Checklists and Contracts and Agreements – Oh my!
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It’s amazing how many different forms you need in order to operate a professional organizing business! Some are just for your own use, such as client information sheets, assessment forms, and checklists. Others, such as invoices and letters of agreement, communicate important information to your clients.
Any forms you’ll be using with clients must be completely error-free, easy to read, and reflect your professional image. This isn’t quite as critical for those that are for internal use only, but you will still need them to be well-designed so they are easy for you to follow and so you’re not stumbling over your words when you’re speaking to your clients.
It will be easier for you to develop an appropriate organizing plan for each of your clients by having a set of standard questions that you ask, whether this is done in person or over the telephone. Figuring out just what those questions should be can be a real challenge when you’re just starting out in your business and don’t really know what things are important to ask about. Writing up your first agreement can also be difficult, because until you’ve run into situations such as client cancellations, you may not think of addressing them in your contract.
Fortunately, a lot of seasoned organizers have made their expertise available to you, so you don’t have to learn by trial and error. Here are a few resources that I recommend:
- Lisa Montanaro applied her expertise as a lawyer and a professional organizer to develop a comprehensive Client Agreement Template for Professional Organizers which you can customize to meet the needs of your business.
- Maria Gracia’s Ultimate Guide For Professional Organizers includes a collection of fill-in forms which you can copy and use. The Ultimate Guide is available in either PDF or print format.
- If you’re handy with a word processor, you can create your own forms following the guidelines provided in Anne Blumer’s guide for professional organizers, Get Rich Organizing or the updated version, Mastering the Business of Organizing.
- Sara Pedersen offers a set of five essential client forms, including a Client Phone Intake Form, Client Service Agreement Form, Client Assessment Form, Client Action Plan Form, and Client Feedback Survey Form
- Geralin Thomas’s New Organizer Essentials bundle includes a detailed Client Intake, Assessment, Homework & Activity Log, a Client Letter of Agreement, and other valuable documents which you can customize with your own branding and business information.
Although not specific to organizing, Coach Glue offers a free New Client Kit of 17 popular forms, including an intake form, client invoice, agreement, confidentiality agreement, and much more.
Here’s a question for the experienced organizers: what forms do you use most often in your business?