At last week’s rotary meeting, we heard from Theodore Stewart, owner of Cheap Dallas Movers (www.cheapdallasmovers.net), on the importance of licensing, bonding, and insurance in the moving industry. While he spoke specifically to his experience, these terms have broader application across most industries. For instance, attorneys, CPAs, doctors, and more must have the proper licensing, and nearly all businesses should carry some type of insurance such as mal-practice insurance, professional insurance, product liability, etc.
Here is a recap of Theodore’s presentation. As you read this, keep in mind how his points may apply to your business:
There are a lot of factors that go into a customer’s decision to hire a moving company. First, customers want to make sure the company they hire is affordable. Next, they want to make sure the company has the experience to get the job done right. After that, customers need to make sure the moving company has the availability to complete their move in a specified timeframe. Finally, and most importantly, customers want to make sure that the moving company they choose is licensed, bonded and insured.
What It Means to Be Licensed
A person can’t necessarily just buy a van and then start marketing him or herself as a mover, though many choose to go this route by offering their amateur moving services on platforms like Craigslist. Legitimate moving companies must comply with state and federal regulations in order to qualify as licensed movers. Licensing qualifies a company to act as an agent for transporting goods for either intrastate or interstate moves. Maintaining a current license, in moving, or in any other field, tells customers that you are: 1) up to industry standards, 2) you care about your business, and 3) you care about your customers. No matter what industry you’re in, make sure you take the proper steps to get licensed and maintain your licensed.
What It Means to Be Bonded
Clients aren’t going to hire a moving company unless you can contractually guarantee delivery according to certain terms, including dates. But what happens when the unexpected interferes and causes you to breach an agreement? If you’re bonded, it means that a bonding company has ensured your payment of losses through collection of collateral. Though sometimes confused with insurance, bonding is different because of the collateral you are required to put up. Bonding is common not only in the moving industry, but with general contractors, janitorial services, and more. It can be a great way to reassure customers that you can be trusted to pay up if something with your agreement goes awry.
What It Means to Be Insured
While you might be able to pay for breach of contract violations, lost or stolen property claims, accidents and damages out of pocket, it’s much easier to do so when you have the right insurance. Customers prefer to work with insured movers because the likelihood of being made whole after a loss is higher when a company has an insurance policy that covers them. In many cases, moving companies are required by state and federal regulations to have certain types of insurance, but they can also secure even more coverage beyond that to help protect their company, their employees and their clients. Insurance is important across a wide spectrum of businesses, and can keep your business from going bottoms-up should something unforeseen happen.
You can’t force a client to choose your company over the competition, but you can definitely make it easier for them to do so by making your company the more attractive choice. In addition to having the right equipment, availability and training, consider the added benefits of being licensed, bonded and insured to attract customers.