How to Make Your Moving Company Process-Driven


In this episode of The Moving Mastery Podcast, Louis Massaro shares how to make your moving company process-driven.

  • “It is clear to me from my experience and what I’ve witnessed and helped other people go through, that in order to succeed at a high level without stress and overwhelm, you’ve got to focus on making your company process-driven.”
  • “Your moving company could either be a people-driven business or a process-driven business. The difference is a big deal. When you’ve got a people-driven business, you’ve got no consistency. One person does something one way, another person does something totally different.”
  • “Training can be a hassle because you’re basically training a person on how to do something, but you don’t have the process behind it. If you’ve ever been in a position where you feel like you’re afraid to fire somebody because they’re the only person that knows how to do what it is they do. I know you’ve been there.”
  • “If you’ve ever said, “Hey, I really wish I could just have robots run everything. I could program all the robots and have them do everything.” If you’ve got a process-driven business, the programming is the processes that are put in place. Then you get the people to run the processes. Simple.”
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Systematize Your Moving Company’s Sales Process

5 Processes to Systematize Your Moving Company’s Operation

Should You Scale Your Moving Company?

Stabilize Your Moving Company’s People and Processes

5 Must-Do Accounting Processes for Moving Companies


Louis Massaro:
We have gone through the series of stabilization, systemization, systematizing, stabilizing, systematizing. Now we’re talking about scaling. We’ve been laying out what you’ve got to do to really scale, right? Take what’s working, bring it to that next level, grow your business, expand your business, franchise your business, bring it to a place where you could sell it, right? Bring it to a place where it runs consistently and predictably generating revenue for you without the headaches so that you can run it passively, if that’s what you choose to do. Scaling is different for everybody.

Everybody’s got a different vision of what they want with their business. I’m here to tell you that if you’re in the moving business, you are in the right business to make that happen. If you’re like, Louis, I’m in this business but I hate this business.

My answer to you is good. Get it in order, build a model business, spend a couple of years getting it on point, getting the profits where they need to be, sell it and go do what you want to do. You know, that’s just the reality of it. You’ve got something. You’ve got a money maker in your hand. Don’t let that go. Those of you that really think that there’s a cap on what could be achieved in the moving business, I’m here to tell you, there’s companies in the U.S. doing well over a hundred million dollars a year. Don’t think that you’re capped and a million dollars is the top mark or 10 million or I did 20 million. I don’t think that’s the top either. If you’ve got really big dreams, really big aspirations, really big goals of what you want to hit for whatever reason, right?

Maybe just you’re driven to succeed. You’re driven to get to the next level. Cool. Maybe you really, really want a jet. Maybe you really want to fly private, especially after all this COVID stuff. You’re like, you know what, I’m done going and standing in TSA, be around all those germs. I’m ready to fly private. I’m not saying that this is what everybody wants. I just want you to know that whatever is right for you, I’m not a believer in this world of we’ve got to keep up with other people. If this person is driving that or if this person’s dream is to have a jet that that’s got to be my dream, right. I really believe it’s so important that we get in touch with what our heart wants and not just what our mind wants, and then realize that it’s there for a reason.

You’ve got a desire for something like don’t extinguish that. Don’t put that out. That fire is there and it’s really here and it’s not in your mind, it’s not ego. I should have this because I need to feel a certain type of way. But you’re like, Hey, I like nice stuff. I like to go on nice trips. I like to drive nice cars. There’s nothing wrong with that. Right? There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. If you go to work every day and you do your part to contribute to your community, which is what you are doing. I want you guys to realize that. You might not put the pieces together every day that you’re serving your community. They need a mover. If this was like back in the day, horse and buggy types of things, there would be a mover or two with the horse and the buggy in the community and they serve the people and they took care of the people. Right?

Now it’s a more competitive landscape but it doesn’t change the fact that you are providing a service to the people in your community, right? You want to provide a great service, you know that. But if you know that you have the ability to orchestrate the moving parts of the business to deliver a great service to customers, then isn’t it your job to get more of those customers, right? I don’t believe anyone should ever be capped by the amount of money that they can make if they are serving. The more you serve, the more you make. If you do a thousand moves a year, you are serving at that level and will make that kind of money. If you’re doing 12,000 moves a year, you’re serving at that level.

You’ll make that kind of money and so on. But it’s not that simple because it’s not as easy as just serve and the money will be there. We’ve also had to take into account the laws of business and what it takes to make that happen. Right. Because we could have all the intentions in our heart and that’s what we want.

We want to let that guide us as to where to go and what we want, but we do need to use our heads. We do need to use our minds to be able to strategically make that happen. Right. This series specifically is about scaling. Let’s talk about your processes and your people and how we need to relate to that in order to scale, right? Because without the stuff that we’re putting in place, without the stabilization that we did, right? The systematizing, and now talking about certain aspects of scaling, it won’t be scaling, it’ll suffering. Right. I know the feeling and I know what it’s like to be super excited. Whether it’s just you and your own dream or your spouse or your partner, you’re like, let’s do this. Let’s crush it. Let’s expand. Let’s open another office. We’re doing this here. Let’s do it there. We’re making X amount here.

Well, if we open five more offices, we could make five times the money. Right? Listen, I’ve been there. I know the whole thought process behind it all. After going through it, it is clear to me from my experience and the experience I’ve witnessed and helped other people go through, that in order to succeed at a high level. Okay. And at a high level that is without the stress and without the overwhelm or the level that you’re at without the stress and without the overwhelm, you’ve got to focus on making your company process-driven. Process-driven, meaning you could either have a people-driven business or a process-driven business. A people-driven business or a process-driven business. The difference is a big deal. Right? The difference when you’ve got a people-driven business, you’ve got no consistency, right? One person does something one way, another person does something totally different.

Training is a hassle because you’re basically training a person on how to do something, but you don’t have the process behind it. If you’ve ever been in a position where you feel like you’re afraid to fire somebody because they’re the only person that knows how to do what it is they do. I know you’ve been there. Right. If you haven’t been there before and you don’t have the process-driven organization, you will be there. You’ll be in a position where you’ve gotten somebody, they’re so good, they do what they need to do. They’re the one that knows how to do it but there’s a lot of reasons why somebody might not be a good fit for your company moving forward and it’s the worst feeling to know that they’re not a good culture fit, right. They’re bringing the rest of the company down, or they’re just not doing their job in other aspects, but they’re the only person that knows how to do something.

When you have a people-driven business like that, you can’t fire anybody. Right. Because they know how to do it. If we switch to a process-driven, right, this right here allows you to have your processes running the business. If you’ve ever said, Hey, I really wish I could just have robots run everything. I could program all the robots and have them run everything. If you’ve got a process-driven business, the programming is the processes that are put in place. Then what we do is we get the people to run the processes. Instead of having people running the day to day with their own thoughts of what should be done here and what should be done there, you’ve got processes of the best practices of how things should be handled. Then you have people running those process.

And of course, there’s going to be things that come up that will require the people that are involved with these to make those decisions. That’s why you also need process owners. For every process that you have, you want to assign an owner of that process. Let me give you an example. You’re like, Louis, what do you mean by process? A process would be morning dispatch, right? From getting the crews out, right? Maybe it’s from the minute the dispatcher comes into the office to the minute the crews get sent out. What is the step by step of how that needs to be handled every day? Right? What about processing payroll? That process, right? What about the process of a new claim comes in for damage? What’s that process step by step?

Each one of those processes needs to have an individual person by their role assigned as the owner of that to make sure that that happens. Like, Hey, look, this is your responsibility. Here it is in writing. It’s very black and white. If you’ve ever had the frustration of feeling like you’ve told somebody on your team something over and over and over and they still don’t do it right, it’s because they don’t have the clarity. The reality of human communication is that sometimes the words that come out of our mouth and the way we hear them as they’re coming out is totally different than the way somebody hears them coming in, right. For various reasons, we won’t get into that. But when you’ve got it written down black and white and then you explain it to somebody, you go over with them.

Once the processes are done, the owner of that process and everybody else in that process needs to read through that process. Whether it’s in writing, whether there’s screenshots, whether it’s video and needs to acknowledge everything there and make sure that you didn’t miss any steps, right. Assign a process owner for each individual process. Next thing, you need a process manager. When people talk about, I’m going to hire a GM, I’m going to hire a operations manager. I’m going to hire a COO. These different types of positions. I want you to start thinking about those roles as a process manager, right? Because it’s really the same thing where we don’t want people running our business.

We want the processes running our business and then we want the people to run those processes. You know, McDonald’s is the perfect example of that. They’re not the successful, I don’t even know how much money they do a year in business and how many stores they have because of the people that work there, no disrespect to the people, right? It’s the processes that are in place and they could kind of stick anybody in there to run those processes. And if those people aren’t working out, no problem, remove the people, bring in new people, the processes still keep going. There’s no inconsistencies in the food, inconsistencies in the service based on who happens to be working there at that time. What we’re talking about is we’re talking about scaling. We’re talking about opening additional locations. You might have a nice situation in your current business, right? You might have good people. Like you’ve got a nice little flow that just naturally came together and that’s awesome.

But as you open that second location, as you take on a different line of business, as you want to start franchising, it’s one of those things where you’ve got to really understand that you can’t manage all the people. You need to manage the processes. The way that you manage the processes, right, is by basically looking at the people to see if they’re running the processes. Now see the reason so many managers and GMs have a hard time. Like if you’re an owner of a business and you’ve had a hard time with a GM or with a manager and you feel like they’re not doing what they’re supposed to be doing, it’s because they’re trying to manage people. They’re trying to manage all these individual people and all the stuff these people have going on. Right?

We’re all different. We’ve all got different stuff going on. As opposed to saying, what’s the process that needs to be getting executed in this department, that department, this time of day, that time of day? Are the people doing that? And if they’re not, you bring them back to the process. You basically gently guide them back to the process. You have a definitive place to lead them back to. It’s very black and white at that point. It’s not a matter of like, Hey, what’s going on? I’ve asked you to do this thing several times. It’s like, here’s the process. Whether they are the process owner or just a participant in that process, they need to just be guided back. Right? When you shift your perspective of management from managing people, which sometimes could be a total nightmare if there’s a lot of people and you’re managing the people, it could feel overwhelming.

I mean, if you’re a manager, you know, it could feel very overwhelming. But if you just have a place to guide them back to, so much easier. Start thinking about who you would actually assign to be your process manager. Is that you or is that somebody else? Because as you grow and as you scale, think about opening another location. You’re like, okay, I’m going to go check out the other. I’m going to go fly down to that office or drive down to that office. I’m going to check that out. Or I’m going to send my manager down there to check on things. What are you going to have them check on? They’re just going to go and sit around. This used to be me by the way. I’m not mocking you. This was like when I first started going to check out my other offices or sent somebody there. I’m like, we need more of a method of how we do this. Right. Of when we go, what we look at, what we check, what we see if it’s working or not working.

If there’s processes that are being run by the people, or if the people are running the show and kicking the processes to the curve. You’ve got to be able to go in there and clearly see, are they running the processes? It makes it so much easier to train, manage, to scale. The reality is having a process-driven organization, this is your only competitive advantage in the moving business. Let me say it again. This is your only competitive advantage. I know some of you might have some really great innovative ideas and different things that you’re doing, but the reality is to the consumer, a mover is a mover is a mover is a mover. You could go out and provide great service and you could have five star reviews and the customer could be happy, but internally there is a lack of success due to the lack of process.

The people who get this, the people that apply this, the people who document and live their company’s mantra by like we’re a process-driven organization and we’ve got great people to help us run those processes, those are the ones who win. Those are the ones who make a lot of money. Those are the ones who sell their business. Those are the ones who are able to scale, franchise, and really do whatever they want to do. Right? We talked about processes in order to scale, right? We’re talking about what needs to be done to scale, right? And the reality is what needs to get done to scale is what needs to get done just to create order and peace and get rid of the chaos and the fires. Right? Even if you’re like, Louis, I don’t want to scale. Okay, get this stuff in place just to bring some harmony into your life and some stability and some consistency in the business and clarity.

Once you have that, your outlook on whether you want to scale or not scale may change completely, right? Because if something just feels really hard to do every day, you don’t want to go do more of it. You know, I realize that, I realize like I’m talking and people are like, I’m talking like grow your business. Some people are like, even if they’re not thinking it, their mind is going, I should grow my business. I know that’s what I should do. But subconsciously they’re like equating that to just more pain, more suffering, more stress, more problems. Right. That’s not a good place to be. That will destructively start to take you in the direction away from what you want. Everything we do is taking us either in a direction towards what we want or it’s taking us away from what we don’t want.

If what you don’t want is over here and what you want is over here, we’ve got to be very strategic to make sure that our moves and our actions and our thoughts are all in alignment heading towards what we want. When we’ve got that subconscious going, yeah, I don’t know if I want to grow. This is just going to be more stress. This is just going to be more problems. You’re going like this. You’re going over to the side of the area that you don’t want to be. Right. Without even realizing it. And so, again, I know we’re talking about scaling, but if you’re in a place where scaling sounds like, you know, that’s the tell sign right there. If you’re like scaling sounds stressful, it’s only because you don’t have some things in place. One of them being a process-driven business, right. When things are in order, I’m really just trying to paint a picture of what’s possible because I know so many of you are there already and I know so many of you are not.

It’s just such a big difference. If I sat down at a table with all of you and we had a conversation, it’s like, Hey, you’re in the moving business. You’re in the moving business. Let me hear about what your day is like, what your life is like, what your stress level is like. Maybe we pull up somebody that’s been to the event, we pull up somebody that’s private client, somebody that’s in my program, somebody that’s really implemented this stuff and really done the work. It’s going to be a totally different story than someone that’s still struggling day to day to just get past some of this stuff. The reality is, it’s not that it’s a different story because the person who’s climbed out of that was once the other person. I was once the other person. I was once the person that was scrambling and stressing and doing the same thing over and over where they say, you know, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and thinking that you’re going to get a different result, right.

Everybody that’s successful in this business was once that person. The difference is though that a lot of people unfortunately will stay that person, stay with that same conversation, stay with those same excuses. The select few will say, no, I want to start heading the direction of what it is I want. If they could do it, I could do it. If Louis could do it, I could do it. Right. I know there’s additional stress right now, which is the way everything that’s going on in the world on top of the day to day. I’m just saying it because I want you to be able to recognize and self-diagnose that if scaling in your mind equates to suffering, it means there’s a little bit of work that needs to be done to clear the path for you. Right? Once you clear the path, then you get to decide what it is you want to do. I don’t push anybody to go open more… My first question with somebody is like, when I work with a private client, how much money do you want to make?

Let’s talk about the lifestyle you want to live. Then we reverse engineer the business into that. But no matter what that plan is, whether it’s, I want to fly private and work two days a week, or I don’t mind working five days a week and I just want to make X amount a year. No matter what it is, this is a requirement, process-driven. Right? It’s one of those things, we talked about it. If you don’t have the competence in creating processes and know how to do it, you will lack the confidence. If you lack the confidence, you won’t go seek the competence. But once you say, you know what, maybe if I just knew how to do that, maybe if I just knew how to write a process, it didn’t seem so overwhelming.

If somebody could just take it and chunk it down and break down the steps of how to do it for me, I could probably do it. If I took the time to do it, I’m clearing the path for myself. Right? No matter what you do in your business, it is to create a life for yourself, my friend. I don’t ever want you guys to forget that. It’s so hard to live a life with a people-driven organization, so hard, consistently, without getting sucked back in. Okay. All right. Now let’s talk about, that was my public service announcement for the day. Let’s get you guys back here to processes and people to scale. All right. Let’s talk about your people now, because we’re talking about scaling, we’ve got to think about the people that we have differently than we think about them currently. Right?

Let’s take the example of, because remember, scaling could be just taking what you have and doing more of it, right? Like you don’t have to go open more locations. You just ramp it up. It could be opening additional locations or franchising, or getting into long distance or getting into another line of business. Let’s take the example of opening another location for this purpose. What you want to do is before you do that, I want you to make a list of key position replacements, key position replacements. What does that mean? It means that whoever you have currently in your business, that’s a key position, right? Somebody, a manager or a salesperson or a bookkeeper or a dispatcher or the GM that you’re going to send to that new office. I want you to ask yourself what would happen, write everybody’s name down. Okay.

What would happen as we started to scale, as we open that new location if that person just no called no showed and you never heard from them again? You don’t even know what happened. They could have just went and got another job. They could have got hit by a bus. They could have just went off the deep end. I don’t know. Right. They just didn’t show up. It’s happened. Right. This kind of stuff happens. Or the more likely scenario is they stop working out. They’re disgruntled. You realize you need to get rid of them. You find them stealing. You need to fire them. They find another job. They move on. They have a life situation happened and they move on to something different. Write down all these people. I want you to write down a temporary replacement for that person if that happens. Because a lot of times we look at our ability to handle more based on the team that we have.

But I want you to recognize the vulnerability. I want you to recognize the points where things could go really wrong with just like one person leaving and what that’ll do with you, right? In other words, your name might be the replacement. You personally might be the replacement, or you might have other people that are the replacement. But the reality is if we don’t think through that, we might think we’re good. We’re good. Then one little, you know, you go make this big leap to open that other office. One person doesn’t show up again and it just throws everything off. Right? Not saying that you won’t be able to open up other offices if somebody leaves, but you need to know what you’re going to do. You need to know if this happens temporarily until we find a replacement, you’re moving to that position. I’m moving to this position. Here’s the contingency plan, right? You got to have that in place.

Then you want to establish who is your scaling team. Who is your scaling team? We’re going to use the example of opening an additional location, opening an additional office. You’ve got to realize that not everyone that works for you is as excited about this as you are. Not everybody’s needed. You know, if you’ve got a dispatcher, you’ve got a sales team, you’ve got a bookkeeper, you’ve got an office manager, you’ve got a warehouse person, and you’re going to go open another location. First of all, who needs to be involved in the opening of that other location? Right? Who is going to be on your scaling team? Who’s going to actually help with the day to day? Because here’s what happens. If we don’t establish who’s in those meetings, who’s not in those meetings, all of a sudden the message in the office becomes very convoluted.

The people that are truly aren’t really involved, like maybe a dispatcher that’s dispatching your local business, they really won’t have anything to do with the future location. You’re pulling them in conversations. You’re pulling them in meetings. They’re hearing about it. A lot of times the priorities of that office will get neglected as we’re focused on opening up and building the additional office. Right? You just got to establish. You don’t have to go make a big announcement. You don’t have to pass out t-shirts like scaling team. Just in your mind know like, okay, whose help do I need to do this? If you’re going to open another office and keep your office as the central sales hub and do all the sales from there, you’ll need your sales team. You’ll need your sales manager, right? You might need everybody in your office, but it’s really important to make that distinction and to clearly define who’s in and who’s out so that you could keep it really clear.
There needs to be a clear chain of command as well because here’s what’s happened. You have this tight knit business now, right? Or you should have this tight knit business before you’re scaling. Now you’re going to start dividing and conquering. Like all right, come on, let’s go out and conquer other territory. Let’s go open other offices. As that starts to happen, the structure and the hierarchy unravels a little bit. Just make sure that you keep it very clear what the chain of command is, who reports to who, who does what. This stuff is so important. I mean, I’ve got private clients that done an amazing job of putting all this stuff in place and just have been able to scale beautifully, right? Open an office, open another office, rebrand, just really put all this stuff together. It’s because they really remembered the most important part of this whole thing, which is we need to be process-driven.

This will save you so many issues, so problems. Take a little time today. Think about what processes you need to develop. Right? A lot of people will think that they need to go and create this giant process book of every little thing that happens in their company. You may get to that place, but start with the stuff that’s going to make biggest impact today. Where’s the ball getting dropped? Where’s there a new opportunity to do something new but you need everybody to do it the exact same way every single time? Those are the areas that you start to put processes together. Right? Go start working on this, figure out what processes you need. Who’s going to own those processes? Who’s going to be the process manager? If you’re going to scale, think about any key players you have, who would replace them, and decide who your scaling team is and go make this stuff happen. Right? Go make this stuff happen.