Two years after opening my first moving company, I decided that I was ready to open additional locations. I opened three additional locations in that first year of my expansion phase. One office was within driving distance from my existing location and the other two I had to get on a plane to visit.
Although I had a solid system for running my first location, I quickly realized that I would need to adjust my approach to run multiple locations. In less than a year, I went from having one moving company to four moving companies. The following year I continued to expand. It became challenging to run all of these locations with such rapid growth. That’s when I started to implement standard operating procedures for all locations. Reporting on the numbers also become a key to being able to manage all of my offices.
If I were to do it all over again, I would make sure that I had all of processes and procedures documented before I started the expansion.
Here are 5 questions to ask yourself before you expand your moving company:
- Can my current business run without me?
- Is there room for improvement in my current business?
- Are there areas I can increase profit in my current location?
- Am I doing this to impress other people?
- Am I willing to gamble my current business on the success of the new business?
After answering these questions it should become clear whether you are ready to open additional locations or not. If you have the ambition to grow but aren’t quite ready yet, that’s ok. Take a look at the areas that you need to work on and start tightening them up. Be patient. There is a lot at stake when you expand your moving company, it’s better to be prepared.
Once you know that you are ready to expand, make sure you are willing to put in the work. Remember what you did to build your first successful moving company. If you want your new office to be as successful, you’ll need to put in that same amount of work.
When you know you’re ready, hustle hard and make it happen!
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[The following is the full transcript of this episode.]
Hey, my friend. It’s Louis Massaro, CEO of Moving Mastery and founder of Moving Sales Academy. I begin to ask the same question a lot lately, so I wanna do a video on it ’cause I think a lot of people ask themselves the same question which is, when do I expand? Should I open an additional location? How do I grow my business? I talked to a lot of moving company owners that really have an interest in opening additional locations and sometimes it’s a little premature. I see companies that wanna grow and they want to expand, and I love that idea. I think it’s amazing! But you need to make sure you’re ready for it because it’s a big commitment. Running one location is totally different than running two locations. I know it might seem like common sense but until you’re in it, until you have that second location, third, fourth, fifth, 30th, 40th, whatever it may be, wherever you’re gonna go to, you don’t really know what’s involved in that.
So if you’re questioning whether you should open up additional locations for your moving company, there’s five questions that you should ask yourself to really see if you’re ready to do it, because listen, I’m all for growth, I’m all for expansion. When the time is right and you’re ready and things are lined up, go for it, for sure. Before you do, ask yourself these five questions: Can my business run without me? This is important. If your business now can’t run without you being there, it’s gonna be a problem because your new location, even if you have a partner that’s going to run it, even if you have a great manager that’s going to run it, even if you have a licensee, or franchisee, or whatever it is that’s gonna go run that office, it’s still gonna require your attention.
Everything you do now is basically gonna double. It’s gonna take a little time for that office to get moving, but it’s gonna double. So you need to be able to spend the time to go to that additional location and nurture that office and get it up and running the same way that you got your current business to the successful level that it’s at, you’re gonna need to do that at that location. A lot of times we think that because we did it once, it’d be easy to do it again but we need to remember that when you built your first successful company, it was because you were there and you put in the work. So you need to make sure that you have the time to be at that additional location to get that going, so your business needs to be able to run without you.
Second question, is there room for improvement currently in your business now? Look at what you have going on now. Look at your current processes. Is there room for improvement because if there is, make those adjustments first. Make those improvements first. Get all your processes and procedures documented. Have a system, a standard operating procedure for how you do everything because then when you go and open up that additional location, they know what to do there exactly, step by step. Because if there’s room for improvement in your current location, when you open up a second one, all that’s gonna happen is those areas that aren’t solid where you are now, are gonna now not be solid there, too. So if you’re having any type of issues now, you’re gonna have more issues from that, so just look and ask yourself is there any areas that can be improved?
Third question, are there areas that I could increase profit now in my current location without opening another location? A lot of times we’re quick to wanna open up another location ’cause it seems like, “Hey, I’m doing well here, I’m making X amount here in this office, well if I open up another one I could make double that, or if I open up five offices, I can make five times that.” It doesn’t always work that way. A lot of times I’ve worked with moving companies that want to expand and want to grow but there’s so much room for additional profit in their current business. There’s almost like dollar bills laying all over the floor that I see them because there’s room for additional profit there, why spread yourself thin? Why take on another location and have to drive there or fly there? When I opened my additional locations, except for one office, they were all… I had to get on a plane. That’s a lot of work and if you could increase profit where you’re at, do that first. So ask yourself, is there areas now in my business where I can increase profit without having to spread myself too thin? Start there.
Fourth question, am I doing this to impress other people? Or for my ego? We live in a world where social media world. People are online bragging about what they have, showing pictures of their cars, showing pictures of their businesses and it can be tempting for someone to say, “You know what, I want more, I wanna have multiple locations. When I meet somebody I wanna be able to say I own multiple moving companies, I don’t wanna just say I own one moving company.” So, take a step back because a lot of times, our desire to impress other people or our ego might lead us in a direction that we’re not really ready to go in. You gotta honor the small stuff. When you honor what you have in front of you and when you cultivate what you have in front you, that’s what grows. Would you rather be able to say to somebody, “Hey, I own five moving companies,” or “I own one moving company,” but you’re one moving company is more profitable than your five? Do you really wanna take on the additional liability and everything of additional companies when you can increase profit where you’re at?
Again, I’m all for expansion when the time is right, you just gotta make sure your own motives are correct. That you’re doing it because you’re ready to do it, because it’s the next logical step, because you’ve maxed out your current business and you’re ready to expand not because you just liked the idea of how it sounds, of opening up multiple locations.
Fifth and final question, am I willing to gamble my current business on the success of the new business? When you open up another office, you’re gonna need trucks, you’re gonna need warehouse, you’re gonna need… There’s a lot you’re gonna need that you’re gonna need to probably use your current business to sign for some of that stuff. So, listen, you’re at your business. This other one that you wanna open up, I’m not trying to talk you out of it, don’t misunderstand what I’m saying, I just want you to be able to ask yourself these questions, but just know if that company doesn’t make it, if you try to open up another office and it doesn’t make it and you’ve signed for warehouses and trucks and whatever from your current business or you’re helping to float some of the bills for that new office, while it’s getting going, it’s not producing enough money to handle all of its own expenses and your current business is basically taking profits to compensate with the new business, you’re gambling your current company.
So these are just five questions you need to think about. Someone wants to say, “Hey, Louis, should I open up an additional company?” Ask yourself these questions. That will give you the answers that you need. And you know what? If you answer them all and it’s all like, “Yup, I’m maxed out here, I’m ready to go. No, I’m not doing this to impress anybody. I’m willing to gamble my location because I feel confident that I have the time for my business currently to run without me, to step away, to make sure this new business runs and is set up for success,” go for it. Just know that when you do, be ready to work hard, be ready to hustle hard, the same way that you did when you started your business. If you want the new business to be as successful as your current business, you’ve gotta be willing to put in that time.
So, until next week, if you open a new location, I wanna hear about it. If you’re ready to go, I wanna hear about it. If you know that you have everything in order, message me, tell me. Listen, I love to see people grow, I love to see people expand. Until I hear from you, go out there, profit everyday in your business, thrive in your life. I’ll see you next week.