The Alimond Show

Chris Barry Owner of Barry’s Best Movers

March 27, 2024 Alimond Studio
The Alimond Show
Chris Barry Owner of Barry’s Best Movers
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Embark on an adventure with us as we sit down with the man behind Barry's Best Movers, unraveling a tale that began with inflatable bounce houses and evolved into a thriving moving empire. Our guest pulls back the curtain on the harsh realities of entrepreneurship, from IRS woes to the true cost of business blunders—like that time a growth experiment left him with a truck stuck in mud. His insights on hiring, risk management, and the wisdom of sticking to your roots will strike a chord with anyone who's faced the highs and lows of owning a business.

As we turn the pages of our guest's personal story, he reflects on setting New Year's intentions and how his childhood experiences shaped his professional journey. He shares the struggle to grow his moving business while navigating clear communication, integrating efficient CRM systems, and making the conscious decision to specialize. The conversation takes a deeper dive into his transformative years, from overcoming behavioral challenges to finding his stride through the discipline of sports and education.

Concluding our session is a foray into the strategies that have propelled Barry's Best Movers to new heights. Our guest recounts the daunting leap from job security to entrepreneurship, the early days without proper insurance, and the invaluable connections made through B&I networking. We follow his embrace of SEO and personal bonds in business growth, and he offers a peek into the nuanced world of customer feedback—where even negative reviews can spark positive change. Lastly, we join in celebrating the joy of turning a passion into a livelihood, a reminder to all that when you love what you do, it hardly feels like work at all.

Speaker 1:

So it's also a hyper extension. So I'm good with hyper extension. My wife tried it and she hurt herself and she's like, yeah, my doctor says I'm not good at hyper extending, but you're okay with hyper extending, just because everybody's body's different.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, so I might paralyze myself, I might make myself better.

Speaker 1:

Maybe 50, 50.

Speaker 2:

Throw it out there and see what happens.

Speaker 1:

That's it.

Speaker 2:

Tell me a little bit about your business. Tell me about, like, how it all started.

Speaker 1:

Sure, so how it all started. So I worked in corporate America from like 04 to 09. I worked for a large real estate developer. They're still in business. But I was approached by a contractor in the company wanted me to come work for him on the weekends. So I did his weekend side gig and it just progressed. So the weekend side gig was hauling around those inflatable bounce houses to children's parties that were called.

Speaker 2:

Boone Bounces yeah, that's right.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, so that's started off as a side business. I did that for two summers and then that kind of you know faded. He sold the business but I still had. I had still had the drive, determination and you know of vehicles and ability to do the, the moving business. So I started out, you know, posting ads on on the internet. Everybody obviously back then was familiar with Craig's List and now I don't touch Craig's List with a.

Speaker 2:

You don't want to be nobody.

Speaker 1:

So so yeah, I got my business off the ground that avenue and in late 09, I started my business. October of 09 was formally started. I started as one guy, one truck, one trailer. And I was young, I was like 24, 24. I started a side business, was about 30 when I got the business off the ground and I ran that business one guy, one truck, one trailer for about eight years. Nice and honestly, I just got I mean just organically successful.

Speaker 2:

Wait, quick question. Is that how you got the back injury?

Speaker 1:

Yes.

Speaker 2:

I just had to continue on.

Speaker 1:

Yes, I worked with someone in experience and that was the thing. So so I ran one guy, one truck, one trailer and funny story side note, I did a little research on that and there was like several one guy, one truck, one truck, one trailers across America doing all different things from landscaping to construction to junk hauling, to auto transport and other things. But anyway, I kind of outgrew it and I just needed something to propel me forward. So I formally shut down that business one guy, one truck, one trailer and started again as like a 2.0 version, as Barry's best movers and I. I learned a lot and so I had to make a lot of changes, which cost money. You have to hire professionals to do all this paperwork and so, in order to get right, it was just easier just to shut that business down and learn from your mistakes and then do my formal filings and whatnot as Barry's best movers and just move forward that way.

Speaker 2:

Or some of those mistakes.

Speaker 1:

I'm just filing just paperwork you know filings with the IRS and then you end up paying more taxes because you're not filed properly and then, you don't learn, I don't know, certain loopholes, if you will, on how to pay less taxes. I mean, it's all it's on the open up, I promise.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I'm a big proponent of pay as little as Legally required, right? Other people are like, oh, that's not nice to not pay, really like who says that you have to pay more than your fair share anyways?

Speaker 1:

So you learned all that learned all that, shut down the business and started again as Barry's best movers, I think in 2008. I want to say I think it's 2008 or 18, maybe it's 2000. No, it was 18. It's 2018. I shut down one guy, one truck, one trailer and so from 8 2018 to current been very special movers. You know still trials and tribulations, still learning. Obviously Last year I made an attempt to grow my business and I learned a lot from that.

Speaker 1:

You gotta expand, you gotta share these Uh growth regulations a lot from that and it cost me a lot of money and I just what happened? What happened? I just had staffing issues and then the staffing issues led to hiring people who were not so smart, ended up getting a truck stuck in the mud and brand new house, brand new several million. I'm sure the clients were thrilled with that Well fortunately, they too were small business owners and they were cool about it. They're just like make it right.

Speaker 1:

Yeah so and I was like I fully intend to make it right. Um, you know, I called my insurance guy. He's like if it's that cost that much, don't use your insurance. If it's like less than 20 grand, if you can afford it and it's not 20 grand, yeah, just pay it.

Speaker 2:

I know my stuff got stolen on my car.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I was like let it go so it cost me a thousand dollar tow truck bill Because, yes, the truck would move, but it would move the wrong way.

Speaker 1:

Yeah not the way you wanted it to go. So while the truck moves, let's just keep moving it. Yeah, so it was set back 30 40 feet in the mud and um, and then the landscape bill on that was $2,000. So that day I said we're not growing, we're scaling back and going back to my roots. I made a lot of money that year but it wasn't worth the risk and reward.

Speaker 2:

But don't you think it was just the wrong people though?

Speaker 1:

Yeah, yeah, yeah like don't let.

Speaker 2:

And I don't know how, where you are today.

Speaker 1:

Don't let that one thing Exactly your vision exactly. It just wasn't worth it. I mean, that was essentially the straw that broke the camel's back, so there were other things prior.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, to that but were they all the same people?

Speaker 1:

I mean, I don't know. So that one, that job. Interestingly enough I was out of town so I couldn't come and and Hopefully you weren't trying to hopefully you weren't like on vacation somewhere and you got that call no. I was on another job.

Speaker 2:

I was gonna say because I would have been the worst.

Speaker 1:

If you're like, that's happened before too. You know on vacation and like there's nothing I can do, yeah, yeah actually. So I was on vacation one time and I told them don't park the truck there, don't park the truck there, what they do they park the truck there.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, Well, we parked the truck there, right where he told us not to, and it's, we can't get the truck out. Well, I'm over here, so you're gonna call this tow truck company and they're gonna move that other truck so you can get this truck. Yeah, it's just, it's it's babysitting. It's glorified babysitting and I mean, I'm sorry to say, I mean I've been a small business owner since I was 30. I'm 43 now and Mo money, mo problems, notorious big, notorious big said it best, you know.

Speaker 2:

what I disagree, I think, is when you have the wrong team members only because I was in that place too, where and a lot of what's yours sharing is what a lot of business owners talk about it's staffing, training, finding the right people. When you get the right team, though, sure it's Not that way, you're absolutely right, you are.

Speaker 1:

It's hard To have your hands elbow deep. You know, run the business, train these people. So I operate kind of on a low, low budget, if you will. So I don't have a warehouse, yeah, I don't have rent mortgage to deal with, you know, I've rent a few parking spots and that's it, you know.

Speaker 2:

Maybe thought about doing like um uh, video training that they all have to go through first. Fill one on your iPhone. Sure, you know what I mean, I get it yeah you get just kind of like in school you get quizzed on, you got to know these Sure 30 things and then by the time you go in to train they know 70 percent of it.

Speaker 1:

You're just like fine tuning. Yeah, well, I that's, I don't know, I'm not, I don't have not to say I couldn't have, but I just um, I, I expect More from people. I know, and it's like how do you not know that when you back up a big truck, you put somebody back there? Yeah, like me, I can back up a big truck without anybody back there. Yeah but um, I don't know, common sense isn't too common.

Speaker 2:

No, it's not, especially if it's not something that you're experienced and like, like. Even for me, I'm like, well, duh. And then it's like, well, no, it's not duh, because that person like I've been doing it for like 10 years, 15 years, 20 years like kind of like when you become like a parent or just like holding a child for the first time, right, you know, it's like, uh, how do I hold this thing?

Speaker 1:

And my experience with that too, sometimes is, when you try to coach Someone or teach someone, they're like I know, man, I've been doing it, I know. And then they get an attitude with you and you're like I'm not trying to be confrontational, yes, you know, but this I want you to do it. Well, I've been doing it this way for umpteen years and I like the voice. I do all kinds of voices.

Speaker 2:

Okay, so what are you doing now? So you went back to one man, one truck. Yeah, one guy, one truck, one trailer. Yep, I yeah, now now.

Speaker 1:

Barry's best movers and um bro, right now we're we're kind of in slow season, so our peak season goes from um, you know, I would say march, the spring, up until school goes back in. Um, when school goes back in it really drops off. Um, I'm forcing it to have a extensive network, um, and they just they call me hey, you move me, whatever. Yeah, I'm like their one-stop shop for moving. So, whatever it is, I move some shop equipment, mostly household goods, moving um. But right now in slow season, I mean my, my passions are um atv and in downhill snow skiing. So I actually just came back Yesterday for this appointment. I was skiing in snowshoe for a couple days just to get out.

Speaker 2:

Oh, is that fun? I'm not like you're transporting, like the equipment. Oh no, yeah, I like to go flying down a snowy mountain, that's.

Speaker 1:

uh, I've got a need for speed and adrenaline and Do you get the go pros and the like?

Speaker 2:

I'm?

Speaker 1:

not thinking on technology, see it's okay because then you just fight it like I got this, go pro and then I got. You got to spend time mountain into your helmet checking your angles and and then so, sitting behind a computer, you're like, oh, I'm gonna go on the computer and do this, but then you get sidetracked and you spend six hours doing something you don't need to say this to me.

Speaker 1:

So, yeah, I can't sit at a desk in front of a computer because that's what happens. So I try to keep everything like on my smartphone or my tablet and, um, I, I only do what I need to do, rather than because, when you sit behind a computer, like, oh, I'm gonna wait for it to boot up. Yeah and then, when it boots up, you're like I'm gonna go over here and play around over here a little bit, and then before you know it's four hours later.

Speaker 2:

So do you have your own course on being productive. Now Just get rid of just get rid of your computer. Yeah, so actually.

Speaker 1:

I I did something. I kind of stopped doing email and I I removed my email address from all my contact stuff. I only want you to text to me. Wow and then I can't answer the phone because it's all robot calls and spam messages.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, well, thanks for answering our call.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, it was a text message Okay, that's why. So, um, I don't know I need to get back. So I'm big on the yearly, you know, January 1st, you know. So I've got some plans to change up and do some things.

Speaker 2:

What are you gonna do? What are your plans?

Speaker 1:

I need to get back on the email thing Do you, or can you just have now wait?

Speaker 2:

who's on your team right now?

Speaker 1:

No, just me. I'm literally mean, like I literally do everything bless your heart. So I had an assistant. Well, I still have her. I've had several, but I just they're not timely.

Speaker 1:

Yeah and they're like doing other things. But no, I do everything, from from booking to answering questions. That's why I prefer people to one text me and then two. I can direct them to my website, barry's best movers calm, click on the button for a free estimate. Yeah, and that's taught. That link is tied into my crm and it is a fairly in depth and lengthy intake page, but it I don't have to play 20 questions 50 times a day. Yeah, hey, I need to move. How much it cost? Well, not every moves the same, yeah.

Speaker 2:

I like that you're building your business around you instead of you trying to accommodate your business. You know what I'm saying. Like you're like what's gonna work for me and my Clients and I'm gonna do it that way.

Speaker 1:

So I used to be the yes man. Yes, we're gonna do that job, yes, yes, yes, there's no job I will say no to, but over the years, you, just you, figure out what works for you.

Speaker 1:

Yeah and I, sadly I had to what I bought a bunch of new equipment. I sadly determined declined work from you know one of my regular customers Because he wanted Junk removal of you know construction debris, you know drop. Busted up drywall, busted up concrete, busted up tile grout, all that stuff and I was like, look, this is really not my thing.

Speaker 1:

I did it because you know it's great, money is opportunity to work, but this is what I want to do. I don't really want to do this anymore. So, as far as junk goes, it's clean junk, like household goods, but I don't want to do bricks, tile, mortar, drywall they have companies for that, you know and they just put it in the dumpster and haul it away, whereas I'm hauling household goods. And if I haul junk, I got to spend a whole another hour or two to clean my equipment after I have disposed of your material.

Speaker 2:

Who were you as a little kid.

Speaker 1:

Who was I? As a little kid? I was terror. I was a bad, bad kid. I was a bad child. I live in a local, so I've lived here my whole life. I went to school in Herndon but I got kicked out of Trainsville Elementary.

Speaker 2:

How do you get kicked out of an elementary school?

Speaker 1:

Man, I was a bad kid. Let me tell you, I was just a bad kid. Lunchtime was a free-for-all, you know.

Speaker 2:

You liked the food. Yeah, yeah.

Speaker 1:

I was like, hey, I was kind of a bully, I was kind of.

Speaker 2:

At least you're very self-aware.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, yeah, and so, funny enough, my wife's a middle school teacher and she was like I have kids at my school that are like you and you know I'm sorry. I'm sorry, yes, I was that kid.

Speaker 2:

Don't be so hard on that kid.

Speaker 1:

He just I kind of I spoke that kid's language. Okay, Any attention?

Speaker 1:

is good attention and so that's, I guess, where I was coming from. I was a disturbed child. I was angry, I lived through a. My parents got divorced when I was young, so I didn't have that mother-father given that attention. So I guess I saw attention elsewhere by being bad. So one time in particular, you know, we were at lunch or whatever, and I was climbing around throwing the foods or whatever. The assistant principal comes up with me and she's like come with me, you're coming to have lunch in my office. I was like no, I'm sitting here and I just kept throwing things like she wasn't there Like your teacher gets.

Speaker 1:

I just pulled on my clothes and it was like rip and it was. You know, mickey Mouse was cool, right, and it was my little brand new Mickey Mouse sweatshirt and I went from happy and you and I just swung.

Speaker 2:

Oh my goodness, it was like a knee jerk reaction you know, yeah, and then from that.

Speaker 1:

so I swung on her and they tried to get me and I ran all over. I was like, oh, you care about me.

Speaker 2:

I remember this. No, no, no, I remember it.

Speaker 1:

I remember it, I remember all of it. I was just, I was bad. I was just a bad kid. You weren't a bad kid.

Speaker 2:

You were looking for attention, I was looking for attention.

Speaker 1:

So I got expelled from that school and they bust me from Herndon so I never went to Herndon Middle. They bust me from Herndon Middle to Lanier.

Speaker 2:

I don't even know where that's at Sydney.

Speaker 1:

Lanier, it's in Fairfax, but anyway, and I guess they had smaller classrooms. You know they had two teachers, so they like gave you the attention.

Speaker 2:

Yeah.

Speaker 1:

But it wasn't.

Speaker 2:

I don't know how was the rest of your middle school, high school I graduated.

Speaker 1:

I went to Broadrun. I kind of grew out of that phase. I guess I did all four years at Broadrun, which was actually the first for me. I never completed a career at a school, you know what?

Speaker 2:

I mean, yeah, I never did the whole.

Speaker 1:

Yeah. So I did Broadrun High School. There for all four years I played freshman football, I did wrestling. I think those activities kind of kept my head on straight. You know, keep your mind clear. Yeah, high school was fun. I guess it was a means to an end. I guess I just had to finish high school. That was my, I guess my accomplishment then. And then from high school I worked in I don't know, fast food. I guess I worked in McDonald's and Pizza Hut and just the typical I don't know, just at high school gigs. And then I knew I had to do something like. So after high school I went to trade schools called Washington Business School, learned some desktop applications and learned how to use computer technology, yeah, learned how to type really well, yeah, so I don't look like a keyboard.

Speaker 2:

How many words per minute? Oh?

Speaker 1:

I used like 60 words a minute.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, that was good.

Speaker 1:

I still am good too, and like I can close my eyes and type oh I messed up. Back, back, back, back, keep going.

Speaker 2:

I have to check, yeah.

Speaker 1:

So I'm pretty good with the keyboard. My first few jobs like real jobs were, you know, front desk like a law firm, and that propelled me to another law firm in DC. That was actually my longest tenure. Was that law firm in DC? No, it wasn't my job. After that was my longest tenure. I worked at a DC law firm for I don't even know how long and then I got laid off because they eliminated my position and they had the IT department essentially take over my position.

Speaker 2:

What was your position?

Speaker 1:

I was facilities and audio visual coordinator at a very large law firm in DC.

Speaker 2:

What did you learn?

Speaker 1:

So I was doing a lot of AV stuff, video conferencing equipment, just all over.

Speaker 2:

You've always been a hands on right. Yeah, you know, and I feel like in school you don't get that.

Speaker 1:

Correct.

Speaker 2:

Right and so that's.

Speaker 1:

That's exactly where my frustration lied. It's like, oh, we're just doing paperwork, we're sitting behind a desk and like I want to perform, I want to, you know. So, um, yeah, so from there I gained, from Washington Biscoll, I gained, you know, computer skills which allowed me to get my first real job and then got a job in DC law firm. And then I worked for Kettler for five years, I think from 0409. And while that was there I also my then girlfriend got pregnant, so I had a child on the way. So that increased my hustle and you know, running the moon bounce side business, so then progressing to a evenings and weekends side mover, Um, and then I guess I became, I got laid off.

Speaker 1:

Oh, so I got the third round of layoffs in February of 09. And so from there I was kind of in transition from February of 09 to, let's say, October of 09. I would work with, like staffing, HCs, headhunters, and work for some very prestigious companies, including, like Rosetta Stone, the college board and a few other companies. I actually worked for Rosetta Stone during their IPO and I was able to get by stock at an employee rate. So I still own 50 shares.

Speaker 2:

What does that worth? You know, I don't know like $2,500.

Speaker 1:

Not bad, but I paid $900 for it there we go. So, and you know my financial guy, he's like, just let it ride.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I'm gonna find it. Do you need it?

Speaker 1:

No, I don't need it, just maybe one day See what happens? Yeah, Maybe one day it'll blow up like Apple or whatever. But then. So when I started my business in 09, it was just kind of I don't know, it was kind of a no-brainer. It was my girlfriend now wife just kind of gave me that boot. She's like this is what you do, this is what you've been doing. Just go work for yourself, because obviously you can't go work for these people because, like, my phone is ringing off the hook.

Speaker 2:

Yeah.

Speaker 1:

And they're like come here, why is your phone ringing? You know you're supposed to be working over here. Hold on, all right, take this call, go back, all right, you can leave now. And they're like no, leave now, there's no going back to your desk. And I'm like you ain't stopped me from going to my desk. I'm gonna go to go get my. Whatever I had at my desk, it's mine you know, my frame.

Speaker 1:

Yes, I had like pictures and my coffee cup and like I had my personal items. You know what I mean. Will box those up. No, no, no, no. I'm happy to leave. Yeah, but I'm gonna go get my stuff. Yeah, so I mean it didn't get, don't touch with a Mickey Mouse sweatshirt either. Yeah, that too that too, you know, I mean, I was, you know I'm a big guy, I'm not a little guy. And they're security, they're like he just wants his stuff. Let him get his stuff and then escort him out.

Speaker 2:

That's ridiculous. Yeah, you hear a lot about that and it's like was that necessary?

Speaker 1:

Right, don't steal the red stapler.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, you see those little weapons playing out, those staples.

Speaker 1:

So that was my the boot, you know, October 9. I did the paperwork and I was like, here we are, we're gonna, you know, do this thing.

Speaker 1:

And you know a lot of small businesses start out not adequately insured and you know I'm one of them. So I operated for a couple of years, just you know, uninsured, knowing I was uninsured. And then, you know, I got right. I made a lot of valuable connections in B&I so I got introduced to networking early. I was 30.

Speaker 1:

I was in a Panera out in Clifton at that time. I lived in the center of Illinois. I was just passing cards out, you know, organically trying to grow my business, and my card got picked up by coach Marvin Powell. He's a real big in Fairfax County small business advocate and he invited me to coffee tea, you and me, and I just kept getting them that's spam emails, junk email, just bombarded with junk email. All right, fine. One day I showed up, introduced you know, coffee tea, you and me, just networking, and it opened my eyes. Like there's hundreds of people just like me, you know, just small businesses, medium sized businesses, sales people and they're just all local. So I went to this coffee tea, you and me, learned a few things, got invited to a B&I, went to a B&I, did B&I hard for like five years and I learned and met a lot of great people I still do business with, like my financial planner, life insurance Cause it's about the people that you meet.

Speaker 2:

It really is.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and just like you meet these people and like just the vibe is cool, like they're warm and welcoming, like it's on a personal level and you're like you know what man, you're cool, I trust you. Yeah, let me just give you all my personal information, give you some money and make this money grow. So that's one thing I enjoy getting my New York life statements. I get like four statements, cause I've got a bunch of things going on with him and he's like man, don't worry, I was young. I was like he's like, don't worry, man, I'm going to take care of you. And you know I got my auto drafts and you know, it's all. It all looks good after 13 years. Yeah, good, yeah.

Speaker 2:

So networking has been your biggest way of building your business.

Speaker 1:

Networking yes, google.

Speaker 2:

The Google ads, or just organic, just SEO yeah.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, so I use a small SEO company.

Speaker 2:

Did you meet him at your B&I?

Speaker 1:

It was referred to.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Speaker 1:

So it was a guy at B&I I was like hey, who are you using? He's turned me on to them and I was like all right, great. So I've been using them ever since, for 10 plus years. Good, no complaints. I get tons of work from my Google reviews, my Google whatever, if you go to Google, so you're doing something, right yeah? So I maintain a 4.9 star Google review rating.

Speaker 2:

Who gave you the three-year?

Speaker 1:

No, it's funny, I've actually gotten work from the low reviews, Like, and actually I had one lady she wrote a novel and then I replied and like four minutes later she deleted her response or she deleted her whole review.

Speaker 2:

Was it a five point? No, no, no. It was good that she deleted yeah.

Speaker 1:

It was good. Actually, Her review was so long that, like you're like, oh my God, am I going to get through?

Speaker 2:

to this.

Speaker 1:

And then you see the response and everything that she illustrated. I had a response for and it was credible right. So I instantly discredited her because I was like, hey, thanks for taking the time to write your very first Google review. Instantly discredited, and then you just keep going on, and on, and eventually.

Speaker 2:

Did you actually know her? Was she an actual client? She was a client, okay, okay.

Speaker 1:

But I have had clients who were not clients. And actually I had one client. He wrote a really bad review. I took care of them, right. I only had one insurance claim and that can be for another story, but anyway it was all made right. But anyway there was something whatever damaged and I had it fixed. I mean, whatever time and money fix it to make it right. So I made it right and he still wrote a bad review and I replied and let it be. However, his big mistake was going in one year later and just adding a space or a period, something to make him relevant again, because he was buried at the bottom of the list, right, yeah, so he went in there and edited it and so now he was relevant.

Speaker 1:

And now I could dispute it and they removed it, so he's no longer there, 100% gone, that's fine.

Speaker 2:

I've only had I've had two low reviews from the same. It was the same couple, his boyfriend and his girlfriend, which, by the way, I think was a very abusive relationship, but we won't go there. But it's because of them that completely changed my business. Basically, he was really upset, even though he was notified I was not going to be his photographer or hit for his girlfriend. Right, he showed up. I told him I'm not going to be there, it's going to be my associate photographer. And back then I didn't have a different pricing structure. It was you paid one flat fee for the sitting fee and whoever was available would photograph you. He wrote this scathing review and actually almost had to kick him out of the studio because he came in screaming.

Speaker 2:

I was like yeah, he was so mad. He was like you are ugly talking to his girlfriend of the fixtures. I know my team was like and I was there. They were like we didn't know what to do. I was like next time, just say you need to leave.

Speaker 1:

You're going to have to go. Check out that You're going to have to have a song on the cell.

Speaker 2:

Check out that that's right, but it was because of him, that him and the girlfriend that I now changed the business. That skyrocketed when you looked at how much the difference in prices of now if you want to work with me, you're going to pay and you know you're going to work with me versus if you're going to work with an associate. It's the same fee as it's always been, so they're not always a bad thing, like those reviews sometimes can make you rethink how you do your business.

Speaker 1:

That's kind of setting a stage for your clientele and that's big with a lot of things. It's big in the restaurant industry. Your prices keep out the riff-raff. Kind of same with the moving industry. Like I know, I'm not the cheapest guy in town and I'm okay with that. But one thing's for sure is we're going to show up on time. We're going to do a bang up job. Mover joke.

Speaker 2:

I was like wait bang up.

Speaker 1:

Bang up job. So just we do things that other movers don't do. We fully rep and protect all the furniture.

Speaker 2:

And you're getting the owner.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I'm on 99% of the jobs, unless it's wintertime and I'm out flying down a snowy mountain.

Speaker 2:

Yeah.

Speaker 1:

So, yeah, I do take great pride in being hands-on and some of my customers are like you're here, we got the owner here and I'm like, yeah, this is just another day at the office for me, yeah, and so what? I'm there, I definitely ensure maximum productivity and maximum damage control and just put that customer at ease. So, yeah, when I'm there, they know all my crew, they know who's doing what, what's going where. Yeah, like me, typically I'll do all of the padding of the furniture. I'll start in the master bedroom or somewhere where all the good, nice furniture is. I'll do all that, yeah, and I'll have a guy load the truck who knows how to load. And that's actually a really big deal is having a proper individual load the truck, because if you get somebody in there to know how to load a truck, everything I've done to prep for that is done.

Speaker 2:

Yeah.

Speaker 1:

There's no use in doing what I've done if someone doesn't know how to load a truck.

Speaker 2:

I know I've tried to move myself. It's not fun. It's not fun.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, it's not fun to move yourself but it's value-added. And when you price as far as rates go, you've spent $10,000 on furnishing your home, or even more. We'll say $100,000 in furniture. If you've got a nice big home or whatever, paying movers will say not even 10% of that. I mean $100,000, I'm not trying to get $10,000 to move. I would say an average single-family home for me is around $3,500. That's on the high side.

Speaker 2:

Wow.

Speaker 1:

I don't mean apartment move around.

Speaker 2:

I mean, wow, that's cheap.

Speaker 1:

I mean, I'm more or less time in materials versus an apartment. Move is around $1,000.

Speaker 2:

But as somebody who's moved herself the stress of it and the chiropractic fees they have to go pay for Right.

Speaker 1:

So, yeah, I guess when people talk to me book with me, they're like all right, what's one less thing I got to worry about? I know I'm hiring a quality mover. I know because how we spoke to them. My online reviews back it up. I've got videos on my website that back up. And you've got insurance. Got insurance, yeah, got insurance. And well, not just insurance. Yes, I had to use it once.

Speaker 2:

Yeah.

Speaker 1:

And, but I can go into a story about that too. That's a story on its own, but he was. But anyway. But also no great furniture repair people, no-transcript. And furniture, everything is repairable from what I gather. It's just knowing the right person to fix it, you know it's not good. Yeah, so you know, scratch floors. I mean, yes, it happens. I would be lying to you if I said, no, we didn't scratch the floor. No, we didn't break some glass.

Speaker 2:

You know what I really like about you is you are one of the most honest and transparent business owners I've had on my podcast, Because most people want to paint a very, very pretty picture, which I get it. I understand that, but you're like we're gonna be honest about this.

Speaker 1:

If you can't own your, then you know what kind of human being are you.

Speaker 2:

You're even like muting yourself when you cuss.

Speaker 1:

It's gonna be beat and you gotta censor the yeah. So the one time I made an insurance claim I told this guy we were on the start for three days. I told this guy multiple times you should go disconnect that refrigerator. So from then till that day was I was like we're done touching water lines. Never, never again. If you don't touch it, the water line, that thing can stay. We're movers, we're not plumbers, we're not electricians, we're yeah. I mean, I'm not getting on the ladder, I'm not getting on your roof, I don't mount TVs on the wall, but I'll take the TV off the wall. So yeah, we're movers.

Speaker 2:

Your appliances have to be moved ready, they don't get your boundaries down.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, hardcore. So that's actually why a lot of my paperwork is bulletproof and tight the way it is. I mean, my paperwork even talks about animal feces and they're like what contractor has put animal feces in their paperwork? Well, maybe because I've dealt with it. Anyway, I told this guy many times for three days you need to go disconnect that fridge. Third day on the job it's like 10 o'clock at night or eight o'clock at night and we're just beat you know, hey, you forgot the fridge.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, dude, did you disconnect the water line yet? No, I don't know how. I don't have the tools. I'm like, get out of the way, I'll do it. The valve's like 20, 30 years old so I disconnected it and it's a 30-year-old valve so there's water corrosion in there and it didn't turn all the way off. So it comes back next day drip, drip, drip for whatever 12 hours. Flood at the kitchen, flood at the basement.

Speaker 2:

Oh shoot.

Speaker 1:

So when I was like, look man, you call your homeowner's insurance, it's all good, they're gonna cover it 100%, no deductible, whatever. Just call your homeowner's insurance and tell them we moved this fridge out, we thought the water was off, the valve dripped. Whatever, it'll be covered. No, no, no, you touched it last. You're on the hook for it, you're responsible, and he just wouldn't let it go.

Speaker 2:

So I'm like all right, fine.

Speaker 1:

Call my insurance guy. He's like look, man, you're a great customer, we haven't had a problem with you. So we're just gonna take care of this and act like it never happened. No increase in my rate, no penalties on, they didn't drop me, they didn't do any increase, they're just like bad stuff happens. We're gonna take care of it, but don't ever, ever, ever touch that again.

Speaker 2:

You're like really noted, we will never, ever, ever ever touch water lines. And that's why a lot of business owners have our businesses, have all these stipulations and agreements and contracts. It's because somebody went and aft it up and now we gotta make sure that we're protected.

Speaker 1:

As a courtesy, I'll do this. So actually now I have a waiver drawn up and if I have to disconnect your water line, we will sign the waiver. I'll get you on video. There'll be triple backups so that that will not happen again. So, yeah, we'll have a signed contract, a waiver and a video saying I want him to do this without penalty.

Speaker 2:

Yeah. And so when you say that you've learned a lot from, you've learned a lot from the years, oh my God, I've lost thousands.

Speaker 1:

I mean credit card charge backs a lot. In 14 years I've been doing this, I've learned 14 years, you're still a baby. I know, started when I was 30. I was gonna say you're still a baby, so 43, and I got a bionic back, and so the biggest thing with my bionic back is I gotta stay active.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, okay. And your bionic back and I'm like I'd be like flat in a bed all day.

Speaker 1:

So the more you lay around and the more that you're immobile, it creates arthritis.

Speaker 2:

Oh well.

Speaker 1:

So if you keep moving and you keep building muscle because if you build muscle you're not gonna build arthritis it's when you become immobile.

Speaker 2:

Okay.

Speaker 1:

Right, a body in motion stays in motion, so I like to live an active lifestyle outside of. That's why you're out.

Speaker 2:

Outside of moving Snowboarding or snowboarding.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, yeah, yeah. So my customers are like oh, you don't need to go to the gym. Well, I should go to the gym. I don't go to the gym. I mean, my gym is like I much prefer to go. Sure, I'll work, but I much prefer to go ride a bicycle but, not just do-do-do-do, ride a bicycle the way.

Speaker 2:

I ride.

Speaker 1:

I wanna go have some extreme bicycling like mountain biking. I had to go stop ride a bike at Fountainhead because I've been two or three times Fountainhead Regional Park. They got a mountain bike trail and, man, the first time I went I nearly died. The second time I went I nearly died. I you know I crashed and skinned up my arms and legs. But I gotta thank for going fast.

Speaker 2:

Yeah. So you each will go. You've seen one of those little GoPro things on your head walk around all day. You're gonna have like a whole documentary.

Speaker 1:

So I think, ray, Band or Oakley is coming out with sunglasses that will record that. I could be on board with that, because then I don't have to like deal with the whatever and I can just put my sunglasses on and it's gonna you know Word, all the crazy and you plug in your USB and you're like doot, doot, doot, app done.

Speaker 1:

See, I can get down with that. So I got a new phone. I haven't had a new phone in like five or six years and technology has changed in five or six years. So I'm like man, my new phone does this. Wow, mind blown.

Speaker 2:

So you can probably get a free assistant services just from your cell phone now.

Speaker 1:

Probably A lot of that is like outsourced overseas, yeah, and you know, just with tech and AI. I'm saying oh yeah, tech and AI. Yeah, yeah, One day.

Speaker 2:

One day Just see a baby step into that. Okay, so just to kind of wrap things up, because I feel like, first of all, I'm losing my voice, but just to kind of wrap things up because I feel like you and I could probably speak.

Speaker 1:

Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah.

Speaker 2:

All day. What is your like? If you had like one message for the world, for business owners or just general, for the community, what would that message be?

Speaker 1:

For businesses I would probably say get your paperwork tight and right. Everything falls back on your paperwork, whether it's contracts, agreements. Just make sure it's all written, signed, sealed, delivered. Having a gentleman's agreement is simply not enough anymore. If it's not on pen paper and signed, you got nothing. Yeah, I would say also you know, collect a deposit, cut deposit solidifies your agreement. I don't know as far as the community goes. I mean, we're workers, just like your workers. You know your house is your home, but now your house is our job site. So you know, I don't know, clean up your animal poop.

Speaker 2:

That needs to be his quote.

Speaker 1:

I don't know, I just I'm just a fun guy. You know I'm fun, I like to have fun, joke around, clown around. Life's short, you know. Enjoy it, laugh, have a good time, love it. And you know, if you do what you love, you'll never work a day in your life Are you doing what you love.

Speaker 2:

Doing what I love, I love it. Thank you so much for being on the show. I appreciate your time.

Starting a Business, Dealing With Challenges
Plans, Business, and Childhood Memories
Transitioning From High School to Entrepreneurship
Networking and Building a Business
Business Strategies and Customer Reviews
Importance of Paperwork, Enjoying Life