One of the things that scared me the most when I started organizing other people? ...was the feeling of not looking like I knew what I was doing.
I bet you thought I was going to say not actually knowing what I was doing.
Well of course, that made me nervous a few times too... until I realized that every client wanted something unique and individualized from me anyway, not a "prescribed process". I learned very quickly how to listen to the way she described her situation in her home and jump right into what was bothering HER the most. It's a simple tip that changes the game.
So in essence, I never REALLY know what I am doing until she and I are there, that day, doing the "workout" together. Then, it seems to flow pretty naturally.
However, I'm a list-maker and routine-lover at my core, and I LOVE having a checklist even for something that I know I am going to intuitively feel my way through. And sometimes, clients do want to hear you verbally walk them through your "usual" process, and so having a baseline really does help.
I've outlined for you all the steps I take from the "hello" to the "until next time" with a client.
And, I have to show you this new app I started using in 2016 >> Asana.
I created this complete end-to-end organizing project template in Asana (scroll to the bottom to download!), and then I duplicate it for each new client and adjust it to our work together.
That way, I pretty much know where I stand at all times with different clients and can spot opportunities to "batch" together similar tasks from different jobs, so I can knock them all out at once.
Asana was really created for teams to communicate with each other, but there are certain features that make it awesome for managing multiple side businesses and projects WITHIN those businesses.
So, for ladies that are working the pro organizing side-hustle alongside anything else, I think the Asana tool is genius.
It's free. Let me show you how to use it.
Cool thing #1: you can have multiple "dashboards" for multiple businesses:
So within my organizing business dashboard, I have multiple projects. Click on the plus button to create a new project.
Side note -- see the "invite people" link in blue? You can invite your clients to collaborate WITH you privately on a project (as in, assigning them due dates and homework and checklists) if you're on the upgraded version of Asana. And Asana will do all of the "reminder emails" for them for you. I have not made that leap yet, but it's on my goal list for 2017 because I love, love, love automation and I think it would be really helpful for some clients to visually "see" where you are on big projects.
I like to use these arrows ">>" just to indicate this new project is a template to use to make other new projects.
Once you click "create project", you'll have a fresh list.
Then paste it into one task line in a new project and it will automatically make each line a separate task.
Don't mess with this template! But if you do make changes to the master template, just know that any task that you follow with a colon ":" will become a new bolded section.
Click on the drop down arrow next to the name of your template and select "copy project" to create a new project from the template.
Name your new project with something meaningful (I use street names since they correspond with my secret Pinterest boards for each client project.)
Wham-bam. You now have a baseline "process" to customize for each of your clients.
Ahh.. Asana feels so good to our organizing-addicted brains. But I think it's so important to still allow for flexibility for her energy levels and your own intuition as a pro organizer.
What do you think? Does this template help calm you a little bit when it comes to figuring out how to lead your client towards the result she wants?