Getting started: Home Energy Audit and Financing

Starting a moving business will begin a wonderful career for you. Before getting started, however, you must realize that you have more to do than simply begin offering your services. You’ll have to invest a substantial amount of work in planning and organizing your effort. You must, for example, craft a business plan that records details about your services, target markets, operations, and finances.

Preparation for your new business will include market research, competitive analysis and market selection. You’ll also need to give your business a name and decide on the nature, size and scope of the services that you will offer. You will also need to consider hiring employees and arrange for financing. Get ready to work hard and have fun as you build a fantastic moving company.

Conduct Market Research

As a businesses owner, you must identify the people who will become your ideal customers. Begin your market research by finding all available moving-industry statistics. The information you collect will help you estimate demand and position your new firm to get the business you need.

As you study your industry, you should particularly look for trends that will affect your success. For example, certain demographic groups might be moving with increasing frequency or requiring a new set of services. Be sure to study the stories of successful moving businesses, so you can get a feeling for what your success will require.

Your next stage of market research will help you choose a target market for which to serve. This will help you concentrate your efforts in ways that avoid trying to provide too many different services to too many different people. In other words, you’ll be able to build a competitive advantage by specializing in the service of a particular type of customer with a certain set of needs.

For example, you might decide to serve people who need furniture to be picked up from a store and then delivered to their home. Another target market might be college students who need to quickly move into their apartment at the beginning of the semester and then move out at the end. High-income people with many valuables might also be an example of a target market.

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After you identify a market that you would like to serve, seek out some members of your target market and spend time talking to them to understand what they need from a moving company. Also, try to verify that enough demand for your services exists within your service area. Even if you’re great at serving a particular market, your capabilities won’t benefit you if you can’t reach it.

Now that you have an idea of who your customers will be, find out what other moving companies exist that service your target market and learn their stories. These will soon be your competitors. You can conduct competitive research by scheduling meetings with other business owners, researching competitors on social media, and by becoming their customer.

Your competitive research should focus on how firms similar to yours operate, including their marketing strategies and their mix of services. You will also need to pay attention to the price structures of your competitors, so your moving company can avoid selling at prices that are either too low or too high.

Often, a new moving company can get started with only a minimal investment. A few people with a truck, for example, can be enough to move many business and residential customers. The low entry cost can encourage many people to enter the market, so you will need to find ways to differentiate your new venture from the rest of the crowd. You will also need to develop a solid business model because you will always have to deal with new companies that want to steal your customers.

Decide on the Specifics

Now that you have evaluated the moving industry, selected your chosen market and evaluated your competition, you can begin solidifying the details for your new company. These decisions will give your company its brand identity as well as access to its market.

1) Choose a Company Name and Logo

Names tell a lot about a company, especially in the case of a moving business. You should choose a name that communicates the primary characteristics of your brand. Additionally, the name of your business should be easy to pronounce and short enough for people to remember. Avoid the temptation to hastily settle on a business name to avoid hitting unnecessary roadblocks.

Before finalizing the name of your company, search online to make sure you can get the internet domain that you want for your website. You should also check whether you can register your chosen name, as well as perform additional research to make sure that your name is safe from trademark infringement. Keep working on the name for your moving business until you find a name that you can freely use.

Your company logo should be simple and easy to recognize. It should carry the theme of your brand and unify all your graphic designs. The logo should be easy to adapt for use online, on letterhead and in marketing material. If you have a great design, but it looks bad on an envelope, start over. Your logo must naturally fit everywhere in your organization.

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2) Decide on the Number of Your Employees

Labor can become one of the most expensive parts of your moving business. If you plan on working as a mover, you will need to have sufficient physical strength and agility to coincide with your business acumen. Even if you do much of the work, you will probably discover that a one-man moving operation is difficult to operate. You will need help.

Recruit several, reliable and strong workers to equip your business with the labor needed to serve customers. You will also need help in the office, including a bookkeeper and someone who can answer phones, take orders and schedule work. Hiring workers, however, brings a complex and expensive set of rules and regulations into play. Assess your labor needs and consult a business attorney, if necessary, to make sure you stay on the right side of the law.

3) Select a Location for Your Business

Find a suitable location for your company before you start doing business. You need to find a facility that can accommodate every business process needed to perform your mission. For example, should your company offer storage services, you will need sufficient and secure space to accommodate that part of your business. Your location should also be sufficiently distant from competing firms, so you can stake a claim to your territory, and convenient enough so it is accessible to your target market.

4) Decide on Your Services

Make sure that you offer enough services to accommodate your target market, but don’t spread yourself and your team too thin by offering too many bells and whistles. For example, you might want to offer packing services, but if doing so requires the acquisition of too many tools or too much material for you to easily manage, you should consider adopting such services later, as your business matures.

As you choose the services offered by your firm, select the ones that can differentiate your business from other area movers. Features such as interstate deliveries or store pickups could give your customers a reason to choose your company rather than another. Be creative and use the knowledge of the business that you have so far to offer innovative services to your market.

All your research and planning should be used to craft a fabulous business plan that will keep you focused as you progress toward your goal of owning a moving business. Show your business plan to prospective investors to win their confidence. You might also need to show it to vendors and bankers who might extend credit lines to your new company.