In this episode of The Moving Mastery Podcast, Louis Massaro shares how to know if your moving company is scalable.
- “There’s definitely a very close line between scaling and suffering. And if we don’t get some of this other stuff in place first, it’s going to feel like suffering for sure.”
- “We want to kind of break down and look at the different parts of the business, because you might have local moves and long distance moves and packing and storage and commercial moves, warehousing, cleaning, junk removal. Like, whatever aspects of moving you do, we’ve got to break down each and every one of those because it’s not always wise to scale everything that you currently do.”
- “Just because you want to open more locations, just because you want to franchise doesn’t mean that you have to take this entire model that you’ve created and duplicate it all. We want to actually look at which pieces of that model are really scalable.”
- “Start looking at it as individual segments of your business that can be grown, as opposed to, do I have to take this entire thing and do more it? And even if you don’t want to open more locations, well, there’s certain areas of your business that you’ll find out are more beneficial for you, and where you want to go and the person you are, that are worth growing, and other areas of the business that could be left alone or even killed off.”
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All right. What’s up, guys. Welcome back to the Moving CEO Scaling Series. We are on day 10 of this 14-day journey together. We’ve been talking about what you need to do to scale your moving company. Take what’s working, bring it to that next level, take what’s working, grow it, take what’s working and expand it. And in order to do that, we’ve started off this series talking about stabilizing.
We got to first stabilize the areas of the business where it might feel like there’s a few loose screws, or the wheels are falling off the bus, or things just every day feel a little chaotic. And that’s what we spent the first few days of this series doing. Then we went into systematizing, because before you can start to scale, you’ve really got to systematize your processes and make everything just streamline and simple in order to make the scaling process much, much easier and enjoyable.
There’s definitely a very close line between scaling and suffering. And if we don’t get some of this other stuff in place first, it’s going to feel like suffering for sure. I’m excited today, because today we’re getting into scaling. Finally, we’re getting into scaling. I haven’t been holding out on the scaling aspect of this series, I’ve just laid the foundation for what it really takes to scale a business. Because I’ve watched so many people make that attempt and make that leap and fail, or struggle, or just be totally miserable and stressed out and that was me.
I was scaled before I was really truly ready. Like I was young, I was 22, 23 when I started opening additional locations, and I didn’t really have all this stuff that I’m talking to you about in place with those first few locations. And it was just hard and stressful and unnecessary suffering. Unnecessary stress, unnecessary problems, and that’s why we’ve been really laying this out step by step. it’s,
When I was younger, it was like, you’d hear people say like, slow and steady. Anybody, yeah, yeah, no, no. That guy’s got no ambition, he’s got no hustle. I’m going after it. Let me go. Just let me just let me out of the cage, I’m ready to go get it. All right. I know a lot of you can relate to that. I’m all for growth. I’m all for expansion. I’m all for whatever it is you want to do with your business to get your life to that next level. Let’s do it. But let’s just lay the groundwork first. So that’s what we’ve done.
And now today, we start talking about scaling. So if you are somewhere that you can get a pen and paper, make sure you do that, because today we’re talking about your moving company’s scalability. And what that means is we need to take a look at each aspect of your moving business and break it down, And not just look at the whole thing and say, is this whole thing scalable?
We want to kind of break down and look at the different parts of the business, because you might have local moves and long distance moves and packing and storage and commercial moves, warehousing, cleaning, junk removal. Like, whatever aspects of moving you do, we’ve got to break down each and every one of those because it’s not always wise to scale everything that you currently do. Right?
You might have your business the way it is now, the way you’ve structured it, maybe you’ve got local, long distance, maybe you’re an agent for a van line, maybe you’ve got some commercial jobs that you do as well, you’ve got a lot of stuff that you have going on. Well, just because you want to open more locations, just because you want to franchise doesn’t mean that you have to take this entire model that you’ve created and duplicate it all. We want to actually look at which pieces of that model are really scalable, really scalable. And so we’re going to assess that today. I take all my private clients through a process, it’s called the scalability assessment, where we look at every aspect of their business to determine what’s really scalable and what’s not.
And so today, I want to take you through a light version of that process so you can start thinking about this in a different way. Start looking at it as individual segments of your business that can be grown, as opposed to, do I have to take this entire thing and do more it? And even if you don’t want to open more locations, well, there’s certain areas of your business that you’ll find out are more beneficial for you, and where you want to go and the person you are, that are worth growing, and other areas of the business that could be left alone or even killed off.
There might be areas of your business, you’re like, no, let’s just not do that anymore. It just creates too much complexity. It’s not making any money. And it’s just a drag. That’s an important, important distinction in business and a great sign of business maturity to be able to look at something and say, you know what, it’s not worth the time, money, energy and effort to do it. So I want to take you through that process today. Because there’s one thing that I’ve learned when it comes to scaling is that complexity usually kills profits, especially in this business. This business does not have to be so complex. But oftentimes, we’ll make it complex, because we think that it’s going to bring in all this additional revenue. When in reality, if we could simplify what we do, there’s more money there.
Meaning, if we’re looking for gold, or we’re looking for oil, and we found a spot where we know there’s gold, and we know there’s oil, there’s both there. And we start digging in that spot, and we did like a little two-foot hole. And then we’re like, wait, somebody told me there’s also gold and oil over there and over there, and we run off, and we dig another little two-foot hole over there, and we run off and we dig another. The commercial moves, let’s dig another little two-foot hole over there. Where if we just stay focused on where we know there’s money, and we dig a deep hole, and we plant our roots there, that’s where the money is. And it’s simple, it’s straight. It’s not all this stuff all over the place, all these different areas of the business that we’ve got a tie together.
Now, I’m not saying that it’s not good to do more than one … If you do local moves, that it’s not good to do long distance, or it’s not good to do commercial, but we’ve got to master each one. And this series, we’re talking about scaling. So we want to determine what’s really worth scaling and what’s not worth scaling. Okay. So remember that, complexity kills profits. Let’s keep things simple, let’s keep things manageable, and let’s make them profitable. So there are six areas that I want you to think about. And when you’re thinking about these, I want you to, if you do have a pen, start writing down all the different areas of business that you’re in, or thinking about getting in.
So for example, local moving, long distance moving, commercial, storage, packing. Packing is part of moving, but we need to break all this out, we need to break it all out, maybe cleaning, junk removal, international moves. Whatever you do, or thinking about doing, that’s the list that I want you to have in mind right now. Okay? I want you have the list of all these different areas. And again, the reason that we’re doing this is we’re doing this to make sure that before you start scaling, you don’t bring unnecessary luggage with you on the journey.
You’re about to go on a trip, you’re about to go on a journey, why not keep it light, keep it simple and take the stuff that’s going to make the big impact? Like if we could establish, hey, you’re making all your money in local moves, and you’re not making any money in commercial, and it’s causing all kinds of complexity. Do you really want to scale all of the business? We want to start breaking it down and look at different areas. Let’s talk about these six areas that I want you to start rating yourself on. Okay?
We’re going to do a little mini assessment here today, if that’s cool with you guys. We’re going to do a little mini assessment to determine what aspect of your business is scalable. So if you do have a pen and you do have paper, all right, at the end of this, we’re going to kind of take all this and put it together. So I’m going to give you the six areas that we want to look at. And we’re looking at each of these six areas. So like, let’s say you’re doing this on a sheet or in a spreadsheet, on a whiteboard, maybe you list all the areas down the side, like in rows. You’ve got local moving, long distance moving, storage, packing, commercial, whatever lines of business you do. And then across the top, you’re going to want to put these six areas so that we could do this little mini assessment here. All right?
The first area that we’re going to want to put is net profit. Net profit. So when you’re looking at your local moves, I’m just going to use the same ones. Remember, you want to use whatever lines of business either you’re in currently or you’re thinking about getting in. And I want you to put net profit at the top, and then you’re going to rate all of them from a one to five. Okay. You’re going to give them a score one to five. Just based on, right now, like I said, we’ll do a simple mini assessment. One to five, where do you rate that line of business in net profit? Okay.
And maybe you’re like, Louis, I don’t really know the packing. I don’t really know specifically the long distance broken out versus the local. Well, then for this purpose of today, just to get it going, take your best guess. But take what we’re talking about today, go get the numbers, and then come back and do this assessment. This is really, really important. I don’t want to see you guys scale something that’s not worth scaling. Okay. So net profit.
The next column, essentially, an area that we’re going to assess for each line of business that you’re in, is the ease of service. Ease of service. So let’s look at local moves versus long distance moves. Which one would you say is easier to service? Maybe for you long distances easier. But typically, it would be local would be easier. Is packing easy to service? Easy to perform? How about commercial moves, are those easy? Is storage easy? So you basically want to rate this, give it a one to five, on the ease of service of each one of these areas of the business. Okay.
For those of you just joining us, it is areas of the business that you currently do like local, long distance, interstate, maybe military, commercial. Maybe do cleaning, junk removal, whatever it is you do or that you’re thinking about doing. Okay. What’s the easiest service? Give it a score of one to five. Then let’s look at the ease of sale, the ease of sale, how easy is it to sell. If you’re booking local moves, and you’re doing them over the phone, maybe you’re given an hourly rate, versus contract moves that you’ve got to go give a bid on.
You’ve got maybe military moves that you’ve got to get certain ratings done. Even long distance, you’re going out, you’re doing your on site estimates, what’s the ease of sale? Packing, storage, they’re already in on the move, now they want additional services. How easy is each one of those lines of business to actually sell? We’re assessing each area of the business right now. Give it a score of one to five.
Now, let’s talk about next column is energizing. For you personally, on a scale of one to five, how energizing is each one of those areas of business? When you think about long distance moves, maybe you get really excited and you get energized and it kind of like lights you up, you get excited. But when you think of the idea of handling storage and bringing stuff in the warehouse, it kind of drains your energy. We need to take this into consideration. Because let me explain something, when you start scaling, you are building a giant creature and you want that to be a giant, kind, nice creature. You don’t want it to be King Kong stomping on your head. You want it to be like the Big Friendly Giant.
And so, if there’s areas of your business that you just can’t stand, for some reason, they don’t energize you, they drain you. Like think about it, are they like the battery charger that help charge me up? Or are they draining me of energy? Think about that. Give it a score of one to five. Okay. Now again, you might have a one in one of these areas doesn’t mean that it’s not going to be scalable. We’re going to tie all this together. How energizing is it?
Then we look at scalability. How much can you really scale this area of the business? And if you’re looking at doing … If you’re doing local moves, and you don’t want to open up additional locations, you’re limited to the area that you’re in. If you’re doing local moves and you are willing and want to open up additional locations, then it becomes very scalable. There’s a lot of markets wherever you are that you can open up and scale it. Long distance, you could handle long distance for the entire country. So you got to look at How scalable is it? Because we don’t want to have visions and dreams of scaling this huge, huge business, and then scale parts that can only get so far and then we’re maxed out. So give it a score, one to five on scalability.
Then we’ve got to look at sustainability. Sustainability. Like when I first started, I was working out of the truck rental yard. After a few months, I was able to get an office. And the thought process was like, never turn down business. Like, we booked everything, and we’ll figure out how to service it later. I learned that that wasn’t the best way to do it. But what we did was we booked a ton of jobs and had late start times. We would start jobs 5:00, 7:00 at night at the end of the month in the summer because the jobs were going on all day. Like, I would sleep at the office three to five nights in a row because there was so much business and we weren’t turning down anything, and we were taking it all on and our sales process was strong. But it wasn’t sustainable.
Like, I couldn’t do that for a long, long period of time. So we’ve got to look at how sustainable is the business. Like maybe you have an area of the business that requires a lot of your personal time, energy, like what I was just explaining, you can’t sustain that for a long time. You can’t sustain that for a long time. So these are the six areas that we’ve got to look at. So let’s talk about how to tie all this together now. Okay. And let me just kind of give you an idea of how this works.
So what we’re talking about is we’re talking about taking different areas of your business and assessing them to decide what is scalable and what’s not. I’ve got a client, started working with him, he’s like, “Look, I want to scale I want to grow.” At the time he had, still has, but had a really good size local and long distance company storage, he was a van line agent for a major van line, and he wanted to scale, he wanted to grow and open more locations. So we had to kind of take a look at each area of the business because he was firmly rooted in what he was doing.
He was in, those of you that are van line agents you know like, you’d be a van line agent, and then you’re like on the inner circle in the van line, and you’re deep rooted, and you’re getting a lot of priority treatment. And he was one of those guys. So like, he was deep-rooted in the van line culture. But he wanted to scale, he wanted to grow. And so as we started to look at it, as we went through this process, and we looked at each line, we’re like, okay, you’re local, you’re long distance, you’re a storage, you’re a commercial. They were doing warehousing and receiving for some delivery places and some designers. What else was he doing? Packing, of course. We really drilled it down to load onlys and unload onlys.
And we took all those areas, and then we went through, we went through these six categories. We’re like, okay, let’s … Basically, I’m giving you guys a simple version of this assessment. But let’s look at the net profit for each one of those. Okay. Let’s give it a score. Let’s give it a score of one to five. This is what I want you guys do too. So give each line of work that you have a score of one to five. Then, let’s look at how easy it is to service. This is a big deal.
As we’re making a decision to grow something, we’re going to decide what’s the ease of service? And then what’s the ease of sale? How easy is it to sell this thing, this line of business? Because if something’s really hard to sell, and it takes a long time to sell, and the profitability is not there, and it’s also hard to service, this all seems simple, but it’s amazing how we don’t see something that we do every day. We’re doing it every day. And we just think that we have to keep doing it because maybe it’s bringing in a few $100,000 a year, this line of business. And we’re like, no, no, we got to keep that going. But when we really break it down, and we really look at it, we’re like, man, do I even need to keep doing that? Especially do I need to scale it? So how easy is it to scale?
Then energizing. And this is something that when I was younger, you’d hear the phrase, you got to love what you do. You go to love what you do. I’m just like, whatever. Like, I just want to make some money. And it’s so true that you might not be completely in love to where you’re living that, I don’t work a day in my life thing, right? I mean, work is work. I mean, the reality of its work is work. But you could make sure that certain aspects of what you do that you can pick and choose what areas of the business energize you, what don’t. Maybe you do long distance moves and requires you to be available all hours of the night for drivers making deliveries, doing stuff all over the country, they need fuel, they need guys.
I’m not knocking any line of business. And the reason that you’re doing this is because it is totally different for everybody. What energizes you might totally drain somebody else and they might hate it. What you like hate and don’t enjoy doing, somebody else might wake up excited to do in the morning. So we’ve got to look at this. So I had them go through this and take a look at what areas energize them. And then the scalability, how much can we actually scale this particular line? Like, where’s the cap? How duplicatable is it? How much of that piece of the model can we take and start duplicating?
And then sustainability. Can you do this for the long term. We need to start thinking about the long term. No matter what you do in your business, you want to create a model business no matter what. So whether you want to scale or not, you still have to build your business as if you were going to skip. And what that means is, you’re building a model. When you have a model, something that works really good, like a prototype, then it runs good, it’s profitable, you don’t have to be there all the time, it’s predictable, it’s sellable. So when you create a model business, you create options for yourself. You create the ability to say like … Maybe you don’t know what you want to do. And that’s totally okay.
Like, the old you’ve got to have a plan and a business plan and it’s got to all be in writing. That’s all bullshit. Like that might work … I don’t know who it works for. But the reality is, you’ve got to get to one mountaintop so that you could get to that mountaintop, and then see, okay, what’s next? Where do I want to go now. Because when you’re at that place, you’re going to feel and see completely different than when you’re at this place. And so, when you create a model, that’s what we’re doing here. That’s why we talked about stabilizing, that’s why we talked about systematizing. That’s part of creating a model.
When you do that, you get it on point, you can make the decision. You know what, this is great. I’m making the money I want to make every year, I don’t have to work that much, it runs smooth. I could go pursue other things or enjoy my life. Or you can say, what, great. Now I’ve got a business it’s worth something. Because it’s a model, right? People want to buy a model. People want to buy processes, they want to buy a turnkey business. They don’t want to buy a business that requires you to run it. They want to buy a business that they can see clearly that as the owner, they’re not going to have to buy themselves a job.
You’ll get somebody to take a business off your hands for a low dollar amount. But if you want top dollar, you want someone that has the money and understands investment and their return on their investment. And they look at, if I’m going to take this money and put it into this business, how does that weigh out to taking that money and putting it in the stock market or taking that money and putting it into real estate? They’re not saying, let me buy your business like to come run a moving company. There are those people, but that’s not where you get top dollar. But the people that have top dollar, they want to see it’s turnkey, they want to see that runs without you. Model business.
So you want to pass it down to your kids, or somebody, or maybe you’ve got a really awesome right-hand person that you want to, pass it down to, pass them down something that’s functional, something that works, something that’s sustainable over the long term. You want a franchise. You want a franchise, you need a model. If you want a franchise, you are basically saying to people, hey, don’t worry about trying to figure out how to run a moving company, I have the model. You pay me, I’ll show you the model, I’ll give you everything you need. You go run it and you continue to pay me.
So all of this stuff requires you to build a model and a sustainable model. Not something that’s going to make you money in this moving season, although, getting money quick is important. You need to build something that’s sustainable. So after I did this with this client and we went through this assessment, remember, he’s got a kind of a really good size, moving company, in a good city, van line agent, local moves, long distance moves, commercial moves, warehouse and delivery, storage, packing. I don’t know if I said commercial, commercial.
After all of that, the decision was for him, remember, this is different for everybody, the decision was, let’s keep this as is because it works as is. But moving forward, let’s just open local moving and storage companies. Streamline, no long distance, no van line affiliation, no commercial, no warehouse and delivery. Let’s keep it simple. Because as he went through the assessment, it was clear for him to see what was going to make sense moving forward. There was nothing that he wanted to … I’ve done this with other people too, and they look at it and like, man, I just need to stop doing that thing right now.
Actually, I’ll give you a perfect example. Somebody was doing military moves. And after doing this assessment with them … Again, I’m not saying military is good, I’m not saying military’s bad. It’s all about the person. It’s all about how synergistically all this stuff works with you and what you enjoy. Again, what he enjoyed and dislike is different than what other people enjoy and dislike. But he decided right away, just drop militaries. Like, it’s not giving me the net profit. It’s not easy to service. The ease of sale, it doesn’t energize me. Scalability is not there. And the sustainability wasn’t there. It was like super clear to him. Okay.
This is important. Spend a little time this weekend, work on this. The thing that separates the people that really excel in this business and in life is the difference between someone that’s committed to mastery, typically people like you that are here watching this stuff, sticking with me till the end of the video, and the people that are dabblers. The people that will go online and look for the quick hacks, the quick little fix. What’s the one little marketing source that’s going to give me the leads? I’m going to give you all the marketing sources that you need at the event, but I’m also going to teach you how to handle and manage and strategize and plan and execute real marketing strategies.
Louis, what do I say to book a job? I’m going to teach you that. I’m going to teach you the scripts. But I’m also going to teach you how to set up the systems and the processes to where jobs are being booked consistently, profitably, all year. So you’re doing it based on job costings, so every job you book is profitable. That you’re not booking a bunch of jobs, and at the end of the day, the money’s not there. My mission is to serve. My mission is to help you get what you want out of this business. Specifically, if I’ve got one skill that I’ve been able to develop in my life, it’s to be able to build a sustainable, successful, profitable, non-stressful, predictable moving company. Could I maybe do it in another business? Maybe. But you know what, I’ve got a mission for you.