Startup Costs: Under $2,000
Home Based: Can be operated from home.
Part Time: Can be operated part-time.
Franchises Available? Yes
Online Operation? No
If you're a neat-a-holic, then this could be the business for you. As a personal organizer, you'll bust clutter in your clients' homes, neatly arranging kitchens, closets, file drawers, garages and attics, and teaching them to keep things tidy for easier, less stressful lives. Most personal organizers take on tasks in the corporate world as well, straightening out executive messes--you can wear this hat if you like or stick to home work. The advantages to this business are that you can start part-time on a shoestring, it's creative and gives you the chance to peek into lots of people's lives, and if you're a natural neatnik you get the satisfaction of helping others become one, too. You'll need a healthy dose of organizational ability, which you must be able to apply to other people's homes and situations. You'll also need to be an organization-oriented shopper, with a keen knowledge of what home furnishings and accessories are in the marketplace so you can make recommendations. You should have good people skills because you'll be working with clients in their most intimate surroundings. You'll need to make suggestions in a tactful manner and deal with junk that might best be tossed.
Your clients can be homeowners and apartment dwellers who are tired of living with clutter and losing time looking for things that should be under their noses. Your best bets for attracting clients are placing ads in your local paper and writing articles for local publications. Give talks to women's groups, place ads offering discounts in coupon mailers, and donate a free makeover to a local charity in exchange for publicity.
All you really need to get started is that creatively organized brain and a planning book, although as you grow you'll want to invest in a computer, a printer, a fax machine and all the usual software.