How Great Moving Companies Crush the Slow Season
The moving industry is a difficult one to thrive in. You’re probably in the industry yourself, so you already know this.
The margins are slim, the summers are chaotic, and the winters are always a struggle to keep the doors open, let alone to turn a profit.
According to Movers Development, 64% of all moves are made between May and October with the bulk – around 40% – falling in June, July, and August.
That leaves just 36% of all moves for the rest of the year.
Moving companies spend an enormous amount of time and resources trying to meet the demand in the summer months. But then the offseason months roll around and companies are left with a surplus of trucks and employees who are left with little to do.
So how can you crush the slow season if you’re a moving company? Here are 8 tips to make the winter months easier on your bottom line:
1. Avoid Buying Moving Leads
The customers aren’t coming to you en masse as they do in July and August, so you have to go elsewhere to get them. Buying moving leads might be a tempting way to get customers during the slower fall and winter seasons, but leads from third parties are low quality in the best case scenario, and terrible in the worst.
A great lead gen service may tout a 5% conversion rate for their “high quality leads”, but even those are few and far between. These leads are not only expensive to buy but are also expensive to follow up on. It takes time and resources for your sales team to contact each lead with the hopes that they will convert into a paying customer. After that, there is still a 95% chance these leads won’t convert.
There are, however, better ways to attract new customers. Let’s take a look at a few.
2. Sign up for HQ Engagement
Having been in the moving business for over 20 years, we understand the frustration of buying cold leads as well as anyone. That’s why we created HQ Engagement.
We believe customers are better than leads.
MoveHQ changed the game with HQ Engagement, and specifically, the MoveIQ platform which was built to deliver real, tangible customers to your company, quickly and for a fraction of the price. Think of it like Kayak or Expedia for moving companies.
If you want a full breakdown of HQ Engagement, you can check it out here.
HQ Engagement is the best way to acquire high-quality customers to grow your business without breaking the bank.
3. Cut Costs
Remember all of those resources your moving company needed to take on when you were in the heat of the summer, tackling moves left and right?
Well, maybe you can get rid of those.
Unfortunately, as it is with almost any business, the biggest expense against the bottom line is payroll. Moving is a seasonal business, so seasonal employees play a huge role in the success of the company. Knowing when to cut seasonal employees is a tough decision. Saving money is vital to making it through the slow season, but you don’t want to stretch your team too thin.
There is also the fact that these are hard-working men and women that could rely on their job. Cutting employees, even when they fully understood that it was a seasonal job they signed up for, is never easy. While it’s a hard decision to make, sometimes it’s the right one.
But before you deliver the bad news to anyone, there may be other options.
4. Increase Your Marketing Spend
In business, sometimes you need to spend money to make money. With fewer customers in the lead pool during the slow season, it gets harder and harder to earn their attention over your competition. With so many moving companies competing for less work, it might be a worthwhile investment to spend more money to reach these prospects.
Studies show that 78% of customers will go with the company that reaches out to them first.
You’ve probably seen ads for your competition scattered across social media – and so have potential customers. Paying for social media ads can be incredibly effective. The average CTR of a Facebook ad is somewhere in the ballpark of 1% – meaning one out of every hundred people that see an ad will click on it. That may seem low, but it can become a significant revenue driver if it’s coupled with a website that’s optimized for conversion.
The key concept to understand when it comes to any type of marketing spend is ROI – return on investment. Hootsuite built this awesome ROI calculator tool to determine if social media will produce a positive ROI for your company.
5. Increase Organic Marketing Efforts
So you don’t want to spend more money on marketing. That’s fair. The good news is there is a way to increase your marketing effectiveness for free! All it takes is a bit of time and effort.
If you want to generate some extra revenue through marketing with little to no cost, then improving your organic search results through proven SEO optimization methods is the way to go. In other words, getting your company to show up in Google’s search results page when people are trying to find a moving company in your area.
We could write an entire ebook about how to better market your moving company, and in fact, we did!
6. Tackle Other Projects (reflect on the year)
Employees at moving companies spend so much time rushing from move to move that there is almost no time left over to tackle other worthwhile projects that may be on your to-do list.
Do your trucks need to be repainted? Are you looking to retrain your sales team to ensure they are all delivering a consistent message? Maybe you want to improve your customer service process.
I’m sure you could name a million things that you want to tackle that would improve your moving company but might not directly be reflected in your bottom line. In the offseason, you’ll finally have some free time to sit back and consider what went well and where there was room for improvement over the last few months. Take advantage of it!
7. Gear Up for Next Year
Now that you have taken the time to reflect on what worked and what didn’t, plan ahead. Winter may feel like it lasts forever, but the busy season will be here before you know it.
This preparation process could involve ensuring you have the right amount of employees, ironing out any kinks in scheduling and other logistics, or even setting up a daily routine for yourself to stay on top of tasks.
If you really want to supercharge your moving company, you should consider making the move to the MoveHQ suite of products to power your move from start to finish.
I saved the best for last on this list and it is vitally important to not only the success of your moving company but also the personal health of you and your team. Relax!
Moving season is incredibly stressful, so you should definitely take some time during the slow season to kick back and unwind. Study after study will show you how important it is for your professional life to maintain some sort of balance. In fact, vacations have been shown to increase both productivity and creativity. Even with the science to back up the positive benefits of a vacation, 84% of executives cancel vacations to work instead. Don’t do that. Take some time for yourself and come back focused, creative, and ready to crush it.
The slow season doesn’t need to be as slow as it has been in the past. Attract some more customers with HQ Engagement, tackle those tasks that you’ve been putting off, or even do nothing at all on a nice beach somewhere. No matter what you decide to do, congrats on a great summer.
Now go forth and take on the fall with confidence!