Removals companies offer entrepreneurs significant growth opportunities and the chance to offer related services. Low start-up costs appeal to first-time business owners.
Why start a removals company?
Compared to some businesses, starting a removals company is very easy. For smaller jobs such as bedsits and flats you’ll just need a medium-sized van and any materials to secure fragile items inside, alongside essentials such as insurance. The main additional cost will be marketing and promotion as it’ll be difficult to drum up business by word-of-mouth only. Whilst the majority of removals contracts will inevitably come from local residents business owners are able to look further afield, increasing the potential for revenue.
What skills do I need?
Physical strength is essential for all removals jobs as there’s a lot of heavy lifting involved, such as fridges, freezers and sofas. You’ll also need to be very proactive and disciplined as homeowners are putting their trust in you to move valued possessions safely and securely. Organisational skills will also be important; you’ll need to ensure you’re never double booked and that you have time to complete long moves – across country in some cases – in the allocated time slot.
While training is not essential, homeowners may be reluctant to use your firm if you have no professional qualifications. The British Association of Removers can advise you on quality training courses for all aspects of the removals process, from driving and packing to office-based administrators.
While start-up costs are minimal to provide a basic service (you’ll only need a van), to become a reputable company you’ll need to spend money. Not only will you be unable to grow without enough staff members to complete larger jobs, but you’ll also need to spend money marketing your firm to generate leads. Uniforms are also important to convey authority, and you’ll need specialist insurance considering the nature of your work.
Insurance and compliance
Accidents can happen during removals work which is why it’s essential to take out adequate insurance. Public liability insurance protects you against damage to third party property; costs associated with damaged items can therefore be recovered. If you hire staff, you must also take out employer’s liability insurance to protect against any action taken against you by employees or ex-employees. Professional indemnity insurance is also a good option, protecting you against claims made due to professional negligence.
Your first step
Conduct market research and ensure you have a solid business plan. Specifically, you’ll need to know what type of removals firm you’ll set up. Will you cater for general removals jobs or will you specialise in students or flats? If the market is heavily saturated in your local area you may need to go further afield or find a new competitive edge that means homeowners will pick you rather than your competitors. If you have little experience, try to get some working for a removals company so you know more about what to expect when you begin trading.