Starting your own moving company business can create a flexible schedule, good hourly wages, and better opportunities. A moving service has low start-up costs, especially if you already own a vehicle and proper equipment. In the beginning, all you need is a truck or small van along with moving equipment like dollies and heavy-duty blankets.
Being a mover can be physically demanding but also highly rewarding. With this guide on how to start a moving company, you’ll be well on your way to creating a business that’s thoughtfully planned out, registered properly, and legally compliant.
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How do I find clients?
Use word-of-mouth advertising and take advantage of social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram to promote your business. Post listings on Handy and TaskRabbit, for an easy entry into the business world without having to spend a ton of money on marketing. When you’re ready to invest some cash into marketing campaigns, use Vistaprint to create business cards and flyers that you can leave on doors, hang in businesses’ windows and post in furniture stores.
How much does it cost to start a moving company?
Start-up costs depend on how big you want your moving company to be from the start. It’s usually a good idea to start small and expand over time. If you don’t already have the proper vehicle, you can buy a used moving van or rent one on a per-project basis.
U-Haul offers inexpensive base rates. The total cost of renting from U-Haul is based on several factors, such as the distance traveled and the truck size. The base fare for Uhaul starts at $19.95 and goes up to $39.95 depending on the car you rent.
In addition to the truck or the van itself, you will also be responsible for expenses like gas, ties, moving blankets, and dollies. If you offer packing services, you’ll also need moving boxes, packing supplies, and wrapping materials. You can buy these at your local Walmart or rent them from U-Haul.
In total, you’ll likely spend around $100 to $200 on initial supplies. If you want to go big right out of the gate and you have the budget to do so, buy multiple vans, invest in uniforms with your company’s branding, and focus on marketing your business with cards and flyers.
How much should I charge for moving services?
Charge market value to make it worth your time and create value around your services. Eventually, you’ll want to grow your company and hire more employees. Make sure you’re charging enough to be able to hire quality employees who will represent your business well.
The average cost of a moving company is between $25 to $50 per hour per mover. After you set your base fare, set add-on service fees to minimize expenses subtracted from your profit. Add-ons can include gas, mileage fees, having to walk stairs instead of taking an elevator and supplying packing materials.
What insurance should my moving company carry?
Insuring your company is the safest way to do business in this field. Accidents happen. Hopefully, neither you nor your employees get hurt on the job, but it’s always a possibility. Items can become damaged during the moving process, so equipping your company with insurance will keep you and your employers protected while giving you peace of mind in the process.
The best types of insurance to carry include the following:
- Cargo coverage is important for covering the goods that you transport just in case something gets damaged along the way.
- General liability insurance covers the cost of third-party liability claims. It covers you for things like personal injuries, property damages, medical payments, and legal defense.
- Auto liability insurance to protect you if, say, an employee backs a truck into someone’s garage door. This insurance will cover the cost of the accident so you won’t be put in a position to pay the out-of-pocket expense.
- Workers’ compensation is a type of insurance that provides coverage for employees injured on the job. Most states require this insurance if you have any employees who work for you.
Starting your moving business in 7 steps
Put a plan in place to set yourself up for success! Come up with a company name, and decide if you plan to stay local or offer your services coast-to-coast. Make sure you have the proper vehicle and insurance. Also, check with your state’s regulations to ensure that you obtain the business licenses that you are required to have.
Get your equipment used if you’re on a budget or new if you can afford it. Be sure to set up a separate bank account to manage your income properly as well.
Read on to learn more about how to start a moving company with our step-by-step guide!
Step 1: Get a truck or van
If you don’t already have a truck or van, you can start by renting one from U-Haul as an easy and cost-effective entry into your moving business. If it’s in your budget, you can purchase a new or used moving van instead.
Step 2: Put a plan in place
Create a company name and decide where you want to start. Get clear about the services you’re going to offer. Will you be doing full-service packing and moving? Or do you plan to only offer loading, transportation, and unloading services? Decide if you’re going to stay local or travel far distances as well.
Step 3: Purchase or rent equipment
You can purchase your equipment new, or you get it used from either Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist. Want to wait to invest in new high-quality equipment? Consider renting your tools from U-Haul instead.
The tools you’ll need include a dolly, back braces, hoist straps, moving blankets, and furniture pads. If you’re going full-service and plan to offer packing services, you’ll also need moving boxes and packing supplies to complete the job.
Step 4: Get permits and licensing
Licensing requirements vary from one state to another. If you’re transporting locally, your state might not require licensing, but this isn’t true for every state in the U.S. Check with your local state regulatory agencies to get a clear understanding of what’s required of you. If you are planning to offer coast-to-coast moving services, you’ll need to register with the U.S. Department of Transportation.
Step 5: Open a business bank account
Keeping your business and personal finances separate is important when operating a business because it ensures that your personal assets are protected. Open a new account strictly for the funds your business generates. That way, you’ll be prepared to pay taxes and better handle the accounting side of the business.
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Step 6: Get insurance
When it comes to protecting yourself from accidents, the more coverage, the better! The best way to keep your peace of mind is to get cargo coverage, general liability insurance, workers’ compensation insurance, and auto liability insurance.
Step 7: Create a website and marketing tools
Creating a website will give your company a professional look while helping you attract new clients. Nowadays, it’s easier than ever to build a website with GoDaddy Website Builder. Create inexpensive business cards and flyers on Vistaprint. And use social media, word-of-mouth advertising, and Craigslist to spread the word about your business for free.
Get movin’ for that cash
Put your plan in place, know your local laws, and follow these steps to start and run a successful moving company. If you’re a woman and are wondering if this business is right for you, you’re in luck.
You and your female employees will have a fair shot at federal contracts to help you get ahead and run a booming business. The women-owned small business federal contracting program helps you get certified as a small business and make a name for yourself, even in male-dominated industries like transportation.
Now that you know the benefits of having your own moving company, you can take the necessary steps to get started. Make your move to make your money!