How to Start a Moving and Hauling Business for Little or No Money

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moving and hauling business

A Side Business That Keeps Things Moving… Literally

When the economy is booming, Americans trade up: Bigger homes, bigger offices, better furniture and more expensive equipment. And what happens when the market's down and money's tight? They move again!

Individuals relocate to smaller homes, businesses downsize, families sell furniture. The Declaration of Independence states that every US citizen has the right to pursue happiness, and more often than not: Happiness is on the move.

If you have strength, stamina, and organizational skills, you might be able to earn money immediately…

The good news? Competent movers rarely lack for work. Larger economic cycles pass by like seasons—movers provide an essential service, and even during a recession, when families and business tighten their belts, most people still find it necessary to pay a professional to move oversize or fragile items.

This year, approximately 40 million Americans, including thousands of small business owners, will relocate. Technology has enabled a mobile class of young professionals, individuals in their twenties and thirties who pull up stakes every two or three years.

We are a country of wanderers, and freelance movers turn our natural restlessness into a business opportunity.

If you have strength, stamina, and keen organizational skills, then you might be able to earn money immediately as a freelance mover. If you're able to effectively market your services, you might even be able to turn your moving gig into a full time business.

Getting Started: The Truck and Beyond

Anybody with a truck or van can supplement their income by starting a small moving business on the side. However, if you plan to advertise your services to the general public, then you should probably purchase insurance to protect yourself against defamation or lawsuits.

Contact an insurance agent to learn more about commercial insurance for your vehicle, and liability insurance for your business.

So how does a mover get started? It's easy! People need help schlepping their belongings from one place to another; for a fee, you assist them with the task. Begin by letting your friends and family know that you are setting up shop as a mover. Monitor your social media networks to find out if someone you know is planning to relocate—people often announce a move months or weeks in advance on Facebook or Twitter.

Additionally, you can advertise your business on community websites such as Craigslist. Gradually, you will build a network that extends beyond your friends and loved ones.

As a mover, your primary expenses will be insurance and fuel. Before you reach out to potential customers, you will need to develop a pricing structure for your services—be sure to include the cost of gasoline and insurance, otherwise they can eat away at your bottom line.

Getting Into Second Gear

As you build your moving business, you are likely to encounter a few bumps in the road. Relying on your friends and family for business will quickly bring you to a dead end. To build buzz and grow your network, get a website up and running as soon as possible.

Be sure to include pictures of your equipment, as well as testimonials. Provide potential customers with a moving checklist—anything you can do to convince a would-be customer that you are knowledgeable and reliable is a plus.

Freelancers and solopreneurs need to focus on providing a quality experience for their customer. As a mover, this means being punctual, polite, and careful. The things you are being paid to move are precious (even if they look like junk to you), and you should strive to treat each object as if it were your own prized possession.

Is a moving business a practical, cost-effective option for earning money part-time or full-time? Absolutely. Build your business slowly, focus on quality, and the pieces will fall into place.


Why not tell us your solopreneur success story today on the Self-Employed blog? It's a great chance to showcase your freelance moving business!