Dale went from lending a hand to a mate, to launching a startup when he spotted a gap in the market for moving bulky items.
In this interview Dale provides some great insight for non-technical founders and shows just how rewarding it can be to see your idea come to life.
Please introduce yourself (any Co-Founders) and your startup?
My name is Dale and I am the founder of Movermate – a removalist startup that aims to take the hassle out of moving bulky items around Australia.
We launched in Brisbane in 2016 and currently focus on performing micro-moves around the city. With our website, customers can enter details of what they want moved, how many movers they need and whether there are any major obstacles like stairs. Using this information, our site determines the difficulty of the move and calculates a flat rate for the job.
With Movermate, customers have peace of mind knowing they are getting the lowest price for their move and there aren’t any hidden costs.
How did you go from Idea to MVP and launch?
I’ve always had access to a ute and my friends would often ask me “mate, can you give me a hand moving this weekend?” Most of the time they would just want to move a couple of bulky items that wouldn’t fit in their car so I was always happy to lend a hand.
After doing some research, I found there was a gap in the market for smaller moves and people would often have no choice but to hire a truck; ask a mate with a ute; or go with an expensive moving company.
I thought there had to be a better way so I came up with Movermate.
To see if there would be demand for Movermate, I listed an ad on Gumtree and started offering flat rate moving services for people in Brisbane. It was pretty quiet for the first month, but then it just blew up!
I started getting emails from people all over Brisbane asking me to move their stuff. I then knew I was on to something and started working on Movermate the next day.
What challenges did you face during this period and how did you overcome it?
One of the biggest challenges for Movermate has been finding movers that share our vision and passion for customer service.
We weren’t getting a great deal of success at first, but once we refined how we marketed the business to prospective movers; became more transparent on how move prices were calculated; and focussed more on word of mouth, we started to have more success recruiting the right people.
We began to get calls from people who cared about the community and genuinely wanted to leave a positive impression after each move. They loved the fact that we provided them with upfront rates and flexibility to work when they wanted.
We found the more transparency we provided, the more people wanted to work with us.
During this journey to build and launch your startup what is one thing you look back on with a sense of achievement?
My proudest day as the founder of Movermate was when we got our first customer – it was like an enormous weight was lifted from my shoulders.
I’d spent nearly a year building the business and to finally receive validation was a great sense of accomplishment. The first booking on the site was a $50 move to haul a fridge two blocks down the road. It was a pretty small move, but it was exactly the type of job that Movermate was built for.
Offer us one insight, tip, marketing strategy or growth hack that has worked really well for you and your startup?
When I started developing Movermate, I didn’t have a technical co-founder or know a thing about code. So, I did some research; started asking questions on forums; and spoke to as many people as I could find to get a better understanding of the development process.
I found that the best path forward was to outsource the development of the site. Because I didn’t want a stock standard template, I decided to design the website myself and outsource the backend development.
How is your startup going and what do you aim to achieve in the next 3, 6, 12 months?
Movermate launched in late 2016 and is pretty new to the removalist market. We’ve had solid interest in Brisbane and want to focus on providing the best possible experience for our customers. While we aim to expand to other regions, our core market is Brisbane and we want to refine our service offering before growing too fast.
Over the next three months, we want to increase Movermate’s brand awareness and reach 100 moves per month by October. Within 6 months we want to fully automate our platform and build an app to make the booking process easier – this is already 80% designed. After one year, we would like to expand to the Gold Coast, Sydney and Melbourne.
Is there anything else you want to tell us about?
We are really passionate about improving the transparency and convenience of the removalist industry and are always on the hunt for removalists to join our team. So, whether you’re seeking more work-life balance and want to work with the community; or whether you need some stuff moved from A to B, we want to hear from you! We’re always happy to chat about Movermate‘s services so feel free to drop us a line at any time. We’ll get you moving!