Moving Company Franchises: The Blind Leading The Blind.

Many people aspire to be self-employed. Flexible hours, independence in decision-making and a belief you are building your own future fuel the desire to go out on your own. Not everyone however has a skill or a unique idea to pursue, therefore some follow a more tried-and true formula; the franchise. In simple terms a franchisee (you) is granted the right, or licence, to market the franchisor’s (the company) product or service in a selected area. Drawing on the company’s specialized experience, proven success and the ability to replicate that which makes them successful, the premise is that you too can have a flourishing business. What happens though, when the company selling the franchise works in an industry based on deception with no industry training standard?

The moving industry can be a dirty nasty low life filled affair. And this is just the good days. I’ve highlighted the deficiencies of the industry many times over the years but these points are worth reiterating as they relate to franchising. The first relates to training; in any franchise the two key components are the product and the mode of delivery i.e., the training methods. In the furniture moving industry I have yet to see a company use a structured, formulaic and replicable approach to the moving of furniture. And if the franchisor has nary a clue about the transition of furniture from a to b, who is going to teach you? Remember, the moving industry has no licensing or training standard to rely upon, but if you doubt the veracity of my words, stop and watch movers load a truck some time; It’s a Gong Show.

The larger point as it relates to furniture moving franchises is this; Why would you pay a company money for a franchise when you can do the thing yourself at a fraction of the cost?  It’s true! First chose a company name. In this industry the trend seems to be getting a name as close to your competition as possible, for example, if there is a company call Muppet Movers you call your company Vancouver Muppet Movers, geddit? Second you get a decent truck and put some flashy graphics on it – customers know you are a pro when they see that. Third, create a website filled with the usual bullshit about how you are a professional and all your workers are fully trained etc. Oh, did I mention you should claim to be licensed bonded and insured? Fourth, write your own testimonials and lots of them – currently the Gold Standard is 103. Fifth, have someone overly caffeinated answer the phone and promise the customer, “Yes the trucks are always on time”, “Yes are workers are fully trained professionals with a minimum of five years experience”, “Yes, we are Vancouver’s best movers”, inter alia. Sixth, when a customer tells you there is damage to their oak table just tell’em it was there before, it works every time. Seventh, and this is the long view, when someone complains to the Better Business Bureau, by the dozen in all likely hood, or worse sues you in Provincial Court, just ignore it until it finally catches up to you – then “sell” the company – preferably to an existing employee – Presto, an instantly cleaned up reputation.

See? Why bother with the nonsense of a franchise when you can fully engage in the nonsense of the industry at a fraction of the price? Good luck muppet!