The last two years have been busy for moving companies. Many people relocated to get out of crowded urban areas or to leverage their remote working positions. In fact, since the COVID-19 pandemic started, over 15.9 million people have moved!
Not surprisingly, the value of the US moving services market reached a high of $18.8 billion last year, and the industry is still growing. If there was ever a time to scale your moving business, it’s now. But of course, that’s easier said than done.
Turning a small local operation into a large enterprise with multiple locations takes careful and deliberate decision-making. As the executive, you need to make the right moves at the right time for your business.
To that end, here are 7 things you can do to start scaling your moving business today:
1. Lease trucks
Leasing trucks allows you to leverage more logistics power when you don’t yet have enough capital to invest in additional trucks of your own. And there are many benefits to leasing over buying:
For one, trucks can be expensive, especially if you buy them brand new. A new semi-trailer truck can cost anywhere from $70,000 to $150,000. That’s as much as some houses go for! So unless you have a lot of money to buy a truck outright, leasing is the next best option.
When you lease a truck, you also don’t have to maintain the vehicle during off-seasons. The truck c.ompany will take care of that for you. This is a nice benefit because it’s a lot of work to keep trucks in top shape during the winter.
And finally, you can always invest in buying your own trucks later on once you’ve generated enough extra revenue. Leasing is just a means to an end.
2. Hire part-time workers
Instead of hiring full-time employees, hire more part-time workers. Then you don’t have to offer employee benefits like health insurance and paid leave. You can just pay by the number of hours worked.
Plus, the moving industry is very seasonal. It’s most busy in the summer when more people are moving. So hiring seasonal workers is ideal. Post your job openings online on platforms like LinkedIn or Craigslist or even on a local job board at a nearby college. You may find a lot of students looking for summer work.
3. Network, network, network
As with any business, growing your moving company comes down to how well you can network. Reach out to apartment complex owners, real estate agents, and building managers—anyone that knows when other people are moving.
Think of businesses whose customers you’ve helped move in the past. Some might refer qualified leads to you for free, while others might partner with you on a commission basis. Either way, networking can help your business grow.
4. Tighten up your contracts
To make your business run smoothly, use clear and comprehensive contracts. They should outline the scope of your services, the timeline, when payments are due, and more. This way, you minimize customer disputes that could slow down your operations and even lead to costly lawsuits.
Your contracts should delineate policies for every conceivable contingency. What happens if the client must reschedule? What if some of the client’s property gets damaged? Do you have insurance? Your contract should address each of these topics in detail.
5. Leverage cloud services
Moving clients will always be a physical job. But that doesn’t mean you can’t modernize some of the business processes that go on behind the scenes.
If you really want to scale your moving business, you should invest in a cloud service like Amazon Web Services (AWS) to digitize manual processes. For example, instead of writing invoices by hand, you can use digital invoices that you share with clients over the cloud. That way, nothing gets lost and it’s easier to keep a record of all your work.
You can also use AWS to make internal workflows more transparent and editable among your whole team. For example, you could have a shared document for scheduling moves or for requesting customer feedback. By streamlining business processes, you free up more bandwidth to focus on gaining new customers and growing your business.
6. Create a great customer experience
Speaking of customers, make sure every interaction you have with them is a good one. In some areas, moving companies get a bad wrap due to stories of some companies not showing up on moving day or running away with a client’s property. So don’t make earning a good reputation even harder on yourself by having poor customer service.
To impress clients, try to be on call 24/7. Have enough team members to handle calls that you can respond promptly and not let anyone fall through the cracks. If you miss a call, the caller will probably move on to one of your competitors.
So always follow up with leads by giving them a call back as soon as you can. The same goes for emails, social media messages, and texts. In fact, it’s best to use a customer relationship management (CRM) software, so you can keep track of all your client interactions in one place.
7. Ask for testimonials
Lastly, if a customer is satisfied with a job well done, ask them for a positive review. Make it easy for them to leave one on your website by emailing them a survey link. You can also ask if they’d be willing to leave you a review on third-party review sites like Yelp, Facebook, or Google.
Any kind of positive public feedback gives your brand social proof that helps other prospects see you as a trusted mover. So don’t let a good job go to waste by not asking for that testimonial!
Working in the moving business can be hard, especially when you’re just starting out. But if you leverage the tools and strategies listed above, you can scale your business to new heights. All it takes is consistent effort over time, and you could eventually become the top moving company in your area.