Startup Costs: $100,000 +
Home Based: Can be operated from home.
Franchises Available? Yes
Online Operation? Yes
Residential or commercial moving rates are currently in the range of $60 to $90 per hour for two movers and a truck, making this service potentially remarkably profitable, especially if you scale wisely — hiring up to handle additional work and increase billable hours. Providing clients with additional services and products — such as packing and unpacking, and supplies like cardboard boxes, garment boxes, tape and bubble wrap — can further increase revenues and profits.
Ask the Expert: Ram Katalan, CEO & Co-Founder of NorthStar Moving Company Franchising
Is the moving services industry growing?
The pandemic stay-at-home protocols forced us to evaluate our homes in new ways, and as a result millions of people wound up moving, and continue to do so. More are also working from home, and therefore have more flexibility as to where they reside. In addition, and likewise as a result of Covid-19, many are seeking new careers.
Combine these dynamics, and the result is that the number of people moving long distances is rising markedly. The percentage who relocated to a different county (40%) or to a different state (17%) in 2021 represented the highest numbers scene since the early 2000s. According to the latest figures from the American Moving & Storage Association, 11.2% of Americans move annually, which equates to about 35.1 million people, or 15.3 million households.
What are the current trends in the industry and what type of person is a great fit to try this?
At NorthStar Moving, we seek franchisees who share our commitment to client service, the community and to team members. In terms of fit, you must be a natural leader. You must be smart, have a sense of urgency, place a high value on integrity and be able to both inspire people doing intense physical labor and instill a sense of pride in a job well done. It’s vital to also embrace the concept of under-promising and over-delivering — to make certain that every client you move will want to use you as “their mover for life.”
We also look for someone with the following characteristics: passion about work; attention to detail; a readiness to get down and dirty and work hard; and enthusiasm for a fast-paced environment, because every day is full of multitasking.
How much money can a person expect to make in the first year and in five years?
Income potential depends entirely on how you run your business and how big a company you want to be. You can have just one moving truck, or a dozen… or more. The great thing about owning this type of enterprise is that you have control over its scale. It’s all up to you.
One vital aspect to consider is the required investment; new trucks and equipment are very costly, and even secondhand trucks and equipment in good condition will set you back thousands. As a result, you need to carefully research the market and plan in order to minimize risk and maximize potential for success. Additional concerns include liability insurance, workers' insurance and a moving and storage license, because some municipalities require that such companies, regardless of size, be licensed.
What kind of experience/training do you need?
You don’t need direct experience in the moving business. As mentioned above, you do need to be a great leader, have the skillset to oversee and manage a fast-paced, service-oriented operation and a dedication to customer service. You’ll also need D.O.T. authorization, along with any other licenses that your state law requires, such as the Bureau of Household Goods and Services license in California.
What do you wish you’d known when you were starting out?
Location, location, location!… the need to carefully select a territory. So, do your homework and ask yourself these questions:
• Is there need for a new moving company in my targeted region? Am I providing a solution to a problem in that area?
• How can I stand out from the competition?
• What are the local real estate trends?
• Does the region provide the customers I’m looking for?
It’s also important to remember that clients typically do not see you. Their experience consists mostly of interaction with the movers, who are the face of your business. So, train and lead the movers well, and treat them well.
Who are your customers?
Corporations, organizations and individuals on the move, which means just about everyone at some point.
What type of growth can be realistically expected year over year?
The success of this franchise business is in your hands. Be sure to treat each one of your customers well; nothing helps a business grow more than happy customers leaving amazing reviews and telling friends and family. Again, income potential depends entirely on how you run your enterprise.
Are there any resources you recommend that were extremely valuable in getting your business off the ground?
Yes, it’s very valuable to network. When starting a company, join your state’s moving agencies and chamber(s) of commerce. Get involved with the community, including building relationships with banks, mechanics, vendors and other professionals. Make yourself known to local homeowner associations and realtors, as well as to office parks. Essentially, build a community around your business so that you have resources available when needed and most importantly, to get the word out about your services.
Individuals or businesses who need to move from one location to another.