When someone wants to give you the royal treatment when you have to move from one place to another, how could you pass up this opportunity?
Royal Thomas, a 1-800Accountant client, strives to do just that each day with his small business. Quaydos Moving Professionals, LLC is a Hampton, Virginia-based moving company that was formally established in May 2012.
Thomas came up with the name of the company by combining three names – his nickname (Lando), his brother’s name (Quashun), and his girlfriend’s name (Chiquay). The company serves Hampton, Charlottesville, Richmond, and other areas of the state for individuals, families, and businesses. It can offer out-of-state moving options as well.
Thomas says his inspiration for starting the small business came from his desire to offer a moving service for everyone that could fit specific customer needs.
“I decided that I wanted to start a customizable, full-service moving company that offers an array of services so that people only get and pay for what they really need,” he says.
The company uses a 16-foot box truck to transport all kinds of furniture and personal items for many different customers. They include college students, single-parent families, senior citizens, and the occasional small business owner.
Thomas went to school at The College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia where he worked for the school’s storage department. During that time, he worked closely with a retired football linebacker who encouraged him to get into the moving industry.
Accounting for top-notch customer service is a major part of the moving business, Thomas says. That’s why he spends so much time ensuring customers get friendly, reliable, and safe services when transporting their belongings between locations.
“The way I treat my customers is so important in this business,” he says. “The way we move things is a little different than a traditional mover. We use special protective equipment to be sure that everything is safe. We use shrink wrap, protective blankets, and strategic packing by taking our time to ensure every item we move is packed appropriately.”
He adds that offering flexible services, using modern-day Internet advertising methods, and gaining an edge on his competition will ultimately make Quaydos Moving Professionals move ahead of the rest of the pack.
Meeting others is what Thomas thoroughly enjoys about running a moving business. In fact, he even provided services to star NFL quarterback Michael Vick.
“The networking that comes with it is great,” he says. “The people I get to meet have so many different personalities, and it’s nice to be able to help them during a stressful time like moving.”
Small Business Competition in the Moving Industry
To compete against other moving providers in Virginia, Thomas says it will take time to be well-established in the community. Fortunately, his expenses aren’t nearly as high as those incurred by much larger movers.
“It’s kind of difficult to compete because of the level we’re on,” he says. “We’re a really small business compared to others, but our name is starting to appear alongside the names of the largest moving companies out there. We don’t have too much overhead, so we can give our customers a good deal since we have all the equipment we need.”
Thomas utilizes cutting-edge marketing strategies to get the word out about his small business. These include being listed on Facebook, Twitter, Manta, and MerchantCircle. He has also implemented search engine optimization (SEO) techniques to have his website appear higher when prospective customers search for a moving company online.
Becoming a newly crowned small business owner comes with a whole host of new challenges and adventures. In Thomas’ case, the number of responsibilities he took on was a bit overwhelming out of the gate.
“When you’re running a business like a moving company, you just can’t run it yourself,” he says. “You need to depend on people, and I pay some people I know to help me out. You have to get paid yourself so you can pay them as well. The money usually doesn’t come in until the job is done. It’s kind of like Batman and Robin, and Robin sometimes decides to take the day off. That’s why you have to find extremely reliable people to help you.”
He reiterates that launching a small business opens the door to so many unexpected experiences.
“Starting a business is like having a baby. The constant, everyday demands of it and trying to balance personal stuff can be tough.
“Constant reinvestment of the company can also get to be a lot to handle. I’m paying all these bills, and then Uncle Sam wants more.”
Always keeping the customer top-of-mind is essential in any company, he says.
“Make sure you treat your items or services well, but treat your customers even better.”
He points out some of the advantages and drawbacks involved in self-employment.
“You control your own schedule,” he says. “You’re your own boss, and you can’t be fired. You make the amount of money that you can envision and really want to make.
“The disadvantage is that it is very expensive and you have to pay for it all yourself. You have to do everything for yourself – taxes, payroll, bookkeeping, customer service, scheduling, and a lot more.”
With all of these tasks on his to-do list, Thomas came to 1-800Accountant for assistance. He speaks highly of the firm’s range of services and helpful staff.
“1-800Accountant has stayed on top of everything for me very well,” Thomas says. “Just keeping me on board and updating me on what I’m supposed to be doing with all of my accounting responsibilities has been fantastic. If you are a new small business owner, I would definitely recommend using 1-800Accountant.”
Photo credit: The photograph of Royal Thomas was provided by Quaydos Moving Professionals, LLC and is used with permission.