How to Start a Removal Company: From Getting Insured to Buying a Removal Van
Does starting a removal company sound like something you would enjoy? It can be a difficult business, but a very rewarding one. Once you have your first reviews, the business could easily take off. Many people are making a very good living at this and there are always people needing to move. If you can specialise in the services they need, then you’ll be able to easily bring in new clients.
Before we head into the how, let’s look at the why.
House Removal Companies: Should You Start One?
Before you leap into the newest business idea, you should know what is involved in starting it up and what is required in continuing it. However, home removal is a very rapidly growing area of service, so it could be a good choice for your business.
It’s always a good idea to study the competition and see what is currently being offered. While you can provide the same services, of course, you may also want to offer services they don’t. Look for gaps in the market that you can fill.
What services will you choose to offer? For example, will you offer car transport? What about heirloom and delicate deliveries? Will you manage pianos? There are so many different services that you can provide that you’ll need to narrow them down initially. When you are just starting out, you can’t offer all the services you want to. Some will need to wait until you have money coming in and your business is actually making money, particularly those items that require special equipment.
Some people start out with just a van and themselves, doing small moves and removals. However, you can also upgrade to doing home removals or even commercial removals. Some removal companies also offer storage space. If you have somewhere to store things, this may be a good idea to add a little extra income to your business.
The steps to getting started include setting up a budget. To do this, you’ll need to sit down and look at what kind of money you have available to you. Do you have assets already? Have you taken out a business loan? Are you able to raise any other money?
Now look at everything you need to invest in. There are a lot of things you’ll need for the actual business.
What You Need to Start with Home Removals
Still set on starting your home removal business? Then there are a few things you’ll need to start.
Lorries: It’s pretty much impossible to move an entire house without a lorry to carry much of the larger stuff that is coming out of the home. If you’re on a tight budget, you’ll want to make sure that you look at second hand lorries to find one that falls within your price range.
Marketing: Every company needs some kind of advertising or marketing campaign. While this may be relatively small in the beginning, you should certainly have a plan in mind. You can either hire a company to handle all your marketing needs, or you can try your hand at marketing. It is usually best to leave this up to the experts.
Packing materials: You’ll need to have everything on hand to pack up for people if you choose to offer this very popular service. Many people dread packing, so if you can do it or them, they will happily pay for the service. Look at what your competition is charging and what they offer for that price. Then you can begin your own service.
Moving equipment: Having a trolley on hand will make your life much easier, but there are even more items to ease the job. Blankets and ropes are essential for securing items as you move them. You may also want to have some door stops so you can prop doors open while moving furniture in and out of a house.
Website: You will also need a website to promote your company. How will people find you if you have no online presence? It’s fairly simple to set up a basic site and then you can polish it over time. You should also have a presence on social media, since people look there first nowadays.
Staff: You can’t move house on your own, so you’ll need to focus on hiring the best people for the job. You’ll need a few different staff. First, someone needs to be able to drive the vehicles. While you can do this, there will be times when you have more than one move going on at the same time. In these cases, you’ll need an extra driver. As time goes on, you’ll need more and more drivers. Be careful not to expand too quickly or you could end up with employees that you can’t pay.
Aside from drivers, you’ll need people who can pack and haul everything for you. Choose these people based on their abilities. They should be able to lift heavy boxes and equipment and manoeuvre around tight corners and up stairs. There is no shortage of what they will be asked to do, including moving too-wide furniture and managing spaces that are very tight. It’s best if your staff have previous experience in the area of removals.
Of course, there are also things you’ll need that are not quite as tangible. These are:
Certification can be achieved through joining the British Association of Removers and having an inspection done. You will be judged on safety, health considerations and your operating procedures should be up to standard, as well. The association will help promote your business by listing you as certified, too.
Insurance is an essential part of this business. After all, you’re managing and moving items that can be quite precious to your clients. If something happens to anything while it is in your possession, you’ll be liable for it. This is why you really need to have insurance. You will need a specific type of insurance, so find out which option is best for your business.
It’s worth talking to your local bank to see if they offer insurance. Otherwise, you can look at the insurance companies recommended by BAR and go from there. Make sure you get quotes from several companies before you choose one. Double check everything and make sure they’re quoting on the same kind of insurance.
What types of insurance do you need?
Public Liability Insurance, as well as Goods in Transit Insurance will be necessary for your new business. Your lorry will also need to be insured with vehicle insurance. You may want to cover everything with Professional Indemnity insurance which will protect you if you have an accident. Once you’ve started hiring staff, you will also need Employer’s Liability insurance. Moving firms will tend to need multiple levels of insurance, since they are working with people, goods, and transporting them over time.
Join the British Association of Removers
BAR or the British Association of Removers has been in place for more than a century and is an essential part of being a removal company. You’ll want to join the association in order to get the benefits that come with membership. You’ll boost your reputation by being linked to the prestigious association and they also run a directory where you can be listed as a member. BAR offers both accreditation and certification for removal specialists and can also provide advice for starting your business if you need it.
BAR also has training services and lessons that you can take and provides affiliate services and materials at a lower price to members. Take advantage of these lower prices and you can pass the savings on to your customers or simply increase your value.
Running Your Removal Business
Starting a business is always a big deal and when you have something like a removal company, you’ll probably start out small. The first year is always the hardest, so plan to test and try out new things, but don’t go too far into debt.
You should price your services competitively so you can get the necessary experience and build a client base early on in the game. Once you’ve had some experience, you’ll be ready to really get your new removals company off the ground and start moving people’s homes.
Eventually, you may even be ready to start working internationally so you can move military families, international expats, and more.
Are you in need of an international removals business? Contact Arrowpak International today to learn more.