Business boundaries are such a hot topic in the entrepreneur world, and they don’t seem super important until you’re faced with a tough client situation.
Have you ever experienced a client that is struggling to follow your process, who (in turn) is making your life a bit of a nightmare or that you’re not able to perform at your peak?
This happens more often than we would like to acknowledge, but here are a few top takeaways to fix the situation now.
Review and beef up your contract
Add your office hours to your business email signature
Remind clients how they can best communicate with you
Put together a boundaries and expectations worksheet that the client signs off on when you onboard them to the process (or when your processes change)
Set a temporary out of office
Use inbox pause
Set a do not disturb on the phone
And the MOST important one of all: Actually follow the rules you SET!
It does take TIME for people to adjust to new processes, and I usually expect the learning curve taking about 1-2 months depending on how frequently communicate with your clients.
If you’ve been flexible and need to change, implement a seasonal change on the process. Bring on new people, or let them know the fee is increasing for last-minute/quick items that aren’t scheduled in advance. When you reframe this to be a benefit to the client and are consistent in how you show up and deliver, it’s hard for them to argue with you about something that is working for you and your business.
If you need to set business boundaries and someone still isn’t getting on board (because there’s usually 1-2 of those clients), then what’s going on?
Is it apparent they’re not your ideal client?
Are they only working in the evening, but still respecting your boundaries and don’t expect you to answer right away?
Sometimes you might need to fire a client who isn’t following procedures, but maybe you work with a lot of late-night clients, so you just need one day a week that aligns with their schedule, to hire a VA who can help your clients in the evening, or create a client resource library that gives them a bunch of quick answers/tools at their fingertips!