Meet Janet Bernstein, the founder of The Organizing Professionals
Mar 12, 2019
Meet Janet Bernstein, Founder of The Organizing Professionals. The company organizes and declutters homes and businesses to help clients achieve a less stressful, more productive life. They serve homeowners, companies, people who are going into retirement communities.
Here's what she shared when we talked to her:
Why did you found this company? We had just moved back to the U.S. from Russia and Kazakhstan in 2007, and I wanted to have a business where I could keep my own hours. I had been moving every three years as an adult, part of that time with three children, so I was very good at organizing.
What’s your core business philosophy? Our tagline is ‘Transforming Lives through Our Passion for Organization.’ The feeling of completely turning around the organization of a home or business is tremendously exciting for me.
How did you fund the company when you first started, and why? My kids were in a small private school in New York City, and I got roped into organizing the school attic as part of my parental service to the school. It was such a hit, I entered the silent auction, a fundraiser for the school. It was won by a socialite who let me loose on her apartment and all of a sudden I was working for her connections. Because I was working in other people’s homes and offices, I did not need to raise capital.
How do you keep a competitive edge as your company grows? We get more experienced. We get more publicity. We are the largest team of organizers in greater Philadelphia with a team of 10. We are quick, which makes a great difference with clients who might have been feeling overwhelmed for years. We constantly study organization products and resources. I know The Container Store like the back of my hand. We are coaches. We push clients to do what they wouldn’t do on their own.
How do you measure success? I set increasingly high financial targets every year—and we have grown every year. Great customer feedback is also an important measure of success.
What motivates you? Whenever kids would talk about what they wanted to do, I would think about starting companies, which was unusual for a girl in a little town in England. I love the business side of it, always coming up with new ideas on how to get new clients, reach more people. I have a huge desire to see how far the company can go.
What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned? Without satisfied clients you don’t have a business. I learned you have to go the extra mile every time to take your business further.
How has the AWE network has impacted you and your business? I’ve been a member of AWE for three years. The first time I went to a meeting I thought, “Wow, I’ve found my people, women who take their businesses seriously.” There are lots of groups for women who have very small businesses, who are thinking about businesses. AWE is for women who are succeeding in business, growing their companies. It’s also been great in unexpected ways. I went to a networking event sponsored by an AWE member. At the event I connected with my husband's future boss which I like to say got him the job!
What’s the most influential book you’ve read in the last five years? Traction: Get A Grip on Your Business by Gino Wickman, which introduces the Entrepreneur’s Operating System. Every time I go to an AWE event I come away with a suggestion for another great book to read.
If you weren’t involved with your current venture, you would be: I’ve always been a huge traveler. I would probably organize travel trips.
The goal of the Cover Stories series is to profile female founders scaling companies to counterbalance the constant flow of cover stories that only focus on 20-year old men dressed in jeans and hoodies. High-growth women founders exist, and their stories should take a leading role in shaping how we see entrepreneurship.