Published February 11, 2016
Typically, when you hire a moving company, they send three or four reps to your home to conduct an extensive, time-consuming in-home inventory. If you’re a busy professional, not only do you need to take time away from work, but you also need to sit through this process.
makes this easy. You simply fill out a detailed inventory of your household including images and origin and destination details, and the information is automatically sent to moving companies to bid on. Moving companies, on the other hand, save on sales costs as well as getting more qualified leads.
We recently caught up with the Founder and CEO, Don Kachur to learn more.
How did you come up with the idea for your startup? Was there an “ah-ha” moment?
The inventory process has always been inefficient and expensive. The ah-ha moment occurred when advances in technology gave us the opportunity to use images in our application instead of text. This radically changed the user experience.
What has been the biggest challenge so far? What have you done to solve it?
Changing the old-school mindset of the moving industry. The majority of our customers are moving companies, and many of them, especially in the U.S., still believe they need to send a sales rep to the home to get an accurate estimate. There are many sales positions at stake here, and the biggest moving companies know that smaller movers do not have the staff to do in-home estimates. Online inventories like MovesOnline threaten to bring a new challenge to the moving industry in the form of the mom-and-pop moving companies who often do excellent job of moving; however, do not have the sales and marketing capabilities of the larger companies.
Not only is completing an online inventory more convenient, but it also puts the customer in control of the bidding process so they are assured of the best bids.
We have decided to “pivot” our business model to target the consumer instead of the moving company. Rather than the consumer preparing the inventory for one moving company, they will have the opportunity to send the inventory to three or four movers for competitive bids.
What’s new with your startup that we can share?
We won the Government of Alberta Consumer Champion Award and the Canadian Association of Movers Innovation Award. This has helped us gain recognition as well as reaffirmed that what we are doing is making a positive difference to consumers.
What advice would you like to share with new entrepreneurs?
Test your product early to ensure consumer acceptance and be prepared to change your business model if the industry is not ready to accept change. Even the greatest innovations do not sell themselves. It will often take more money and effort to market an application than it did to develop it.
What made you choose to go down the path of entrepreneurship?
I’ve always been an entrepreneur. From taking over Jims Express, a small delivery company owned by my father, I quickly rebranded the company into Highland Moving and Storage, which soon became one of the largest moving companies in Western Canada. I also founded Starline Overseas Moving to take advantage of the international moving activity created by the oil industry in Alberta. In addition to MovesOnline, I’ve launched other web-based apps such as ‘Click and Move’.
What do you and your startup need help with?
If you know anyone who’s looking to move, please tell them about movesonline.com so they can quickly publish their inventory and get competitive bids from movers.
Lloyed Lobo covers technology startups in Alberta. He is a partner at Boast Capital
and Co-founder of Traction Conf
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