I posted this on the housekeeping thread, but actually I'd appreciate replies from all you freelances/self-employed people out there. Or anything who has already done something similar? Thanks.
I am thinking about setting up a professional organiser/declutterer business. Is there anyone who does something similar? I thinking of branching out into going into businesses who need help with organisation, perhaps filing, backlogs, office moves etc. Then down here in Cornwall there's a large market of holiday rentals and second homes, so was thinking I could offer a concierge type service for these too (like sorting out the bills, cleaning the house before they stay for the weekend, organising a gardener whatever).
Is there any mileage? I can think of lots of other ways to branch out too.... like helping new mums find a routine, meal plan, ways to organise their family or helping people find the best gas supplier.... or what pushchair fits with their lifestyle.
There is a poster (or there was, she may have name changed) called helenagrace who is a declutter. I think she might also run some other businesses. She gave some very useful advice on a thread about how to get organised about a year ago. I know, as from that thread I purchased a family diary thing.
I know of www.apdo-uk.co.uk/ the membership body for the trade as I talked to them once about doing something for them. They do an annual conference etc. Plus have a directory, so you could check out the local competitor
I get the sense that most declutters do it as a sideline/supplement with other businesses. But as you say there are lots of related sidelines/branches of your service you could offer.
I think there is a market, but like with any business the key is finding the potential clients who are willing to spend money on such a service. I guess you need to break it down into potential markets:
- older people with lots of clutter built up (could reach them through middle class networks like the WI or U3A) - commuters who live in Cornwall at the weekend/holidays who need local help - I wonder if you could reach them through glossy local mags they might try to get really connected to Cornwall when they are there - mums - NCT, others providing baby related services (eg hypno classes, baby massage, buggy fit etc)
It is a bit of a clique equating having money to spending on this sort of service, but I think realistically you need some sort of level of money to spend on such a thing. You could think about making your services more affordable with online coaching or webinars etc. I think "being organised" is something that people would pay to learn, like other skills.
A friend of mine and her sister-in-law set up a business like this some years ago. It's not that easy. It's still going (actually, the sister-in-law dropped out and I'm a director now) though in truth it's more of a 'care' and 'companionship' business for elderly ladies now. So there's a market of sorts, but it's by no means the money-spinner they had at first hoped!