The removal industry is among the beneficiaries of a huge increase in UK property transactions over the last few years.
However, recent economic and political changes are now threatening removal professionals, especially the smaller firms in the industry.
We’ve listed the 5 trends that are likely to have the biggest impact on the industry over the next year, and described what measures small removal firms can take to protect themselves from losing revenue in what is now a volatile market environment.
Data shows that, over the last couple of years, the success of the removal companies in the UK has been closely tied to a significant increase in property transactions during the same period.
Fueled by the introduction of more robust government support for the housing market in 2013-14, industry revenues have been, until recently, steadily increasing.
But the impact of this effort has since waned and however and forecasts now paint a less bright picture for the industry next year, in 2018.
Brexit and its impact on businesses leaving the country has led to short-term increases in demand for removal companies in the UK in the last year. Not only did companies as well as some of their employees relocate to other european cities but it is also assumed that employees who stayed in the country moved places to live closer to their new work. Long-term demand, on the other hand, is expected to be constrained, as buyers are now holding off on purchasing property.
Removal businesses operating in London could face additional costs in the form of the T-Charge (Toxicity Charge) from 23 October 2017, if their cars, vans or minibuses don’t comply to the minimum exhaust emission standards.
This emissions surcharge is up to £10 daily and will be in addition to the congestion charge.
Notably lower fuel prices in the recent past have lead to increased margins, but they have also attracted more competition. Especially small local removal services could face increased competition from these new players over the coming year.
The rise of online platforms that connect private service suppliers with people who are looking for someone who can help them out, is also threatening smaller removal companies. Everyone with a car or a van can now offer his services and become a one-man removal business overnight.
Although the market environment poses some great threats to small removal companies in the UK over the next year, there is definitely something business owners can do to put themselves ahead of their competition.
Businesses without a digital storefront will face the biggest challenges in the near future. Especially for businesses with a low rate of returning customers (such as the removal industry).
Simply put: you can no longer afford to stay offline in 2018.
Having a website that allows customers to directly book your services on their smartphone is now the industry standard.
Anyone who has ever made a website knows it won’t get you far alone. Because only people who already know your business will ever land on your website. And then no new customers will ever find their ways into your client database.
Showing up in the search results of search engine giants (Google, Bing et al) should be your main goal. If your website is visible when people look for your services, you’ll start getting new clients.
Google Maps is the next place where your business can’t afford not to show up. We all use it to find the closest restaurants, hairdressers and plumbers today – so do your potential clients in the removal services industry.
Even though Google’s data often lacks precise information like prices and contact details, if your business is not showing up on maps it could be a death warrant for your company in the near future.