Bonnie Black has always had a knack for organisation and so she was always known as ‘Little Miss Organised‘. The name seems to have stuck!
Bonnie’s background is in Primary Teaching so she has a natural affinity with children and has worked extensively with them in creating productive study spaces and organised schedules.
Bonnie is now an Expert Member of the Australasian Association of Professional Organisers and was awarded Best Young Entrepreneur in 2012 at the Commonwealth Redland Business Awards. You can also hear Bonnie sharing her tips and advice as The Organising Queen on Brisbane’s 96.5 fm.
Bonnie is enthusiastic about creating routines and order, and helping others achieve realistic goals as they declutter their homes and lives. As well as organising, Bonnie enjoys a good book, a great Rom-Com, & traversing the globe with her husband.
Once those goals are refined I write out the steps required to make each goal happen and start following them through.
Tell us a little bit about your idea and what made you decide to take the plunge and make it happen?
My idea was to turn my natural ability to sort and organise household items into a full-time business. Circumstances encouraged me to take the plunge when we unexpectedly moved back into the Redlands after a year in Townsville and I did not have a Teaching position. I decided to begin building the business while I taught Relief, and 8 months later, I left teaching.
Please explain your business model.
We offer two main services to a range of markets. We offer consulting and advice as the first step for any new client, including creating a personalised Action Plan for those who are motivated to complete the work on their own. The majority of our clients require practical assistance as well, to help them make decisions on what items to keep or let go of, and where and how to store them. Our consulting services are also utilised via the Internet for clients not within local areas. Our clients are corporate companies, domestic households, students and families wrapping up deceased estates.
What are you working on right now and what are you most excited about in the next three months?
We are developing a new package for Corporate Clients which will give them greater flexibility to choose services which will benefit them the most. We are also creating an Online Shop for people to purchase our How To Guides for a fraction of the cost of a Consultation.
How do you make ideas happen?
A lot of brainstorming and goal setting! Once those goals are refined I write out the steps required to make each goal happen and start following them through. Once a goal is complete, I move onto the next goal.
What does your typical day look like?
There is no such thing as a typical day in my job! I can do anything from decluttering a kitchen to consulting for a Corporate Company to speaking to a Mum’s Group on Domestic Bliss to unpacking and setting up a new house after a move. Each day brings different tasks and different client, but there’s one constant – I am always teaching people strategies for good decision making.
What challenges have you faced when starting or growing a business/organisation in Australia?
The main challenge I’ve faced is finding trustworthy staff who are just as passionate about organising the world as I am, and who can represent our business well.
What is one idea you are willing to give away for free?
Chore Charts – every family should have one with rewards and consequences for chores completed, partially completed or incomplete. Create the list and the rewards as a family and you’ll find a unity you never expected. You’ll have a tidier house, that’s for sure!
What people/companies/organisations do you think are doing really cool stuff in your industry, in Australia at the moment?
Heavenly Order in Sydney are doing some wonderful work in training up new Professional Organisers – the more organisers in the world, the better off we are! Eco Organiser & Home Styling are teaching people the importance of recycling and the impact our unwanted goods have on the environment. It’s amazing how many people buy stuff they don’t want or need just because they can afford it, without thinking of where it’s going to end up when they’re finished with it.
What about internationally?
Peter Walsh has a fantastic global reach thanks to Oprah – the way he encourages people to get organised on Social Media is inspiring. Dr. Randy Frost is changing the way doctors view Hoarders and Chronically Disorganised people and his book ‘Stuff: Compulsive Hoarding and the Meaning of Things’ is eye opening.
What role do you think business can play in affecting social change?
Businesses should be leaders in displaying good ethics and inspiring change for those in greater need. We are the ones who can inspire society to make the choice to either stand up and make a difference, or to climb the ladder, pushing everyone down underneath you. It’s a big responsibility but it’s important that we teach people how to respect one another.
Speaking of affecting social change, is there a particular charity you’d like our readers to support?
New Life Trust Australia looks after orphans in Myanmar and is a leader in Yangon bringing aid to the poor and a chance at life for many orphans and families alike. The work they do is inspiring and I’m so proud to be a supporter.
Name 3 websites you would recommend to our readers.
Dropbox.com – great for storing your files on the cloud for access wherever you are, on whatever device!
Gumtree.com.au – Possibly the easiest way to sell your goods, fast.
Freecycle.org – Join your local community to keep unwanted goods out of landfill.
Name 3 Australians we should follow on Twitter.
Are there opportunities for people to get involved with your idea (e.g. are you looking for funding, interns, marketing help)?
I’ll be looking for more staff in the future, both Administration and Professional Organisers (training provided) and funding is always welcome!
We’re aiming to build a community of Australian idea makers helping each other. If you could have one question answered about startups, marketing, social media, accounting, monetization, product development etc. What would it be?
How much money is the right investment for a start-up small business?
What’s your favourite bar/café/restaurant?
The Himalayan Café at Brunswick St, New farm. Healthy and delicious food!
We thought it would be cool to crowd source an annual prize to award to the interviewee’s choice (each person interviewed gets one vote) winner for the year’s best interview. Are you willing to kick in a prize?
I’ll gladly give away a 2-hour Skype Consultation valued at $225.