Before discussing How to Start a Transportation Business, let us first understand what is a Transportation Business? Look around and you will see that there are many families moving into your area and almost an equal number leaving the area. A number of apartments are being vacated by one family and occupied by another family.
The reason behind this shifting could be a new employment, a transfer order of the employee by an employer, shifting of one’s business to another place for better prospects, purchase of a new apartment/villa or to change the environment of the family for health etc. Similarly, opening of new offices or shifting of an office from one place to another also comes under the same category. Vacating and occupying the premises requires transportation of the essentials and personal effects from one place to another. Providing the required facilities i.e. packing of the items in one place, shifting them to another place, unpacking and putting them in the proper places as per directions of the client is called a Transportation Business or some times called Moving Services Business. This is done by a long distance moving company or a local moving service company.
If you feel that you have an aptitude in such a job, you may start a Transportation Business. For this purpose you will have to establish a long distance moving company or a local service moving company. However, you need some investment in this business. To start with the Transportation or Moving Services Business you should have one office, at least one truck, reasonable packing material and trustworthy labor. We shall discuss each of the aforesaid requirements in detail.
You can start this work while making your office in a room of your own house or you can use a rented office. A room in your own house will save some of your investment in security deposits and advance rent for your office. In your office, you need office furniture, a telephone, a personal computer, a fax machine and an internet connection.
Truck/Loading Vehicles Requirement:
This is the most essential part of your Transporation Business. You can understand that you cannot transport anything from one place to another without a suitable vehicle. If you can afford, purchase or lease, at least, one second hand truck. However, if it is not possible, you can have some arrangement with a goods forwarding company. Try to sign an agreement with a goods forwarding company which has a good number of trucks, small loading vehicles and/or container loading trailers. Your agreement should include the following terms:
- Fixed rates from one place to another or per kilometer rates.
- Availability of the suitable vehicle as and when requisitioned by you.
- The responsibility of the company to transport the items safely and within the proper time limit.
Packing Material Requirement:
There are two types of packing material used for shifting the essentials and personal effects from one place to another. The first type is temporary packing materials. These consist of cardboard cartons and sheets. Low cost small items can be packed in cartons. Heavy furniture can be wrapped or covered with cardboard sheets to protect those from being damaged by rubbing or striking with each other during transportation. You will also need a stock of the ropes and masking tapes for properly and tightly closing the cartons and wrapping the sheets. The full cost of this material should be charged to the client.
The other type of packing material, used in Transportation Business, is Permanent Packing Material. This material is used for packing fragile items and expensive things like refrigerators, ovens and air conditioners etc. This material should be made of wood or iron sheets of appropriate thickness. It should have some standard size so that it could accommodate the required items without any problem. Service charges for using this packing material should be charged to the client because the permanent packing material is property of your Transportation Business.
Trustworthy Labor Requirement:
You need to employ some trustworthy and trained labor for this job. The labor should be trustworthy because you need to send them to different clients premises where mostly no representative of the client is available. The labor should be trusted that each and every item is properly packed and nothing is embezzled. The labor should have a training/experience of packing the essential items. You should make one of the laborers as their leader to be responsible for getting the work done properly and trustfully. You should have a background knowledge of each laborer and keep a record of each person with copies of their identification.
As your business grows, you will need more and more packing material. For this purpose you would need a suitable rented godown to keep your packing material safely and handy.
You would require the following types of insurances to keep yourself safe from any unforeseen losses. Any loss of the items of the client may be claimed by your client and you may face an awkward position at that time:
- If you have your own truck, get it comprehensively insured. This will save you from any loss due to accidents during moving on the roads.
- Get all the items on the vehicle insured for any loss during transit. The loss due to any accident or theft during the transportation. Do not forget to include your permanent packing material in the items list..
- Get all your employees insured for life or injury if they face any accident during packing.
- Get insurance for any embezzlement or damage of any item of the client by one or more employees during packing or unpacking of the material.
Before you start a Transportation Business, you must know the legal requirements or local government requirements to start the business. You may need to give a proper name to your business and get it registered with some government body. Just consult a lawyer to help you in this matter.
Having looked into the above requirements and satisfied that you can handle them all, find out your competitors in Transportation / Moving Services Business. Take help from yellow pages. Find out their rates for different jobs like packing only, transportation only, packing and transportation, packing/unpacking and transportation, moving within a city or moving outside a city etc. Make your own rate list for giving to your expected clients. Be a little lower than your competitors because they are already established and you still have to make your place in the market.
The last but not the least is your funds requirement. Estimate the total funds requirements and look in your own pocket. Can you afford to invest the whole amount from your own pocket. Mostly the answer is negative. You would need to borrow some or all from outside. The outside party could by a member of your family, a friend who may be offered a partnership in the Transportation / Moving Services Business, a bank or a government agency.
How To Promote the Packing and Moving Services Business:
You can promote your Packing and Moving Services Business by using all or some of the techniques given below:
- Advertise in newspapers. Some special offers like free setting of the items after unpacking or discounts etc.
- Make flyers and distribute through newspaper agents, display on community notice boards. Also distribute to Estate Agents, Grocery shops and Barber shops.
- Make a blog or your own website and book orders through the internet.
- Make your business cards and give away to everyone you come across.
- Be available yourself or assign someone in your office to attend inquiries by telephone.
This is an outline for starting a Transportation Business or a Long Distance Moving Services Business. And you can improve it when you come across any difficulty.