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Tips to Get Started

6 Tips on Becoming a Professional Organizer

1. Decide how you want to work.
There are several ways to enter the field of professional organizing: 
  • Owning your own business
  • Co-owning a business with another organizer(s) 
  • Working as an independent contractor 
  • Joining an organizing company as an employee

2. Be prepared to wear many different hats.
As a small business owner, you need to be comfortable being an accountant, marketer, bookkeeper, salesperson, etc. To have a successful organizing business, you need business skills as well as organizing ability! If you aren't comfortable with some of these tasks, consider outsourcing them to others - provided that you have the financial means to do so. 

3. Take stock of your financial situation.
Start-up businesses often spend 80% of the first year's income on marketing alone. It is helpful to have financial resources (such as credit lines and savings) to draw from as a start-up business. Many organizers continue to work a full-time or part-time job while starting and growing their new businesses. 

4. Do your homework!
Professional Organizers are well read on the organizing profession, often drawing from a list of books suggested by NAPO. Professional Organizers also participate educational opportunities offered by NAPO including teleclasses, webinars and conference sessions. You will also want to consider other business related classes, organizations, resources and workshops.

5. Choose your area of interest.
Do you like to work in people's homes, or do you prefer office organizing? What age group appeals to you? What are the things that you like to organize? Knowing what you like to organize (as well as what you don't!) ahead of time saves a lot of time and money when starting your organizing business. 

6. Join NAPO-St. Louis.
Join NAPO-St. Louis to stay updated on new books, products, classes and business trends in the organizing field. Succeeding as a Professional Organizer takes a lot more than just a knack for managing time or coordinating details. It requires knowledge of organizational theory, an understanding of small business concepts and an ability to establish strong working relationships with clients. NAPO membership provides access to valuable information that can help organizers acquire and hone these necessary skills. 

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