A moving company is a business that provides labor and equipment to help people move their belongings from one place to another. Some of these businesses specialize in a specific type of move, such as residential, commercial, or international moves. Most companies offer a variety of services, including packing, loading, and transporting goods. Some also provide storage, real-time GPS tracking, and supplemental insurance. Choosing the right company for your move can make the difference between an expensive nightmare and a smooth relocation.
The first step in choosing a moving company is to find out whether the company is a broker or carrier. A broker connects you with a carrier, which owns and operates the trucks that will transport your goods. Many moving companies act as both brokers and carriers, but some only do brokerage work.
Once you’ve narrowed down your choices, ask each company to provide a moving estimate. To get an accurate quote, the company will need to visit your home and perform a complete inventory of your goods. An estimator will then weigh the entire shipment and keep a tally of the items’ weights and sizes (bulky items often cost more to move). If you want a binding estimate, you must agree to it in writing before your move. Nonbinding estimates are subject to change based on factors like service options and shipping weight, but you can’t be made to pay more than 110% of what was quoted.
When comparing prices, look for any discounts or perks that the company offers. For example, some moving companies give their customers 30 days of free storage. Other perks that can save you money include real-time GPS tracking, supplemental insurance, and moving tips. Some companies even have dedicated customer support lines for claims, which can be a nice touch if you’re dealing with damage or loss during a move.
In addition to comparing prices, read online reviews to find out what other people have experienced with the company. You should also read a pamphlet called Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move before signing any contracts. This pamphlet outlines all the conditions of your move, including what you’re responsible for and the company’s responsibilities.
You should also consider how much it costs to start a moving company. Initial startup expenses include purchasing or leasing a vehicle and buying moving supplies, such as dollies, boxes, and packaging material. You’ll also need to pay taxes, insurance, and vehicle maintenance. Finally, you’ll need to advertise your company and attract customers. One way to do this is by sponsoring local events and charitable causes, which will boost your reputation and attract positive feedback from satisfied customers.
Starting a moving company requires an investment in equipment and advertising, but the ongoing overhead is relatively low compared to other small businesses. Most moving companies spend less than 10% of their total expenses on payroll and employee wages. The most significant ongoing expenses are vehicle maintenance, fuel, and insurance.