Moving Ahead Services and owner Jeff Collins had humble beginnings, with the company starting operations in the Columbus area in 2005. Collins, a veteran military police officer for the United States Marines, was working at a local storage facility in Columbus. While getting his first business off the ground, he started to also consider the relocation industry. Interacting with moving and storage companies on a regular basis, he felt that there was an immediate need to provide moving services, at a fair price, with customer service at the forefront as the absolute priority.
The relocation market was undeniably thriving, and Collins knew the potential existed, so long as he gave it 110%. Since its inception, Moving Ahead Services has been built by focusing on customer reviews, feedback, and through maintaining and promoting longstanding employee, customer and community relationships.
As the Columbus moving office gained momentum, Collins wanted to return to Northeast Ohio. As a Madison native, he wanted to bring his business model and his family back home. While the transition and growth were challenging, Moving Ahead Services quickly expanded, growing out of the small office space it had in Chardon. It is now located at a large office and warehouse combination space in Willoughby. The company has since expanded again to include an office in Cincinnati, allowing veteran Moving Ahead Services employees a unique opportunity to open in a new market, with all of the resources and support from Collins and the Moving Ahead Services team.
During this time, it was considered to be the early days of Internet marketing gaining popularity and mobility, and many companies feared it. However, Collins and Moving Ahead Services embraced it head on! With the customer service focus, Collins had no issue with using the online space to its fullest potential to promote the offices – Featuring and promoting customer reviews, coupons and more. Currently, between the three offices, potential customers can read over 900+ moving reviews online at any given time, averaging a 5-star rating. Moving Ahead Services has also been a multi-time winner of the Angie’s List Super Service Award, awarded to less than 5% of companies each year in all of Angie’s List.
Once establishing and building a foundation as a solid operating entity, Moving Ahead Services continued focusing energies on building employee potential, and giving back to the community. The majority of the Moving Ahead Services administrative staff began in the field as moving laborers – Collins included! In the summer months during peak moving season, 50+ college students from Lakeland Community College, Ohio State University and other schools near our offices join the Moving Ahead Services team. Students get the great experience of working in a demanding, thought provoking environment, while having Collins available for mentoring and more. In addition, complimentary schedules make this an ideal position for college students to continue even after class is back in session.
Moving Ahead Services employees are well trained, able to present themselves professionally to customers, and have the opportunity to receive internal promotions and financial compensation regularly – all based on performance. This has created an outstanding work ethic and employee conduct above and beyond the industry norms. Moving Ahead Services employees get all of the standard training and support to excel in their positions, and also enjoy benefits and perks. Employees are eligible for 401K, paid vacation and personal time, as well as paid holidays and overtime. Select senior employees enjoy company cars and phones, as well as commissions on services sold. Collins also hosts an abundance of company parties and events throughout the year to celebrate successes and appreciation for his employees.
In the Lake County community and beyond, Moving Ahead Services donates time and equipment to a variety of non-profit efforts. Working with several organizations in Ohio, Collins and Moving Ahead Services provide a multitude of services and donations. Currently working with Providence House, United Way, The Columbus VA Office, Susan G. Komen Foundation, The Greater Cleveland Food Bank, The Wounded Warrior Project, The Dublin Food Pantry, Move for Hunger and more. Collins actively seeks out and accepts requests for assistance on a regular basis.
Building a solid business was step one for Collins. The future contains a strong focus on community involvement, nurturing employees, as well as providing innovative and affordable solutions for those in need of moving services. With Moving Ahead Services exceeding an average of 40% growth year over year for the past 10 years, Collins is a professional mentor for many in the moving industry across the country. Moving Ahead Services has also expanded to include a sister-company, Moving Ahead Cleaning, which is a non-competitive, complimentary service that came about from strong demand by our moving customers. Collins owns and operates a residential restoration business in Northeast Ohio as well.
Employees, customers, family and friends will enthusiastically agree that Jeff Collins is an entrepreneur to watch and model after in Lake County, in both his business sense and his compassion for individuals.