Build your business outside of the box

This article was contributed by David Garrett, Managing Director.
Build your business outside of the box

Sometimes the best business plan is the one least expected. Call it the “Robert Frost Strategy” - where the path less travelled allows for greater freedom and yields some truly unexpected returns.

The best part? For those of you who pride yourselves on being disruptors, it’s one of the best ways to ensure people sit up and take notice.

This was exactly what we were aiming for when we started You Move Me.

Instead of jumping right in and learning as we went, we purposefully built a moving company from outside of the moving industry. We didn’t want our judgment to be clouded by the decisions and opinions of players already established within the industry. Nor did we want our vision to be influenced by the systems and practices that had come to define the typical customer’s moving experience.

The outcome of this early strategy was enormously successful. By focusing first and foremost on the customer (and not the industry), we were able to clearly establish and execute the following business fundamentals:

Brand definition

From the outset, we wanted to revolutionize the moving industry. Our brand would be defined by a specific customer experience mission statement: You Move Me would movepeople, not just their boxes.

Customer focus and promise areas

We wanted to create a set of values that would serve as the foundation to the customer experience outlined above. Establishing a set of EFAs (Exceptional Focus Areas) on which we would not compromise, allowed us to communicate our service guarantee and set us apart from the competition. Our EFAs were the promises we would make and fulfill to every single customer (and they were promises we made before we had even opened our doors): On-time service; clean shiny trucks; friendly, uniformed movers; and up-front rates. Early on, we established these items as non-negotiables, a commitment to which everyone in our organization was 100% aligned.

The secret sauce: our system

We built an end-to-end customer experience system that encompassed every factor involved in the moving process. From the moment our customer would call us, to our ‘welcome home plant’ at the end of every move, we wanted this system to factor into every customer touch point. To achieve this, we broke down the experience step-by-step, and organized it into operational units, which our franchise partners could then follow from the start to the finish of each move. The guaranteed end result, when followed, would be a happy customer.

Once these core areas were defined, we opened our doors. The next eighteen months proved invaluable, as we stress-tested each area and learned where we could, and should, continue to improve. It was only after this period of learning and growth, that we expanded our team to include a few of the right individuals from the moving industry - ones who shared our vision and values, and who continue to help us better reach and serve customers.

For You Move Me, the road less travelled made for the perfect path to get where we wanted to go.

What are your best disruptor tips? Have you ever started a business from outside an established industry? Please share in the comments below!