Webinar recap: Moving company marketing and networking hacks with Tim Campbell
January 30, 2023
Thanks to his father’s startup Dearman Moving, Tim Campbell was born into the moving industry. He worked his way up from mover to accounting and claims to operations and eventually settled down as Chief Vision Officer,Sales and Marketing Director. Tim recently sat down with Supermove to talk about his top tips for marketing and networking in the moving industry.
Top marketing tips for movers, with Tim Campbell of Dearman Moving
What kinds of paid marketing do you do?
Tim says that Dearman’s marketing strategy used to be to buy ads in the Yellow Pages and wait for people to call. But over the last 10–15 years, they’ve started getting more aggressive with channels like Google, different forms of outbound and digital marketing, and even inbound marketing driven by SEO, blogs, vlogs, and pay-per-click ads.
“Some things work really well, some don't. Some work well for some products, some don't…You’ve got to watch your leading indicators and that should be driving your spend. So if the phone calls start slacking or the web visits start slacking or appointments start dropping off, then you need to be turning up some knobs to keep the marketing up, to keep the appointments up, to keep driving the business,” says Tim.
How to use data to shift your marketing budget
Tracking data is the only way to know if a marketing campaign is working. It’s too easy to spend money on a campaign only to learn the ROI isn’t there.
Tim says that Dearman Moving spent “thousands and thousands of dollars” on postcards before realizing there was a really low return on investment there. So they started directing that money to other areas. While they haven't given up on postcards, they’re shifting how they do it– experimenting with digital postcards, being very targeted with how they use physical postcards in order to drive down the cost, and sending postcard recipients to their landing pages in order to capture those new leads.
Tim says that the postcards are just one example of how Dearman relies on data to keep the business on track.
“It's really funny because when my dad got into the business and I remember they knew how their business did about six months after the business closed—that's when they got their financials. And now we're making decisions weekly.”
He goes on to say that quality of service is also key because doing a bunch of marketing for a company that doesn’t meet customers’ expectations will cost you way more in the long run. Great customer service also generates referrals, which is one of the most efficient ways of marketing.
“I would say probably over half of our business comes from call-ins, referrals, people that know us, people that connect us through groups that we're a part of, events that we attend, things we speak at, and things like that. So that's always your best leads, your best customers,” says Tim.
Should I join a networking group for movers?
According to Tim, Networking groups are awesome but it takes more than simply showing up once a week and giving referrals to be successful. The best way to get them to work is to engage in one-on-ones with everyone in the group over the course of a year.
“If you’ve got 30 people in your group, try to meet with at least half of them in a year. Because I get a lot more referrals and a lot more relationships by having those one-on-ones. They learn a lot more about you, they learn more about your values, you learn a lot more things about them and you see a lot more opportunities to help each other and support each other than you do that 60-second commercial you get in a referral group.”
Tim says that the key to making the most of networking groups is to really just jump in. Don’t go in only thinking of what’s in it for you– you have to really embrace being part of that community.
“Most of our groups are really close-knit and they really protect the culture of the group. It's more than just direct referrals. It's like you can give a referral to somebody and that can be tips on helping them run their business or best business practices.”
The importance of networking with competitors
Competitor moving companies can be your best allies. There’s a lot to learn from each other, which is why Tim intentionally meets with fellow moving companies almost monthly.
He says he gets one or two phone calls a week from other moving companies, and even gets together with competitors a town over several times a year just to see what's going on, and what best practices other companies are using.
The intention here is never to steal things from each other.
“We like each other, we get along. It's like we've given him business before, he's given us. We have similar customers…We share best practice ideas, what's working at your agency versus ours. So there are so many ways to network. And that's my role is to encourage my team and to do that myself.”
How does your marketing change during the year in a seasonal business?
Setting a marketing budget for the year can feel really challenging in an industry like moving, which fluctuates so dramatically on a seasonal basis.
Tim says that Dearman has a monthly budget that’s set at the beginning of the year for things like SEO and that they might buy leads or do more pay-per-click activity in the off-season. Again, this all comes back to having the data to tell you what’s working and what’s not, so you don’t feel like you’re flying blind.
Tim also points out that the seasonality of moving also gives moving companies the opportunity to split their time between working in the business and working on the business.
“There are about seven or eight months of the year that you're really working in your business. And then you have about four or five months of the year that you really get to work on your business. So we're talking about what we are going to do this next year, how we're going to grow. The easiest time to grow is the fourth and the first quarter, so how are we going to grow in those quarters? What's our marketing plan for next year?”
How to network with real estate agents
Real estate agents are also an excellent resource for moving companies, says Tim. The best way to network with them is to avoid talking about your business and focus on how your moving company can help them and bring value to their business– it’s all about relationship building and when they trust you as a valuable partner, they’re more likely to refer business to you.
“Our approach is we don't ever go and talk about ourselves. When we do things, we like to go and bring things that are helpful to them. And then we're a resource and they're going to call us and ask us questions about moving…And when you're that trusted resource, then they're more likely to call, reach out to you, offer you referrals, have you back to speak, all those kinds of things,” says Tim.
Being involved in your community + sponsoring as a way to network
Attending local events and sponsoring events is an excellent way to meet people and show that you’re invested in the local community. It can even be in the form of donating to special events or sponsoring another local company.
Tim offered up a few ideas of how to use sponsorship to connect with your local community:
Offer scholarships to the community.
Pick up the bar tab. Dearman paid for the bar at a local brewery that was hosting a toy drive– everyone who brought in a toy got a free drink.
Donate to a recurring community event.
Donate trucks and time to churches and other community organizations.
All of these activities help you get to know your community more, which can go a long way toward driving future business.
What’s a piece of technology every moving company should be using?
Dearman uses a lot of technology. Their tech stack includes HubSpot, Supermove, Dialpad, Slack, Stripe, and Zapier, to name a few. But Tim is quick to point out that they don't just do technology for the sake of doing technology. Their goal with tech is to create a better experience for their customers and team.
“If we can make it easier for our drivers, our salespeople, and our customers that are buying from us, that's why we embrace technology. I like technology but it's not about being geeky and having all the greatest bells and whistles.”
Marketing tips for small moving companies
The biggest challenge for small businesses when it comes to marketing is budget, so focus on cheap marketing tactics with good results. Tim says that referral marketing really shines here– it’s the most cost-effective way to sell your moving services. Go to community events, meet people, chat with realtors and join networking groups and make sure you deliver a great product so you build a good reputation.
Focus on the marketing channels that work best for your moving company and are within your budget. If you need customers, but cash is tight, spending big bucks on marketing won’t solve your problem, says Tim.
Take advantage of the slower seasons to design a marketing plan and budget so you can grow your business with ease during busy times.
Full webinar transcript: Moving Company Marketing and Networking Hacks with Tim Campbell
Welcome, everyone, to our live Q&A of the “Ask the Experts'' series. I'm Heidi Liou and I'm the Strategic Partnerships Manager at Supermove. We're on a mission to make moving simple for everyone with the moving software that brings your whole team from your sales to operations, dispatch, and your coordinators, all on one system.
And today I'm joined by Tim Campbell and look forward to talking about marketing and networking, specific to the moving industry. And excited to just have a conversation today. A brief bio about Tim: he's an Ohio State Buckeye like me and resides in Mansfield, Ohio.
And over the past 40+ years, he's worked up through the business from being a driver to becoming the CEO and is now the chief vision officer and sales director of Dearman Moving & Storage.
So we're here today to learn from you, Tim, and pick your brain about networking and marketing. I'll start by asking some of the submitted questions. And as a reminder for those tuning in, there is a Q&A box so type in your questions any time and I will be checking that at the end.
All right so to kick it off, Tim, tell us your story, tell us how did you get into the industry, and what has kept you in it?
I was born into the industry. My father was involved in the startup of Dearman back in 1963. He kind of worked his way up through operations to the president of the company and my brother and I both got involved in it in middle school/ high school, going out on jobs working for road drivers. I don't think either of us wanted to be in the industry and we kind of just got sucked back into it. I went to college for a few years and kind of came back and started helping in the accounting, and claims, started doing some sales, worked over to operations, and then worked up into the general manager-type CEO role for the last 15–20 years. So been all my life. So that's kind of how I've been in it. What do I like about it, what drew me back to it?
What has kept you in it?
Kept me in it? Actually technology. I love technology and technology has made the moving industry exciting for me. I love innovation. I love doing things that make things better, create a better experience for the customer, and create a better experience for the teams or the crews. And we've experienced a lot of that coming in from the 80s, 90s, 2000s, up to today.
If you weren't in the moving industry, what would you be doing today?
I would be doing computer something. I love computers.
Tim's coding in the background.
So I just want to jump into a marketing focus to start with. So in the moving industry, I have found that there are companies that are on one end of the spectrum where they don't do any marketing and they just rely on word of mouth, and then there's this other end of the spectrum where they are almost a digital marketing company who owns trucks. Like I've even reached out to companies and they say, oh like we have one truck. And meanwhile, they make it seem like they are a very legit official company just based on their digital presence. And maybe that's me buying into their digital presence. So how do you view marketing at Dearman Moving? And is there a perfect balance of marketing, like maybe paid marketing and organic marketing?
We're not just relying on free marketing, and word of mouth. So we used to be one of those businesses that our marketing strategy was to buy ads in the yellow book pages and get a bigger ad and try to get to the front and wait for people to call you. And that approach was pretty much industry-wide. And over the last 10–15 years, we've started getting more aggressive with google and the different forms of outbound marketing and digital marketing and even inbound marketing with that SEO, blog writing, vlogs, pay-per-click, all of those different things. And some things work really well, some don't. Some work well for some products, some don't. There is a good balance but when you figure out what that is, let me know.
Because our business is so seasonal and there's like a rhythm to it and so there's so much about timing. And some of the things that drive the timing… you got to watch your leading indicators and that should be driving your spend. So if the phone call starts slacking down or the web visit starts slacking down or appointments start dropping off, then you need to be looking, like okay we need to turn up some knobs here to keep the marketing up, to keep the appointments up, to keep driving the business.
I know how low-margin moving companies can be and so in terms of spending money and not knowing if it's going to result in anything, isn't that very scary for you as a moving company or any company probably starting off?
It is and I think that was probably the most difficult transition for us. I mean I talked to some companies and the amount of their budget that they were spending directed towards marketing and advertising was just like wow, that's a lot more than we're spending. And so we started looking at that and started driving it but the biggest thing is tracking it. Don't just go out and spend money. Know that your return on investment is there. And if it's not working for you, shut it off.
We did postcards for a long time and we started tracking them. We're spending thousands and thousands of dollars in just a really low return of investment there. So we started directing that money to other areas. And we haven't given up on postcards, we're just shifting how we do it. Digital postcards and trying to get more efficient with it try to drive the cost down on postcards, be very targeted on our marketing with postcards. And then driving our postcards back to our landing pages and things within our digital campaigns.
Yeah you talk about tracking and I think me talking to a lot of moving company owners and different roles in the industry, I find that data is not utilized very much. So do you have any tips around what the main KPI should be, what's the main thing that you should be tracking, or something easy that people should be doing in their marketing today if they're not tracking anything?
So on our sales team, we track everything from web forms submitted, web visits, and inbound phone calls. We have a program called Dialpad where we can see all of our phone calls, what phone numbers are working, and which ones aren't. We track pay-per-click conversions, we track conversions from the website, we track how many estimates we do a week, how many we close a week, and how many new appointments we schedule a week. And everybody on the team has responsibility for these numbers. And we have a weekly meeting with the sales team. We have a scorecard and they show up there. And if we start to see things going to the red, we address those and look at those and say, okay we need to be looking at something there. What can we do differently?
Yeah, so you guys are data-driven and making decisions or shifting dollars based on how the data is showing you what to do.
Correct yeah yeah. It's really funny because when my dad got into the business and I remember they knew how their business did about six months after the business closed—that's when they got their financials. And now we're making decisions weekly. It's like we need to turn this knob up but we need to spend more here. And a year and a half from now, it's too late.
I think that there are a lot of industries that work in a similar model, like what's working, and what's not and adjust weekly versus making adjustments every quarter or every year.
Just reading Steve's comment. Steve goes, one, old-school thought—the quality of the product is one of your best marketing tools. Quality of product. Definitely your quality of service. Two, Heidi's original point—one truck with big marketing. Marketing for a company that doesn't meet a customer's expectations will have to spend a lot more dollars.
So referrals are something that we're huge in. I would say probably over half of our business comes from call-ins, referrals, people that know us, people that connect us through groups that we're a part of, events that we attend, things we speak at, and things like that. So that's always your best leads, your best customers. They're the easiest to sell. You're not even selling them. They want to do business with you. So all of our team are involved in different referral groups. They're involved in different organizations within the community, the chamber rich and young professionals, which is like a younger version of the chamber of commerce, young entrepreneurs that are up and coming. We serve with the chamber of commerce and do events. We sponsor events that our customers are going to go to. Knowing your customers is really important—where are your customers going to be? So we get involved in those things. You have to be active in your community, and you have to drive that you have a great product or it doesn't matter. Your market is gonna be super expensive and you're not gonna have a great rate on return.
Yeah, I love your point about being active in your community. I mean I live in New York City and there are a ton of advertisements for moving companies—I guess mainly maybe social media. But in terms of being active, I don't see very many companies in New York City being actively involved in the community but maybe it's because we're bombarded by so much all the time. So do you have tips for how companies can get active in their community if they're not doing anything today? Like What's a good place to start?
A big thing that we like is that our chamber of commerce has monthly events and oftentimes 3, 4, or maybe 10 people from our team will be at one of those events. And it's just getting to know politicians, other business leaders, other leaders in the industry, and other small businesses. So that's a great way to network and connect. And there's usually food and beverages, adult beverages and things like that so it's really easy, and especially a lot of fun. And it's very easy if you go with a team because you're not there by yourself. I would encourage two or three of you to go to an event and do it together. That way you don't feel like a wallflower.
Yeah, I like that a lot because when you're going alone, you're like all right I'm here to collect business cards, to give out business cards, and it feels a lot like work. Are you guys a part of any official networking groups, you talked about being part of the chamber of commerce and that's I'm sure a mix of a lot of different industries that come to these events. But are you part of any official networking groups and is that helpful?
We are in four different networking groups. Four of our team members are. Networking groups are awesome but the best way to be successful in a networking group though isn't just by showing up to the group once a week and giving leads. The best way to be in networking groups is to do one-on-ones with the people in your group. It's like if you got 30 people in your group, try to meet with half of them in a year or more than half of them. Because I get a lot more referrals and a lot more relationships by having those one-on-ones. They learn a lot more about you, they learn more about your values, you learn a lot more things about them and you see a lot more opportunities to help each other and support each other than you do that 60-second commercial you get in a referral group.
So just really jump in. Don't just go to it and say oh what's in it for me? I'm not big on the groups that are just about referrals. Most of our groups they're really close-knit groups and they really protect the culture of the group. Some organizations are just really about referrals and every week you gotta get referrals. And there are a lot more indicators of how healthy a group is. It's like how often the groups get together, how many referrals you're giving, how many referrals you're getting, or it's what you're doing to serve in the community together, do you guys attend other events? It's more than just direct referrals. It's like you can give a referral to somebody and that can be tips on helping them run their business or best business practices. It has nothing to do with giving them actual revenue, business, or a customer.
Yeah, that's the relationship part which is so important to maybe think of business. I find it fascinating that in the moving industry we can see the marketing that our competitors do, but in terms of networking, it's very much background work. You don't know how much networking and sponsorships they’re doing—those are very hidden things. So I don't know how much moving companies are taking advantage of it. But hearing from you like the chamber of commerce, like that's the first time hearing of a company that's getting involved in that. So I'd be curious to see how many companies tap into that. And are they being intentional, are they spending the time? Or are they too busy focusing on other things?
I'm intentionally even networking with my competitors and networking with other moving companies. I get one or two phone calls a week from other moving companies and I schedule a competitor a town over and we get together several times a year just to see what's going on, and what's best practices. And it's not to steal things from each other. We like each other, we get along. It's like we've given him business before, he's given us. We have similar customers. But I've learned a lot from meeting with him and I think he's learned a lot from meeting with me. But I talk with a lot of different movers and there’s a guy up in New York I talk to every month. We share best practice ideas, what's working at your agency versus ours. So there are so many ways to network. And that's my role is to encourage my team and to do that myself.
Yeah, that's the best role, being the networker. That's kind of what I do.
It’s a lot more fun than operations.
I agree. So being the chief vision officer and sales director, I'm curious, what are some of the challenges that you face day-to-day?
I have a really good sales team so the biggest thing is trying to manage them in a way not to overwhelm operations. This gas brake pedal thing. And they want to be out and selling, they want to be out marketing, they want to drive the business. And then operations is like hey wait a second here, we're swamped, take your foot off the gas. So you have to be creative in how you do that because you don't want to discourage your sales team and say no we don't do that. So what we do is we raise prices, we do things like that to naturally slow down rather than just put the brakes on and say no you can't sell because that makes it a little more challenging for the salespeople to sell.
So your sales and ops teams are probably always communicating with each other or you guys are making decisions of increasing prices on a daily basis or maybe a weekly basis?
We talk about it. It comes up at our sales meeting very regularly. That's another indicator. We're just kind of watching that on the other side of the organization. We're just looking at how they're doing over there. Are they short? Do they run into capacity issues? Or Do we need more gas on the sales thing to drive stuff on that side? So we're always looking at that.
So I'm curious. Obviously, residential moving is very seasonal. So how does your marketing spend change throughout the year and especially when you say that operations is telling sales to slow down? Is the marketing spend also changed in line with how salespeople are being instructed?
Some of it. For example, SEO and stuff like that, we pretty much have a monthly budget for that every year so that's kind of said at the beginning of the year and doesn't change a lot. You might buy leads, you might do more pay-per-click, that kind of stuff in the off-season. Pay-per-click is super competitive in our industry so you look at your return on investment and I'm not a big fan of it. It works really well in our portable storage business. That part of it does well, converts really well, and it's pretty reasonable. On the full-service side of it, we don't spend as much money there. A little bit on local but not much. So you do ramp that up.
You might buy some leads. There are some lead companies out there that we bought from over the years. And some are better than others. And again we track those and we turn those up. And in a sales meeting, it's like hey we need more leads, and I might throw some money right then and there and say okay we'll turn that up for a few weeks and spend some money there.
So there are about seven or eight months of the year that you're really working in your business. And then you have about four or five months of the year that you really get to work on your business. So we're kind of shifting from working in the business to working on the business. So we're talking about what we are going to do this next year, how we're going to grow. The easiest time to grow is the fourth and the first quarter, so how are we going to grow in those quarters? What's our marketing plan for next year, and what realtors do we want to get in front of?
Another way to market is realtors are always looking for people to come in and speak to them. That's a great network thing. So I mean the same customers and everything. Go to a group of realtors and get the opportunity to speak, that's just a win. And our approach is we don't ever go and talk about ourselves. When we do things, we like to go and bring things that are helpful to them. And then we're a resource and they're going to call us and ask us questions about moving. We don't go in there to talk about Dearman, that's not our goal. We want them to feel like we brought value to them at their meetings, something that they can use more than “we're the mover in town.” And when you're that trusted resource, then they're more likely to call, reach out to you, offer you referrals, have you back to speak, all those kinds of things.
And are these local real estate agent groups or do you ever go to a national convention for I don't know…
We’ve never been to a national convention. We just go to local offices because most of them have weekly meetings or bi-weekly meetings. They like to have speakers in. So you just go, hey yeah if you're interested we'll come in and be glad to talk. And you build a relationship with them. And now you're more than just this mover that they kind of know. You've actually come in, you've tried to help them be successful, and it's part of building a relationship with them.
Wow, that's really cool. Janet says, realtors like it when you bring in food. Everyone loves free food So what about other industries that you find very helpful to get in front of, not just real estate agents?
Through the chamber, we get opportunities to speak and we get opportunities to go to different things too. So there are all kinds of leadership groups, there are marketing groups, just doing things like this. I've had the opportunity to go to chamber events and talk about marketing in a local-type atmosphere. So again it's being involved in your community and being aware of what's going on and connecting. We have a great team that really connects. I get messages all the time like we need to go to this event, we need to be part of this event, or we need to call this person. So just be really connected to your community and the communities you're serving and know what's going on.
Yeah, I think either you mentioned it or maybe I brought it up: scholarships and giving money into the community as a way to show up. Is that something you guys do and do you find that to be helpful?
Yeah, I find that people do scholarships. We like our beer so we sponsor beer [inaudible]. There is a toy drive that's happening I think in a week or so that we're sponsoring. So we're picking up the bar at the local brewery that night. And everybody that brings a toy to the event gets a free drink. So we're picking up the bar tab and we get to go there and meet people in our community, other leaders. So it's another opportunity. So things like that. There's once a month ordeal in our community that's like a big concert, so we donate stuff to them, we donate stories. We try to donate things that fit us. We also have a Penske and truck rental agency, so we donate a lot of trucks to churches and organizations and say we'll pick it up. So we're always doing stuff like that.
Wow, I don't think I've ever been to an event that's sponsored by a moving company but maybe it's because I live in New York City. I need to seek those events out. I would love a free drink in exchange for donating a toy.
Well, the other thing is it's sponsoring another local company. So they're having the event at a local brewer, so it's driving business their way and it's a win-win all the way around.
Yeah, these hyper-local events I think are key for moving companies. But once again I never knew about this so it'd be kind of cool to see a write-up on where to start, like do you start with sponsoring, or do you start with joining the local chamber of commerce?
So I would start with the chamber of commerce type stuff and then that leads to the other opportunities.
Yeah, it leads to more relationships. Just to shift quickly. You mentioned in the beginning that if you weren't in the moving industry, you'd be doing some kind of technology, so I'm curious what's a piece of technology that you think every moving company should be using?
Supermove, of course. [Laughs]
Besides us of course.
So we have tons of technology. We have HubSpot, we have Supermove, we have Dialpad, we have Slack, Zapier, we have Sales Message, we have tons of products and we feel like they're all important. But we don't just do technology for the sake of doing technology. We want to create a better experience for our customers or our team. So our team is also our customers. So if we can make it easier for our drivers or our salespeople or our customers that are buying from us, that's why we embrace technology. I like technology but it's not about being geeky and having all the greatest bells and whistles. And we want our products to connect and talk to each other and support each other.
So a good moving company CRM is essential because we have a lot of automation in our office. So leads come in and some educational emails and educational videos go out to customers, and texts go out to customers. We do not inundate customers with that stuff, like hey call us, that kind of stuff. Everything we do, even the text message we send out to our customers, is very very soft. It's like we see that you filled out a form or you're interested in a move, we know that you're probably getting inundated with emails and text messages and phone calls, but that's not us. If you're interested and want to talk to us, here's a number to call us. It’s a softer approach and that's the one text they get from us.
And then we find out a lot of customers really engage back and forth through text. I book a lot of moves just over text. Having that technology, you want to be doing that. So a texting platform. Stripe is a huge tool that we use for credit card processing online. So those are the products that we use a lot.
When did you guys start texting your customers? Has it been a couple of years or…?
Yeah about two or three years ago. There's a certain demographic that really likes it, so it's like the 20 to 45 group that is in it. And knowing your customers is so important. We have personas for our customers. We have ones called overwhelmed Olivia and Retired Roger. And overwhelmed Olivia is a working mom or a mom in that 30 to 45 range. Retired Roger is that guy that wants to come in and shake your hands and look in your office and meet you face to face. And it's knowing your customers and how to market to them. So those personas are important to us.
I want to embody Retired Roger forever. That's really cool. So you guys have your personas for your sales team to react or understand how to sell to them, or talk to them, communicate with them?
How to market to them, what's important to them. As I said, you have customers that want to do business over texting. So we want to meet those customers where they're at. We'll chat and do the texting and do as much as we can that way before we have to do some kind of visual survey. Or sometimes we don't have to because It's a small enough move but we want to do an actual survey or an online survey to give them an accurate price. But we'll take it as far as we can that way, build a rapport, build some comfort.
So you guys are very adaptive to your customers versus just being like this is how we communicate you can only reach us via this email.
Yeah, so we went to a virtual phone system two and a half years ago, before COVID. So we were very virtual before COVID. So when COVID hit, we were all used to working from our cell phones, from laptops, from wherever we were. We didn't need an office to be at. So our phone system follows us wherever we go. And customers aren't just calling from nine to five. They're texting and calling on the weekends and after hours. So this phone system allows us all to engage and call them back and hear voicemails. It's another important piece of technology that we like.
What's a piece of technology that you would like to see come out for the moving industry?
Whoever figures out how to make all these pieces talk. Yeah and we're getting close to that, we really are. We worked closely with you guys and you guys have done a great job of connecting all the pieces. But we found ourselves going in and out of systems. And every time we went into a new system, it was an opportunity to forget something, to transpose a number, to misspell something, to leave out an important piece of data that the next team needed to have. So we've worked hard over the last year with you guys. And starting here that's a lead, taking it through sales, going right into the moving and operations, right into finance and it's consistent throughout. But when you perfect that part and we get that part down, that's what we all want. Going back and forth is awful.
Yeah well, that's why we're making the integrations with the van line so hopefully, that makes a big difference. Well, I want to open it up for any questions. I don't see any Q&A questions yet but everyone can start typing away. And Tim, did you have any thoughts on anything else around networking, maybe specifically for small businesses? because that's actually a question I got earlier.
Well with small businesses, the biggest thing is we're small so we don't have a big budget. That's why referral marketing is the best. It's the cheapest marketing you can do: get involved in your communities, get involved in referral groups, go and speak to realtors, meet people, and get your name out there. And then provide a great product so that you have a good reputation. Because that's cheap marketing that way.
Cheap marketing, that sounds good. This is a non-marketing-related question but I did get this question. This is for probably a smaller moving company. How do you choose the right truck when you're first starting out?
Oh, just a 26-foot box stroke. In fact, we've shifted to that. That's who we are. We are straight trucks and 700 miles or less, that's our niche customer. We do have tractor-trailers, but we do go outside of that. But that's our window and that's really what we sell. and in today's world trying to hire and find CDL drivers is tough, so non-CDL trucks are always better. It just makes it easier to hire and find people to drive them and try it. So that would be a big thing, that's an easy one there.
Yeah well in New York City, there are so many more sprinter vans than I've ever seen before. It's because, with apartment moves, people don't have trucks to move their stuff so that's really popular. Someone said can we hear about recruiting labor and drivers?'
We tasked our sales and marketing team to own. So our sales and marketing team says, okay what are creative ideas and ways that we can drive employees to apply? Things like that. So we came up with some different ideas on ways to do that. Sales and marketing track it, and they schedule the interviews for the team to help the operations to be successful. They work on the language and the ads. Run an ad out there for drivers and they’re not even gonna show up because every ad out there's running for drivers. So we look for different ways that we could market to find drivers and movers. And our drivers aren't just drivers, they’re so much more than that. So driving is just something that they do. But we started looking for other things that they do and ran our marketing to find those people who could also drive.
And we weren't targeting the unemployed or the underemployed, we're targeting people who have jobs because your best people are going to come from other companies—they're already happy where they're at, they're good employees, they're loyal, but they're looking for some new opportunities, maybe they don't feel valued where they're at, or maybe they can only go so far. So that's some of the things that we've done to try to market.
So the other industries that they might be working in, how do you research to figure out where else they are working?
We hired people from factories. We've hired people from telecommunication. So there are industries where they might be traveling a lot, maybe they're a driver and they're traveling a lot but they're never home. So we market and we say, part of our deal is that 700 miles. So we're kind of right out and right back. We'll make promises like if you're going out of town, if you're going out over the road, not more than two or three trips a month. So versus the company that they're working for, maybe they're having to go out every week. And so money's not always the biggest motivator. Family time is important. It's recognizing that retaining employees is important too.
And when you retain people, your team is also some of your biggest recruiters. So they're out there telling people about the great company they work for, the team they like, or things like that. And how we work on that is our people are not just cogs in a machine, they're not just employees here. They have family things going on, they have financial concerns, they have spirituality concerns, and things going on, they have health issues, fitness issues, and other interests, and they're a well-rounded whole person. And if you realize that, treat them like people and you care about them, then if any one of those things is out of whack, and you recognize that that's going to affect all other areas. So you wanna step into that, be comfortable with that and help them through anything that's difficult or anything maybe they're struggling with. You don't want their job to be miserable and cause them to be going through a divorce or financial problems or vice versa.
So pay attention and care about your people, which I wish was happening everywhere. Tim, maybe I'll work for you. I'm just kidding. I'm happy, I'm good. But I'm just thinking about it almost Black Friday and I have a friend at amazon and I think he's working 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., as a software engineer at amazon, so it's pretty crazy.
Our inside team has lunch together almost every day. We sit and eat lunch together. I mean not everybody may be there but as a group, we sit. On Fridays, we have a thing where we unwind and we have a thing called beer o’clock and it's about four o'clock on Fridays. And it's like we're just gonna revamp the week and you did a great job and unwind and we like being around each other.
It's like a family.
Yeah, it is.
Your point about drivers and other roles in the industry, making sure that you're telling them that we are a company that cares about your work-life balance and we take care of you here, so that's awesome.
Well if there aren’t any other questions. Tim, I do want to tell you how much I appreciate you for spending time to talk to me. And I loved hearing about your story and I think that we all learned a little bit from your expertise. I learned a ton about networking in local groups and recusing on making a splash in your community and getting involved. So that's something that I'm gonna take away from this.
Once again, this live Q&A was brought to you by Supermove. Our company is a software platform that brings your whole team to one system and makes it as easy to run your business as possible. If you're not using any moving software today or are just curious to see what our platform looks like, you guys can sign up for a demo on our Supermove website and mention that you attended this live Q&A with Tim. So Tim, do you have any last words before I close out?
Our team and myself are available if anybody ever wants to call us or ask questions about Supermove, the moving industry questions, or whatever. We have those calls all the time. We have one or two calls a week. We're talking to the moving companies and reaching out and answering questions and talking to them. So feel free to reach out. I think Heidi's provided our information. But feel free to contact us. We'd love to help any other company be successful. We think it raises the bar for the whole industry.
Tim, we need more people like you who are being friendly with their competition and help to elevate everyone. So thank you so much for sharing your story. And thank you everyone for attending. And look out for our next event by staying updated on our social media platforms. But thank you, Tim.