Master To-Do List for Starting a Professional Organizing Business by Geralin Thomas

Master To-Do List for Starting a
Professional Organizing Business
by Geralin Thomas
This is a comprehensive list for new professional organizers starting a
business.
While reading the list, please keep in mind that there are no right or wrong
ways to tackle all the to-dos since it’s your business; you are the boss and
the decision maker.
I wrote the list hoping you’d pick just one or two sections to focus on at a
time. Read the entire list over once or twice before deciding where you
Metropolitan Organizing, LLC
MASTER TO-DO LIST FOR STARTING A
PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZING BUSINESS
1. Research the Professional Organizing Industry
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Read organizing books and organizing blogs
Read blogs posts from home owners or business owners to learn what kind of organizing
challenges people are experiencing
Research business advice websites including. For some, membership is required.
i. IRS (www.irs.gov)
ii. Small Business Administration (www.sba.gov)
iii. Vistage International (www.vistage.com)
iv. The American Small Business Coalition (www.theasbc.org)
v. Entrepreneurs’ Organization (www.eonetwork.org)
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Join an organization for networking (like your local Chamber of Commerce),
accreditations, coaching, etc. (NAPO (www.napo.net) , local NAPO
chapter, ICD (www.challengingdisorganization.org)
Find a mentor, coach, or business consultant (www.score.org)
Market research – pinpoint the type of client you’d like to work with
Develop a niche or area of expertise
2. Name your Business
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Create a name for your business and maybe a tagline too
Check that the domain is available (GoDaddy.com, Google search, WhoIs.net,
NetworkSolutions.com)
Check your Secretary of State website to see if your business name is available and how
to proceed regarding filing for a DBA (Doing Business As)
Metropolitan Organizing, LLC
3. Financial, Legal, Logistical
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Legal:
Write a business plan
Decide your business structure also known as an entity (Incorporated, LLC, Sole
Proprietorship, etc.). Educate yourself at your Secretary of State website and Registrar of
Deeds website.
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Register your business name with your Secretary of State and any other agencies
(city/county for licenses or zoning permits), or use a service like www.bizfilings.com
Research tax requirements for your state and apply for tax exempt status (if needed) with
your state’s Department of Revenue
Purchase business insurance (General Liability, home & business equipment, Errors &
Omissions)
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Banking:
Once your registration paperwork has been approved and returned to you, complete the
federal SS-4 form and obtain an EIN number before setting up a bank account in your
business name
With your new bank account, purchase business checks & deposit slips
Get a business debit card and/or credit card
Set up a merchant account to accept credit cards or a service
like PayPal or Squareup.com
Logistics:
Set up your desk and office space
Set up a phone number and voicemail message
Purchase a computer, supplies, and business equipment (scanner, printer, headset)
Create a signature line for your email include your area code and phone number
Purchase a backup system for your computer (Carbonite, Mozy, SugarSync, etc)
4. Develop your Services & Pricing:
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Create your list of services
Estimate your business costs
Define how you price your services and what your rates will be (hourly rate, tiered
pricing, package pricing, project pricing, retainer fees, cancellation fees)
Establish billing policies and a Services Agreement and/or Subcontractor Agreement
(check www.LegalZoom.com)
Purchase and set up accounting software or create an invoice and bookkeeping system
Decide if you want to hire a bookkeeper or accountant
Metropolitan Organizing, LLC
5. Marketing/Branding:
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Purchase a domain name or a few domain names including your own name
Set up website hosting and email
Create a logo
Get at least one professional headshot
Write a professional bio
Create business cards
Create stationary (letterhead, notecards, envelopes, address labels)
Create a website yourself or hire a designer. Either way, you’ll need a website
template (templatemonster.com or wix.com) and website content management
system (like Wordpress, Weebly, Joomla, and Drupal), and content (pages on
your site might include: about you, contact info, services, pricing, testimonials from
clients, etc.)
Create social media profiles (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, etc.)
Get the word out that you are open for business with a press release
(www.articlesender.com), social media posts, forum posts, call friends/family/clients
and ask for referrals, create a brochure or mass mailing, etc.
6. Define the Client Experience and Create a:
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New client questionnaire ("intake forms" or "assessment forms")
Consultation process – set expectations of what’s expected and what’s NOT included in
your services; explain your billing process
Welcome letter or booking confirmation
Feedback form, testimonial, online reviews (Google, Yelp)
Congratulations! You are on your way to starting your own professional organizing
business. With my master to-do list you are bound to feel more confident in your
ability to plan your time and your budget. My goal is to have you grow your new
organizing business in a sensible, sustainable manner. Next, we'll work on booking
clients who want and need help getting and staying organized. Good luck!
Metropolitan Organizing, LLC
Hello! I'm professional organizer Geralin Thomas, CPO-CD located
in Raleigh-Durham, NC and the owner of Metropolitan Organizing,
LLC.
If you are interested in becoming a professional organizer you'll
want to explore the many ways I can help you build a better
business that is sustainable and sensible. Visit the website to learn
more. You can find me on: Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter
[@Metrozing] and LinkedIn. Phone: 919 380-7718
Metropolitan Organizing, LLC
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