Jennifer Sullivan launched her entrepreneurial career three years ago when her son went off to pre-school. She realized she needed a good way to stay busy and productive. She launched Home Neat Home as a service to families – busy women are her primary clients – in order to get their homes to be better organized.
Her business model is straightforward. She focuses on helping people primarily in MonmouthCounty organize their homes including garages, playrooms, attics and closets. Her basic hourly rate in $75 and she offers three passbook plans in which clients “own” their time for one year:
5.5 hours for $ 375
11 hours for $ 750
17 hours for $1125
Jennifer meets with clients one-on-one to determine which option best suits their needs. Then as progress is evident clients often add time to existing passbooks in order to maintain completed projects or move on to other areas of the home. Some clients, with houses big enough, have Jennifer come in every week or every few weeks.
Generally Jennifer likes to work in three or four hour chunks of time. Often the work is tiring (cleaning garages for example) and maintaining focus and a sharp mental edge is tougher the longer she is at it.
Often, in the beginning, Jennifer’s client get heat from their husbands or significant other, i.e. “Why can’t you do it?” Why do you need her?” But once real organizing progress is made those arguments generally fall by the way side – most husbands like to get their own space in on the organizing as well!
Prior to starting her own business Jennifer took courses offered by the National Association of Professional Organizers in order to educate herself on how to make an organizing skill into a professional business.
In the three years she has been growing her business Jennifer has found out that it is basically a seasonal cycle she deals with. At the beginning of the year many clients have made New Year’s resolutions to be better organized. The activity picks up again in the spring for “spring cleaning” projects with summers being a slow period. Clients again focus on getting better organized in the fall for back to school and the holidays.
It’s obvious that Jennifer really enjoys her work. As she said “It’s fun. I am spending time with many interesting people with their own interesting lives. We spend time talking about our lives and how to make their home into a better tool in keeping stress to a minimum. I take the stress out with the mess!”
Eventually Jennifer will be expanding her services beyond Monmouth County. Currently she is working on developing her Home Neat Home web site which is certain to drive demand for her important service to busy, working families.