I’ve been running my own business as a professional organiser for 3 years. I often get frustrated that it’s not progressing fast enough. Recently I sat down to write about what I’ve achieved in the business and how I got to where I am today (1 or 2 clients a week). This appreciation for what’s going right has prompted me to share my journey with other small business owners that may be thinking in a similar way.
1. Have confidence in yourself. We often tell ourselves to believe in ourselves, but it has taken me years to REALLY believe in myself and what I’m doing. That small voice often chirps on my shoulder and says “what are you doing, who wants to know how to fold a fitted sheet”, or “everyone knows how to do this”. You know, little voice, this is not the case and I am an expert in getting people organised at home!
2. Talk to everyone you know about your area of expertise.
- I have decided I have spent far too much time sitting at my laptop, thinking and researching. There is only so much you can learn by journalling and looking inwards – the real magic happens when you get out an talk to people.
- If someone says, “I really need your services”, take that as a genuine. Have a few replies lined up like “what’s the 1 thing you would like to change at home?” or “I’m free next Friday morning at 10, I’d love to have a coffee with you and talk about this some more”.
3. Use what you do yourself as case studies. Take photos of all the things you do that make you, you. Write a blog about how do you organise yourself at home and share it far and wide. Soon enough you will have a vast collection of articles to refer to and to share your knowledge.
4. Surround yourself with great people. You can’t run a small business by yourself. Surround yourselves with people from your industry, or others that can support you, for example marketing, and learn everything you can from them. Currently my support system looks like this:
- Business coach,
- 2 calls each week with an organising colleague – thank you Marion!,
- Fortnightly call with other organising colleague – thank you Veronica,
- Weekly practice coaching with organising colleague – thank you Christie, and
- Various support groups online including a facebook group I run with a friend for small businesses in Ashburton, Victoria.
5. Make decisions and give it a go. Too long I have been over thinking my niche and wondering if I should do this, or should do that. If I had made a decision 2 years ago to stick to my course and not second guess myself, I would be a lot further along my journey.
6. Don’t wait until everything is perfect. Websites, Facebook and Instagram aren’t the only way to bring in business. Don’t wait until all your systems are perfect before you launch. Get the basics in place and go for it!
7. Schedule social media in advance – Each week I write a blog and then break it down and share a bit of it each day via Facebook and Instagram. I also share my blog with the media. Recently I teed up with a bathroom renovation specialist to write a blog “8 simple storage ideas every bathroom needs“. Scheduling social media in advance in this way allows you to plan clear messages and content and frees you up to get on with business during the week.
8. Don’t expect Facebook to make you money. I use Facebook to educate my friends and family and to develop my own voice and style. To date I have only a small number of clients directly from Facebook. Make sure you have other marketing strategies in place to bring in the business.
9. Let people know how they can refer people to you. Recently a real estate agent was disappointed that I didn’t tell him my neighbours were thinking of selling. To be honest it all happened so fast I didn’t even think of him – but I will next time. Since then I have been sure to let my family and friends know that if they know anyone that is moving house, swamped with too much to do, or drowning in clutter, tell them they know someone that’s great with that sort of thing and ask if it OK for them to give me their details to chat about how I can help. Make it crystal clear they types of clients you are looking for.
10. Don’t compare yourself to others. THIS IS THE BIGGEST AND MOST IMPORTANT TIP – Give yourself a pat on the back every day for the great work you are doing. If you see someone doing something great congratulate them, or get off your backside and do something similar, don’t wish you’d done it too! Joyously celebrate the “have done” instead of wasting energy thinking about what you have not done.
I hope that this has given some insight into my journey to date. I encourage you to get out and talk to people, get your niche and messages clear and take great delight in every conversation, contact and experience. It may seem to be taking a long time to get anywhere, but soon enough you will be booking people weeks in advance for your expertise. Enjoy the journey!
Julie Cliff, Professional Organiser at Space and Time specialises in helping families get organised at home. Her clients find they can achieve a lot with hands-on help and expert advice from Julie in a few short hours. Contact Julie today to get started on that job you have been putting off because you don’t know where to start. spaceandtime.com.au