This is our first interview for this year and I hope you follow us each month to read all the knowledge these small business owners have to share.
Linda M. Clevenger owns Organization Direct in the DC area. Linda shares many tips in this Fabulous interview series. She shares the struggles she dealt with at the beginning of her business and what she had to do to evolve her business into something she felt proud of. Over to you, Linda!
1. Tell us about your business and when you started.
My business is Organization Direct. I launched in January 2007 after over 20 years in Corporate America. We are a complete organizing service offering the following services:
Assistance with Downsizing
Packing and Unpacking
Organizing and creating systems for every area of your home or office
Consulting for the DIY’er who need recommendations to organize their space
Home Clear Out
Kind and Gentle reinforcement to help you through the process of getting organized
We work with individuals and couples to help make sense of your space and organize it in a manner that allows you to Stay organized.
2. Why did you start your business?
I started my business because I needed something more. I worked hard for everyone else and made their business a success – it was time to do that same thing for me. My children were all adults and it was time to do something for me, that made me happy and gave me the freedom to work as much (or as little) as I wanted. What I have found is that working too little is not a problem! The Organizing Industry is in high demand and there is no “lull” in business, no matter the season. Being able to help others makes me happy!
3. What do you feel is an area you struggle with your business?
I struggle with the need to do everything myself. I have gradually found the right people to build a team to help me with clients. I needed to surround myself with a team of other business owners who are my “Tribe”. They understand me, my business, and are there to support, and guide me along the way.
One other area that is not my strength is the bookkeeping. I am very happy to have my CPA as part of my Tribe.
4. What did you do to combat or overcome this struggle?
To overcome the struggle took a while. I had to learn to listen to my gut when it came to who I could/should trust. I had to learn how to ask the right questions to those that I trust to be part of my team and I had to consider as many risks as possible. This took a lot of self-discipline. I hired a coach and learned how to develop my self-confidence as a business owner and even on a personal level.
5. Please share some tips on how you made your business a success.
Making a successful business became easy when I knew exactly who I wanted to serve and how to describe this to others. When I became clear on my “why” I was able to share my business with others in a way that helped them understand how and why they should hire a Professional Organizer.
I let go of things and thoughts that didn’t matter – and did not make a difference.
I learned to say “No” thank you and that I don’t have to work with everyone.
I networked, networked, and networked my business both in person and online.
Thank you, Linda, for sharing your experience with running your business.
I agree with her when she states that trusting your gut and doing the research to determine who you can trust is very important. We, as small business owners, tend to do things by ourselves most of the time. But, as the business grows, we need to allow others the opportunity to assist us as well. It will not only give us free time but also the ability to create new opportunities for our business.