I was recently contacted by an aspiring organizer in the UK who has been following Minima for awhile. She had some great questions, so I thought I’d share our Q&A dialogue.
Q: What were the first two years like? What mistakes did you make?
A: The first two years were all about developing my brand and getting the business up and running. I don’t know of any big mistakes I made because I worked for another Organizer for two years prior to starting my own business. I was able to learn the ropes and develop my skills during that time. The first two years were profitable, but I wouldn’t say I was comfortable financially. In my third year, I am finally where I want to be financially.
Q: What skills are essential to succeed in the Professional Organizer industry?
A: It goes without saying that good organizing skills are essential. My training as an Architect has been extremely helpful in terms of understanding how to maximize space. I would also say empathy, listening, flexibility, patience and good communication skills are essential. It’s important to always put your own agenda aside and make sure you are focused on the client’s goals. Each client is unique and there is no one size fits all organizing solution.
Q: What kind of rates can someone starting out expect to charge?
A: It depends where you live, but here in Richmond most people start out charging about $50/hr.
Q: Where did you find your first clients or customers?
A: I’m a member of the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO) and the NAPO-Richmond chapter. That’s where my first clients found me. Now people find me primarily through press features and word of mouth. Speaking engagements and classes are a great way to meet potential clients as well. When I started out, I was heavily focused on social media marketing. Now I realize that face to face time is the most valuable marketing tool.