If you're the kind of person who doesn't like to sit still, moving furniture could keep you busy while putting money in your pocket at the same time. The work usually involves moving furniture from the store where it was purchased to the buyer's home. There are plenty of opportunities in addition to this, like helping people move into a new home or helping anyone else needing to get an item from point A to point B.
If you're also handy with tools and if you can read those complex instruction sheets that come with unassembled furniture, you could also start a furniture assembly business at the same time. There are plenty of people who would pay someone to assemble a bookcase or a table once it's in their home.
Equipment Required for Furniture Delivery Companies
Before you can move furniture, you will need a good vehicle. A cargo van, pickup truck or box truck are the best choices for moving furniture. You'll want a fuel-efficient vehicle that's reliable. Buying an old truck won't save you any money if it guzzles gas and needs a lot of repairs. Because this is a business truck, if it does break down, you will lose money and customers.
Tools of the trade for furniture movers include a hand truck or a dolly. There are moving dollies and appliance dollies, so if you plan to move fridges or stoves, you should have one of each. You will also need moving blankets to protect furniture while it's in transit as well as a good supply of tie downs and bungee cords to keep it in place. If you are using a pickup truck, you should invest in a tarp to protect furniture from the elements as well as the dust and grime that comes with driving on dirt roads or busy highways.
Setting Up Your Moving Business
Before you start moving, you will need to set up your business. You'll want to come up with a name that tells people what you do while setting yourself apart from the competition. Then, you will need to select your business structure. If you're starting the business by yourself, a sole proprietorship is a good option, while an LLC may be better suited for a partnership. It's a good idea to talk to an accountant and a lawyer before deciding on a structure.
Next, you will have to register your business with your state and local government. Depending on where you live, you may need to charge sales tax for your services. Of course, if you plan to hire employees later, you will need to register for an EIN and payroll taxes as well as look into requirements for workers' compensation insurance.
You will also need to talk to a commercial insurance broker for insurance for your vehicle, cargo insurance and liability insurance. Many people will be reluctant to use your services if you're not insured. If you already have insurance on a truck you use for personal use, you will probably need to update or change your policy if you're going to use it for your business.
Marketing and Advertising Your Moving Services
Let everyone know that you're in business, including friends, family and your neighbors. One of the best advertising investments you can make is a sign on your vehicle, clearly showing your company's name and telephone number. You can usually get magnetic door signs at the same printing service where you get your business cards and flyers — and you'll need plenty of those as well.
Having a website and a Facebook page is important to let people know you offer moving services so they can find you when searching online. Stop by businesses that sell furniture and other large items to let them know you can help their customers when needed. If they already have a moving company or their own truck, ask if they can take your card or flyer anyway in case they need extra help on a busy day.
A published author, David Weedmark has advised businesses on technology, media and marketing for more than 20 years and used to teach computer science at Algonquin College. He is currently the owner of Mad Hat Labs, a web design and media consultancy business. David has written hundreds of articles for newspapers, magazines and websites including American Express, Samsung, Re/Max and the New York Times' About.com.