Welcome to Podcast Episode 5: Make Your First $1k On a Budget.
This episode is my audio guide on getting your professional organizing business started. It is all about getting your first REAL paying clients… so are you ready to start making money doing something that you’re basically already obsessed with?
What I Talk About:
(00:00) – Introduction to this episode
(01:37) – Insights into the professional organizing industry
(06:18) – The 3 real requirements to become a professional organizer
(10:49) – What makes up a simple and modern website
(16:39) – The sales game changer for you to get your very first client
(24:00) – What the number one myth around personal organization businesses
(30:16) – How professional organizers and hoarders have something in common
(34:56) – The top time management tips to stay on track
(41:46) – What I regret not doing from Day 1
(47:16) – What the National Association of Professional Organizers can offer you
(48:45) – Episode Wrap-Up
You don’t have to have large marketing or startup budget to get out their and make money as an organizer. If you know the correct sales techniques and don’t let perfection hold you back, you will be well on your way to earning your first $1k .
Welcome back to the Pro Organizer Studio podcast. This is my audio guide on getting your professional organizing business started. So before I spill all my secrets, I definitely want to introduce myself. My name is Jen Obermeier, and I teach professional organizers both newbie and seasoned alike, how to get more of the right kind of clients and design a chic, profitable business that they can be super proud to call their own. One of my students, Emily said, “The way Jen does things seems to be way different. And may I say simpler and more efficient than “most people in the industry”. We organized people complicate things sometimes. And I’m so thankful that I found Jen.”
So yes, it’s true. You might call me a little bit of a rule breaker. And I’m going to warn you that this is not your average organizing how to guide. If you follow this step by step, you’re not going to achieve Just average results. This is all about getting your first real paying clients. So are you ready to start making money doing something that you’re basically already obsessed with? Part one, let’s pull back the curtain on the professional organizing industry itself. You’re out there, you’re one of those lucky born organized types of people. That means that friends constantly envy your pull together home decor, your meticulous calendar, and to do lists and your clean functional office space. But to you this is just kid stuff, not only do you actually get a kick out of finishing home organizing projects, you have to sit on your own hands to keep from moving stuff around in other people’s homes.
You heard somewhere and got really excited that you could actually organize other people for a living. So always the planner and researcher that you are you’ve already started Googling information about becoming a professional organizer. That’s where things get messy, which is rare for you, right? How much should you charge? And who has time to take hours of these classes and trainings on something that already comes so naturally to you, besides you have a full life already, and not a lot of extra funds to invest in these certifications, conferences, supplies, advertising, and web design. So you’re telling yourself you couldn’t possibly be ready this year, or even next year to really do something like this as a business. I know you. It’s your perfectionism that draws you toward this field, but that need to know it all before you even get started keeps you in endless research mode.
So I’m here to tell you that getting started in the professional organizing industry is actually easier than they would have you believe. All those extra bells and whistles for your business are definitely nice. But I’m telling you, they are just not necessary to get your first paying client. And if you have a client, you are officially in business woman. So let’s be clear. There are people who desperately need what you have to offer. To connect with them and to convince them that you’re worth hiring, you’ll do what almost every new pro organizer does, spend a lot of money up front on the wrong things. There is an overwhelming amount of free information out there about what you need to do to become a real professional organizer. For example, you may know that to become eligible to take the certification exam you have to have 1,500 hours of paid experience within the previous three years. That means that you need to prove your commitment to this business and sell that many hours of your services before you even get the opportunity to advertise that you’re a Certified Professional Organizer.
But listen up, no certification is required in order to start making $50 or even up to $125 per hour, organizing other people right now. I want you to remember that first and foremost. There’s actually a very low barrier to entry in this field, with people entering and leaving the industry all the time. The way to stay in is to not break the bank getting started. The whole reason that I created Pro Organizer Studio for you is to answer the questions that I get frequently about how I got started in this industry and some dirty secrets that you might not expect about this job. I definitely made some expensive mistakes at the beginning. But even from the outset, I made sales every single time I went on a consultation. I will show you those exact same simple steps that I followed to get clients, you can do this.
I want to pass along the information that will take you from feeling overwhelmed and stuck to confident and excited. Let me show you exactly how to start your own chic, fun and profitable organizing business at the lowest possible cost. There are just three real requirements which we will cover in just a few moments. Whether you want to organize part-time, full-time or at totally random times, it’s time to get strategic with your pro organizing biz plan. Let me tell you the number one mistake I see and how it’s costing other pro organizers, clients and money. It’s perfectionism. We would be so happy to help other people while color coding closets and all the things, but we are super prone to this trap. So when we start looking for information on how to do something that could potentially be game changing for us personally, such as an entrepreneurial venture, we drown in over analysis paralysis. Today, it’s time to change that.
Not only is letting go of the crazy high standards for yourself good for your sanity. It saves you a ton of money and time and then is actually the most attractive thing about your business when compared to your competition. In just a few minutes, we will look at three reasons that may blow your mind. Why clients might far prefer you over the more seasoned authorities in the organizing world. Remember, it will cost you almost nothing to put yourself out there and get started. But if you’re trying to piece together helpful info from random websites, it’s incredibly easy to let the internet swallow you with irrelevant business advice. That’s why I’m here to save you time, because I’ve obsessed over my business model for years now, and I cannot wait to help you out with this.
So let’s talk about the next big point. Here are the only three things you truly need to get clients, the cost? Zero dollars. You’re going to want to remind yourself of this over and over again throughout the lifetime of your business. Here’s number one. You need to be able to tell your story. You might believe that you must have special professional memberships or expensive trainings in order to tell people that you are a professional organizer. The answer is no. And definitely no. This is not required at all. And the client who needs you and is willing to pay for your one on one help, probably doesn’t really care. Plus, you really already know how to organize, don’t you? But unfortunately, professional organizers who spend tons of money investing in all those classes upfront, have to take many more clients at a lower cost later just to stay afloat, or they end up spending too much money on advertising just to help them break even.
All your clients are really looking for are competency triggers. And these are things that signal to them that you know what you’re doing in order for them to trust you to come into their home and touch their things. And there are things other than formal organizing training that build that trust. One of those things is simply being able to tell them coherently why you decided to become a pro organizer and with enthusiasm. So the experience that really counts is the one that you already have. And it just can’t be bought in any type of online course. You’ve probably used these skills in your current and previous careers and definitely in your own home, as a parent, as a spouse, or even as the child of an aging parent. That stuff matters big time. I mean, seriously, welcome to one of the only high paying careers where you can legitimately count being a general super woman at home as the only experience on your resume.
People will ask you, “So why did you become a professional or organizer, how did you get into this?” And then you’ll say, “I’ve always loved organizing.” You might say, “I was a teacher or I was a stay at home mom, and I decided to start my own organizing business.” They’ll just say, “Oh, wow, that’s cool.” All right, the next thing number two, you do need a very simple, but modern website. Once you’ve made the decision that you’re now working as a professional organizer, you need a simple website to serve as your business card. It is absolutely essential that your website be up to date design wise and look great on a mobile device. This fact alone will differentiate you from half of your competition out there. But do not believe any type of business advice that tells you that unless you spend a few grand on a professional website, that you might as well forget about it. I mean all that fancy stuff is really nice for enhancing your confidence. But to get started, you really don’t need it.
And you want in on another little dirty secret? A lot of your high paying clients do not use the internet, like at all. And the ones that do, do not take the time to read much, if anything on your website. No blog, it doesn’t matter. I never had one. The bare minimum is that you have a streamlined one page website that gives visitors your contact information, your service offerings and a friendly picture of you. And then add a classy call to action like request info. Don’t say, “Call me today before we sell out.” You never want to put out that desperate vibe, right? So what’s the point of this? iT’s to communicate that you’re trustworthy. To that end less can be more and you are going to be simplifying other people’s lives. Here’s a money saving hint. Don’t worry about a business name yet, trust me, you will probably change your mind later after building your clientele and putting more work into your brand later on. So for now, just use your own name like Jen Obermeier, professional organizing.
Some resources for getting a simple website put together without any coding or special design skills, you can use Weebly, Wix or even another website called Strikingly. It may be sort of bother you that these free website options don’t allow you to have your own domain name. But at this stage when you’re just getting started, remember that the more professional the photo of you looks, the less things like the web address matters. Number three, you need to get the word out I don’t know if this qualifies as a myth about professional organizing that I can bust. By the way, I have six coming up next. But not everyone is as action oriented and ambitious as you are. So that means people are actually amazed as in awestruck by people who are organized enough to do things like start an organizing business, they automatically assume that you’re going to be the next expert on TLC’s Hoarders.
So people will fall into two camps. Either they wish that they could hire you, or they are already so organized that they wish they could do what you were doing. So don’t be afraid to talk about what you can do. So let’s recap. These are the must haves, the bare minimum must haves for getting clients. Number one, if you’re an organized person who genuinely enjoys helping others, you’re qualified enough to be a professional organizer. Tell that story. Number two, your website and the design of said website communicates your offer in words and in unwritten cues to people who need you. So number three, get the word out. The third thing you need to get started in your new business is to link to your website and list yourself in some key free places online where people are already looking. Remember, right now just use your name like, Jen Obermeier, professional organizing, don’t stress about this step. Just get yourself out there on the market.
You can list yourself on Find My Organizer, which is a free directory for professional organizers. You can create your Facebook page, you can add yourself to listings on houzz.com, H-O-U-Z-Z dot com. Do you get a sense of how all of this can work for you? Remember, as long as you have one paying client, you have a real business. What you most need to learn to be continuously successful in this business is how to continue making sales. Sales are priority number one, no matter which stage of business that you’re in. Why is that? It’s because this generates the cash that you’re going to need to do everything else that you’re going to want to grow. Does that sound scary though? It’s actually not it’s exhilarating to have someone write a four figure check for you to get your hands in and help them get organized.
So if you literally have no clue how to go about selling your organizing services to others, please stick around and hang out with me a while because figuring out how to make money off of something I was already amazing at was a game changer for me in my life. So here’s a little homework, I want you to take a moment now and pause me write down any and all of your past experience that you can point to where you use your skills in planning, coordinating, sorting, assisting, organizing, decluttering, or project management. Then I want you to check out the free website options that I mentioned to you and look for a modern, beautiful template that appeals to you. And remember, this is just for getting started. You’re not getting married to it forever. If you can swing a few dollars a month to get started with your business, I definitely recommend using Squarespace over the other free website builders, but don’t get stuck on this step. Use one of the free ones just to get launched.
And then your third piece of homework is to click through over to the findmyorganizer.com website and navigate to your particular region, get a feel for how different listings give different impressions of the pro organizer and who their clientele might be. What words would you associate with certain photos or certain writing styles that you see out there? Up next, we’re going to do a little more research on this competition. There’s nothing to be afraid of here. We’re just going to take a good look at what’s out there so you will know exactly why your prospects will be choosing you to work with them. All right. So here are three surprising reasons why clients are dying to hire you. Yeah, you the newbie. I asked you to check out findmyorganizer.com and look around a little at the listings you see in your local area. But knowing you, you probably already went above and beyond and clicked through to some of their websites.
What you’ll definitely notice is that there are many shades of colors in the pro organizing industry, which is a great thing. That means that lots of people know that professional organizing is a thing and will want to know more about you and what you have to offer. As you learned a few moments ago, because there is no certification required to advertise yourself as a professional organizer there are lots of different backgrounds that pros come from. So let’s discuss a few of the typical listings that you’ll see out there and find out why high paying clients are more likely to want to meet you rather than them. So let’s start with the most obvious. So of course, the certified professional organizers out there they seem really intimidating when you’re the one just getting started.
Certified professional organizers are allowed to advertise themselves as such, because they have met rigorous criteria, past testing and generally have been in the industry a while. However, high end clients don’t necessarily always want to be lectured to by a seasoned authority. They have sometimes tried those other people and found them boring or potentially abrasive, and might be looking for newer, fresher energy. You can stand out from them just by not intimidating your potential clients with every special class conference and official sounding credential that you’ve got. Yeah, you can be the approachable one. So the next type that are extremely common on find my organizer are these professional organizers who will literally do anything and everything.
In order to try to get attention on the site, they will check every box available have what they specialize in, which just makes their listing look like a cluttered wall of text and then they’ll write an essay explaining, “I can do this. I can do that. I can do anything you want. Just hire me, please.” This ironically comes across as cluttered and unfocused and unreadable. They probably also charge a lot less in order to grab clients and then hope to get enough paid hours to qualify for that Certified Professional Organizer certification that we just talked about. Then they’ll hope that you will hire them based on their very special qualifications, like group number one we just spoke about. This isn’t necessarily the smartest business model, so it’s easy to set yourself apart from the pack here.
Keep the description of who you are and what you do brief. This will demonstrate confidence to your prospects and it is actually a great idea to pick a specialty even early on in your business. That way, the person looking for a home or office organization, for example, who was able to quickly read about you and understand that that’s your thing has the easiest decision to make in the world, hire you, love you and refer you. Let’s talk about the third group that are going to be in your competitor research. These are the women who might actually be your real competition. So let’s say that you have filtered through your local results through the discerning eyes of your dream client, and you find someone who passes the tests of number one and number two, there’s always going to be something that you can find to improve upon and differentiate yourself.
Do they have a gorgeous, helpful website that conveys the benefits of their services without being annoying? Do they make it easy to get information or do you have to work at it? Your clients absolutely will not work too hard to hunt for things online, make it easy. What are these other organizers, personalities and overall look like? Some are more introverted and minimalistic. Some are super high energy. There’s definitely room for more than one personality type. So make yours clear. And then ask, do they offer all inclusive pricing? Or do all of the extras add up and cost more? Package pricing is easier to sell and is actually a win, win for you and your client.
All right, if you’re still with me, I have some absolutely can’t miss content coming next. I’m going to be debunking six of the most annoying myths about the professional organizing industry and you’ll learn how you can use that knowledge to your advantage. Are you wondering if doing free jobs are worth it, or how much you should be charging? Stay with me and don’t miss this. So you know what’s so incredibly humorous to me? There is a ton of cluttered advice out there about becoming a professional organizer. Isn’t that ironic? So as you’re starting to research organizing as another income stream, you’ve probably run into a lot of these misguided strategies. So today we’re going to take a look at some of those most controversial organizing biz topics and debunk these myths once and for all. And let’s take a look at each one of these myths and then the most up to date real answer for each one.
So Myth number one, I have to do a bunch of free jobs before I start charging anyone money. That’s false. There could be nothing further from the truth. I didn’t ever do a free organizing job when I started out, and I turned out just fine. That means that the first time I ever showed up for an in home consultation, all I had was my website and my story, just exactly like we talked about already. We did not know each other beforehand. I had no testimonials. She did not ask for before and after pictures. We clicked and she needed me. So she bought a package of eight sessions. At the time, they were four hours each now I only do three hours at a time. And she wrote me a check for $2,029. That’s 100% the truth.
But if I had ever done any pro bono work, I would be really strategic about it. Make sure that that person is going to be good for your brand. That means one, she’s not a family member or a close friend. Number two, she’s willing to refer you to other extremely qualified potential clients in her network. Hey, that means other people, really amazing just like her that will actually afford to pay for your services. And then thirdly, that she’s willing to write a glowing testimonial for your website and be a reference if needed. So in short, if you’re going to do a free job, make sure to get all the leverage out of it you can and that you choose the right types of people that will introduce you to their network.
All right, so let’s bust Myth number two. Myth number two is I need to charge less than everyone else in my area since I’m new. This is such a common, common misunderstanding and it is false. I started out as the most expensive in my area. And why? Because pricing is marketing. Your pricing should be catered to your ideal client. And let’s get clear right now that your ideal client can afford to pay you at a minimum $65 an hour without blinking. So these types of clients are expecting and craving, all inclusive, personalized service. And also the pricing really speaks to the results that they can expect to get. When you invest in something at a higher level, you make absolutely certain that you are following through and getting the value of what you paid for. So your ideal clients want to pay more too so they get more out of your work together and stay motivated to maintain their results. Let the other pro organizers have the customers that are looking for a bargain. Okay?
Myth number three. I can’t start my own business until I’ve done all the research and formalized a business plan. That’s false. That right there is perfectionism rearing its disgusting head and it will keep you from ever getting started. Already, I gave you the only three things that you will ever need in order to get clients. Use this information to start making money. Then you will be able to refine a business plan based on who you want to continue working with and how much time you plan on spending on this side business and deciding whether you ever want it to become a full-time business. Myth number four goes like this. Okay, Jen, I can actually just skip the side hustle stage and start organizing full time. All right, well, this isn’t totally mythical, but it’s true only if it’s done strategically.
You have to have an exact plan and be prepared for slower months with saving in the bank already if you’re going to jump straight into this as a full time job, and you would have to have known already for sure that your personal energy level can match what a full-time schedule is going to demand of you. So for that reason, I truly recommend keeping it a part-time thing, along with whatever else you’re doing right now, until you have that really good safety net. You can’t actually organize people all day. It’s physically and mentally exhausting work, and then still have the energy to come home and Google marketing strategies on your own or go out and mingle and network blindly. Solo business ventures without an exact plan are really incredibly difficult and easily lead to burnout. And anything done in desperation mode, like you just quit your job is almost doomed to fail.
So here’s Myth number five. It sounds like this. I need to spend more time perfecting my own house before I’m ready to organize someone else. Is that something that you have ever thought before? And is it slowing you down? Because that’s false. Here’s the deal. You and I both know that organizing and decluttering spurts even in your own home come in waves. So why feel like your home has to be magazine worthy at all times in order to be credible as a pro. There’s this stereotype out there that professional organizers are the ladies that are obsessed to the point of having their spice racks alphabetized and their male color coded. I can’t even with this lie. Perfectionistic organizers have more in common with hoarders than is immediately obvious. They both feel that things must be a certain way or else. Think about it. If you love the burst of energy that you get from organizing and helping other people, but you realize that there is more to life than having all of your cereal boxes facing the same way, you’re exactly the type of person who can succeed in this business.
All right, last myth, myth number six. Every time I walk away from a client session, she’ll have an after photo of her space that glitters. False. This rarely happens without elaborate staging. But it doesn’t actually affect your clients perception of the success of your session in the slightest. If you look at Instagram, and if you look at hundreds of professional organizer websites, and I have, you would totally think that the way you measure the results of organizing is by what the space looks like after the organizer has left. However, literally no client ever has given a heartfelt testimonial that only talks about the specific features of the after picture. Her language is all about how much lighter and more free that she feels after working with a pro, as if something very heavy has been lifted from her. These are the results that actually matter. But they are harder to capture because the desired outcomes are so personal to each client.
And what looks like it should be a before picture might be an after for someone else. And to be honest, we know that even the afters are truly still in progress. So get comfortable with this fact. I tell you all this because you do not have to have a portfolio of Pinterest ready images of your work in order to start your business and to sell your services. This might sound crazy to you, but I had no problem getting clients without investing time and money into that photo shoot. So I never got around to it at all. You would far rather have a thrilled customer sell your service to a like minded friend, than to junk up your website with badly lit before and after photos that don’t really do justice to your brand. I have to just go ahead and say it. I’d really rather you not publish your amateur photography. The work we do is not always glamorous, and it’s not always happening in the best lighting. Don’t feel like you’ve got to publish that stuff to prove yourself. Aim for getting that glittery referral from your client instead.
All right, have any of these six truths opened your eyes to the opportunity that’s available to you here? Sure, there are definitely more complicated techniques for pretty much everything when it comes to running a business. But as I’ve shown you, you do not need that knowledge to profit from helping other people get their lives in order. I truly hope that you have learned something new about how pro organizing really works through the busting of these myths today. Use this knowledge to your advantage and realize that you were one of the few in-the-know about what attracts your dream organizing clients. Knowledge is power and power is money in the bank.
All right, up next, we’re going to cover organizing your own schedule to make time for taking on clients. By the end of this audio class, you’ll have a complete strategy for getting your first clients in place. We’re going to talk about pinning down your availability no matter what else you’re doing right now, making time for business tasks, and how to stay sane while doing it all in the most time efficient way. If you’re ready to start your side hustle right away, and can’t wait to jump into the professional organizer life, this is for you. So time management, I’m obviously preaching to the choir here, right? There are a million little tips which I’m sure you already use yourself for how to get all the things done in a day, but now it is time to take your productivity skills to the next level.
One thing I have found is that when you have true fire in your belly for working on a side project, you can’t not do it. That’s just pure hustle. However, it’s super easy to get distracted on the internet by some new article with business advice, that before you know it, you have a to do list a mile long. And then when you finally get the hour or two to knock out some work, you’re paralyzed by where to begin. Here are some potential schedules based on some of my students’ current situations. The figures for the potential income I’m going to discuss are based on my average pricing, my hourly rate is $100 an hour, but package pricing brings it down. So here’s the first scenario. Let’s talk about the stay at home mom with kids in school. Mornings might look like waking up early household chores, getting the kids to school and then traveling to a client. From nine to 12, you have client session, 12 to two you might be doing errands for your business or networking.
Then the rest of the afternoon you have the kids at home and you do some client work and follow ups from home prior to dinner and family time. And then after the kids go to bed eight to 10 PM, you might be doing blogging, social media or email and admin tasks. On Saturdays, you might have client sessions from nine to 12, and one to four. All right, second scenario full time employed mom. So let’s talk about these super women. This one is different, you might only be able to work on Saturdays or on occasion. So mornings, obviously, you got kids, you’ve got house stuff, you’ve got to commute to work. Eight to five, you have your day job. But during lunch break, you could be doing little things, little errands, small amount of networking or admin tasks for your business.
Five to eight is family time, eight to 11 during the week, you could be doing a little bit of social media, email. client work in follow ups, and then you have your actual in-home sessions on Saturdays, nine to 12, one to four and then maybe you’re really a hustler, and you can squeeze in an extra one in the evening hour. All right, third one, full time employee without kids. So, if you do you have a day job, but you don’t have any children at home, then you have a little bit of extra time. Even during the week, you could be doing a 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM client session every once in a while. On Saturdays, squeezing in a session or two, Sundays can be your day for blogging, social media or email tasks. And then the fourth category are people who are able to work as a full time Professional Organizer. So here’s what that could look like.
In the mornings, you’re getting the kids to school, you’re commuting to your client, you have client session one from nine to 12, you have a lunch break, and then maybe client session two is from two to five, then five to eight would be family time. And then afterwards, you can do blogging, social media, client work, following up and then Saturdays, squeeze in additional sessions as you’re able to or choose not to work on weekends at all. So here’s a big note, when I talk about networking, I’m certainly not talking about going to networking events. I’m talking about doing lunch or coffee with strategic partners that can help your business. So these are just some suggestions to get your wheels turning, and you’ll definitely have to rearrange the time blocks for what will work for you. What do you think though? What if you booked out only 25% of your potential sessions in a given week? Based on my pricing, the stay at home mom and example one would earn $20,475 in extra income this year.
The mom in example two would earn $7,800 a year just working one Saturday a month. The go getter and example three would also earn $20,475 and she would be setting herself apart by offering evening hours, which many organizers don’t do. And then the full time professional organizer, even if she only booked out 25% of her potential time would net $35,000 this year. Not bad for working nine of her possible 36 hours in a week. Are you getting this like oh my gosh, wow feeling when you look at the numbers? this is a super exciting prospect because you can really customize your organizing business to fit what you can do right now. And then modify it based to work around your future needs.
So I’m so excited, you’ve made it this far with me. And next I have a special little bonus that I think you’re going to love. It’s a very, very easy to understand business plan to take you from where you are now just getting started to anywhere you want to go as a professional organizer, and it’s going to be presented to you in the exact same steps that I would follow if I were starting all over again today. So here’s the bare bones business plan that will get you results. Remember my answer to Myth number three about needing a business plan to start a business? Perfectly drawn out business plans are for startups who need outside funding. So they are going to have to show investors that they have a plan to become profitable. But you can do this without outside funding. Right now, you have everything that you need to start up, as in making actual cash and it has cost you absolutely nothing.
I have literally shown you how to take your current skills and turn them into real money. So once you’ve gotten your feet wet and have some money to work with, business plans do help grow your business. Here is that 10 step business timeline in the order that I would do it, if I were starting over again. By the way, I have to say it, nobody says that you have to grow bigger in your business if all you want is an extra few hundred bucks a month on the side. So almost everything I’m going to talk about is completely optional, aside from of course paying taxes on your business income. So number one, the number one thing I regret not doing from day one with my own organizing business was starting an Instagram account. You can start an Instagram account now and start filling it with beautiful inspirational images that speak to the kinds of clients that you want to work with.
You can link to this Instagram account from your find my organizer listing even before you set up your website. That means you can get that find my organizer listing and the Instagram account launched today. Number two, organize your own finances. That means your personal budget and set a small monetary goal for your business. Keeping your business expenses extremely low at the beginning while you’re testing out different ideas is really smart. And any way as a business owner that you can minimize the personal bills that need to go out is going to be really helpful when you’re starting a business. Number three, register a sole proprietorship in your name. Don’t choose a business name yet or purchase any domain names that is not even in the first three steps that I’m going to talk about. Everything can be changed and upgraded later, but you just need to do the bare minimum to get started in your area. So Google how to register a sole proprietorship in your state or in your country.
Number four, this is really important. I want you to work on streamlining your own work and home processes to create the extra time for a professional organizing side business, including the hours that you’ll need to spend at home, on admin and other at home client tasks. Number five, I do want you to document everything from the beginning, the number of hours worked, the mileage traveled, descriptions of your clients, your business income and expenses. But you don’t need fancy apps to do this. I really recommend starting with basic like Google Drive documents, Google spreadsheets and Google Docs to keep all that information in one place is going to work just fine.
All right, number six, and this might be a little counterintuitive. Work on your image as a professional organizer and your brand as you figure out what kind of clients you really want to work with. You can’t attract high paying clients if you’re disorganized yourself or if you seem to be desperate for the money. People who want to make money kind of need to look like they don’t have to, you know what I mean? Number seven, recognize how exhausting this kind of work can be. Preventing burnout is part of your job, and that’s worth repeating. And it’s worth understanding as early in your business as possible. Preventing burnout is part of your job. Take great care of yourself and get good at setting boundaries with clients. That means if the job is supposed to end at 3:00 PM, don’t hang out there till 3:45 and make yourself late for your next appointment.
Number eight, refine your pricing structure and your client process as you go so that it becomes consistent and enhances your image as an organizer. I have this at step eight because you don’t have to have all of this stuff figured out at the very, very beginning just to get started, but it is something to be thinking about as you’re growing and progressing in your business. Number nine, when you want clients faster, start networking with allies that makes sense for your brand. That means other local business owners who might have a similar pool of clients as you do. Make yourself a hub for great referrals in your local area. All right, and then number 10, and number 10 has a part A and part B. 10A. After you have made some money, not before, after you have made some money, or if you do have some savings to mindfully invest in your business and after you have really truly solidified your brand, that is the time to decide on a business name and obtain a lovely logo.
That is then the time to build an impeccable website with professional level copy. You don’t have to stick with your DIY free version forever. It will be time to upgrade when you have some money to invest in your business. Then you can also advertise on Facebook or Google if desired. And then this is the time to invest in business insurance. Why did I leave this till step 10? You may not be comfortable getting started without it, but it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to invest a lot into insurance when you’re not even sure that you have a business that you want to continue with or not. All right, 10 B. If you’re ready to grow your business to a full time career, and you have axed as many unimportant activities as possible in your schedule, remember I said that was really important, then now it’s time to get serious about social media marketing. Now it’s time to get serious about blogging and getting publicity. Now it’s time to join and learn as much as possible through the National Association of Professional Organizers. However, that is always completely optional.
And then would be the time to think about expanding your services or creating an information product for your client. All right. That was my simple as possible business plan, step-by-step in the order that I think you should prioritize it. I am so, so glad you joined me in learning about this side hustling journey. You now know the truth about professional organizing and how it works. With this knowledge you are far more ready than most people to start making real money organizing clients one on one and trust me, you don’t want to stay stuck in that stage where clients are paying you “with hand-me-downs or taking you out for coffee forever. There is real money to be made in this business. It’s a sexy career to be in and you can do this. So take this information and use it all to your advantage. Stay in touch with me on Instagram at Pro Organizer Studio and let me know how it goes.
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