Published April 16, 2009

Pulling Profits: How to Start a Small Moving Company

Forget everything you have learned about the moving industry. If you are under the impression that you need commercial sized trucks or a large staff to make a profit in the moving business, you are completely mistaken.

In reality, 80% of moving jobs are for small items or furniture pieces. Unfortunately, many people feel they have few options but to call the major moving businesses to move one piece of furniture, such as a desk. However, what if these customers could call a small, locally owned small moving company for a minimal fee?

Anybody with a truck or van can begin a small weekend moving business to supplement his or her income. And you would be surprised as to how much money stands to be made from even a few hours of hauling furniture items around town. Individuals stand to make enough to supplement their luxury expenses, which can help to improve their overall standard of living in a down economy.

Still need convincing? Here are the ins and outs of starting a small moving company with your truck or van.

Skills Required: Diligence and good health

Believe it or not, you don't need to be a muscle man to be able to operate your small moving company. Even a team of two moderately athletic men can move couches or other furniture pieces; any team can haul items if they are in general good health and have good weight distribution skills.

Startup Expenses: $100, if you already own the van or pickup truck

If you already have the van or pickup truck, your only expenses will be your initial tank of gas and a possible investment in ropes, ties, and moving blankets. If you will not have much help, then consider buying a dolly as well. While many start-up endeavors require advertising expenses, it is easy to promote your moving business for free on sites like Craigslist. Speak with your local Ikea and leave flyers with them. Contact furniture stores and discuss how you could deliver furniture pieces to their customers.

Monthly Revenue: $700 - $1,000 per month

Your monthly revenue will vary based upon how much time you can commit to moving pieces. On average, small movers may charge $50 - $200 to move a furniture item, depending upon the size and miles traveled. Individuals dedicating 10 or 20 hours a week can easily earn an extra $700 - $1000 per month.

Monthly Expenses: $100 - $200 per month

The only expense of this business is your gas and mileage; however, many small moving companies include gas and mileage in their fee, in addition to their price for service. Thus, should you incorporate this type of pricing structure, your overall monthly income remains unaffected by gas and mileage cost.

However, you may incur repair fees for your vehicle due to increased mileage. It is a good idea to save some of your profits each month to prepare for unexpected repairs. The $100 - $200 outlined for monthly expenses reflects what you should "save" to prepare for any potential repairs in the future.

Time to Break Even: One week or one hauling / moving job

If you already own the van or pickup truck, your startup expenses are minimal, encompassing $100 for the first tank of gas and any small moving supplies you buy. If you can obtain a $100 hauling or moving job, which is an average size, you can already break even!

Possible Bumps in the Road:

In the small moving business, you may encounter some bumps along the road. For example, during this housing market slump, fewer people are moving. It is a good idea to expand to junkyard hauling as well; in today's economy, people are participating more in events like rummage sales and streamlining to decrease their storage expenses. Plenty of people need trucks, vans, and moving help just to get their unwanted belongings to the junkyard.

As you can see, the moving and hauling business can be an easy weekend business for people who already own trucks and vans. In addition, don't be afraid to ask for gas and mileage fees upfront. If you can minimize the amount of expenses you will need to subtract from your profit, your average overall income will be increased significantly.