Moving prices – What it all means PT1
Written and curated by Monaco
Moving is a lot like any other industry. We like to say it’s different and in a category all of its own, but that really isn’t the case. Especially when it comes to Pricing. You may have wondered why some companies charge 60/hr while others charge 140/hr in Clearwater, Pinellas county, Florida.
Here’s the real answer. There are several different ways to run a healthy profitable business. When you charge the right amount of money, you can have a profitable business without cutting corners. If you don’t charge the right amount, however, something’s got to give. Let’s look at the different elements that take up a lot of the company’s money.
If a St Petersburg moving company decides to be profitable by reducing the amount of money they spend on labour, you get a cheaper price on your move and the company can potentially remain profitable. The reason I say potentially is this. If you’ve hired employees at a low rate of pay, they won’t be as engaged as an employee that is making a good living wage for his/her family. That employee may or may not care about your furniture. They may or may not care about keeping their job and they may or may not be ethical in what they decide do to in your home. Not to mention, if someone isn’t worried about losing their job, they certainly aren’t going to be as diligent with your furniture as they might otherwise be if they were. This leads to damages to your home and furniture.
Damages to your home and furniture must be addressed by the mover. If the mover is reputable, he will have insurance. This is where the “potentially profitable” comes back in. If a mover is constantly repairing homes and furniture damaged by underpaid movers. The company isn’t profitable. So what you end up with is an unhappy client, an unhealthy / not profitable Business and underpaid employees. It really is a lose–lose-lose situation.
If a Clearwater mover decided to be profitable by reducing the amount of money spent on equipment, be it physical or software, you have a different set of problems. Let us first address the physical equipment. Without the right amount of pads or moving blankets, if you will, they cannot protect everything in your home adequately, which will result in damages. If they do not have the right amount of straps in the truck, damages, again. If they don’t have the necessary tools for disassembly, the furniture will be left behind unless the client is able to lend the company some tools for the day, which is simply embarrassing, unless the tool was recently lost, which can happen. Of course, if one or multiple pieces of furniture are left behind, the company should not expect any referrals from that client, that’s for sure. But this is still a minor equipment problem. What about the biggest pieces of equipment moving companies have? What about the trucks? If a truck breaks down in the middle of the move, who is responsible for paying the time to reload all your things into a new truck? The ethical answer would be “the moving company is” of course. But we’ve seen movers charge the client for this mishap, claiming that this is “part of the risk of hiring a moving company”. This is neither ethical nor a good strategy to get referrals from this client in the future. Nevertheless, it happens all the time. This is another thing you might encounter with that more “affordable mover”
Roadside assistance, if they have a flat tire because they don’t replace their tires when needed, will they bill you for that or not? If a moving company is undercharging, then they don’t make enough money to be able to “eat the cost” in this type of scenario. The employees are still on the clock and they have to be paid, so the mover will bill the client. Even if they don’t want to, they have to get the money from somewhere. It’s simple mathematics.
Let’s look into software a little. As in any company, software has become an essential part of managing a company’s operations and staff. It allows the company to reduce the amount of staff needed by automating processes and digitizing files, making them available anywhere in the cloud.
Let’s say a Tampa bay mover grows quickly to a respectable size but decides to cheap out and continue to coordinate its 5 crews manually every night, before each job. Eventually mistakes will be made. Not only will mistakes be made, but this takes so much time that it does not allow for contingency plans to be made as the office staff is operating late into the night to build tomorrow’s schedule. It ends up costing the company a lot more money in office staffing hours. Not only that, but this is where it gets really bad. In letting employees know if they work the next day or not, an employee can claim their phone died and not come into work the next day. Then you can have multiple cases of short-staffed crews. Imagine the client were expecting a 2 man crew for its move from st Petersburg to palm harbour and instead gets 1 man and a truck. The client is going to pay a lot of money and be very sore the next day. Hopefully the client can keep up with the mover, because there’s no time to waste. We know this sounds extreme and one might think that this doesn’t happen. We’re here to tell you, it happens ALL THE TIME.
This results in a sub-par move for the client, zero referrals for the moving company, and an employee who had a decent excuse for not coming into work. Again, this all comes back to charging the right amount of money for a move in order to have a healthy company that can cover its costs and provide an excellent service.
See part 2 for the insurance and profit.