Becoming a professional organizer can be a wonderful and rewarding career. Professional organizers help their clients declutter their homes, overcome the stress and anxiety associated with messiness, and provide tools to create structure and maintain order. For many people who are interested in professional organizing, the biggest obstacle is learning how to get started building their own professional organizing business. This article offers some tips and tricks for where to begin.
Research the Professional Organizing Industry
The first step to starting out in any industry is to do the research. Learn everything you can possibly know about being a professional organizer.
- What kind of tools or equipment will you need?
- How should you manage your schedule or your finances?
- What should charge your clients?
- Do I need insurance?
- What kind of work should you expect to perform?
This is important for two reasons: First, it helps introduce you to the industry and gives you an idea about what you need to do to get your business off the ground. Second, it gives you a picture of what to expect once you become a professional organizer – both the good and the bad that comes with it. Understanding these pros and cons early can help you determine if this career is really the right fit for you.
Write a Business Plan
A business plan is a well-thought-out document that identifies the goals of a business and the means by which you intend on meeting those goals and achieving overall success for your new company. A good business plan should include a summary of the industry and competition, your business concept, service offering, upfront investment, marketing plan, and strategy for growth. Essentially, how do you plan to stand out from the crowd and manage your new business?
Set up the Legal and Financial Aspects of the Business
While most home-based professional organizers don’t require a ton of initial capital investment, just about every startup needs funding in order to get off the ground. Whether you’re using your own savings or plan on taking out a small business loan, it is key to make sure that you organize your finances to make the most of your investment. Furthermore, you want to make sure that you get your business fully registered and licensed. You can either do this online, or with the help of a small business attorney. Lastly, you need to protect your business with professional organizer insurance that covers general liability as well as property, auto, and workers compensation. Once you have your finances squared away, your business fully registered, and your business is covered with professional organizer insurance, you are ready to start putting your name out there in the professional organizer industry!
Brand and Market your Business
There is a lot of competition, so for your company to thrive, you need a steady stream of customers coming to you for help. The first place that most professional organizers start to build their brand is online. Develop a robust social media presence dedicated to your business that displays your work and explains how you can help your clients. Create a website that is easy to use and simple to navigate. Invest in some online advertising to reach local customers. As you grow, your brand will emerge and your past customers will begin to refer you to their friends and family, helping your business gain trust and grow organically.
Practice your Craft
We’ve all heard the expression “practice makes perfect,” and there’s a lot of truth in those words. Getting started as a home-based professional organizer won’t happen overnight. Over time, you’ll begin to develop a keen eye for what a home needs and the best ways to bring organization to a client. So how do you find ways to practice? One way is to organize your own home and offer to organize the homes of your friends and family. Document your solutions with before and after photos, then try to re-organize it in a different manner! Review and critique your work for continuous improvement and customer satisfaction.
Create a Review and Referral Incentive
Offer deals, such as “10% off your first organization session” or kick back a discount to customers who successfully refer your business to another client. These incentive programs not only help you get new clients, but they also encourage prior customers to become repeat clients. This is a great way to break into the marketing and to set yourself apart from the established professional organizers.
For more advice on how to start a professional organizing business, read our blog post “What a Professional Organizer Should Expect in Their First Year” and learn more about Professional Organizer Insurance.