How to Choose a Moving Company

A moving company, or removalist, helps people or businesses relocate. They can help with local moves within the same city, or long-distance relocations to another country. They may also provide storage services for customers. Choosing the right mover depends on several factors, including customer service, cost and reviews. The best moving companies are those with high ratings and many satisfied customers.

Creating a successful moving company requires planning, capital investment and marketing. The first step is researching the market size and demographics, examining local income statistics and employment data. A market analysis will also help you determine your competition and identify potential opportunities for growth. After researching your competition, write a business plan outlining the company’s mission and vision statement. Developing a strong brand identity is also important and can help you stand out from other moving companies.

To start a moving company, you need to acquire the appropriate licenses from your local government and secure an employer identification number (EIN). You should also check the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration database to make sure your mover is fully licensed.

The most common types of moving companies are residential, commercial and international. Each has its own challenges and requires different licensing and insurance requirements. Regardless of the type of moving company you choose, you should focus on building your reputation through quality service and competitive pricing.

When researching a moving company, check out online reviews. A few negative reviews shouldn’t sink a business, but an overwhelming amount of bad ones should be a red flag. Look for common themes such as overcharges, slow service or damaged items.

Before the day of your move, a moving company inspector will come to your home or office to inspect your belongings. They will then prepare a financial estimate based on the weight of your shipment and distance traveled. You can request a binding or nonbinding estimate; a binding estimate will prevent price increases at the last minute, while a nonbinding one allows for additional charges if your shipment is heavier than anticipated or you need additional services.

Most moving companies offer free estimates, but the final price will depend on your specific needs and circumstances. Some movers will quote you a flat rate for the entire move, while others will charge you by the hour. In either case, make sure you understand the company’s policies and fees before hiring them.

The best moving companies are those that can handle a wide range of situations, from standard household furniture to specialty items like antiques or family heirlooms. These companies often hire highly-trained crews who can take care of even the most delicate or expensive items. Some of the top moving companies include IVL, North American Van Lines and Mayzlin Relocation.

IVL, for example, offers a guaranteed price, one month of free storage and discounts for veterans and seniors. The company also has a reputation for outstanding customer service, earning an A rating from the Better Business Bureau and Newsweek and Statista’s Best Customer Service awards. However, some customer complaints revolve around the fact that the company outsources some of its work to third-party contractors. This makes it difficult for the company to vet contractors and hold them responsible for damage.