With the number of people moving house at the highest level in 14 years, housing represents a lucrative sector in which to start a small business. Services that cater to house movers are in particular demand, making for a gap in the market that you may well be interested in filling. But how best to kickstart a successful moving business from scratch?
What is Your Niche?
Firstly, you’ll need to answer some basic questions about the shape of your business.
- What niche are you intending your business to fit in, and how large do you intend to go?
- Will your operation be a simple man-in-van type of service, or will you be taking on larger work requiring extra hands?
- What kind of moving service do you intend to offer: removing waste or moving belongings? And might you offer a packing service also?
Defining your trajectory at the outset can give you vital focus in starting your business, and understanding your goals fully will prevent confusion – and unnecessary expenditure or stress – in the future.
Choose Your Vehicle
With your goals clearly defined, you can begin to look for the essential aspects of your business. Procuring your removal vehicle is chief among these essentials, being the bedrock of your business. As such, choose carefully; your budget might only allow for the purchase of a second-hand vehicle, but the higher likelihood of repair could stunt your business before you get off the ground.
You should also be shopping around for the right insurance deal, not only to keep costs down but to ensure proper coverage for the work you’ll be undertaking. In the event of the worst-case scenario, your insurance coverage could be the difference between business as usual and an expensive pay-out.
Source the Correct Equipment
As well as the right vehicle, you will need the correct equipment to safely handle and transport goods. Adding tie-down straps to the interior of your removal vehicle can ensure goods are secured in transit, while personal protective equipment (or PPE) can help prevent any accidents that might damage goods or injure you. Work gloves are a must, to provide adequate grip for handling bulky objects and protecting your hand from hazards such as corrosive materials and splinters.
Likewise, steel toe-capped boots will protect your extremities from dropped or falling objects, as well as other potential crush hazards – like forklifts or portable lifting machinery, which could well also be required depending on the size of your operation.
With everything physically in place to begin trading, you can now begin the process of kickstarting your business proper. Ensure you are registered with HMRC depending on your business model, whether a sole trader or starting a limited company.
Crunch some numbers and figure out your price scale, with reference to competitors in your area. With your prices set, you can begin advertising. Leafletting local neighbourhoods can drive local custom, while targeted online advertisements can increase reach and name-recognition significantly.