A Quick Overview of What’s Involved In Starting A Professional Organizing Service
A professional organizer is a “smooth operator.”
You’ve seen them on Oprah, HGTV, and the Bravo channel. They are people who come into your home and organize cabinets, drawers, closets, files and sometimes, minds.
As you sit and watch these shows unfold you look around your place and think, “I do that all of the time. How the heck do I get someone to pay me for my talents?”
A professional organizer is a person who understands the principles behind managing time and space in a way that makes life run as smoothly as possible.
Busy professionals often find themselves being able to manage a home or office, but not both as well as would be desired.
There’s only so much time in the day. There are many facets to the world of organizing. You may want to be a hands-on organizer, assisting with a total revamp of a room or an entire house.
You could operate your consulting through e-mail, over the telephone, webcasts, teleclasses, or a workshop at a junior college or specialty store.
There is also a need for training courses for other organizers, group seminars, and workshops.
Then again, you may be the next Barbara K and develop your own line of organizing products, not to mention promoting your skills through writing books, newsletters, and other publications.
Your business can take several forms in terms of services offered. You can provide services to residential customers, business customers, or both. In addition, there are several areas of specialties you can target.
- Super organizational skills
- The desire to help others become organized in work and their daily lives
- Attention to detail
- Ability to get along with different personality types
- Have sound judgment as to what items are “junk” versus “treasure”
- Be creative with innovative storage solutions
- List of Common Business Skills
Employee and Job Consideration During The Start-Up Phase or In The Future:
- General Assistant
- Common staff positions needed to run some businesses
Approximate Daily Hours Needed:
Hours vary but you can stick with a 9-5 workweek or expand hours to evenings and weekends.
Equipment, Supplies, & Services During Start-up OR In The Future:
- Camera For Before and after photos
- Hand Tools such as Measuring tape, Level, Screwdrivers, Hammer
- Permanent markers, Pencils, Tape (masking/duct/scotch)
- Stud finder
- Power drill
- Disinfectant wipes
- Face mask
- Rubber Gloves
- Moving boxes
- Storage facility
- Essential Office Equipment
Monthly Expenses and Operating Costs To Consider:
Special Requirements and Considerations for This Business:
- Get a camera. It doesn’t have to be fancy. Do small projects and take “before” and “after” pictures. Most people will believe you when you say you’re a professional organizer, but a picture is worth a thousand words.
- Start your portfolio with small projects. Do a closet or a pantry. Re-organize a guest bathroom or a shoetree. Just make sure you document whatever you do.
- Wherever you go, there you are. You are a traveling office. That’s the beauty of professional organizing. If you crave change, you will love this line of work because your work environment is different for every job.
- Never force a client to throw anything away. It is their decision to part with their belongings and you do not know the emotional attachment they have to that item.
- Find the local listings for shelters, thrift stores, churches, and other organizations in your town to dispose of items. Suggest to your client they have a garage sale and donate the money to a favorite cause. It allows them to continue to value their possession and do exactly what they have been saving them for all of these years: allowing someone to get some use out of it.
Pros and Cons:
- In demand and defies poor economic climates
- You are making a difference in the quality of people’s lives
- Depending on your area, it can be a ‘hard sell’ because not everyone realizes the value of becoming organized
- It can be competitive
- You may have to work nights and weekends
Type of Customers You Need to Attract:
You can build a successful client list through word-of-mouth or networking. Good ways to start finding clients as a professional organizer includes handing out business cards, running small classified ads, and personally delivering brochures to prospects.
Though you can run a direct mail campaign, it’s not recommended until more personal approaches have been exhausted. Since you are targeting people who are in need of your services, you don’t want to send costly advertising material through the mail which will probably get lost in their home or office clutter.
If you want to attract the busy professional, you may want to consider offering promotional discounts to prospects at local companies or corporate offices.
A great way to inform the public of your services is to advertise at seminars or community events, or volunteer to be a speaker at group meetings or workshops.
Another successful tactic is contributing articles with organizational tips to local newspapers or advertising in club and church bulletins.
These websites list the current market trends in the industry:
National Association of Professional Organizers – http://www.napo.net
Do not price yourself so high that people will be scared to hire you or so low no one takes you seriously. Organizers charge anywhere from $60 to $200 an hour.
Where will your client base be? What is the socio-economic makeup of that area? What are the median incomes? What will be a fair price for both you and the client? How will you bill your clients?
• Time + Labor
• Time + Labor + Material
• Time + Labor + Material + Additional Services (painting/decorating)
• Consultation Charge