So, it wasn't easy starting a new business. I thought about going the franchise route and buying a territory from a company like Bungobox or Frogbox, but in the end I figured that I'd rather be a pirate than join the navy, so I set out on my own.
It took a lot of work to get my business from the planning stage to where it is now. I had to hire a web designer, find suppliers for the boxes, decide on territories that I wanted to cover and each step took more time and effort than I realized.
I think what I found just as useful as analyzing what others did right, is to figure out where it could go wrong. I found two companies that failed at this (one mom & pop outfit in florida, and another who bought a franchise from one of the big companies) and I decided to call them up and talk to them for a loooong time. I performed, in essence, an autopsy on their business so that I wouldn't make the same mistakes that they did. It was *very* informative.
In the end, I decided to launch my moving boxes business in palm beach county florida. I am also simultaneously launching a moving boxes business in washington, DC,
I was surprised at how little information there was out there on setting up this type of business. I did find some really helpful information on other businesses to model (interviews with Brian Scudamore from 800-Got-Junk and Tony Hsieh from Zappos) which had a strong customer service component to them.
Moving is such a stressful event that I think the only way to be involved in that business is to do things differently. I'm committed to bringing humanity back to the moving business. I meditate regularly and there is a Zen concept about loving as much as you can from wherever you are, and I think those mental and emotional attitudes will fit well with what I am trying to do.
At any rate, I also received invaluable help from a few other Mom & Pop independent moving box companies in other parts of the country. We communicate regularly either by email or through facebook. There is strength in numbers and bouncing ideas of them has been a tremendous help.
In case you found this website because you are thinking of starting a business like this, and want to ask questions, feel free to email me and I will help in any way that I can. Paying it forward. See you at the top :)