As professional organizers, we have many projects going at once. So to keep everything organized, you need a systematic way to schedule your projects. Whether it is on paper or virtually, there are many options that can best serve you managing your project schedules. I will be covering my top 5 tips for project scheduling management.
Create A Project Scheduling System
The first step in project scheduling management is to create a system that will work for you. There are project management tools that are all online or you can create them using boards. Figure out if you need the project management tool easy for you to see daily. And how you best work with that information. If you are constantly on the go, a digital tool may be better. But if you have days where you are in the office, something on a board may be easier.
For me, I needed something that was in front of my face, so I used poster board and Post-It notes to keep my projects organized. Then I upgraded to acrylic boards with Post-It notes.
Digital project management tools can be Asana, Trello, or Monday. There is also programs like HoneyBook or 17Hats that have project planning included in their services.
You can read more about how I created boards below:
Once you decided if you are doing digital or board project scheduling management, it is time to determine how you are going to work with prospective clients. These are people inquiring about your services. I created a new Post-It note for each inquiry. You can also create a new card for any digital project scheduling planner you are using.
I also have email reminders set up to follow up with the client after a week of calling. This includes an email template that I simply have to fill out the details. The template is incredibly useful so that I can just pop in information and then send to the prospective client.
Securing The Clients
How do you go about securing the clients once you get them? My system was having them sign a contract. Once the contract was signed we would schedule their time. The contract is key in order to keeping them accountable for the work you are going to do. I have sample contracts in my Complete Pro Organizer’s Blueprint. Because contracts can seem scary, these sample contracts are a great jumping off point. They ensure you don’t miss anything in order to get that client to book with you. You can purchase the Blueprint here.
I also get the client to fill out an intake form. This helps me get an idea of what their needs are with the organizing project they want to book. If I do an in-home consult, I make sure to get some before pictures so I can evaluate the situation more once I have time to think about how we are going to proceed.
Project Scheduling Management
Once you get the contract, you have to figure out how to schedule the client’s projects. This involves rough estimates for how long the project could take. You need to know how long you work and how long specific projects take in order to be able to truly estimate how long something can take.
When I would do organizing projects, I knew that a typical playroom would take me 6 hours. But if I had another organizer with me, it could take us 3 hours to complete the room. Because I had a rough estimate for how long a typical space would take me, I could schedule time according to my rough estimates. This way I wasn’t overbooking myself for projects because I wasn’t able to complete the one the day before.
Another organizing I know books 3 hours sessions only. Whatever they get done is what they get done. So her clients book multiple sessions with her. This also allows her to schedule jobs according to her time blocks.
Following Up After Client Projects
When a job is complete, you need a way to follow up with your clients to get a review or check in. This ensures good customer service and getting the reviews to help boost your credibility. I would set up a reminder to email a client a week after we were there with a template email. I would fill in the template, which included a link to review us on Yelp or Google. This is how I would get many reviews from clients and many referrals as well as I am still fresh in the clients minds.
When professional organizers create project scheduling management tools, they are able to keep their prospective clients, current clients, and past clients projects organized. There is nothing worse than being a disorganized professional organizer. Use these tips to help you create effective project scheduling so you never lose a job because you didn’t follow up. Or lose a job because you didn’t get them scheduled in a timely manner. Or not get that review because you didn’t follow up. These systems will help your business grow.