When I thought up the “Rock Stars of Business” I knew Lori was the first person I would feature. She and I met a few years ago when she was in Corporate America and was a client of ours. Soon after she decided to take the plunge and create her own organization, Chaos to Calm. I knew it was only a matter of time before she would be “making moves.” I personally believe that her success can not only be attributed to the fact that she’s a great leader, but also incredibly passionate about her work. Lori has been a friend and inspiration to me over the years and I’m so happy that she was willing to take a few moments to answer my questions.
B: Tell us what your company does.
LF: Chaos to Calm is a Move Management Company. Simply put, we make moving easy. We do pre-move decluttering, organizing, staging and packing to total and complete resettling in the new home and everything in between. Clients can use all our services or just one, it’s up to them. Everything we do is focused on making the transition from one home to another easy, stress-free, and calm for our customers.
B: How long have you been in business?
LF: 3 years 9 months and 14 days, not that I’m counting!
B: How many team members do you have?
LF: Almost 20
B: That seems like a tremendous amount of growth. I know that finding key team members is often one of the most important and hardest parts of business. How have you been able to find your team members and what attributes would you consider to be most valuable for your organization?
LF: To date, almost every one of our team members has come to us through friends, existing employees, and clients. There aren’t many companies like ours so typically our employees do not have experience doing the work that we perform on a professional level. That means we must hire differently. We look at personal strengths such as being energetic and hardworking, a love for working with people, an eye for detail and organization, and the ability to handle working in a wide variety of work environments. As long as we find those skills we can train them on the rest.
B: I know that word has spread quickly about your business and what you’re doing. What would you consider to be the best marketing tool that you’ve used to get exposure?
LF: By far our customers, they sell our services and team better than I or any marketing tool can. We also get lots of referrals from realtors and senior living facilities for our elder move services.
B: Like my company, and many others, your organization isn’t a franchise and came with no instruction manual. How did you develop the systems in your business and who keeps you accountable?
LF: A lot of trial and error. I am constantly asking the team questions and using their feedback to tweak our processes and systems. It drives everyone nuts, but it results in some pretty awesome stuff. The one thing I’ve learned is the most incredibly brilliant ideas are usually the simplest ones. My team definitely holds me accountable - they keep me in line.
B: Although we would like to think that being an entrepreneur is all sunshine and rainbows, it isn’t. How have you pushed through your worst times?
LF: Red wine and a LOT of chocolate ice cream. Had I been smart I would have bought stock in Breyers.
B: I know that many successful people have what I call “success habits.” What do you do in your daily routine that keeps you productive?
LF: I always remember why we do this, focusing on my “why” (relieving stress and delivering calm to our clients) keeps me centered and moving forward. I also do my best to keep myself and work organized so I can prioritize what needs to be done and so things don’t slip through the cracks.
B: Business owners typically have tons on their plate. Right now, what keeps you up at night?
LF: Besides for menopause? Worrying about growing properly so the company is strong and well-built for future growth, worrying about keeping my employees happy, worrying about making sure we always take the best possible care of our clients, and most recently freaking out because my twins have started driving.
B: With a growth rate like yours I suspect that you are constantly planning for the future. Where do you see the business in 3 more years and what are you doing to lay the foundation for those plans?
LF: This is where I get so excited I can barely sit still - I am SO excited about our future. We are well on our way to begin branching out and opening new locations. To prepare we are focusing on creating consistent, repeatable, documented processes. It is a massive undertaking but in three years we will be spreading CALM all over the Eastern Seaboard!
I can’t thank Lori enough for taking the time to tell me more about her business. If you would like to read her full bio or contact her company click the link below.