Do I Need a Specialty?

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choosing an organizing specialty

Professional organizing services are needed by clients in many areas, including residential, home-based businesses, and corporate offices. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with serving clients in all of these areas, provided that you have the necessary skills to do so. In fact, in certain regions, you may find it necessary to offer a broad range of services in order to maintain a steady income.

On the other hand, new organizing products and techniques are being introduced all the time, and it can be quite challenging to stay on top of important developments throughout the organizing industry. For this reason, it can be beneficial to focus on one area. Not only does it require less time and effort, but it allows you to become an expert on your chosen subject.

Many organizers choose to specialize in home organizing services, but even within that realm, countless specializations are possible. Garages, children and families, and seniors are only three examples. Office organizers can specialize in medical offices, legal offices, non-profit associations, or any other niche. Specializing in an industry where you have previous work experience can really give you an edge. Becoming known as “the organizer who…” can do wonders for your business!

The other advantage of being a specialist is that you can charge a higher hourly rate for your services. If this makes you uncomfortable, it shouldn’t! Consider that with your expertise, you can probably complete the organizing job more quickly and efficiently than an organizer with no experience with that type of project. Does it make sense that you should earn less? No way!

To choose your specialty, ask yourself these questions:

What type of organizing project do I enjoy the most?

What type of clients do I like working with?

What am I really good at?

Of course, you’ll also need to consider the marketplace in your area, and whether there is a demand for the services you’ve selected, but I’m a firm believer in Marsha Sinetar’s philosophy, Do What You Love, The Money Will Follow.

If you need help exploring your options, Maria Gracia’s Ultimate Guide for Professional Organizers is a great resource that covers this and many other great ideas for starting and growing your business.

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A former professional organizer, I now eliminate stress for my clients by hosting, monitoring, and maintaining their WordPress sites so they don’t have to worry about security, downtime or performance issues. When I’m away from my desk, I enjoy reading, photography, watching movies, and cooking.

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  1. Julie Bestry Julie Bestry on April 13, 2009 at 10:11 pm

    All good points, Janet. In my experience, professional organizers tend to start working in the general fields that best match their prior backgrounds. Corporate singletons tend to gravitate towards business organizing, serial entrepreneurs towards home-based business organizing and busy moms (no matter what their professional background) often feel most suited helping busy, overwhelmed parents. Indeed, it’s hard to know at what a new professional organizer might excel, so one tends to stick with what one knows best.

    However, as you imply, niching allows for the opportunity to hone one’s skills in a particular area, to be seen as a sub-specialist and expert whose rates can be commensurate with those specialized skills.

    One of the great advantages to becoming a member of the National Association of Professional Organizers, Professional Organizers in Canada and the National Study Group on Chronic Disorganization is the opportunity to network and chat with other professional organizers with experience in specialties we not only may not have considered, but may not have known existed. This is one of the reasons why interacting with our colleagues, both formally in industry organizations and informally on social networking sites and sharing comments on blogs like yours, is to get to know one another and share perspectives.

    So, congrats on the new blog, and thanks for giving us all a great outlet at which we can rub elbows.

  2. Avatar Janet Barclay on April 14, 2009 at 7:05 am

    Julie, in addition to learning about other specialties, another plus to association membership is that you may get an opportunity to work alongside someone who works in that area and find out if it is something you’d enjoy.

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