Moving home is always a tough and stressful time. Even worse is when you have to move an entire office from one location to another! If your organisational skills suck, you’re going to be the worst person to handle such a mammoth task!
Some people try to move their belongings themselves. They would often hire a van for the day, and enlist the help of some willing volunteers. The only trouble is; no-one’s qualified to move heavy items in a safe and secure manner. Plus I can guarantee at least one person from your “team” will end up with a bad back for their troubles!
That’s why many savvy people opt for hiring a removals company. They have the expertise and manpower necessary to get your goods moved from A to B without issue. If you’re keen to start a new business soon, setting up a removals firm might be something of interest to you.
Why? Because consumers pay good money for their belongings to get moved with the care and attention they deserve. It’s no secret that the removals industry is lucrative. It’s also a recession-proof sector. Let’s face it; people will always move home or premises regardless of the economic outlook!
Here’s how you can get started with setting up your new removals company.
Who will you cater for?
One question to ask yourself is what types of clients would you like to accommodate. Some removals companies will only do domestic work. While others also help businesses move offices, regardless of the volume of work.
It’s an important question to answer at this stage of the proceedings. That’s because it will help you to determine what vehicles you will need in your fleet, and how many staff you need to hire. Regardless of who you work for, you’ll also need to factor in storage facilities into your startup costs.
It’s not uncommon for customers to want their possessions stored in a safe and secure location for a period. For example, someone moving out of a house might not have the keys to their new property for another week or so. It’s common for delays to occur during property sales.
So, apart from a fleet of vehicles to cater for your customer base, you’ll need to consider warehouse facilities too. Of course, if you want to set up your business on a smaller scale, you don’t need to offer such services.
Some smaller removals companies prefer to sub-contract services like goods storage. From your customer’s point of view, they would have added peace of mind knowing that you will offer a complete end to end solution.
If you plan to provide a plethora of value-added services, some customers might also want to move from one country to another. Larger removals firms offer such services. That’s because they either own or work with international logistics companies.
Still, that might be a plan you have for the future. Right now, you’ll just want to start small and grow your business at a comfortable rate.
What Fleet of Vehicles should you get?
The vehicles you need for your new transport company will depend on what you wish to offer your clients. For instance, if you plan on focusing just on domestic removals, large vans are enough to get the job done.
But what if you plan to offer your services to corporate customers too? Firms moving an entire building from one location to another might opt for buying large trucks or heavy goods lorries. Because you want to spend as little as possible during these early stages, it makes sense to buy used vehicles.
Sites like trucks.autotrader.co.uk make it easy to find and select good quality used vehicles. In fact, you’ll find plenty of classifieds sites on the Web to help you on your quest.
You could also lease new vehicles. In some cases, it might help your cash flow and outgoings by doing that. The only downside to leasing is that you have to give the vehicles back after a set period. Still, one thing you don’t have to worry about is reliability or maintenance costs with leased trucks and lorries.
There is one thing you need to bear in mind when you buy or lease vehicles for your fleet. You will need some secure premises to store them in the evening! Most removals companies find that it makes sense to rent a large, secure yard with storage facilities.
It’s not uncommon for removals firms to opt for premises at industrial estates. That’s because the majority of such estates are secure. In essence, they are the commercial equivalent of gated communities.
What Skills do you need?
First, you and your workers need to have a good level of fitness. That’s because you will all spend your days lifting and moving heavy items. It’s likely you will have to travel up many flights of stairs during each home or commercial move.
You will also need to know how to lift heavy goods in the correct way. By knowing that vital information, you can be sure that you won’t cause any unnecessary strain on your back, neck or limbs. The good news is there are plenty of training courses you can go on that teach you the right methods of heavy lifting.
Apart from manual handling, your team will also need to know how to operate forklift trucks. They will get used both at your storage facilities and on-site when you are moving a customer’s possessions.
Second, anyone that drives your fleet of vehicles (including you) needs to know how to drive them! For example, you might need to go on driving training courses to get the driving licence upgrades you need.
Only then will you have a legal entitlement to drive vans, trucks and heavy goods vehicles. The last thing you want to do is get stopped by the police for driving a vehicle when you aren’t permitted by law to do so!
Now you know what it takes to start a removals company, it’s time to get busy!