This month’s fabulous small business owner interview series features Nancy Haworth from On Task Organizing. Read more about how she made her business a success.
Tell us about your business and when you started.
Founded in 2012, On Task Organizing’s professional organizing services help clients to declutter, organize and simplify their lives. Services include hands-on home organizing in the Raleigh, NC area, virtual organizing elsewhere, do-it-yourself organizing consultations, time management services, presentations, and workshops.
I provide simple and custom organizing solutions for my clients’ lives. I help homeowners in the process of selling, relocating, downsizing, or experiencing life transitions such as a new baby, a new marriage, a divorce, or sorting through the belongings of a lost loved one. I also assist overwhelmed parents, business owners, and anyone ready to make a change and reduce clutter. I organize offices, closets, kitchens, playrooms, garages and more.
Why did you start your business?
In 2011, after the death of my mother, I spent time assisting my father in decluttering and better organizing his home so that he could age-in-place for many years. Although it was an emotional experience, I found a passion for organization at that time and noticed how this process improved my father’s life. I realized my organizing skills could help others, and I joined The National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals to begin training for a career change.
What do you feel is an area you struggle with your business?
Marketing is an area I struggle with, often because the public is not aware of the professional organizing industry and how it works. For those that know about professional organizing, there still seems to be a notion that organizers only help those with hoarding disorder, which is not true. Educating potential clients on what I do, and how I can assist in a variety of situations, and helping them to see the value of how organization results in lowered stress and saved time, can sometimes be a challenge.
What did you do to combat or overcome this struggle?
I speak to the public on a variety of home organization and time management topics to educate people in my local area of the services and benefits of organizing.
I also write a weekly blog and I share organizing tips on social media regularly. I have a monthly e-mail newsletter, and I also offer downloadable documents on my website about decluttering, organizing and time management.
Demonstrating the real-life changes organization can bring is probably my best marketing method. Some of my clients have given permission to share before and after photos of organization in their homes, and I find that sharing these helps others to see the visual results of my organizing services. More importantly, the reviews that my past clients have written show the personal internal benefits of getting organized.
Please share some tips on how you made your business a success.
Being a member of The National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals (NAPO) has provided me with extensive education on various topics of organization and productivity. NAPO has given me the opportunity to learn from, communicate with and share ideas with a network of professional organizers.
Having a regular process and workflow for each client has allowed me to streamline each project and all of the administrative tasks associated with running a professional organizing business.
Connecting with my clients and learning their priorities and goals, and setting realistic expectations from the start has helped me to be successful in my business.
Thank you, Nancy, for sharing your tips. Download Nancy’s free e-book “10 Tips for Effective Time Management” and sign up for her free monthly newsletter by visiting her blog.
I agree with Nancy when she mentions that in a service niche market, the most challenging thing is to show the value of the service. Showing speaks louder than yelling from the rooftops “check me out!” Years ago, when I was in the residential organizing industry, I also found that before and after photos had more of an impact than just writing up a description of the services. When people see the before and after transformations, they get it. I found that asking for testimonials from clients and having them share their shift in consciousness accompanying their after pictures, explains the benefits people will experience at the end of the process without having me spell it out for them.
In other service industries, getting these testimonials in writing or if you can before and after photos will show your business value and it allows others to see from a third party that you are worth the money.
I hope this interview motivates you to look at your industry and see how you can show what the benefits are when someone uses your service.
Visit our last few years of small business owner interviews for more advice.