Logistics is a very big business. On a daily basis, people move goods from one place to another. Daily economical activities rely heavily on logistics. It’s a lucrative business one can dip hands in. Every industry needs logistics services to run business smoothly.
The food items you eat everyday come from somewhere and it is the job of some people to make it available for trade in the marketplace.
As I said earlier, logistics has a very big market, and there are many segments of its service provision. Load moving service is the one I’m going to be talking about in this post.
Why do I think load-moving is a good business in Nigeria?
· It’s a daily need of people and businesses.
· Logistics is still a mess in Nigeria—people get disappointed in the services rendered by most players in the industry, so, being able to deliver beyond customers expectations will make a place for you in their hearts and they will always recommend your services.
· The demand is higher than the supply.
· The profit margin is high.
· Little to no innovation in the market—you can disrupt the market with good innovations and turn things around for your company.
· There are so many unsatisfied needs in the industry.
What services are you going to offer as a load-moving business man?
In business, mostly, you are selling goods or offering services or both. You have to consider the kind of services you’ll offer as a load-moving person. I will be listing the kinds of services that I think you can offer.
· Residential Moving: This is one of the services you can offer. You will be helping people who are relocating from one location to another to move their belongings. The demand for this service is high most especially in Lagos where people relocate every blessed day.
· Commercial Moving: Producers/manufacturers deliver goods to their customers. They need a reliable person/company that can be handling it for them because they are busy with other business activities. You will be helping them to satisfy this business need of theirs and get paid. Also, in markets, people come to buy goods and they need a bus to convey them to their destination—not every trader owns a vehicle—so this is a business opportunity for you.
· Equipment Moving: This is a load-moving service where you help individuals and businesses to move their business equipment from one place to the other. Business equipment can be of any weight—it depends, so it’s not necessary that you should be moving every business equipment. You can choose the kinds you will like to be moving for people. For instance: DJs need equipment moving service every weekend to the location of their show. Speakers, generators and other sound equipment must be brought to where the show is going to hold, else there won’t be anything.
· Interstate Moving: Interstate service can be any of the aforementioned services. People relocate from one state to another—interstate service will be needed. The farmers in a town need to make their farm produce available in the market. Interstate moving service is a goldmine if you have a good truck because a single trip can bring a whole lot of money.
How will your business help people?
People go through a lot of pains in the process of moving loads from one location to another. As said earlier, logistics is still a mess in Nigeria. Logistics companies don’t deliver on time. Some will spoil everything they move for you. Your equipment, food items, goods may be badly damaged. No apology from the company. A lot of them charge people and businesses crazily but deliver below the perceived value.
Best thing to do is to find out the kinds of problems people are having with their logistics companies and find means of tailoring lasting solutions to them.
Your business can help them by making delivery of goods to their customers a seamless experience. You pick the goods on time and deliver it on time.
You make your services reasonable enough to exchange money for.
You ensure that all goods are delivered undamaged.
Having good customers’ complaints channels are good for your business and customers. People like to be able to reach out to business if they experience any inconvenience—and you are able to bring a solution to their complaint—this reaffirms the trust they have in your business.
What are the things you need to start the business?
· Grit: You need grit to start and grow any business. Entrepreneurship is not any easy thing that’s why many people cannot do it. Launching your business will require you to take bold steps and if you don’t have the courage you won’t be able to do it. It takes sweats and proper planning to start any business—and not everybody likes to be worried. When everything turns topsy-turvy in business, grit keeps you going.
· Bus/Truck: You will definitely need a bus/truck to move the load from one place to the other. Your bus/truck must be in good working-condition to be able to satisfy customers’ demand. Don’t panic, as a beginner, it’s not required that you own the bus by yourself. You can seal a business deal with some good bus/truck drivers, so, when you have an order from a customer, you will employ his service to deliver the load for you. As the business is growing, you can consider getting your own bus to make more profit in the business.
· Niche: Choosing the kind of load you will be moving for customers is crucial to your business growth. Carrying all the movable loads may burn you out easily and you may not be able to deliver as expected. As a starter, you must not disappoint any customer so that efforts to grow your business will yield desired results on time.
· Target Market: It’s good to have your target market in mind. You need to ask yourself the kinds of customers you want to be serving. Most businesses that serve everybody satisfy no one in the end. So pick a market and customers you know that you can provide with satisfying value.
· Capital: This is another key resource to start your business. It depends on your budget. It’s not necessary to have a huge sum of money in the beginning. As you are gaining profit, you can be reinvesting it back to your business to grow it. One key factor: don’t spend on anything that is not essential to get the business idea off the ground. Don’t rent an office if you cannot afford it now. You can use your residential address instead.
· Customers: No business stays in business without having paying customers. Don’t think that you can start your business and be looking for customers later. It is advisable to start thinking about getting and gathering customers from the day one the business idea flashes into your mind.
· Company Name Registration: Having your business registered makes it easy for people to do business with you. Some customers perceive an unregistered business as an illegal and unethical one. People want a trusted company to handle their goods and deliver them safely. And if there is any mess, they can sue your company to court, meanwhile an unregistered business cannot be taken to court of law. You may be thinking what if the business doesn’t fly on time as expected and you have spent money on the registration. Don’t be worried. You can start without the registration and as the business is booming, you get your company registered.
How will customers learn about your business?
If people know nothing about your business, you are on your own—this is why you need to make your services known to people.
There are many working marketing techniques you can employ without spending much. You will need to try some of them out to discover which ones work for your business. No jokes.
Let’s talk about some marketing techniques you can try out for your load moving business:
Word-of-mouth: Word-of-mouth marketing is so powerful and effective. It’s when a customer talks about a company’s product or service to their friends and family. People tend to believe the recommendations of the people they trust more than other forms of advertising. You can start by telling your friends and family members about your business. You convince them about how you can deliver on time. If you have an existing good rapport with them, giving your service a trial will come so easy, and if you deliver, they will always recommend your service.
Network With Real Estate Agent for Gigs: Real estate agents are go-to persons when one needs to rent, buy, and lease apartments. They have contacts and addresses of people who want to sell, buy, rent, lease properties. They connect the landlord to the tenant. Having contacts or knowing some agents is a marketing advantage. You can tell them the kind of services you offer and how you do reward per referral they bring to your business. 90% of the tenants move their belongings—furniture, electronics, kitchen equipment, dresses—from their old apartment to the new one. Leveraging on the agents’ clients and contact will bring many paying customers for your services.
Go Digital: We are in the Information Age and everything has gone digital. There are many untapped opportunities to reach people on digital mediums. Utilizing the free tools available to promote your business in the digital space will deliver desired results and bring profit. There are more than 15 million active Facebook users in Nigeria, so create a Facebook page for your business to reach your prospective customers. Also, Google My Business is free. Sign up and create a free business profile and get listed on Google with no hassle. Don’t leave Twitter out of your equation too. Follow business, real estate, and business owners accounts. Slide into their DMs and introduce your business to them and make it known how you are different from other companies offering the same services.
Banners and Fliers Sharing: Design eye-catching banners and fliers for your business and distribute them effectively. The banner can be fixed at some specific locations like street junctions, bus stops, peoples’ meeting points, etc.
What are the challenges/obstacles you are likely going to face?
There is no single business idea on this planet with no perceived obstacles/challenges. Perceived obstacles can even be silly ones that you imagine—which may not exist in real life. Obstacles are not meant to deter you from starting what you want to launch.
In Nigeria, the number one perceived obstacle by people is capital—people believe it takes money to make money and without money, they cannot start their desired business—of which time has proven and presented to the many businesses they can start with no money in their pocket.
Even, you can use people’s money to start a business. I know people who stylishly collect advance payment from customers—they use it to produce or buy whatever they want to sell to the customer—they use the customer’s money to get what the customer wants.
Furthermore, if you maintain good relationship with people, as in people know you as an honest person, they can trust you with their hard-earned money to start a business and if you are able to convince them that you will return the money at a specified period of time—may be with returns—you will have enough to get your business off the ground.
Not getting the number of predicted customers on time can be an obstacle too and I think the solution to this is to market your service well to people who need it and the people who may know who need the service.