I am often asked how one goes about starting a professional organizing business. You must admit it’s an unusual profession, but one that is growing all over the globe.
Today I’m sharing three ways to start your business by determining what kind of organizer you will be, testing your skills as a home organizer, and creating time to run your business.
#1 Determine what kind of organizer you will be
The first step is to determine what kind of organizer you will be. I often refer to this as creating your niche. It’s simply leveraging existing skills from previous work experience or designing the type of environment and people you want to work with. There are so many different types of professional organizers. People are not going to know how to refer business to you or if they should hire you if they are not sure what it is that you do.
You can start by simply writing down existing skills you have that you can springboard off to create your business.
Some areas to consider are –
- Do you have a knack for interior design or staging?
- Do you have project management experience?
- Have you worked in busy environments and like the hustle and bustle of working with a team?
- Are you particularly patient and enjoy getting to know people and working with them one-on-one?
- If you are a stay-at-home mom, nanny, housekeeper, or senior caretaker, you probably have a lot of home management skills that you can share with families to make them more organized and productive.
Brainstorm ideas about what type of organizer you will be. You can also ask someone close to you or a former coworker or boss about your special skill set.
#2 Test your skills as a home organizer
Next, I want you to get your professional organizing business started by practicing a proven method on some willing participants.
I’m assuming you already have a pretty organized home or you probably would not be attracted to this type of career, however, you can experiment in your own home by installing organizing products, or improving the workflow in your kitchen or home office. You can also organize for family members if they are comfortable being a guinea pig for you.
However, I think the best way to practice is to work with friends or acquaintances who will allow you to do small projects in their homes. If you’re doing a pro bono job, I would not volunteer to organize someone’s entire home, or you may be working just with that one person for the next several months. But you can ask a friend if you can organize one space in their homes such as a closet, garage, or kitchen. Maybe choose a space that’s a little different from the way your own home is set up just to give you a little bit of variety.
For example, I’ve always been a bit of a minimalist with my clothing, so when I was starting out I did several of my friends’ closets knowing that they had a much larger and diverse wardrobe than I would ever have the opportunity to work on if I only organized my own closet.
It will be different organizing for others. I recommend you use a 3-step process I call GDP.
GDP stands for –
G = gather and sort like items
D = ask your client to decide what to keep
P = put things away in an orderly fashion
I have found that following this proven method allows professional organizers to work efficiently, reduces decision fatigue, and provides forward momentum even when you are working in extreme clutter situations.
#3 Carve out time to run your business
The third step I want you to take in starting your organizing business is not an obvious one, but I think it’s a huge mistake that new and aspiring organizers make. And that is not carving out enough time to run your business. As a rule, you want to spend as much time working on your business as in your business.
Working in your business are the paid hours that you have working with your clients but what is as important is the other half of your time working on your business.
This is the time that you’re going to be networking, following up with leads, and doing all the administrative tasks that come with running a business like budgeting, and branding. You want to also make time for training. I’ve been in business for almost 20 years and I still make time in my week for learning new skills.
The mistake I see people make is that they think they can run their organizing business on the weekend and work a few hours with clients in their spare time. The problem is that if you’re not working on your branding and lead generation, you’re not going to have those clients for weekend work. So, make sure that you are making time to both work on your business and in your business by carving out office hours throughout the week.
I have a tool for you to help you brainstorm what type of professional organizer you could become. That is my niche worksheet. And I also want to give you a game plan for practicing your organizing skills. You’ll find them both in my Professional Organizer’s Launch Guide. Get your copy HERE.