Within the past 75 years, U-Haul has aligned with almost every type of business that boasts of a service-oriented owner/operator who is eager to grow their business while also providing top-quality services to their community. Note that aligning with independent business owners to cater to the demand for U-Haul equipment and services in their neighborhoods has offered these business owners the opportunity to provide more service, to more customers, in a viable manner.
Just like any startup, the decision to start a moving company with U-Haul deserves the same level of preparation you would give any other business including research, financing, and a business plan.
Steps on How to Start a Moving Company with U-Haul
Table of Content
Conduct Market Research
If you are looking to enter this competitive market, then you must identify the opportunities in your local market by carrying out extensive research. Start by researching moving companies in your area to see what they offer. To maximize your profit with U-Haul; you will need space to store your boxes, packing materials, blankets, and other moving goods.
Register on MovingHelper.com to start offering moving labor services, and once your account is activated, it is now up to you to decide whether you want to offer services part-time, full-time, or seasonally.
a. Who is the Target Market for a Moving Business?
In reality, 80% of moving jobs are for small items or furniture pieces. While a great percentage of people move each day, few are repeat customers. Most businesses in this field who want long-term stability will have to aim for local businesses; especially those who regularly require items to be moved from one location to another.
b. Is Moving Company with U-Haul a Profitable Business?
Yes. However, pricing is most often based on the volume of contents being moved, the number of miles being driven, and labor costs for loading and unloading. According to reports, the average local move costs about $1,000 but can even go higher depending on the number of items, mileage, and labor costs. If you do 2 moves per week at $1,000, you would make $104,000 per year in revenue.
c. Are There Existing Niches in the Industry?
- Commercial moving business
- Regional or interstate moving business
- Local moving business
- Packing and unpacking
- Relocating businesses
- Junk removal
- Valuables packaging and moving
d. Who are the Major Competitors?
- International Van Lines
- United Van Lines
- Colonial Van Lines
- North American Moving Services
- FlatRate Moving
- Moving APT – American Professional Transportation
- American Van Lines
- Mayflower Transits
e. Are There County or State Regulations or Zoning Laws for Moving Company with U-Haul?
Yes. Note that every state’s requirement for moving companies is different. Some states require moving companies to acquire special licenses and permits. Although the requirements vary by state, licensing and permits are meant to make sure moving companies are legal and responsible enough to be trusted with the public’s valuables.
Ensure you reach out to your local state regulatory authority or visit The US Department of Transportation to obtain adequate information on registration and licensing.
f. Is There a Franchise for Moving Company with U-Haul?
No. U-Haul rather presents very easy, supportive partnerships with independent businesses who have available space on their lots, and some free time to assist customers by offering services like loading and unloading, packing and unpacking, cleaning, U-Box® deliveries, and specialty item moving. It costs no money to become a U-Haul dealer. There is no financial commitment, no risk, and minimal labor.
g. What Do You Need to Start a Moving Company with U-Haul?
- Truck or van
- Necessary equipment
- Necessary business licenses, permits
- Previous business ownership
Choose a Memorable Business Name
When looking to start a business, before you can begin to file the necessary documents with the constituted authorities or start your website, it is necessary that you come up with a name that you will be recognized with. It is essential that the name you come up with can easily be pronounced, is unique and easily memorable.
Some of the catchy business name ideas suitable for a moving business are;
Creative Business Name ideas for a Moving Company With U-Haul
- Steady Movers
- Quick Movers
- Trusted Movers And Packers
- Moving Machines
- Eastern Movers
- Reliably on The Move
- Nester Movers
- Bird Claws Movers
- Six Safety
- McCartney Movers
- Standard Movers
- Easy Route
- Cartel Movers
- Safe Trips
- Lightfoot Moving
- Expert Choices
- Premium Hauls
- Exquisite Movers
- Out & In Hauls
- Happy Movers
Register your Business
a. What Type of Business Structure is Best for Moving Company with U-Haul?
A good number of people who are the only owner of the business will prefer to form their business as a sole proprietorship. But if you have partners or want a formal business structure, an LLC may be better. An LLC is fast, simple, and inexpensive to set up and maintain. It protects your finances and assets and is a great way to start your moving business. Depending on the state, the cost to form an LLC runs from $40 – $500!
b. Steps to Form an LLC
- Choose a Name for Your LLC.
- File Articles of Organization.
- Pick a registered agent.
- Decide on member vs. manager management.
- Create an LLC operating agreement.
- Comply with other tax and regulatory requirements.
- File annual reports.
c. What Type of License is Needed to Open a Moving Company with U-Haul?
This will surely vary from one location to another. Note that your state may require that you register with the state’s department of transportation. If you plan to do interstate moves, you need to register with the U.S. Department of Transportation. Nonetheless, basic licenses to consider include;
- General Business License
- Zonal Permits
- Seller’s Permit
- Sales Tax License
- Commercial Drivers License
d. What Type of Certification is Needed to Open a Moving Company with U-Haul?
Although not mandatory, top certifications to consider include;
- First Aid, CPR, and AED Instructor
- EPA Amusement Operators Safety Certification (EPA)
- OSHA Safety Certificate
- Registered International Mover (RIM)
- Certified Relocation Professionals & Office Movers
- Certified Moving Consultant
- Professional Mover Certification
e. What Documents are Needed to Open a Moving Company with U-Haul?
Coupled with obtaining the necessary local or state business licenses, you should also make sure to establish your federal tax status. This includes getting an employer identification number (EIN) from the IRS and a USDOT number. Registration paperwork is mandatory for hauling companies that cross state lines, and failure to report your services can result in very heavy fines.
f. Do You Need a Trademark, Copyright, or Patent?
No. Aside from protecting your business name, you may have no reason to worry about intellectual property protection.
Do your Cost Analysis and Budgeting
a. How Much Does It Cost to Start a Moving Company with U-Haul?
The cost of starting your moving company with U-Haul will range from about $20,000 to over $100,000, with an average of about $65,000. Note that your biggest initial expense will be the truck. However, you should strive to keep costs low by purchasing a used truck and building out your fleet with newer models later.
b. What are the Costs Involved?
- Box truck: $15,000 – $60,000 per truck
- Semi truck and trailer: $100,000 – $250,000
- Moving equipment such as dollies, pads, blankets, packing supplies, tie-downs, furniture belts, and other items: $1,000 – $2,000
- Setting up a business name and corporation:$150 – $200
- Licenses and permits: $200 – $300
- Insurance: $100 – $500
- Business cards and brochures: $200 – $300
- Website setup: $1,000 – $3,000
- Initial marketing budget: $100 – $500
c. What Factors Determine the Cost of Opening a Moving Company with U-Haul?
- Business Size
- Number of Trucks or Vans
- The Cost for Insurance Policy Covers
- The Cost for Registering the Business
- The Choice of Location
- The Necessary Licenses and Permits
d. Do You Need to Build a Facility?
Yes, you will surely need office space for your moving business. Also note that you will need room to store your vehicles and equipment, meet with employees and clients, and otherwise manage your business. You can count on your moving company facility costing $25 to $70 per square foot to build.
e. What are the Ongoing Expenses for Running a Moving Company with U-Haul?
- Payroll and payroll taxes
- Vehicle maintenance
- Fuel costs
- Website support
- Regular marketing strategy.
f. What is the Average Salary of your Staff?
- Chief Executive Officer (Owner): $54,600/ Year
- Human Resources and Admin Manager: $48,930/Year
- Logistics Manager: $45,600/Year
- Drivers: $41,579/Year
- Accountant: $38,710/Year
- Material Handlers: $27,310/Year
- Call Center Agent: $23,490/Year
g. How Do You Get Funding to Start a Moving Company with U-Haul
If you require external funding to start this business, options to consider include;
- Business loans
- Lines of credit
- Friends and family
- Angel investors
Write a Business Plan
a. Executive Summary
Six Safety will be a registered and licensed Moving and Storage Company that will be based in Honolulu, Hawaii. We will offer moving services through the Moving Help MarketPlace on both uhaul.com and movinghelp.com. Our prospective clients can find our company while browsing the MarketPlace, where they can find our rates, availability, services, and reviews. Once booked, we will get an email and/or text message with the details of the customer’s move, and then strive to efficiently cater to their needs.
b. Products and Service
- Specialty Item Moving
- U-Box Load/Unload
- U-Box Delivery
c. Mission Statement
Our mission at Six Safety is to ensure that we develop a successful moving and relocation company that will see to the needs of individuals and businesses in Honolulu and later in the whole of Hawaii.
Our Vision at Six Safety is to grow and become the first choice for individuals and organizations who seek moving and storage services in Hawaii and also in the whole of the United States of America.
d. Goals and Objectives
- Gradually gain market share.
- Increase repeat customers by 4% per quarter.
- Reduce customer acquisition costs
- Grow the profit margin by 1% per quarter.
- Reduce training costs of employees every two quarters while simultaneously improving the service quality.
- Reduce the operating costs of the leased vehicles through improved preventive maintenance and behavior modification.
e. Organizational Structure
- Chief Executive Officer (Owner)
- Human Resources and Admin Manager
- Logistics Manager
- Material Handlers
- Call Center Agent
a. SWOT Analysis
- Adequately trained employees.
- An innovative compensation system that prizes customer satisfaction, customer referrals, and repeat business.
- A concrete, market-driven business model.
- The inability to raise large amounts of capital.
- Finding above-average employees.
- U-Haul will help us build a good brand image
- Participation in a high-demand industry.
- Growing profits as operating efficiencies are gained.
- Steady future demand.
- Future/potential competition from a franchise from another market.
- Tough competition from local and domestic service providers
b. How Do Moving Company with U-Haul Make Money?
Revenue is generated from each move. As a moving company with U-Haul, you set up your schedule, and rates, and get to choose the services you want to offer. A good number of companies that work with U-Haul offer services beyond moving furniture. Note that each additional service increases your earning potential.
c. Payment Options
- Payment via bank transfer
- Payment via online bank transfer
- Payment via mobile money transfer
d. Sales & Advertising Strategies
- Running paid ads on Google or social media
- Driving organic traffic with search engine optimization (SEO)
- Running local print ads
- Leveraging word-of-mouth and personal referrals.
- Rank locally in Google searches with Google My Business.
- Use Facebook Advertising.
- Network with real estate agents.
- Create a referral program.
- Show your team at work on Instagram
a. How Much Should You Charge for your Service?
Moving companies are known to charge on an hourly basis and per mover. Standard costs are $25-$30 per hour per mover. When moving long distances, a good number of these companies charge based on mileage and weight. Meanwhile, U-Haul is renowned for paying one of the highest commission rates in the industry, 22%, and they pay on time, every time.
b. How Much Profit Do Moving Companies with U-Haul Owners Make a Year?
According to industry reports, your per hour costs for a local move will fall within $60, including overhead and labor, and you should be able to charge $100 per hour, resulting in a 40% profit margin. Businesses who offer moving services tend to pay their workers $12-$15 per hour while charging their customers twice that amount per worker hour.
If you can carry out five four-hour moves per week, this equals around $104,000 in annual revenue and more than $40,000 in profit, assuming you use that 40% margin. As your brand grows and gains recognition, sales can climb to 20 moves per week.
At this point, you will also need to rent a commercial space and hire more staff, and this will cut your margin down to about 20%. With expected annual revenue of $416,000, you would still come away with a tidy profit of $83,000.
c. What Factors Determine the Amount of Profit to Be Made?
- Vehicle maintenance
- Packing materials
- Employee wages
- Advertising costs
- Insurance expenses
d. What is the Profit Margin of a Moving Company with U-Haul?
Just as it was noted above, the profit margin in this line of business falls within or close to 40%!
e. What is the Sales Forecast?
- First Fiscal Year (FY1): $104,000
- Second Fiscal Year (FY2): $370,000
- Third Fiscal Year (FY3): $890,000
Set Up your Office
a. How Do You Choose a Perfect Location for Moving Company with U-Haul
To attain success in this line of business, you need to locate your business in a hot market, where people and businesses are moving in large numbers. Your office space will also have to be located close to a major highway to make it easier to drive a moving truck to your customers.
b. What State and City are Best to Open a Moving Company with U-Haul?
- Houston, TX
- Baltimore, MD
- Atlanta, GA
- Tucson, AZ
- San Antonio, TX
- Dallas, TX
- Chicago, IL
c. What Equipment is Needed to Operate?
Aside from your truck or vans, the equipment you will need to carry out your services includes;
- Packing and wrapping materials
- Furniture belts
- Moving pads
- Moving dollies
- Packing supplies
Unlike most small businesses, you can barely run a moving company alone. In this business, your reputation will depend on a solid team of employees. When you’re just starting out, you might just be able to hire 1 or 2 employees, but as the business grows, you can always hire more. Possible positions you will have to fill include:
- Movers: Pack, move items
- General Manager: Customer estimates, scheduling, supplies, staff oversight
- Marketing Lead: SEO strategies, social media marketing
Launch the Business Proper
You may not need to host an opening party when starting a moving company with U-Haul. U-Haul trucks are seen by numerous people daily, and a good number of these trucks have advertisements for movinghelp.com displayed on them. Aside from that, Moving Help Providers are suggested to customers as they book a rental on uhaul.com. Therefore, just by listing your company on the website, you can benefit from a vast network of advertisements.
a. What Makes a Moving Company with U-Haul Successful?
To achieve success as a moving company for U-Haul, you must treat your customers (and their belongings) with respect and care, as word of mouth goes a long way in this line of work. Ensure you establish good relationships with neighboring dealers so you can trade equipment and share trucks. Also, look into adding U-Haul storage buildings to your location.
Have it in mind you get a higher commission rate if you have a seven-day schedule and you get more rentals and drop-offs. You should also make sure you have two employees working, as there will be times when one will have to help inspect a vehicle or mount a trailer. Other things to consider include;
- Having packing materials available for purchase
- Offering packing and unboxing services before and after a move
- Specializing in large, fragile, or antique objects
- Having a temporary storage option available for customers
- Providing a self-service option that includes trucks, materials, and equipment
b. What Happens During a Typical Day at a Moving Company with U-Haul?
In this line of business, your daily tasks will involve a good balance of muscle and brain. Depending on the needs of your clients, you will have to carefully pack items and move them from one location to another. Have it in mind you will spend a good part of every day on a marketing strategy that can include social media posting, gathering information pertinent to bidding on local contracts, and following up with clients.
c. What Skills and Experience Do You Need to Build a Moving Company with U-Haul?
- Industry experience
- Geographic knowledge of the area
- Organization skills
- Attention to detail
- Adaptability Skills
- Accounting Skills
- Creativity Skills
- Strategy Skills
- Customer service skills
- Troubleshooting skills