Have you created boundaries in your business? If not, it’s something you should definitely do. Boundaries are necessary to help you avoid burnout as well as other negative things in your business. And you have to set them from the beginning. Don’t get me wrong. We’ve all been there, and we’ve all made that mistake of not setting boundaries. But that doesn’t have to be you anymore. So let’s talk about creating boundaries in your business.
It’s time to think.
I want you to really think about which boundaries you want to set in your business. The reality is that a lot of times we feel like clients are taking advantage of us. We feel like they don’t have any respect for our time, and continue to push the boundaries. There’s always some of those clients that will always try to push the boundary. But most of the time, they probably don’t even realize that they are doing so.
It’s on you, as an expert and business owner, to set those boundaries from the beginning.
If you’re a service provider that offers done for you services, you might want to set a boundary that states how many rounds of edits you are going to include. You might want to add what the additional cost will be if they go above and beyond that number of edits. A few other things you can consider as setting a boundary are:
- How many days of support do they get AFTER a call?
- Do you have set working hours?
- Is there a preferred way that they contact you?
- Do you have a set time for project turnaround like 24-48 hours?
At the beginning of 2021 I added my business hours to my contract because I had a lot of clients that were working on the weekends, and they were constantly texting me. I don’t want to work on the weekends, and I don’t have to. So, I set that boundary from the beginning. It’s in my work contract that my work hours are from 9am to 4pm EST, and I take Fridays off. On Saturday and Sunday, I don’t answer my email.
Setting boundaries for your clients doesn’t mean you can’t push your boundaries.
I have several clients on the west coast. There are times where my 4:00 PM is only 1:00 PM for them. This may not be an ideal boundary for them. But the boundary is there, and it’s on me to open the door if I want to move beyond it.
Think about it like this…if you have a client that is only available on the weekends, and you don’t want to work on the weekends, there’s a good chance it’s not a good fit.That client is not your ideal clients because you’re always going to feel like they’re pushing the boundaries. And they’re really not. It’s just when they’re available.
You need to think about your own time management.
For example, if you offer VIP days, do you only do them on certain days? If so, you need to put that in a set boundary with other clients if you have them on retainer. Or if you take on a project, you need to let that client know that on Mondays and Wednesdays you’re unavailable because you’re on client calls.
I have a boundary that says on Wednesdays I don’t take client calls. Once in a while, an emergency comes up. And it’s on me to push the boundary and stretch it if I choose to. But I set that boundary from the beginning that I don’t take calls on Wednesdays. Why? Because I need time to catch up. I cannot be on the phone all day, every day, every single day of the week, and still get anything done. We still have things that need to get done on the backend of our business.
You have to set those precedents in the beginning.
When you do that, your clients will play nice. They’ll get it. I don’t have a single client that looks at me and thinks I’m being a jerk because I don’t want to work on Fridays. Does that mean I don’t answer their questions? Of course I do!
But setting this boundary in advance creates that open communication. It really allows you to be the expert and show up in the best way. Setting boundaries is NOT about being a jerk. It’s about letting your clients know that you need to set these boundaries in order for you to show up and serve them in the best way. And here’s how this is going to work.
When you set that boundary in the beginning, your ideal clients will oblige.
They are appreciative of it, and they value those boundaries. So they don’t push them. Don’t be afraid to set those boundaries. I want you to think about what you want to include in your boundaries. Whether it’s with your packages, your time, or your schedule. Maybe it’s how long before you need to charge additional fees. Or how many days of support they get if you offer a call.
Think about all of these things. Then, I want you to include them either in your contract, your proposal, and/or in everything that you do so that you can very easily make sure everybody understands how it’s going to work. It creates so much more harmony for you and for the client because everybody knows what their expectation is.
Setting boundaries are about you stepping into the ownership role of CEO.
So put them in place. Don’t bend on them all the time. There’s always special circumstances that allow us to bend, but don’t bend all the time. What is the point of having boundaries if all you’re gonna do is bend the rules and push them?
You need to stick to your own boundaries because, most of the time, you’re your biggest enemy. You put boundaries in place, and then you don’t stick to them. So, put them on paper, and make sure you’re maintaining them. That’s on you! And if you choose not to maintain your own boundaries, you can’t get pissed off when your clients do it.
Connect with Michelle-
Website – https://michelledenioconsulting.com
Facebook Profile – https://www.facebook.com/MichelleDeNioBizStrategist/
Linkedin Profile – https://www.linkedin.com/in/michelledenio/
Facebook Group- https://www.facebook.com/groups/fullybookedsolopreneur/
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