Should your professional organizing business add concierge services?

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Should your professional organizing business add concierge services?

One thing I’ve noticed about the organizing industry is that a lot of consultants don’t limit themselves to hands-on work. Many organizers also offer related services, such as coaching, group programs, feng shui, or in the case of Christine Salberg, concierge services. Here’s Christine to explain what’s involved in learning about and becoming part of the concierge industry.

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The term “concierge” evolved from the French Compte des Cierges (the keeper of the castle), the individual who attended to visiting nobles in castles of medieval era. Concierges were very popular in Paris throughout the 19th century. The concierge had a small apartment on the ground floor and served the guests of the building. Concierge services became popular in North America in the 20th century as many high-end hotels offered their services. The guests could arrange for restaurant reservations, spa treatments, transportation as well as tickets to events.

Who uses concierge services today?

Anyone who needs more time! It’s a service that is invaluable to busy professionals working full time, as well as single parents juggling a career and children. It can be a great time saving service for two-working-parent families with children in various after school activities, or to the elderly who have reduced mobility.

Presently, you are running a successful professional organizing business but wish to add concierge services to your offerings. Why add these services and how do you become a concierge?

Benefits of Concierge Services

As an organizer we know that sometimes we don’t know how much income we will be bringing in. Most jobs we do have a beginning and an end date. You organize a closet and wardrobe and you are finished. You clean up a person’s computer along with paper files and the job is done.

The beauty of concierge services is that it can lead to a steady income with monthly retainers from regular and loyal clients.

Another benefit is the variety of the work. Like in organizing, there are many niches, some more involved than others. You can specialize in corporate, seniors, VIP, home, single parent families or the traditional hotel concierge services.

Concierge services increase your potential for employment as many corporate offices now offer these services as a work benefit. Companies are finding that offering concierge services is cost effective as employees are less likely to take time off for  personal reasons.

How to Learn the Concierge Service Industry

In order to be successful at concierge services you need to be very flexible. The concierge motto is the 4 As:  “Anything for Anyone at Anytime Anywhere”

It is not a 9-5 job. A client could call you in the evening or weekend and require a special gift. You need to be able to accommodate your client quickly. It’s vital to be friendly and outgoing, a go-getter with great organizational skills. It is also imperative to develop an extensive network of reliable professional contacts.

One does not need a licence or formal training to offer concierge services. However, there are many resources available if you wish.

The leading authority in concierge services is Katharine C. Giovanni. Her very informative book titled The Concierge Manual: The Ultimate Resource for Building Your Concierge and/or Lifestyle Management Company is a must read for anyone wishing to join this industry.

Ms. Giovanni also offers Concierge Training through her company, Triangle Concierge Training. Triangle Concierge Training provides online courses as well as with live half and full day corporate training sessions.

Professional Organizations

Professional organizations offer a wealth of benefits from continuing education to professional credibility.

1. International Concierge & Lifestyle Management ICLM

The ICLM was formed by Katharine Giovanni in 2000. It is the world’s leading professional directory and offers support to independent concierges. The ICLM offers reasonable memberships at three different levels. This provides your business with a listing in the ICLM Directory which adds credibility as well as professionalism to your business. The only requirement is that you have a website or a Business Facebook account.

2. Clefs d’Ors of Canada

This professional organization is not as useful for novice concierges as they require five years of experience in the hotel business for admittance.

3. National Concierge Association

This is  a US based organization. They have different levels of memberships as well as local US Chapters and an “At Large” chapter. After joining the NCA you can become certified by taking the NCA Concierge Mentoring Program.

Concierge Services are a great way to increase your client base while expanding your network of professional contacts.

Let us know: Are concierge services for you?

Image courtesy of cuteimage at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Gravatar mystery man

Christine Salberg is a professional organizer and founder of the company Sort and Toss.

Christine enjoys helping families maximize their leisure time by implementing organization and time management strategies.

She is on the Executive Committee of Professional Organizers in Canada; an association dedicated to helping individuals and businesses locate and engage trusted, certified professional organizers.

She lives in Calgary, Alberta with her family.

Gravatar mystery man

Christine Salberg is a professional organizer and founder of the company Sort and Toss.

Christine enjoys helping families maximize their leisure time by implementing organization and time management strategies.

She is on the Executive Committee of Professional Organizers in Canada; an association dedicated to helping individuals and businesses locate and engage trusted, certified professional organizers.

She lives in Calgary, Alberta with her family.

8 Comments

  1. Avatar Seana Turner on February 5, 2015 at 9:41 am

    Always interesting to hear about business extensions organizers pursue. This isn’t for me, but I can see why it would be a nice option. Often, once we are involved in a client’s life, they are willing to trust us with more. Thanks for sharing!

    • Christine Salberg Christine Salberg on February 9, 2015 at 9:46 am

      Seana,

      Organizing services allows us to enter a person’s home and life thereby creating a unique and personal relationship. Concierge services are a natural extension of our services as we understand our clients’ tastes and habits.

      Christine

  2. Avatar Anna E. Lee - Interior Design on February 7, 2015 at 4:23 pm

    What an interesting idea! I think it’s great to offer another service other than organizing, if feasible – to maintain a steady income. That’s one of the big reasons I plan to offer both interior design and organizing services, when I officially start my company.

    • Christine Salberg Christine Salberg on February 9, 2015 at 9:39 am

      Anna,

      Organizing services and interior design are a great combination. I have had a couple of clients ask me to help with interior design once their home was organized. With the clutter removed, it is easier to see the potential of a room.

      Christine

  3. Avatar Sundra on February 7, 2015 at 10:50 pm

    All customers want specialized treatment — and that is what a concierge service delivers. This makes them feel that they are important, thus, building loyalty and creating real-life advocates that would be more than willing to spread the word about you for free. This type of marketing is a hundred times better than paying to advertise.

    • Christine Salberg Christine Salberg on February 9, 2015 at 9:42 am

      Sundra,

      How true Sundra. Offering unique and custom one on one services is a great way to get new referrals by word of mouth.

      Christine

  4. Avatar Autumn Leopold on February 14, 2015 at 7:57 pm

    I had thought about this when I started my organizing business. Honestly I end up doing several concierge type things for my favorite clients who pay well. I may look into this more and get more official about it. Thanks for the idea!

  5. Christine Salberg Christine Salberg on February 15, 2015 at 3:35 pm

    Autumn,

    Yes although some organizers don’t list it as a service, they provide it to preferred customers. It is a great way to expand your client base.

    Christine

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