We were lucky to catch up with Heather Rogers recently and have shared our conversation below.
Hi Heather, thanks for joining us today. Can you talk to us about growing your team – how did you recruit the first few people, what was the process like, how’d you go about training and if you were to start over today would you have done anything differently?
I was 3 years into my organizing business when I figured out, I could ask for help. I was at a monthly NAPO (National Association of Productivity & Organizing) meeting and asked one of my colleagues, “how can I clone myself?” She answered, “hire an assistant.” It was such a simple solution, I felt pretty dumb for not thinking of it. I myself assisted other organizers when I first started out. I don’t think I felt big enough or successful enough to be ready for help.
I contacted a few of the organizers that I’d met (assisting other organizers) to hire them for larger jobs and eventually for jobs I could not physically be on. Here we are 9 years later, and I have a team of sixteen subcontractors. Most of them have come from NAPO but others through clients, friends and colleagues. Some of my team work several days a week for me and some less regularly. They love the flexibility and I love being able to trust other people to help my clients.
It’s taken many years to understand that the only way for my business to grow is to hire good people to help. Over the years it works so well, I have become a big fan of delegating. Tricia manages several aspects of our operations and is so knowledgeable, she ran my business for me while I was in the hospital last year. I not only give client jobs to my organizing team, but I also have a bookkeeper, social media person, CPA and often a virtual assistant for projects I don’t have time or energy to complete.
If I could change anything, I would have started hiring people sooner. Many business owners are afraid to relinquish the control, but I have found it to be the best decision I could have ever made.
Heather, love having you share your insights with us. Before we ask you more questions, maybe you can take a moment to introduce yourself to our readers who might have missed our earlier conversations?
I founded Simply Organized because I have a passion for helping people. Our goal is to simplify your space so you can enjoy your time doing what you love with who you love (instead of searching for your keys). We help our clients de-clutter and create organized systems so you can find what you need when you need it.
Most of our clients are OVERWHELMED and don’t know where to start. We provide many services other organizers do not. We also specialize in estate clean outs, packing and unpacking so we can truly help anyone going through a major life change such as birth, marriage, divorce, moving and death. Also, since we have such a large team of experienced organizers, we can provide services to more people in more areas.
I’m so proud of the team I’ve built and the thousands of clients we’ve helped over our 12 years in business. We get rave reviews everyday saying our team are “magicians”, “miracle workers”, “angels”, and have offered priceless services such as “peace of mind” and “saved marriages”.
Let’s talk about resilience next – do you have a story you can share with us?
In 2020, I was rushed to the ER by my husband. At a very healthy 45 years old, I thought I was having a heart attack. After months in the ICU, it turned out to be Pancreatitis from Gallstones. I almost died twice in the hospital and continue to hear from doctors and nurses I am lucky to be alive.
A week after I was released from the hospital, my father died. I was unable to work for 6 months. Because I had put into place an operations manager who helped me put together an operations manual years ago, she was able to run my business for 6 months seamlessly.
I strongly recommend any business owner do the work to get all of the important information out of your head and onto paper. I also advise hiring the right people and allowing them to help you run your business. Relinquish the control and realize that you cannot do everything perfectly. Find someone who has strengths where you are weak and learn from them.
Also, make yourself a priority. Actively pursue self-care, take time off, treat yourself with respect. Nothing is worth the stress and worry that can make you physically or mentally ill. I now turn my phone off 1 day per week. I get a massage every month, I walk my dogs several times per week. I try to enjoy my personal life and my work life because I now know for certain this life is short.
This was supposed to be a story about resiliency but it’s also applicable to hiring, delegating and unlearning previous stories. In this case the story I had to unlearn was “if you don’t work hard, you are not a good person”. There is a difference between working hard and working smart, being lazy and taking time for yourself. To quote Denise Duffield-Thomas, “YOU SERVE YOU DESERVE!”
Alright – let’s talk about marketing or sales – do you have any fun stories about a risk you’ve taken or something else exciting on the sales and marketing side?
My background is sales. Before I started my company, I was in payroll, dental and then medical sales. I learned so many wonderful marketing and sales strategies from the companies I worked for but it took me a minute to remember what I had learned for my own business.
For the first couple of years after I started Simply Organized, I was placing ads in magazines and newspapers, going to trade shows and wrapping my car in my logo and company information. I was getting no clients or clients that were not a good fit for me and spending way too much money. After my 3rd failed trade show, I remembered that when I sold payroll services, we called on CPA’s to get them to refer us their clients. We called on physicians to get them to prescribe our medical devices. We never tried to go directly to the client or patient.
Now I have real estate agents who I work with who are wonderful resources for us. They are also working with clients who are moving or experiencing other stressful life changes in the areas we like to work. It took me too long but at least I’ve stopped wasting all of that precious time and money attracting the wrong people.
- Website: www.simplyorganizedyou.com
- Instagram: simplyorganizedyou
- Facebook: simplyorganizedyou
- Linkedin: heather@simplyorganizedyou
- Twitter: @simplyorgyou
- Youtube: simplyorganizedyou
- Other: pinterest simplyorgyou