Desmond Lim knows the moving business. He grew up helping his father, who is a veteran mover of more than three decades, all the while thinking there must be a better way to facilitate moves. As the first of his family to finish school, going on to attend Harvard University, Lim realized that marrying technology with the industry was the obvious answer. Thus, QuikForce a company that helps facilitate your move from start to finish by leveraging a network of more than 50 fully insured moving companies. Business News Daily spoke with Lim about his company, how it began and what the future holds.
Business News Daily: In a nutshell, what service does your business provide?
Desmond Lim: QuikForce provides on-demand professional moving services, allowing you to book a move in just a few clicks. We provide an end-to-end user experience for both consumers and moving companies, as our software allows moving firms to automatically book, schedule and assign their moves. Home relocation is a huge hassle, and we want to make moving simple by using our data-driven algorithm to best match the best moving firm for your needs.
BND: How long have you been in business?
Lim: We recently launched out of the Harvard Innovation Lab to great traction over the summer, serving the greater Boston area and the East Coast. We have been rapidly acquiring users, both consumers and moving firms. Moving firms have expressed great interest in our platform. One experienced mover has shared that our platform is the "holy grail for moving companies" and eliminates a lot of overhead and inefficiencies for them. For moving firms that use our mover dashboard platform, we will not only be able to provide them with more business [and] help them better utilize their spare capacity, but also [allow them] to process payments through us.
BND: Did you start with a formal business plan? If not, how did you lay the groundwork for your business?
Lim: My father has been a mover for the past 35 years, and I grew up helping him to move. Both my parents only finished fourth grade … and did not know how to use technology to do their job better. As the first in the family to go to school and come to the United States for school, at Harvard University, I was inspired by my father to start this business to help movers just like [him] do their job better. Therefore, I had deep prior industry knowledge of the moving and storage industry and hence was able to launch the business.
BND: How did you finance your business?
Lim: QuikForce was off to a great start this summer as it launched to great traction [and] sales. Therefore, we were able to use a substantial amount of our earnings to reinvest back into the business. As the business grew, it also provided a positive cycle to the company as we were better able to leverage upon our success to grow even more. [Also,] as a technology startup disrupting the moving and storage industry, we are currently raising funding from angel investors and venture capital firms, and will be closing the round in the near term.
BND: How much did you invest?
Lim: I invested an initial $20,000 of my personal savings and money to kick-start the business, and that has been one of the best uses of money to date. I have enjoyed my entrepreneurial journey tremendously and learned a lot from the process.
BND: Is your business today what you originally envisioned at the outset, or has it changed significantly over time?
Lim: Initially, I envisioned QuikForce to be more focused on smaller moves, working with part-time and amateur individuals with trucks to provide on-demand moving help for smaller items. I started to work on that vision, and built a mobile app, but subsequently pivoted [because] I felt that the partnership with part-time individuals was not appropriate as there is insufficient insurance coverage and potential legality issues. As a result, I pivoted to work with fully insured and licensed moving firms, therefore ensuring that all furniture moved during the process will be sufficiently insured and that professional movers will be handling the moves.
BND: What are some lessons you've learned? Is there anything you would've done differently?
Lim: I have learned that having a collaborative, open and innovative culture is very important. At QuikForce, we are in the business of solving the hassle of home and commercial relocation. Therefore, we have focused from the onset on teamwork and collaboration. That has set the cornerstone of our business and has helped us move forward together as a team. In addition, we have a transparent and open culture such that teammates can directly question or provide feedback as needed.
BND: What were the most important factors that contributed to your success?
Lim: The most important factor to success, to me, is always about hiring the right people. It is very important to hire smart and diligent [employees] with integrity, who can execute and do the job well. I firmly believe in hiring people who are smarter than [I] and who can not only bring the team to higher heights, but also create a collaborative, progressive and hardworking working culture. As the CEO of QuikForce, I have focused a large portion of my time on finding the right people to join the company.
BND: What are the next steps you want to take as a business owner? How do you see yourself achieving those goals?
Lim: We have achieved great traction in the greater Boston area and will be planning to expand out of Massachusetts into Philly, New York and Miami in the near future. QuikForce works closely with well-curated moving-firm partners to scale and grow the business. Therefore, we are rapidly signing on moving companies with high standards and professional moving experiences to join us as our partners.
BND: What is your best advice to someone with a great business idea who is ready to give it a shot?
Lim: What the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve — so, just do it!