in my entire career. So, it's something that's out there. I’ve had a lot of people inquire about it when they call us, and then I’m like “We'll do whatever you want. However, I can't really give you a cost because if you don't know where you want the stuff and you put it all away and then you decide you don't want it there anymore, you want to move it again, I mean, I can only give you an hourly rate on what it's going to cost and then you kind of dictate how long it takes.” It used to be a bigger thing. A lot of corporate moves used to do stuff like that, not so much anymore. I mean, I’m talking 30 years ago, there used to be kind of a lot of that going on but not necessarily now.

Advice for starting a moving company, from industry experts

the three successful founders share their keys to success in this industry, based on their own experiences

Brent: Four things – firstly, have a plan. Business plan, financial plan, and backup plans.

Then secondly, spend the extra money to train properly and treat employees like they are the biggest asset. 

Next is – be sure to utilize tools. Get the software, create schedules, stick the plan

And finally – under promise, over-deliver, and put everything in writing!

Darion: Study the market and your competition. I think that kind of goes hand in hand, for sure. And then find a good and trustworthy marketing team and SEO company. Do your due diligence and try to find the company that seems like the right fit for you and check their BBB, check everything about them, their reviews and if they check out, give them a call and see how they feel for you over the phone. I think that it’s really just kind of based off of your intuition, how you feel about somebody in the company but other than that, I think the last little piece of advice would be – don't be cheap, and get the necessary equipment to make the job easier for the movers and the customer.

Kenny: Don't take any shortcuts. You have to do the job the way that it needs to be done. You can't take shortcuts to try to save money here and there because it'll cost you in the long run, if that makes sense. You try to save a penny today and it's going to cost you 20 dollars tomorrow. So, I guess, it may go along with being licensed and insured is the number one thing that somebody has to do.

I mean, in my area, there's probably 10 movers and I think if any of them have more moving experience than a year working for somebody else and opening it up in their own business and saying “Hey geez, you know, I can do this too,” there's more than you could shake a stick at. They don't bother me any because I don't even put them on the same playing field as we're in. It's a little aggravating when you lose a $10,000 job to a guy that hasn’t got a license but what are you going to do. You try to inform the customer as much as possible and hope for the best.

Assuming you have what you need, starting a moving company is a good option in just about any large city in the world. It's super easy to get started, and in most places around the country the demand for services is much higher than the existing businesses can handle.

I have spent over 100 hours learning everything there is to know about the moving business, by talking to industry experts and moving company operators. I have compiled it into the worlds most useful guide, How to Start a Moving Company. You can check it out below.

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