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Business Rx: Organizer's pitch needs just a little more, well, organizing

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"You're certainly not failing at business if you're not making money while you sleep. Because you're in the service business, you're trying to figure out how to scale to a point where you can be most efficient with your time.

"It's great that you've identified a niche and you're selling your services as packages. Think about how you offer the packages -- instead of productizing as hours, offer monthly packages. This could have you organizing clients in a more efficient manner. For example, you could line up three clients in Tysons Corner to work with each Tuesday, then spend Wednesdays with clients near Dupont Circle, and so on. Focus more on developing a monthly package strategy and selling to a targeted geographic area.

"For other ideas, could you create a workshop where you get 25 to 100 people in a room at the same time and teach them a good method for organizing their offices? Or approach human resources heads at major companies and sell your services as a time and money saver for a firm's top executives. Also consider specializing further and really go after people who deal with huge paper flows and need to keep those organized, such as attorneys and accountants. The challenge is identifying and landing work efficiently. It's not efficient to spend two hours landing one hour of work, and finding people who are disorganized is not always obvious."

Reaction:

Paide

"Commitments to monthly packages would be a dream, and I totally agree with zeroing in to make my niche tighter. I actually have a list of attorneys and law office managers that I plan to target with a mailing -- what are your thoughts on mass mailing?"

Advice:

Epstein

"Mass mailings can be effective, but really depend on response rates. You really need to anchor your appeal to a catalyst and a call to action. What's the clean-up-your-office equivalent to a New Year's resolution to join a gym? Find a compelling way to home in on your audience's breaking point."

Next steps:

Paide

"I'll definitely focus on finding disorganized people in a more efficient way and homing in on a compelling hook/catalyst that will make those people with disorganized offices come to me. Every client I work with has a story about that 'last straw' that propelled them to take action and call me, so now I'll focus on communicating that to other potential clients."

Looking for some advice on a new business, or need held fixing an existing one? Capital Business and the experts at the University of Maryland's Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship at the Robert H. Smith School of Business are ready to assist. Contact us as capbiznews@washpost.com.


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