How to Start a Successful Moving Company

image of movers unloading a truck
Moving companies are a great business model if they are run the right way

Are you considering starting a moving business? With 40 million Americans moving each year, it’s a lucrative business to get into.

Not sure where to begin or what’s involved with how to start a moving company?

In this article, explore what exactly is necessary to get your own moving business started. Read on to dive into a complete guide and learn just how beneficial this business really is.

Why a Moving Company?

Who wouldn’t enjoy their own business and being financially independent? After The Great Recession in 2008, many have turned to entrepreneurship so they don’t have to worry about themselves being laid off at companies.

If you’re interested in starting a moving company, you might think you need a large warehouse and big commercial trucks, but you can start small. Many moving jobs in the country are actually small and local needs.

Some only require in-house moving where you might move just one room. You can even start a moving company with a small van.

Draft a Business Plan

You need to draft a business plan before you even begin your moving company. Even if it’s just you, it’s vital to draft a business plan. This is also a way for you to focus on having your company stand out from the rest with strong marketing skills.

Predict Business Development

When you have short-term and long-term goals you’ll know what path your business is headed. It’s vital for you to set future business goals as well.

Focus on Key Opportunities and Points

Drafting a business plan will allow you to take a look at any potential opportunities headed your way. This will let you set your priorities from day one.

Be Prepared for Problems

Whether it’s work, business, or your personal life, problems can happen so it’s best to be prepared for them. You’ll want to think about potential problems that can occur and think about what actions you’ll take if that happens.

Allocate Markets and Resources

You need to think about everything as far as resources and markets, making sure they’re balanced out. This is most important when you have a limited budget.

Ask questions

Ask yourself some questions that are vital to you winning as an entrepreneur. This will also help you discover anything unknown.

Some questions to ask are:

  • What will you name your business?
  • Who is your target market?
  • What are the ongoing and startup costs?
  • How long until you break even?

How Much Does It Cost to Start a Moving Company?

You’re in luck! Start-up costs for a moving company are low compared to other businesses. You’ll first want to purchase a truck or van. You’ll need a few other items that can cost between $1,000-$2,000.

image of a moving company truck shown from the inside
Moving companies are trusted with a families most important belongings

Some items you’ll need can include:

  • Packing and wrapping materials
  • Furniture belts
  • Moving pads
  • Rope
  • Moving dollies

What About Ongoing Expenses?

When doing a comparison to starting other businesses, the monthly overhead costs after starting a moving business are low. When you first begin, you might run the company out of your home. Later, once the business has been going well, you might move to a warehouse location.

The biggest expenses will be payroll and payroll taxes. You’ll also have fuel costs, insurance, and vehicle maintenance adding up as well. Other than these, you’ll need a regular marketing strategy, website support, and a phone line.

Saving on Start a Moving Company

If you’re just starting out, you might not have tons of money to spend. If you can’t afford a truck, you can think about renting one from a company such as U-Haul. Think about the rental costs when you’re determining the rate you charge.

You can also buy a used vehicle from a large commercial moving company. Check out Craigslist or local dealerships for more options.

How Many Employees Will You Hire?

When you’re wondering how to start a moving company, you’ll need to think realistically about how you’ll need multiple hands. When you’re just starting out, you might just be able to hire 1 or 2 employees.

As the business grows, you can always hire more. If you hire employees, make sure you look into the different requirements such as benefits and payroll taxes.

They’ll need a W-2 if they’re an employee and a 1099 for independent contractors for tax season.

Before hiring someone, make sure they’re ready to work hard. Also, do background checks. Since they’ll be working in homes, you’ll want someone trustworthy.

Transportation and Moving Permits

When you’re starting a moving business, you’ll need to ensure you are abiding by different legalities. First, you’ll need certain permits depending on the type of moving company you’re starting.

You can check out the website for The US Department of Transportation, or contact your local authority. Through these, you’ll be able to find out about licensing and registration.

How Much Money Do Moving Companies Make?

Most moving businesses charge an hourly basis per mover. You can find standard rates being $25-$30 an hour per mover. If it’s a longer distance, you’ll need to factor in weight and mileage.

Developing a Pricing Structure

Before you begin advertising, you need to come up with pricing.

When you’re coming up with quotes think about the different expenses.

For example, this can include:

  • Vehicle maintenance
  • Packing materials
  • Employee wages
  • Advertising costs
  • Insurance expenses
  • Fuel

Next, you’ll need to decide what services you’ll offer. If you order packing services or not that can be factored into the price. If you decide to offer this, you’ll need to determine how much you’ll want to charge for packing services.

Take a look at the competition when determining a price. You might want to charge less than the competition when just beginning to get your name out there. Some states do have restrictions on how much you can charge for moving services.

You can find out restrictions from your state’s Department of Transportation.

Establishing a Legal Name

When you’ve decided to start a moving company, you’ll need to come up with a legal name. Check legalities in your state to make sure the name you choose is available.

Next, you’ll need to form an LLC. An LLC will prevent you from being liable if you get sued. There are other options such as DBAs and Corporations. You’ll also need to look into having a registered agent so you’ll stay compliant with laws and protect your privacy.

Register for Taxes

Before opening your company, you’ll need to register for federal and state taxes. You’ll need to apply for an EIN before you can do that. That’s free to do online.

Once that’s settled you’ll want to have a separate business bank account and credit card. While it might be tempting to just use your regular personal card, it’s good to keep your business and personal card separate.

If you’re ever sued and you never separated them, your personal assets could be at risk. Personal assets can include your car, home, and other valuables.

Transportation and Moving Insurance

You’ll need to have liability and cargo insurance when starting a moving company. You’ll want to contact your insurance agent to look into insurance coverage for damage and liability.

Ask your insurance agent what the requirements are for your state since each state is different.

Advertising Your Moving Company

Once you have your moving company up and running, it’s time to start advertising it. Start thinking about a great logo for your company, it’s how others will remember and recommend you.

Have your logo and company phone number on your moving truck. Then, while you’re working, you might get a call from someone who needs moving services.

Seriously consider branded t-shirts with your company’s logo for your employees.

Put together moving kits and company folders you can give to your customers. You can these to them when you’re doing surveys and in-home estimates.

Also, consider becoming a member of moving associations and get on the BBB (Better Business Bureau).

Do You Need a Website?

You sure do! In this day and age, you can find most people searching for what they need online. You’ll want a professionally designed website to impress potential customers.

Custom Website for Moving Company
A great website is key to running a successful moving company

Some website designers also offer what’s known as SEO (search engine optimization) services. SEO is how you’re found in search engines. For example, say someone types in, moving company Dallas TX. If you have that on your site, then you can show up in the search results.

A good SEO consultant will ensure that you have strong keywords to show up toward the top in searches.

Form Connections

While having a website is really mandatory to start a successful moving company, it’s also imperative you form connections. Reach out to different lead providers and online brokers. This will help you find jobs easier than just online and word of mouth.

Use Social Media

While social media might be the last thing on your mind when you’re wondering how to start a moving company, it’s essential. It’s a free platform to use, and you can always pay for ads as well to get your name out there.

If you don’t have time to run your social media profiles, you can reach out to a social media professional to help you. They’ll be able to figure out what time to post, what to post, and how often. Then you can focus more on your business.

Distribute Business Cards

Get your name out there by letting your friends and family know about your new business. Pass out flyers and business cards. You can also ask your friends and family to get the word out there about your business.

You can even place business cards on local bulletin boards. As far as flyers, you can give them to other local businesses or post them in public places.

Ensure you have your logo on your business cards.

Have a Service Agreement

You should really have a service agreement customers sign before you start moving. This agreement will decrease the risk of legal disputes and go over client expectations.

It’ll map out the payment terms and conditions as well.

Get Business Insurance

You should really get business insurance to protect your company. Especially if you have employees, you might be required to have workers’ compensation insurance.

Speak to a lawyer or insurance agent in your area to see what’s required.

Apply for a Loan

With all of these expenses in mind, you might want to consider applying for a loan. Check out credit unions and banks in your area to find affordable small business loans.

Just make sure that you’ll be able to pay the loans back plus interest. Requirements to apply will vary by location and bank/credit union.

Make sure you have all necessary supporting documents such as tax returns, your business plan, and a personal resume.

Keep Track

You’ll need to keep track of all of your expenses and profits. These are vital for tax purposes, keeping track of your goals, and also internal accounting.

If this seems overwhelming and like too much work, you can always outsource accounting. No matter how big or small your business is, outsourcing this aspect can save you time and stress.

Exploring How to Start a Moving Company

After reading this guide on how to start a moving company, you should have a better understanding of what to expect.

Are you ready to get marketing started and promote your moving company? Contact us today for a free quote, and we’ll make sure your company can stand out from the others and achieve more organic traffic, leads, and revenue..

Ben Wright
Ben is the Founder and CEO of Today's Local Media. He founded the company in 2012 after he saw a need in the marketplace for a more personalized delivery of marketing services with a focus on customer service.

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