Wednesday, January 20, 2010

What's up with My Truck Buddy in 2010?


Perhaps I should expand on that, but first a little background...

If you've read much of my website, you know that MTB is an accidental business. I didn't come to Washington looking to start a moving business ("moving assistance service!"), or to become an entrepreneur, but for other reasons. I came here to become a columnist...or something. I don't know, I never had well-defined goals before I got married and had a child and had to become responsible. And anyway, it turned out that they're not handing out columns to politically ignorant guys with strong opinions, particularly in a time when journalism as we know it is dying.

Anyway, one thing led to another and I found myself lifting couches for a living. Surprisingly, I found I enjoyed the honest work. (It's particularly honest when compared with some of my other jobs -- fundraising, PR for the government, etc.) So, instead of treating it like a "lifeboat job," I decided to make a go of it late last year. In 2010, MTB will become a more deliberate thing, a planned thing. Or so I hope.

What will it look like? Well, in broad strokes, something like this:

  • I'm going to end up getting a box truck. For the vast majority of apartment moves, a box truck just makes things easier on everyone and cheaper for my customers.
  • I'll be expanding my network of reliable "Truck Buddies," i.e. guys who I trust to provide the same level of customer service that I do. I have a couple of guys in the network already who've become big believers in the "service mentality" of MTB. That is, they understand that they succeed only when they go far above and beyond the usual moving credo, which seems to be "bitch and moan when the work gets hard." These guys are buying their own trucks and trailers and getting ready for the busy summer to come.
  • Redesigning the website to both look better, and be more "fun." I have no illusions that transforming a website whose primary focus is moving to something fun and interesting will be easy, but hey, I like challenges. I'd love to make a place where people can go to discuss things happening in Washington, get tips on the best restaurants, etc., or find guys with unique talents and skills that they need.
That's just a couple of ideas I have. But basically, I need to get this thing automated so that I'll be able to spend more time with family, particularly because in June, we've got another baby due, and my wife is going to need me at home. We don't have any family in the area, and it therefore feels like we're on the frontier. Everything we do, we do almost alone (although we've been building quite a network of good friends lately).

I welcome any ideas you have about how to make MTB more useful, fun or interesting. We're here to serve!


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