How to Grow and Pivot Your Professional Organizing Business (Even During Covid-19)
This is a crazy, weird, and stressful time for all of us, and it presents some pretty unique challenges for those of us who own a professional organizing business. Not only are we trying to navigate serving our clients when we can’t go into their homes, but also a lot of us have been dropped into a brand new world of homeschooling and working from home, with very little guidance.
I’m going to share some tips to help you grow and pivot your professional organizing business, even during Covid-19. But before I do so, I want to say this: please be kind to yourself! This is not a race for us to get it all done or to try to ‘be the best’, and there is no pressure to try to use this time productively or work in a certain way. You should feel zero pressure right now to be productive if that is not the headspace you are in. We’re all just doing the very best that we can!
But, the truth is, many of us own well-established, in-home professional organizing businesses and we are looking for ways to work on our businesses now that the central component to our work has been taken away. If we want to continue to run thriving, profitable businesses, we need to pivot. I want to share five things I’m doing right now to thrive personally and professionally as an organizing CEO, and then I’ll share strategies that you can implement to grow your professional organizing business.
5 things I’m doing as a professional organizing business owner right now
Before I tell you how I think you can best approach this situation, I want to tell you about what I’m doing to make the most of this time right now, just in case it may help you find some sort of balance. These are my five main ‘non-negotiables’ as I take on day-to-day life during quarantine.
1. Exercising everyday
It’s no secret that exercise does amazing things for our body. Exercise is proven to improve our productivity and brain function, and can impact our confidence and energy. Moving our bodies releases endorphins that have a huge effect on both our mindset and our ability to make good decisions about our lives and businesses.
Now, let’s be realistic. You won’t see me running a marathon every morning (or ever, honestly!). I just make sure to do something every day to move my body and improve my mindset and productivity, usually for less than 30 minutes.
2. Being thankful
I really believe that gratitude has the ability to make or break the way that we come out of this pandemic. This is a simple mindset shift that has an effect on everything that I do.
There is always something in our life to be thankful for. For me, it’s that we have the ability to work from home, my kids have the necessary tools to have school from home, and we have a safe and stocked home that we are able to spend our time in.
3. Spending time with my kids
Have you ever said, or thought, that you want to make a date to go have lunch with your kids? Or go out and do something special together? Sometimes it feels like we can’t fit those special activities into our daily lives.
Well… now we can! Yes it's hard to have our kids at home all the time. And yes, tackling our work takes longer. But this is also a huge blessing, and it’s important to remember we’ll never have this type of time with our children again.
4. Pivoting my Business
Even though I already offer online services and solutions in my professional organizing business, I’m not exempt from having to make changes to accommodate this strange season we’re in.
I’m taking this time to really consider my projects, processes and clients, and phase out those that I no longer feel serve my business. When making those decisions, I love to refer back to this quote by Dave Hollis: ”In the rush to return to normal, use this time to consider which parts of normal are worth rushing back to."
5. Providing value to my people
This is a difficult time for everyone, including our clients and members of our community. I want to make sure that I’m using this time to do my part to provide useful and accessible information to everyone who is connected to me through my business!
For me, that means sharing extra tips for my Instagram followers (including hopping on Stories a bit more often), engaging with members inside the G+G Membership on a more regular basis, and publishing helpful content and resources whenever I can.
What you can be doing right now to grow your professional organizing business
As in-home professional organizers, our main form of revenue is not available to us right now, as we can’t be in clients’ homes. This means that we are making no money from the main part of our business, and I know that can be a huge stress point for you.
If you’re feeling this way, know that you’re not alone. I recently did a poll among professional organizers in my network, and more than half of them said that their income impacts their families’ bottom line.
If that’s true for you, too, you’re probably thinking that now is the time to re-evaluate your professional organizing business systems and services. The good news is, now is a great time to put the work in, so that we have a better, stronger business when life goes back to “normal”.
Here are the two shifts you can make with your professional organizing business right now to ensure you have a sustainable, profitable business that can thrive in any environment.
Build and serve your (online) community
As a professional organizer, you have so much knowledge that can help your clients right now, even if you can’t travel to their home. Think about it. Our clients are spending the majority of their time in their home right now — your exact place of expertise!
It’s easy to want to hide, dive into a jumbo size of Boom Chica Pop, and give up... but now is not the time to do that, friend. Your clients need you and your amazing talents now more than ever — so you need to show up and serve.
During this time, your main goal should be to connect and engage with your community, clients, and followers — and support, support, support. So, even without pivoting your main services, what can you offer right now to support your people?
When you organize in-person, you likely spend a lot of time coaching your clients on their mindset and helping them create ongoing systems and solutions. How can you start doing this virtually?
Think about where you have seen your clients and followers feeling the most stuck during this time. Do they need resources to get started organizing? Do they need help coming up with ongoing solutions? If you are seeking guidance distinguishing these problems, I’d suggest looking through the comments they’re leaving on your posts, or the questions they have when they send you a DM or email.
Once you determine what they need, think about what you have to offer them to meet that need. Can you go live on social media, showing them how to create an organizing system for a space? Can you share quick, five-minute tips in an email or blog post?
From a strategic business standpoint, you want to be doing all of this support work in one of two places:
- On your social media or blog, so you can increase your engagement and grow your following (aka potential clients)
- Through an email list, so that you can connect with these members of your community and sell to them in the future
In summary, it’s important to think about how you can anticipate your clients’ needs and questions before they have them, and then give them answers. This is something we can do NOW, but also something we should continue doing when life goes back to normal.
Pivot: Diversify your offerings and revenue streams
I highly encourage you to spend time thinking about how you can serve your community during this time, but you also need to consider how you can continue to make money through your professional organizing business.
Yes, it stinks when we have to go back to the drawing board... but it can also be exciting. We live in a time where we can sell on social media, teach via live videos, run school at home, and have conversations in an instant. It’s the best time in history to craft our dream business and diversify our services!
To help you start thinking about ways to make income in your business during this time, I wanted to share a list of ideas that I’ve seen other professional organizers do well.
5 ways to bring your professional organizing business online
1. Sell Virtual Sessions
There are multiple ways that you can run these virtual sessions. Many organizers choose to hold a session over FaceTime or Zoom and then email their clients a customized plan following the session.
If you’re considering virtual sessions, you can think about offering space-specific sessions (e.g. closet cleanout or toy cleanout), purge-only sessions, follow-up sessions to current or past clients, style + product sessions… the list goes on.
Two creative ideas for virtual sessions are…
- Mini Sessions: Have a client send a picture of an area in their home (pantry, main closet, kids crafts) and reply with a video of suggestions to better organize it.
- Home School Sessions: Help your clients set up a school zone for their kids, and send them custom labels as a finishing touch.
2. Create a Paid Facebook Group
A Facebook group is a great space to offer daily tips, organization example photos, and provide accountability for your community. To join your group, clients can either pay a recurring, monthly fee or a one-time fee. To do this successfully, spend a lot of time brainstorming the things I mentioned in step one: ways you can creatively serve your community virtually!
3. Sell Labels
Many of us already have label makers in our homes to use for client projects, so selling customized labels is an easy cash-flow solution to implement. Creating and shipping labels can all be done fairly easily from the safety of your home!
I’ve seen organizers set up Esty shops to do this, but others sell directly on social media (in Facebook groups or in their Instagram stories). Make a post or send an email to your list about what you can create and how much it will cost before you start creating, to ensure interest.
4. Offer Virtual Group Coaching Sessions
This would be very similar to the virtual sessions that I mentioned earlier, just for a group rather than one-on-one. An easy way to do this is to set up a “specialty” session and host it over a Zoom call.
You can host a virtual coaching session dedicated to one specific space and charge clients before giving them log-in credentials for the call.
5. Create a Membership or Course
Do you have a wealth of knowledge in one area that you would love to teach? You could use this time to learn an online system to host a membership or a course!
There are plenty of systems online that allow you to create and sell a full course or a mini-course. Many organizers have even created PDF Mini-Courses (like an Ebook) that they market and sell to clients.
Not only would this be a great resource to offer now, but it would also be a secondary, more passive revenue stream for your professional organizing business once life goes back to normal.
Still feeling stuck?
If you’ve read through these tips but are feeling a little bit overwhelmed and uncertain about your professional organizing business during this time, I would love to support you through a Coaching Call.
Whether your career as a professional organizer is just a dream, or you’re ready to grow and scale your existing business, we can work together, one-on-one, to you get on the right track.
In our one-hour call, we’ll chat about where you’re feeling stuck and come up with a clear action-plan of the right next steps for your unique situation. From the best tools and systems to how to find clients, I’ll be dishing on it all.
Click here to learn more about Coaching for Organizers!