As a professional organizer, chances are you are the life coach in your friends’ group or the cleaning wizard on the block. You can continue providing all of the same services you have been, from the comfort of your super organized home office (or comfy couch?)
Just imagine: no more wasting gas driving to a client’s home and no more pulling your back out lifting heavy objects.
As Americans become increasingly dependent on technology as a way to connect with one another, it’s time to move your business to cyber space and take advantage of being able to work while earning an income.
What is a professional organizer?
A professional organizer is a person who can help you organize any of the physical or digital spaces in your life. A professional organizer might help one client work through their compulsion to hoard items and help them understand the psychological impulse behind it, and then facilitate the removal of unwanted belongings. Or, someone might hire a professional organizer to set up systems, from shelving to labels, that help clients establish a little more order and clarity in their lives.
They help organizations and individuals maximize time and space, reduce stress, and increase productivity by delivering information and concepts, structure, and robust organizational systems. Professional organizers support evaluation, decision-making, and action around objects, spaces, and data, helping clients achieve desired function, order, and clarity outcomes.
The flexibility of working from home
The coronavirus pandemic upended the average workplace environment, quickly shifting away from in-person offices to working remotely, and new research suggests Americans prefer being able to work from home. A recent report from the Pew Research Center found that roughly 6 in 10 U.S. workers who say their jobs can be done from home, are working from home all or most of the time. 1
Remote work has given workers newfound flexibility, with Pew Research finding 64 percent of those working from home at least some of the time but rarely did before the pandemic say it’s easier now to balance work with their personal life.
Throughout COVID, almost every industry was forced to rely on technology more than ever before, and professional organizing was no exception. Professional organizers turned to virtual service offerings as a way to work with clients. While some may be returning to in-person organizing as stay-at-home orders lift across the country, others have become accustomed to the numerous benefits of virtual organizing services.
Virtual organizing services
Virtual organizing is when the client and the professional organizer work with each other remotely using technology like webcams, mobile devices, and email or messaging applications. You get the same coaching, guidance, and support you’d get as if you were both in the same room. And now, professional organizers can provide organizing services to anyone, anywhere.
Like in-person organizing, virtual organizing professionals can choose to focus on a specific specialty such as time management and financial matters; or focus on a client base, such as individuals with ADHD or seniors.
Professional organizer coach
Becoming a professional organizer coach is another type of virtual organizing service professionals can offer from the comfort of their homes. But, instead of helping a client declutter their office space or create a new filing system, you coach other professional organizers on how to grow their business.
As a professional organizer coach, you can serve as an accountability partner to help small business owners meet goals, answer start-up questions, talk through client scenarios and be a sounding wall for them.
Turn virtual organizing into a small business
Many Americans are discovering the independence that comes with working for themselves, and you can do the same as a virtual professional organizer. But before you begin providing services and advice, it’s important to dot the I’s and cross the t’s.
Write a business plan
Your very first step should be to write out a business plan. Creating a detailed business plan outlining your professional organizer services, pricing for various organizing jobs, estimated operating costs, and goals.
Establish your personal organizing small business
There are many ways for you to establish your personal organizing small business, but there are a few basics to start with such as:
- Naming your business.
- Choosing a business structure: Registering your company as a legal business entity — such as an LLC, sole proprietorship, or corporation, can increase your credibility and help protect you from personal liability if your business is sued.
- Getting an Employer Identification Number (EIN): a number assigned by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to help identify businesses for tax purposes.
- Obtaining all necessary business licenses and permits.
Open a small business bank account
Using dedicated business banking and credit accounts is essential for personal asset protection. It will make accounting, filing taxes, and your life a whole lot easier!
Banking for your small business in 2022 is all about flexibility, accuracy, and simplicity for you. A small business bank account is a valuable tool. Whether you are just starting or have more sophisticated needs, Woligo can grow with you as your business grows.
Woligo partnered with First Fidelity bank, Member FDIC, to offer two business checking accounts to give clients the flexibility of choosing the best business checking account based on their individual needs. Business owners only need $100 to open a business account online, and account holders will receive a free business debit card and have access to mobile deposit services. They will also be able to open two separate accounts within a single small business checking account. Click here to learn more.
Small business insurance for professional organizers
As a small business owner, one of the most important decisions you will make is what insurance to carry. Insurance is required in some instances and highly recommended in others. Many states require some form of small business insurance, so it is vital to ensure you comply with all state requirements.
As a general rule, you should get insurance for anything you wouldn’t be able to pay for out of pocket. Some of the best small business insurance options are:
- General liability insurance – This coverage protects against financial loss due to bodily injury, property damage, medical expenses, libel, slander, defending lawsuits, and settlement bonds or judgments. The policy provides both defense and damages for you, your employees, or your products or services.
- Business Owner’s Policy (BOP) – A business owner’s policy is an insurance package that combines all of the typical coverage options into one bundle, such as business interruption insurance, property insurance, car insurance, liability insurance, and crime insurance. This policy simplifies the insurance buying process and can save you money.
- Professional liability insurance – This coverage provides defense and damages for failure to or improperly rendering professional services, including malpractice, errors, and negligence. Accountants, lawyers, notaries, real estate agents, insurance agents, and hair salons are just some examples of the many business owners, freelancers, and contractors that should carry this insurance.
- Individual health insurance – Health insurance for self employed workers is critical because, as your own boss, being out of commission could mean being out of money to pay your bills. You might think health insurance can only help with significant issues – your appendix bursts, you break an arm or have a baby – but that’s just the tip of the spear. Medications, vaccinations, screenings, annual exams, vision checks, and routine blood work are just some of the everyday medical expenses you can pay for on a regular or semi-regular basis, and they can quickly add up.
- Disability income insurance – One of the most significant drawbacks to being your own boss is not having the umbrella of benefits of working for a big company. But on the other hand, you get to decide how much money you make, set your hours, choose your projects, and be your own boss, which is pretty awesome. And thanks to individual disability insurance, you can get affordable disability insurance with the same financial protection straight from an insurance provider. That way, if you do become disabled, you may still be able to receive a portion of your income while you recover to focus on getting better.
Market your virtual organizing services and start making money
All legitimate businesses have websites – plain and simple. Technology and applications have made it so easy to market your small business regardless of size or industry. However, it is important to note that social media accounts like Facebook pages or LinkedIn business profiles are not a replacement for a business website that you own and control. Rather, they should complement it.
Every business — large and small — needs an online presence. Check out this Beginner’s Guide to Small Business Social Media to maximize your online marketing strategy returns.
If you want to be your own boss, you can. If you want to work from home and set your own hours, you can do that too. The opportunities available to you are pretty remarkable, and you should take advantage of everything you can. Just remember, as a small business owner or independent contractor, there are legal responsibilities, so you need to make sure you and your business are protected with the right insurance for your needs.