Hey there, I’m Melisa Meral- creator of Pro Organizer Bootcamp and I’m back for episode 4 of my Pro Organizer Blueprint series where I’m starting a home organization business from SCRATCH in just 30 days! I’m in a whole new state in a tiny rural town with no business connections, friends, or family. This is my experiment in starting up a brand new professional organizing company. Come along and learn how to launch a decluttering business!
You can check out the previous 3 videos in this series to see what the past few weeks have looked like- now, let’s dive into this final installment of the series.
Day 20- Here in the United States we have the IRS which is the Internal Revenue Service for our federal tax payments as US Citizens. As a business owner, I need an Employer Identification Number (an EIN for short) to do things like file my taxes, pay contractors, open a business bank account, and more. This is also considered a Tax ID or Business Number in other areas of the world, in case you’re part of my global audience! It’s super simple to obtain this from the IRS once you have your business entity set up. You can learn about how I set up my LLC in the first episode of this Pro Organizer Blueprint series, plus check out the Pro Organizer Bootcamp Podcast to hear from more expert guests about all the legal ins and outs of running a pro organizing business.
Day 21- Once I received my EIN, I was able to open a business banking account to keep my personal finances separate from my business finances. I chose to go with a local/regional bank and got some cool incentive offers to sign up for a business checking account and a line of business credit. A quick trip over to the bank to provide them with my LLC documentation, my new EIN, and a credit check and *poof!* I’m in business.
Day 22- After setting up my business bank account, I re-subscribed to my favorite accounting software for small business owners- Quickbooks Online. So you guys know that I love Honeybook for deposit collection, invoicing, contracts, and e-signatures for client communication. I often get asked if a pro organizer will need BOTH Honeybook and Quickbooks. My answer is YES! While Honeybook is essentially a payment processor (like Venmo, Square, or Paypal that you might also offer as options for your clients), it also is great for sending contracts and invoices. However, it doesn’t help you reconcile your receipts for business expenses, create your P&L Statements to show your profits and your losses, nor does it help you account for mileage, all your business subscriptions like Canva or Thumbtack or Planoly, not to mention product cost reimbursements, and all of the other nitty gritty financial things that go into our businesses. That’s why I love using QBO (and your accountant will love you for it too!).
Day 23- Speaking of tracking business expenses, I downloaded my favorite app for mileage tracking- Mile IQ. It’s a free app for your phone that you turn on when starting to drive to a client’s house and when commuting back home. Sure, you could keep an Excel doc or Google Sheet with all the info for all of your jobs every single week with the addresses and mileage metrics… but I found that to be a super manual process for me back in the day, so now I love using this handy app to keep track of everything for me. At the end of the year come tax time, all I have to do is export a report that breaks down all the numbers for me and my accountant.
Day 24- It was time to get back into the swing of networking! Sometimes being a full time entrepreneur can feel isolating because you’re no longer a 9-5er with tons of coworkers, lunch dates, water cooler convos, coffee chats, and that sense of feeling like you’re part of a team. Being a brand new city, state, town and not having any connections- I knew it was time to get out there! I learned about our local Chamber of Commerce through the company that did my car decal (think back to episode 2 in this series) so I marked my calendar and attended one of their monthly meetings! It was great to get out in the community and meet some new people
Which leads me to Day 25- after connecting with some of the ladies from the meeting, we set up a lunch date to chat further. It’s always great to learn about local businesses and events being held in the community. Whether that’s running a booth at a Home & Garden show, getting a segment on your local TV channel, or being featured in your town’s magazine- making connections is a game changer!
Day 26- So if you think back to Episode 3, I set up my Facebook business page and noticed that people here in Oklahoma definitely seem to use Facebook A LOT more than Instagram. That was definitely a change for me because San Diegans used TikTok and Instagram way more! I joined a bunch of local Facebook groups- some for women, some for moms, and some for neighborhood watch type news. After making a few posts about my business, I received TONS of DMs and engagement on the posts with likes and comments. Something this simple is free, easy, and doesn’t take much time!
Day 27- After an awesome consultation, I got my first client! I sent the contract over via Honeybook, she paid the deposit, and the session was booked! I’m so excited to get back into organizing in this brand new market- this is always a magical moment when everything you’ve been doing to build your business WORKS. I call it “proof of concept” in validating your market. I’ll have to drive about 45 minutes to one of the bigger metro areas here, but I know that’s what I signed up for when moving out here to the “middle of nowhere”! If you’re watching this and you live in a rural area, don’t be afraid to market yourself to larger towns nearby. You might have to take some extra time commuting, but I’ll never say that any area is “too rural” to become an organizer.
Day 28- With my first session booked, I wanted to make sure that I was up to speed on where to take donations or schedule pickups with local charities. In most cities around the United States, you’ll have your Salvation Army & Goodwill options, but I also love supporting smaller nonprofits and women’s shelters. One of my favorite resources that I’ve talked about in other videos and podcast episodes is PickupPlease.org. This is run by the Vietnam Veterans of America and it’s my favorite resource for scheduling pickups so that you don’t have to lug donations away after each session. Simply book a pickup for the day after your session, and they’ll swoop in with a truck and some muscle to get all that clutter loaded up and out!
Day 29- I took some time to ask for reviews! Watch the video to learn why I think it's SO important to ask every single client for a review of your services.
Day 30- In keeping with the theme of knowing my numbers and tracking my metrics with Google Analytics, Mile IQ, and Quickbooks… I’m putting together a cost analysis of how much this has all cost in the past 30 days. Stay tuned for a future video where I give a full breakdown!
I hope you’ve loved this series so far and` if you’d like to learn more about my Pro Organizer Bootcamp private 1:1 coaching, check out proorganizerbootcamp.com and book a call with me to chat about your business needs!
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