The Time is Now
Competing with multi-million companies is not easy. But it can be done. Here are some ways to get everything you can out of the (relatively) limited resources available to small to mid-size companies.
The big national conglomerate moving companies have several advantages over the small to mid-size company, but as technology gets better it becomes easier for small companies to act like the big boys.
Getting a system in place
All big moving companies use some type of software to run their daily operations. There was a time when it would cost upwards of $100k to build a system. Even for that price the system would be ugly and confusing. Even so, it gave them a significant advantage over those companies still using pen and paper.
If you are still using the old fashioned method of scratching customers' names and locations on a notepad you are already at a significant disadvantage. Even if you are not exactly technologically inclined, your moving company will benefit from having some kind of digital system in place be it as simple as a spreadsheet to track your customers name and contact info
If you really want to improve your customer return rate as well as give yourself more time to run other aspects of your business consider using in this competitive market.
There is no reason to let those big companies have such a large advantage over the small to mid-size moving company. Go digital today and off load some those more tedious operations on a computer or mobile device
Some states like California are particularly heavy on the regulation of movers and freight forwarders. One of the best things you can do as a small to mid-sized operation is stay in compliance.
Yes, the laws are tough and sometimes unfair to the honest moving business owner, but keeping compliant looks good to the customer and will likely result in the customer choosing you over a shady company that doesn't have a license or insurance.
Even if your state minimally regulates your moving operation (like Tennessee) it's a good idea to at the very least be insured for around $50,000-$100,000.
If you don't have a website, you will not be able to compete. At all. Ever. Get it?
This should be your first priority since it's easier than ever to get a website up and going. You can or you can use a self-serve company like to get a good looking site up quickly with a contact form.
This one is obvious so we won't spend much time here. To say the least you need to put at least a little of your budget towards . There are plenty of tutorials out there to get you started if you need help setting it up. If you really hate internet stuff you can hire someone to set it up for you. Don't be afraid to call Google and ask for help setting up your ads. They're glad to do it since they really want your money. Even if they only get it twenty-five cents at a time.
Improve Your Communication Skills
Nothing will turn off a potential customer like a bad first impression.
I've heard customers complain about companies that answered the phone with curt "yeah?". Don't make the customer wonder whom or which company they've called. If they have to ask, you've lost the sale.
At the risk of sounding pretentious, it is imperative that whomever is answering the phones for your company should have a pleasant disposition and a competent grasp of the language.
That doesn't mean your representative can't or shouldn't have an accent. Accents are fine, even endearing, but communication with customer should be clear and easy to comprehend with an easy tone that will give the customer no choice but to trust the person at the other end of the line
This is probably the most inexpensive yet overlooked action a company can take to look like the big boys. It's as simple as your worker having matching pants and a company shirt. The crew should arrive on time, groomed, and in uniform.
Of course, moving is hard work. Sweat stains will appear, shirts will get messy, and guys will no doubt start to smell after a few hours. But that's OK! The customer understands this.
If your guys arrive presentable and pleasant THAT'S what the customer is going to remember.
Be Discerning About Your Customers
Big moving companies can afford to take on any and every job no matter how difficult the customer is. The smaller guys have to be a little more careful
Being discerning means two things:
First, try to discern what's important to the customer. It's not always price. Sometimes a customer is willing to pay more to get higher quality service. You'll find that many of your customers are less concerned with the price than they are with having the peace of mind of knowing their entire move is going to be taken care of. They want ease of mind, not cheap prices. Do your best to give each customer what they want to the most specific degree you can.
Second, not every customer deserves your services. This is not going to be popular since we are taught to take every customer and give them our best no matter what. The truth is some customers cannot be satisfied. In fact, some are looking for a fight. This is very difficult to detect in a phone conversation, but if you talk to any moving company owner worth his salt they'll tell you exactly which customers they should have turned down or referred elsewhere. They can often tell which customers are going to be difficult to work with after only a few sentences.
It's OK to tell a customer you are booked up or otherwise tell them (politely) that you are unable to accommodate them. It is better to not do a job than spend the next months to a year trying to make up for the bad review they gave you. This can especially hurt if your company doesn't have many reviews on Google or Yelp.
Growing Within Yourself
Because you'll have fewer employees to select from, be careful to grow steadily. It can be a disaster to start booking two or three moves a day when your crew is unreliable.
Rotate your part time guys in regularly so they feel they have steady work and when they've proven themselves reliable give them more responsibility and more hours.
have a steady rotation of guys will be the key to running more crews when the time comes.
Don't Be Cheap
Pay your trusted guys a little over the average.
Don't be afraid to give them cash bonuses or other gifts to let them know they are valued by your organization. yes. They're employees and they're only doing what you pay them to do, but showing them how much you appreciate their labor will go a long way to gaining loyal and competent employees.
You Don't Have to Wait to Be Big
Everything the big companies do, you can do too. There are certain things that can make that easier, like using our software here at MovingPro.
Implement these few tactics and watch your company turn into the kind of stable and profitable entity you should be.