If your personal motto is, “There’s a place for everything and everything has a place,” and organization is exciting to you, then becoming a professional organizer might be a great venture. Professional organization is a great small business idea because it requires a low overhead, you can start it on the side of a full-time job, it’s not seasonal, and there’s always a market for it.
Why It’s Great to Be a Professional Organizer
Being a professional organizer is as much about being an entrepreneur and running a business as it is about cutting the clutter. Organizing is only a portion of the work involved. It’s the type of profession you can ramp up as much or little as you want, and you can do it on the side of another career. Plus, it doesn’t require training or certification, although you’ll probably want to take a couple of classes or do some research prior to launching. There’s nothing better than seeing the fruit of your labour and a happy client. Organizing can be extremely rewarding for you and the people you’re helping who might not have the skills, time, or willpower to do it on their own.
What to Expect As a Professional Organizer
As an organizer, you’re providing a service that is directly helping your clients. It requires patience and understanding, but it also requires knowing when your clients might need professional help outside of what you can offer, such as mental health professionals for hoarders. As an organizer, you’ll get your hands dirty, but always start with a consultation so you know exactly what to expect. Fortunately, there’s not much overhead for being an organizer. It requires limited supplies, such as a label maker, but most of the plastic containers, baskets, and other supplies will be an out-of-pocket cost for your clients according to their budgets. Payments typically happen upon the service, but professional organizers are usually paid hourly. Professional organizers get paid from $40 to more than $200 per hour, according to Time To Organize, and it depends on a variety of factors such as the services you provide and where you’re providing the service.
How to Get Started As a Professional Organizer
The first step to getting started is to do research. Get involved with an industry group like Professional Organizers in Canada, which offers training and events or take tele-classes with the U.S. group Institute for Challenging Disorganization. Talk and network with a few pros to learn the upsides and downsides to the job and potentially shadow or get mentoring from the people you meet. You’ll want to figure out your niche in the market, budget for your expected costs, and figure out what services you’ll provide. Aside from networking, developing your brand and getting visibility is the first step in getting clients. Consider optimizing your site locally, showcasing an online portfolio of your work and client success stories. You could also start a blog on your website and provide organizational tips to gain more traffic. Using social media and the advertising platforms built within each channel can also help promote your business. To get your first client, give a few free trials to friends in exchange for referrals, before-and-after photos, and to brush up on the trade. Consider hiring a professional photographer, and use the photos on your website and social media. Once you decide to make the leap, there are a few must-dos in getting started. Develop a business plan, register your name, make sure you have the right business licence, determine if you want and need business insurance, and decide how you’ll handle your business finances, like with the QuickBooks Self-Employed App.