Interview with Debbie Rosemont, Certified Professional Organizer and Productivity Consultant
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My latest organizer interview is with Debbie Rosemont, founder of Simply Placed in greater Seattle, Washington. Since Debbie is a Productivity & Organizing Blog Carnival Superstar Blogger, I was excited to have this opportunity to get to know her a little better.
Welcome, Debbie! How did you come up with your business name?
It was the idea that when things were “Simply Placed” in your physical spaces, your task list or your schedule, you’d have an easier time finding what you need when you need it, focusing on priorities, and having more time for what matters most.
What services or products do you offer?
As a company, we have a residential organizing division where we help people get and stay organized at home.
In our business division, we provide on-site and virtual organizing sessions, individual productivity consulting and coaching, and group training.
What is your personal specialty?
Productivity Consulting – helping busy professionals have more time for what matters most. I teach and help implement organized systems and productive habits that enable my clients to manage their email, tasks, time, projects, goals, workspace, and team more efficiently and effectively.
Do you offer any products or services for other organizers?
I have been engaged by other organizers for business coaching and mentoring. I also created and taught OD2-201 Running a Successful Business with Employees and a couple of recorded conference sessions available to NAPO organizers through NAPO University.
How do you approach a new organizing project?
- Assess the situation/need by listening to the client, asking thoughtful questions, and gathering information.
- Establish goals and milestones.
- Consider resources needed.
- Plan out the project/engagement.
- Assign resources, schedule sessions, prepare team (if needed).
- Dive in.
- Periodically review milestones and progress.
- Celebrate success.
How has your business changed since you first started out?
So much has changed!
I started my business in 2003 as a part-time venture, serving residential clients as a solopreneur.
Over the years, I built a team (at first to continue service residential clients while I pursued and served business clients), enhanced offerings and grew to a very full time flourishing venture that has helped thousands and thousands of people have more time for what matters most.
When did you start building your team?
I had been in business for three years when I first decided to start growing a team.
Are your team members full-time employees, part-time employees, or subcontractors?
My employees (currently two other Professional Organizers/Productivity Consultants and one Executive Assistant) are part time, hourly employees. At our height, I had 9-10 employees. We’ve contracted intentionally (and in part because of COVID) in the last year.
My “expanded team” with which I run my business (bookkeeper, VA, web pro, attorney, business coach, accountant, and occasional extra help if needed for large team organizing projects) are subcontractors and engaged on an as needed basis.
How did you decide to go that route?
I decided on the primarily employee route because of my want to train them to follow a client process and procedures I had found to be successful, and to represent Simply Placed in the way I wanted the company to be represented (with a dress code, branding, etc.), things you can’t legally do with sub-contractors.
At what moment did you consider yourself successful?
My definition of success has varied over the years. I felt successful early on when I was doing work (and being paid for it!) that didn’t feel like work. I still feel lucky and successful to do work that I love, and to have generated significant revenue that has supported my family and provided income and opportunity to employees.
The ultimate feeling of success for me comes from seeing the impact we make on our clients. When they achieve their goals while working with us, we are successful!
What would you do differently if you were starting your business today?
Delegate or outsource more, earlier in my business.
What’s the most surprising thing you’ve discovered about running an organizing business?
There are so many different ways to run a business and no one more “right” or “wrong” than another. Solo or team, offering services one-to-one or one-to-many, serving a niche or generalizing, virtually or in person, etc.
What’s the biggest challenge you currently face in your business?
After personally shifting to offer more group training for companies years ago, I found I really really love the one-on-one productivity consulting and coaching the best. Though group training is a way to “leverage” my time (one-to-many), I’ve returned to more individual consulting/coaching.
The challenge is attracting the right individuals into a higher end private package so that the revenue (and profit) is still there, while doing work I love.
What’s your favorite organizing product? Why?
I love the Time Timer for many reasons – helping to keep track during a work session, know how much time is left when delivering a training or presentation without having to look at a phone or watch, signalling to someone else how much longer until … It’s a great time management tool!
What professional associations or other organizations do you belong to?
NAPO, BCPO, and Women Business Owners (WBO).
What do you like to do when you’re not working?
I love hiking, walking, baking, spending time with friends and family, travelling, watching sports (especially my college son playing baseball), movies, and reading a great book.
What else should we know about you?
My superpower is taking away the overwhelm 🙂
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