Moving to The Next Level

Jul 06 | 2015

Mark Ratcliffe and Andy Pearson have set up a new company called The Next Level. It has been created to help small moving companies become bigger by focussing on the practical side of what they do.

It’s a consultancy, but one that does not profess to tell people how to run a business – just help them do better removals.  It’s also not another trade organisation (just to make that clear right from the start).

Both Mark and Andy have spent much of their working lives in the moving business.  Both have run large, successful businesses, seen them lost because of a combination of misfortune and mismanagement, and started again in a more modest (and maybe more enjoyable) way.  They have learned their lessons, good and bad, and wish to use their experience to help others succeed. 

“We know that some will wonder why we are qualified to advise others,” said Mark.  “But it’s the very fact that we have seen the good times and the bad that makes us uniquely qualified to help others.  We know what went right and what didn’t.”

The Next Level is aimed at the smaller man and van operations that want to do the practical things better.  What materials to use, the best packing and loading techniques, the most appropriate types of vans, how to lay out a warehouse for greatest efficiency, how to motivate crews, and how to provide a good front-line service to customers.  “These are the things new companies need to know,” said Andy.  “I have spent much of my time in the industry training others in exactly these techniques.”

Mark explained that the service is very informal.  For a fee of £590, Mark and Andy will spend a day with a company and give them the benefit of a lifetime’s experience on the front line.  “We are not management or marketing consultants,” said Mark. “We know that’s not our thing.  But we don’t believe that there is anyone out there who knows more about removals operations than we do. We know that given the opportunity we can give these new entrants to the industry virtually instant pay back on their investment and bring them up to the next level much faster than would otherwise have been possible.”

 The guys got the idea for their new business from seeing comments on Facebook from small companies desperate for help and advice on practical things. “One company had a nice warehouse but no idea how to lay it out so it was almost useless,” said Andy. “Another didn’t understand why he couldn’t load 3½ tonnes on a 3½ tonne van.  Much of it is simple stuff but not so simple if you don’t know.  It’s our job to provide the knowledge quickly so people get these things right from the outset.”

 Mark and Andy are running the new business alongside their own moving businesses which will help to provide the initial finance and allow them to keep up to date with new developments in the industry. So if you run a small moving company and would like to run a bigger one, have a look at and take the next step.

Photo: Mark Ratcliffe and Andy Pearson

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