Moving soon? Here are some tips on shopping for a moving company

If you are moving soon, here are some tips for choosing the right moving company such as Men on the Move. Also, the professionals at Men on the Move can move you into your new home easily and quickly, contact us today!

  • As soon as your house hits the market you’ll start getting promotional cards in the mail and phone calls. Look through them for interesting deals. Research some of the names and see how they fare on consumer review services.
  • Get recommendations from friends and family. Anyone who’s used a moving company will have strong opinions about whether they were good or not. Some of the best companies just get business through word of mouth.
  • Get several in-home estimates. No company will be able to tell you an accurate figure of how much it will cost to move your stuff over the phone. A salesperson from the moving company will walk through your home, making note of large furniture, breakable items like china and how much furniture needs to be broken down for moving purposes. Don’t forget to show them the attic, garage, and basement where many items get stored.
  • If you’re working with a Realtor, ask if they have any discounts or coupons with moving companies.
  • Pack your own stuff, especially if your moving date is a few weeks down the road. Having a moving company pack your items will double the price. Even tackling a few boxes every weekend is worth saving the money.
  • Most moving companies will offer a few options for insurance to cover items that are broken, damaged or lost. You pay a certain amount, usually $4 to $9 for every $1,000 of your items’ value. Movers aren’t perfect so insurance is probably a good way to go. But check with your own insurance policies to see if you already have coverage for moving damages.
  • Don’t plan your move for a holiday weekend like Memorial Day or Labor Day. The rates go up on three-day holiday weekends, especially those that fall at the end of the month.
  • Once you get a few estimates, figure out who your favorite is and ask if they can tweak their estimate to compete with the others. A mover may bring down the price to match estimates from similar firms.

Washington Post

Moving Timeline will help make moving easier

As seen in the Detroit News on 5/8/2009. We have a similar moving timeline on our website.

Moving, and all its attendant chores may be inevitable. But the accompanying sense of chaos, while common, is avoidable. The following schedule outlines the essential tasks and leaves ample time to tend to the details.

Six weeks before: Ask friends what movers they recommend, and get quotes from three licensed companies. On-site estimates tend to be more accurate, whether pricing is by weight and distance or a flat or hourly rate. Ask if the quote is binding or nonbinding, what charges could arise and what insurance is included. Request a copy of the signed contract.

  • Dedicate a three-ring binder to move-related paperwork, such as to-do lists, contracts, receipts, checklists and phone numbers.

Five weeks before: Conduct a room-by-room survey to determine what belongings you plan to keep, sell and donate.

  • Have valuable items such as artwork and antiques appraised in case they get damaged. Photograph or videotape them, and upload the images to your computer. Also, save them to a compact disc or memory stick.

Four weeks before: Stock up on moving supplies, including boxes, box cutters, tape (packing, masking, and blue painters), wrapping material and labels.

Three weeks before: Pack infrequently used items, such as out-of-season clothing, holiday decorations, books, and special-occasion dishware. Number the boxes, and keep track of the contents on a master inventory list.

  • Color-code each room, and mark boxes and furniture with coordinating stickers to ensure the movers will know at a glance where everything should go.
  • Request that your utilities, including phone and Internet service, be disconnected the day after you leave and installed in your new home the day before you arrive.

Two weeks before: Before you pack the bulk of your belongings, think about whether you’d like to do so by room or by category (such as sports equipment and formal dinnerware).

  • Complete a change-of-address form online ( www.usps.com) or at the post office. Update newspaper and magazine subscriptions, and notify banks and credit card companies.

One week before: Print an information sheet for the movers with the old and new addresses, directions and your cell phone number.

  • Box your remaining items, setting aside sufficient clothing and day-to-day necessities for the week ahead.

Moving day

Walk through your home before movers arrive to verify everything is packed and afterward to make sure nothing was left behind.

  • Arrange for someone to be at your new home when the movers arrive to oversee them and answer questions.
  • Inspect for damages, photographing relevant objects before signing the release.
  • Start to settle in. Test faucets, toilets, utilities, phones, smoke detectors and security systems. Turn on the water heater if necessary. Begin to unpack, discarding anything that no longer serves you.

Moving Scams

This was a good article posted by the Texas attorney General. But it fits for all people that are moving.

Summer is the busiest time of year for moving companies. While most legitimate movers comply with the law, unfortunately, a few are unscrupulous. Operators employ a range of practices that take advantage of their customers.

Some unscrupulous movers give customers an artificially low estimate for their services. Then, on moving day, they revise their estimate and provide a much higher price. By that time, customers have no time to find another mover and have little choice but to go along with the increased rate.

Another type of moving scam is perpetrated after a customer’s belongings have been loaded up and hauled away. With the customers’ property in the movers’ possession, the company refuses to deliver or unload the customer’s property unless the customer agrees to pay a higher fee.

Knowledge is always a valuable weapon, so Texans in the market for a moving company should research several options and secure written estimates before moving day. Care also should be taken to ensure that movers are properly licensed and insured. Texans can look up a moving company’s rating and complaint history at the Better Business Bureau’s Web site, www.bbb.org.

Moving scam warning signs include:

  • Movers that offer advance estimates without seeing their customers’ home or belongings. Estimates based on cubic footage are also red flags.
  • Movers that fail to provide a copy of “Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move.” This booklet must be provided to all customers who plan an interstate move. The federally mandated pamphlet contains instructions about how to respond if goods are lost or damaged during a move.
  • Movers that require a large deposit or payment in cash.
  • Movers that lack a local address and do not provide licensing information on their Web site. To check motor carrier registration status, consumers can visit  www.txdot.gov (in-state) and  www.protectyourmove.gov (interstate).

Movers are required by law to deliver a customer’s goods for no more than 10% above the price of a non-binding estimate. Customers are not required to pay any amount above a binding estimate. The mover is required to bill customers for any additional charges within 30 days of delivery.

7 Steps to Small Business Success

1. Start Smart to Small Business.

Identify a niche. Don’t compete to be the lowest cost provider. Look for what makes your product or service unique and adds a special value for the client and charge for that value. Every business has many facets. Start with what you know and like; start a business that has meaning to you. Keep in mind that we don’t know what the future holds, many of the jobs and businesses of tomorrow don’t exist today. You can create your own success. Now is the time to dream. To start smart, you should like the idea of the business. The way to earn a good income and build wealth is by serving clients well, making their life better in some way—it’s more than filling a need in the marketplace. To succeed you want to test the idea to make sure your potential clients like the idea too. Test your ideas.

2. Set up Systems.

The most basic system every business should have is a good financial system. Ask yourself how am I going to generate enough income to support myself and my family. Begin here. Put together a personal budget, so you know what it costs you to live. Now, you can move on to the business budget and sales planning, so you can see how many sales you need to break even and make a profit. The start-up expense plan, operating budget and your accounting software are vital to your success.

3. Seek out Sales.

The daunting question is how do you go about seeking out your first sale. Recognize that since you don’t have a big ad budget to be seen by everyone, you need to target a niche and get connected in your market community, be it local, regional or national. You need other people selling for you—not employees—goodwill referrals. Get out and talk to as many people as you can. Join organizations that would have clients for your product or service. Become a visible part of your market, and then ask for the sale. You begin the sales process with people that you know. Yes, it’s okay to start with friends and family as your first customers, and then broaden from there.

4. Aim for Growth.

The basic tenant of creating a company is that you own the company. You are not just creating a job for yourself. It’s less risk and less investment to get a job. Building a business is creating a company that is more than the job itself. Think about the future. How large do you want the company to be in terms of sales, net profit and employees? Your answer to each of these questions will influence how you grow. There are varying costs and profits associated with growth. It’s important to make a deliberate choice early about how you want to grow your company.

5. Leverage Opportunities.

Good luck, good fortune, and good timing, all play a part in business. As a business owner, be very clear about your core focus for the business and how it serves clients. Your core business is what pays the bills. Then, as an entrepreneur you are about opportunity. When you see a potential opportunity or stroke of luck measure it against your core business focus. Good fortune is great, when it matches your vision for the business. Always consider if a good opportunity is the right fit for your business. If something looks great, but it’s not in sync with your long-term plan and budget, think carefully before committing your company’s resources.Take advantage of good opportunities that make sense for you long term. A perfect example is McDonalds. Ray Krock started a small business that became a large franchise network with a consistent product, consistent systems and an ability to seize opportunities such as the Arch card and offering healthy salads to meet the interests of today’s consumers.

6. Plan Your Exit.

Someday you may want to sell your business or retire from business. Today, ask yourself what’s next? How can I have an asset in the future that someone will buy? If you are going to sell someday, you have to have something to sell—a plan, vision, business on the books, equipment and systems. Whether you have been in business for one week, one year or 15 years—look ahead to what the business itself will be as an asset. Your business has value, value you are creating today. To sell or distribute equity in the business you need to have it down on paper and keep good financials. Know the worth of your business, so you can know the value it can bring to your future wealth and/or retirement.

Move Your Small Business With Men on the Move