There are milestones worth celebrating in your organising business. I wrote about seven of them here.
But there are also some other milestones in the organising business which you may not expect or welcome. They may not be worth celebrating but they are important to know about and plan for. Here are just four.
Newcomers to the organising industry often don’t realise that it is actually a tight knit community, where colleagues and competitors know each other. Whether it arises from laziness or downright dishonesty, occasionally plagiarism, especially when setting up a new website, can occur. A handy tool I use on a monthly basis is Copyscape. It takes me less than a minute to check if anyone has copied content from my website.
In my many years as an organiser, I have had only three cases of plagiarism. Each time I wrote to the owner of the website with “You may not be aware that plagiarism is against the law” and then described the offending words. Each time they were very embarrassed and took steps to rectify. Perhaps it’s a mark of respect that they thought my words were so impressive that they wanted to copy them?
2. A competitor steals your client
As I said, our industry is relatively small. As I also said, I do occasionally refer my clients to other organisers. It’s also not uncommon for clients to move from one organiser to another, as they find their “right fit”.
Although it has never happened to me (that I know of), it’s unprofessional when one organiser “steals” a client from another. This happens most often by a sub-contractor who thinks it’s okay to undercut the agreed price of the company they’re working on behalf of. Yuck! News travels fast. It’s not a good idea to risk reputation for the sake of a single client.
3. Sacking a client
Every successful organiser I know has at one time sacked a client. It could be because of non-payment of an invoice, or the client became abusive (yes it can happen) or it could simply be that the client and the organiser are not a good fit.
I’ve sacked a few clients in my time, but it’s never been a nasty experience for either myself or the client. There is a way to “break up” with a client with dignity and grace. In the case of bad fit, I use the phrase, “I’m not the organiser for you”. If I know someone better suited, I refer them on. Even when I sacked someone for non-payment of an invoice involving sub-contractors of mine, I did so in a kind way. I first made sure the disputed invoice was paid and then when they asked for another appointment, I replied that I couldn’t do that as they had “put me in a very difficult position” and included some tips for how they could get organised on their own. I was not referring that client on to others who might feel the same pain.
4. Paying tax
Although it’s never fun to give up a portion of your hard-earned dollars, paying tax is actually a privilege. It’s a sign that you’re making money and I’m pleased to contribute to society in a tangible way. I use a great tax accountant who makes sure I pay my share and not a cent more. I recommend you do too.
I’m curious to hear what other milestones you’ve experienced in your organising business.