Affordable Family Movers of Hillsborough County
Things don’t always go as planned. No one knows this better than Robert Marshall. As an electrician when the market crashed and the recession hit, Marshall was inspired to start his own business in 2012 called Affordable Family Movers, a moving company that provides professional service at an affordable cost.
“No one was building houses so I got a truck and started working for a company and I noticed I was getting a lot of good ratings and reviews for the company and I said ‘hey let’s just do it for myself.’ We started with one truck and a crew and eventually it caught on like wildfire. It just grew, Marshall said.
Although Marshall had the entrepreneurial spirit and drive to get his business going, he struggled with where to begin. With that in mind, he reached out to the Florida SBDC at Hillsborough County, and business consultant Janette Blanco.
“I had no clue about running a business. I knew nothing. Nothing. This lady brought me through a lot. I mean from the beginning she’s taught me how to scout the competition, the size of the competition, how to make phone calls. Everything. I went to SBDC and I learned a lot from miss Janette Blanco.”
Blanco’s first question to Marshall was what made his company different. From there, Blanco helped him hash out what made the company different, as well as answer many other business questions.
Marshall first started by taking classes and getting a better understanding of what running a busy entailed.
“We started from the beginning, taking our classes, taking our workshops, taking our one-on-one consulting,” Blanco said. “Then he understood legal structures, tax structures, he understood licensing and insurance, liabilities, he didn’t know anything about that. Once he got everything together and he understood what he wanted to accomplish we started working on other challenges.”
Marshall has since then added two trucks, four employees and is in the process of hiring an assistant to help in his office. This has enabled him to work on the biggest challenge he’s faced in being a business owner – trust and micromanaging. “I had to learn how to trust people. It really was a big thing for me,” he said.
Learning to trust people in order to grow his company as allowed him to grow his company, including landing contracts with the Department of Transportation and giving back to the community whenever possible. The company assists The Spring of Tampa Bay and the battered women’s shelters.
“My whole thing is I want to give back to the community and do as much as I can for them, you know,” he said, “the truth of the matter is I enjoy helping people and so it never really is about the money. It’s all about me helping other people who are in a bind.”
Marshall is continuing his work with the Florida SBDC at Hillsborough County, to take his business to the next level.
“We’re working on government contracting. My goal is for him to have worked in the private sector as well as with the government, so we’re working on the minority certification and small business registration and from there we’re going to teach him how to work with the government,” Blanco said.
Marshall is currently strengthening customer awareness of his business, as well as continuing its growth.
“I would strongly recommend anybody who is considering starting up a business and that doesn’t have any type of background in it or any type of college education – if you have an idea, I recommend going to the Florida SBDC,” Marshall said.