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Sunday, Sep 24, 2023

Special Report: Women-Owned Businesses – Laura McHolm

Laura McHolm

NorthStar Moving Co.
Business: Moving and storage
Year Founded: 1994
Employees: 77
2021 Revenue: $12.5 million
Rank on List: 53

Moving a household is among the most stressful events a family can endure.
“Everything is uprooted,” said Laura McHolm, the co-founder of NorthStar Moving Co. of Northridge. Moves typically are made amid “the chaotic backdrop of not being able to find your favorite pair of socks or the kids’ night light because everything is in boxes.”
What’s more, a move often is the result of some big life change: marriage, divorce, new baby, new job. And it typically involves the apprehension of new schools for the kids and finding new friends for the whole family.
“Let’s face it, it’s stressful and nobody enjoys it,” said McHolm. “It’s truly the time we could all use a little TLC. But the moving industry was a service industry that sorely lacked service.”
So, she set out to change that with her company by emphasizing service. And she believes she had an advantage.
“Being a woman has absolutely helped me have a fresh perspective in a traditionally male-dominated industry,” McHolm said. She had the freedom to think outside the proverbial box.
“Most people think of moving as burly guys carrying sofas and heavy boxes,” she said. “However, anyone who has moved knows it is much more than moving all the furniture. Even though the industry is male dominated, women, usually, select the moving company and orchestrate the move itself.”
So her goal was to turn moving “into a true service business.
“Our trained teams handle every move with the utmost care and our eco-luxury packages make it easy to get assistance with the entire process,” McHolm said.
What advice would she give other women starting a business? “Trust your gut! We’ve all had those moments when we did something our gut was telling us wasn’t the right course, and when the result we were hoping for doesn’t materialize, it hurts because you KNEW better.”
Another piece of advice: “Hire people different from you. Diversity is key. You never know when or where a good idea will come from.”
For that matter, McHolm has the following list of bullet points, that, as she put it, “can make everyone a success”:
• Listen.
• Keep others informed.
• Underpromise and overdeliver.
• Keep your word. It’s all you have.
• Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
• Be humble.
• Laugh at yourself. A lot.
• Speak clearly and in a lower registry. Lower voices tend to be taken more seriously.
• If you’re speaking, don’t have your sentence end in an upward inflection unless you are truly asking a question. I hear many women not stating facts but asking facts.
• Give back.
• Enjoy the process.
• Take care of yourself: eat healthy, drink lots of water, exercise, meditate, get regular check-ups, and know how much sleep you need to be at your best and get it.
• Be thankful.
• Be part of a community.
• Surround yourself with people who you believe in and people who believe in you.
• Laugh again. Really, laugh a lot.
• Perfection is wonderful, but don’t wait for it.
• Act.
• Be open to being inspired.
• Remember that just a 1% change can result in huge results.
• Build a business you believe in.
• The customer is always right.
– Charles Crumpley

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