Interview with Diane Hatcher, Certified Professional Organizer® and President of Time-Savers Professional Organizing Services, Inc.

Tell us about your business.
Our target audience is small offices and home offices with a specialty in Law Offices. As a professional organizer we customize systems and solutions for all paperwork, filing, desk, office and productivity organizing issues. We also offer Virtual Organizing services for home and office.

Please tell us what being a business owner means to you and why you became an entrepreneur in the first place?
Being a business owner means freedom, choice, flexibility and creativity to me. While working for several national corporations, and later as an elementary school teacher, I yearned for the freedom and flexibility unavailable in the corporate world in the 90’s. It has provided me the opportunity to network with a multitude of different types of people and businesses as well as the opportunity to volunteer for local non-profits. As an unexpected bonus, It has enabled my accomplishments to be recognized by the local business community and nationally in my profession. (And sometimes its fun to work in my pajamas from my home office!)

What or who has been your greatest influence in business and why?
I think Heidi Richards has been the most influential on my career. She encouraged, educated, mentored and motivated me to have the confidence to fulfill a lifelong dream, to write a book as my legacy. My book, Don’t Agonize, Organize Your Office Now! Simple Solutions for Your Office Organizing Challenges positions me as an expert in my industry and field and has become an unexpected source of passive income.

What would you say is your greatest professional accomplishment to date?
Getting my book published was one of them with the next greatest being recognized as the Small Business Person of the Year for the Davie-Cooper City Chamber of Commerce. Additionally, earning the designation of Certified Professional Organizer® in the inaugural class of 250 nationwide is the most recent accomplishment of which I am most proud.

What’s the best advice you have received in business that you wish to pass on to our readers?
Realize the value of networking for building relationships, support, referrals, references, publicity, word of mouth recommendations, eliminating the feeling of isolation and much more.

Also, balance is key. If you are really dedicated, you could work around the clock all your waking hours. It will eventually take its toll on you. Schedule fun and personal activities into your weekly schedule. 

What one thing have you learned as a small business owner that has served you well over the years?
No matter how new or how small your business is, treat it like a professional business right from the start. For instance, a dedicated business phone line, a website, professional appearance, networking, joining professional organizations and continuing education all contribute to professionalism. Also, being organized is central to maximizing a successful business.

Are there any resources or tools you’d like to share with other small business owners that have helped you succeed?
If yes, please describe (and include links if available). A database is important for maintaining records, appointments, follow up, schedules and contact information of all your clients. Many professional organizers and I love ACT! www.act.com .  Also, keeping accurate, update financial records in any version of QuickBooks or Quicken is invaluable. www.intuit.com .

What is Number One Business Goal you plan to accomplish over the next year?
I plan to shift from general residential and business organizer to filling the niche of Law Office specialty organizer. Since I have an extensive history of organizing law offices, and loving it, I plan to target market to this niche. I have also implemented Virtual Organizing services by which clients can get organized via phone or email contact with Time-Savers.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
I employ a virtual assistant in order to delegate activities that interfere with my time and ability to market and network. I’ve recently shifted my viewpoint to hiring first in order to build the business rather than the other way around.

How can our readers find you online?
Our newly redesigned website is www.timesaversusa.com and blog is at www.timesaversusa.com/blog. I can be found on Facebook and on Twitter (thanks to Heidi) with the name TimeSaversUSA.. If you subscribe to our blog’s RSS feed, you will continuously be updated with all the tips, advice and knowledge we’ve accumulated in our last 11 years of business that we like to share. Subscribe to our free monthly e-zine at our website and look for our quarterly articles in Balance Magazine.