May 12, 2022
There are a few business ideas I’ve found really interesting:
- Moving service
- Junk removal
- Courier service
Because the margins are typically great (maybe not for the courier service), they are super simple, and they’re always in demand.
Additionally, these are service-based businesses, which I have experience with (I used to help launch businesses right after natural disasters, overnight).
The 90 Day Launch Process:
1. Identify The Offering 🎯
I got clear on the offering — A moving service.
If you need help getting business ideas, read this post.
2. Learn From Competitors 🌐
The next step was to learn from local moving companies.
This step is crucial but often skipped — It’s what allows you to test your assumptions, learn what competitors are charging, and how they’re operating.
If you’d like to learn more about this process, here’s a video where I actually show you how I contacted local moving companies and organized the data:
During this step, I discovered that there was an opportunity to significantly improve the customer experience, and that the moving industry was VERY behind. Dealing with moving companies is anything BUT simple... Just getting a quote requires back-and-forth, photos, and sometimes even site visits.
I knew I needed to radically simplify the experience of acquiring a moving quote, so I decided to do something bold — I decided that my quoting process would be solely based off of square footage, nothing else.
Once I knew what other moving companies were charging for their services, I built a basic financial model of what I anticipated my costs would be, and what I predicted that I’d be able to charge.
Creating a financial model should be prioritized prior to creating a brand because it can save you a lot of money and time, allowing you to either cancel the project or pivot early on. Here’s a video where I actually walk through the financial model I had built for my moving company:
3. Create The Brand 💫
Now that I was confident that my business idea would be profitable, I was ready to work on creating the brand.
I had been brainstorming, searching, and making notes of available domains via GoDaddy, and I became obsessed with the domain MoveSimply .com. Particularly because the name would lend itself to offer the three services listed at the top of this post, should I choose to in the future.
Unfortunately the domain was taken, but still for sale. This resulted in paying more than I originally wanted for a domain. But... The vision for the brand was great enough that I didn’t care. I then went on to acquire the handle @MoveSimplycom on all of the platforms, not yet knowing which I would leverage.
I began to list out all the pages that I would need for the website, taking inspiration from competitors which I gathered during the competitor research phase. Whimsical was a great place to create a mind map of the web pages I would need:
Once the web pages and customer journey were clarified, I hired someone to create the copy for each page.
While I started to work on a logo concept (I did this myself with the help of a friend), I created an Upwork post to find a Squarespace web designer and developer. I was looking to execute quickly and keep things simple, so I decided to proceed with Squarespace for the website.
My name is Thomas Morales. I've started many different businesses in the past, and I'm now taking on the challenge of launching a new business idea every 90 days, while documenting the entire process along the way and sharing it online via my personal brand (more about this here).
Currently, I'm working on launching a local moving company to target homeowners, called MoveSimply.com, and I am looking for a designer and squarespace website developer to bring this brand to life.
What Do I Already Have:
- List of pages I will need
- Ideal customer journey
- Brand name/domain - MoveSimply.com
- Website copy is currently being worked on
- Competitor websites for inspiration
I am looking to create a brand that resembles simple and modern brands such as stripe.com. I am leaning towards light blue or purple colors for the brand.
MoveSimply.com's focus will be on making moving as easy and simple as possible with online pricing and an interactive pricing calculator, along with online booking and payment.
The brand will initially focus on offering local moving services for homeowners in Toronto, Canada, but with the potential to expand into other moving services such as junk removal, and freight/courier services.
I am looking to have this complete within 2-3 weeks, and I am prepared to facilitate and dedicate the necessary amount of time on this project to make it happen.
Working with me opens the opportunity for more work as I am continually launching new brands.
If you'd like to learn even more about me, or my business history, check out: thomasmorales.com
4. Establish Operations ⚙️
My plan for fulfilling the service was to leverage local companies for the actual work. I knew that, although my margins would be lower per job, my upfront cost to launch the business would be much lower as I wouldn’t require my own trucks or employees.
I sent an email to ~18 competitors letting them know who we were, that we had more jobs than we could handle, and that we could use their help... But I only got a single reply...
At first I was frustrated. But then I realized... This is probably a great sign! This likely means everyone is too busy to help. So, I decided to look for local contractors on classified websites. This worked much better.
The second thing I needed to do was to finalize and automate the back-end operations of the business:
- Connect my website forms to a Client Relationship Management (CRM) tool
- Automated email follow ups for new leads
- Automate online booking
- Add leads to my newsletter
- Create a company phone number for text support only
Text support only — That’s right. I’m going to try to only communicate via email and text with prospects and clients.
Insurance? Definitely needed in my particular case. I spoke to an insurance broker who advised me on the type of plan I would need for a moving service.
An entity/corporation? I already owned an operating company which I use to hold my shares in other companies and operate other businesses out of.
5. Launch Time 🚀
What’s left? Launch some ads! Google Ads was the obvious choice given that people search on Google for moving services, every day.
The Good News: I started to get leads right away via my online pricing calculator —> MoveSimply.com/pricing.
The Bad News: I didn’t actually sell any jobs... Until 1 week later, when I acquired my first job valued at $3.8k.
Nothing like the first sale or deposit for a fresh business 😌:
Turns out most people inquire about moving services at least one month in advance (the average may actually be greater than this)... Makes sense!
I managed to get 30 leads in 1 week, at $11.69/lead. I’m budgeting for up to $100 per job.
Assuming these numbers are consistent... This means I only have to close ~12% of leads to meet my budget. I think doable!
See you all next Thursday 👋
PS. Whenever you're ready... Here are three more ways I can help you become your most productive self:
- Access my Free Notion Task Manager → Get Access
- Get my Notion Personal OS to manage your business & personal life → Learn More
- If you need help mapping, creating & optimizing your systems → Work With Me
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