Small Business Success Q&A #23: Order in the House

Since moving to North Carolina last August, I have steadily been finding interesting people to follow on Twitter here in my new home in the Research Triangle. That’s how I came across the subject of our latest Small Business Success Q&A, Deborah Zechini, who has great advice to share. Take particular note of all the interesting and undoubtedly helpful apps she mentions. I know I am going to be checking into some of them!

Name: Deborah Zechini

Deborah Zechini

Company: Order in the House

Location: Cary, North Carolina

Founded: 2003



Business description: Professional Organizer. Professional organizing for the home and home office; specializing in working with adults who have ADHD. 

Why did you decide to start your own company? After 9/11 the major airline I was working for filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. I was concerned that if they did not come out of bankruptcy, I would be left without a job. So I decided that at that time in my life I wanted to do something I loved, which was helping friends and family unpack after a move and organize their home. To me this was FUN, and it’s still fun to this day!

What have been the keys to your business success? My success is due to working in what I am passionate about and working on it constantly. I continually follow up with potential clients, network, stay on top of social media, keep my website current, provide value to my clients, and keep my certification current. I also take classes and attend conferences to keep current on how best to help my clients. I love my clients and thoroughly enjoy making a difference in their life.

Best business advice you’ve ever been given? Because organizing comes so easy for me, I started out not charging properly for my time. Someone once told me “Charge for your time, you’re worth it.”  

Worst business advice you’ve ever been given? To advertise my business using a magnetic sign on my car. Not only did I not like it, I felt that my clients might not appreciate me advertising in front of their house that they had a professional organizer helping them declutter their home!

What was the toughest thing you’ve ever had to do as a business owner? To learn how to run a business-all the legal, financial and accounting part of having a business. I had to decide if I was going to get serious about having a business or was I just going to play at having a business. I learned to take it in baby steps, “learning as I go” style.

Have you adopted any new technology recently that has been a big help to you and that you think might help other small business owners? Nothing that would set off fireworks. I try to stay current and isn’t the cell phone a wonderful tool!!! I love using apps that help my business; such as, Cardmunch for capturing business cards, Evernote for keeping documents, GoPayment to collect payments, iRecycle to know what can be recycled. I even use the iHandy Level app while hanging pictures. Oh, and the GPS has saved me many times! Also, there are some great apps for my ADHD clients.

What advice would you give to someone just starting a business? Find a mentor at SCORE or work with a mentor through your local community college. There are so many resources available for startups. If you are doing something you love, then keep at it and learn to delegate those areas in your business that is not your strong points. I often tell this to my business clients when they are struggling with a certain part of their business. If you find that you dislike a certain part of your business, then delegate it to someone else and go do what you do best!

Favorite all-time business book? One Small Step Can Change Your Life…the Kaizen Way by Robert Maurer, Ph.D.

Favorite business book read in the past year? Since I have spent the last two years redesigning the garment hanger, I have not had the time to read. I have successfully designed the hanger, have a prototype and filed for a patent last year! It’s taking a long time….small steps, the Kaizen Way.

Favorite online source(s) for business information/advice?

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