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Entrepreneur Profile , Dana Korey

BY ANDREW SCHWEIZER

Starting out in the sales industry, Dana Korey became inspired to start Away With Clutter Inc. when she saw how disorganized people were. Seven years later, Korey is helping her business, which offers tactical organization methods to improve business productivity.


VITALS

Name: Dana Korey.

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Title: President, aka chairman of order.

Company: Away With Clutter Inc.

Company address: 14739 Caminito Vista Estrellado, Del Mar 92014.

Company phone: (858) 481-9191.

Year founded: 2001.

Prior business experience: Worked in publishing, corporate special events and film production industry.

Average hours worked weekly: 60.

Source of startup capital: $10,000.

2006 revenue: $785,000.

2005 revenue: $595,000.

Number of employees: 30 organizing team members.

Web site: www.awaywithclutter.com.


BACKGROUND

Birthplace: Chicago.

Education: The school of hard knocks I also studied broadcast journalism at Arizona State University.

Age: 43.

Current residence: Del Mar.

Family: Pug dog Simon.

Hobbies: Kundalini yoga, hiking, sculpting and tennis.


JUDGMENT CALLS

Reason for getting into business: I had been involved in sales for 15 years and saw how much time and efficiency were lost daily because salespeople never had a proper system of organization in place. Once I realized that we could increase our clients’ efficiency, profits and productivity, I knew I was in the right business.

How I plan to grow the business: We have decided to expand our market into both small and midsize businesses. We have found that they are generally understaffed and would benefit greatly from our services.

Biggest plus of business ownership: Having an idea and watching it grow.

Biggest drawback: I don’t shut off. I am always thinking of new ways to enhance the business and our clients’ experience.

Biggest business strength: The word “can’t” is not in my vocabulary. If someone tells me it can’t be done, I stop at nothing to find a solution.

Biggest business weakness: I am very impatient. You will constantly hear me say “I want” and “I need” it now.

Biggest risk: I don’t fear risk bring it on.

Smartest business decision: Convincing Michaela Kuechenhoff to become my business partner.

Biggest business mistake: Keeping too much inventory on hand. We learned our lesson that less is more when it comes to supplies as well as clutter.

Toughest career decision: Learning to let go and letting other people help you.

Biggest ongoing challenge: Technology, I love it when it works and curse it when it doesn’t.

The most important part of my business: Our clients’ long-term success. Our professional organizers pride themselves on the fact that we create solutions that last for our clients by transferring the organizing skill set to them.

My business works best when: Everyone has a good night’s sleep.

Best way to stay competitive: Constantly striving to exceed our clients’ expectations, we can typically organize an entire home or office in one to three days, which continues to blow our clients’ minds.

How I measure success: One file cabinet, desk drawer, garage or closet at a time. I am always amused when I am at a party and someone will say, “you’re the Away With Clutter woman I see on the morning news.”


GOALS

Goals yet to be achieved: Produce a few organizing products I have in the works.

My five-year business plan: Maintain the position as the leader in our industry while looking for investors to take our company national. We want to be the Molly Maids for the organizing industry.

I would sell my business only if: The price were right.

Guiding principles I will continue to follow: Complete honesty with our clients, organizers and vendors.

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