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
The average businessperson faces a daily avalanche of information--e-mail, snail mail, faxes, memos, reports, revisions, agendas, addenda, ad infinitum--and is nearly swept under by the sheer mass of all this stuff. If you're a neat freak with a passion for order and efficiency, then you can save the day as an executive organizer. You'll work with businesspeople and their employees to bring order to chaos. You'll streamline paper flow, set up filing systems, clean up and organize desks and work spaces, rearrange schedules, delegate tasks, and even create quiet times to maximize office efficiency. If you're a computer person, you can turn your talents to organizing Windows desktops and document storage, too. The advantages to this business are that you can start part time, it's creative, you can explore the business worlds of lots of different people, and once you get going, you can earn extra income giving seminars. You can also--as most professional organizers do--take on tasks in private homes as a personal organizer. The key ingredient here is, of course, organizational ability, which you must be able to apply to other people's situations. You'll have to diagnose how an office works as well as how it should work and then apply that diagnosis to do-able solutions for your clients. You'll also need to be an organization-oriented shopper with a keen knowledge of what furniture, accessory, software and office supply products are in the marketplace so you can make recommendations.
Your clients can be any corporation, executive or small-business owner. Rein in these prospects by networking with business consultants, interior designers and architects, and professional and civic organizations. Place ads in the business section of your local paper and in the Yellow Pages. Write articles and press releases for local publications. Give seminars and workshops at local colleges and alternative learning centers, and give talks to local business groups. Join professional organizing associations--these can be terrific sources of referrals.
All you really need to get started is yourself and a planning book, but once you get up and running, you'll want a computer, a laser printer and a fax machine, along with the usual office software. You may also want special time-management and form-design or desktop-publishing software.