Today I’m going to bring up a topic that many people are afraid to discuss… How to be sure to create boundaries in a service-based business!
Here’s the thing, if you’re anything like me, you’re a giver, a lover of people…
Someone who wants to swoop in, take care of people and save them from their daily struggles.
This is why many of us started this type of business. We woke up one day and decided that we would make a business out of helping people…
And it’s a business that is drastically needed in our overworked, overwhelmed society.
But how can you give… without being taken advantage of?
How can you set healthy boundaries with your clients? Just because you are in the “service” of doing things for others, does NOT mean you should be taken advantage of…
Here’s a little scenario I want to share with you about a client experience gone awry:
A few years back I was working with a client who needed ongoing organizational support. This was a client who just could NOT manage paperwork/documents or maintaining her bills on her own.
She had tried to do it on her own multiple times but without success.
She had hired several different local “professional organizers” who would come in and set up a great system for her. But she could never maintain it…
What she needed was ongoing support.
So that’s when we jumped in… (me to be exact!)
Week after week we would spend 4 hrs together purging years of un-filed paperwork, putting an easy to use system in place, plus we set her up with online banking, helped her get her car inspected on time and a list of other things that she just wasn’t capable of managing on her own…
But she began taking advantage of my kindness… Our sessions would regularly go an extra 15 or 20 minutes.
She would send me information via email and ask me to fax/copy/send out documents on her behalf, but not as part of our scheduled time.
Then I would receive frantic texts at 10 o’clock at night when she couldn’t “locate” something…
Then one day, while I was at a conference in Florida, I received a frantic text from her. She wanted to know where a specific file was. When I didn’t respond right away, she called, then texted, then called, then texted again. About 5 times in the span of an hour.
At which point I then received an angry text as to why I was “not responding in an appropriate time”!
Whaaaaa???? I was floored. After all the bending over backwards I had done to keep my client happy, to take care of her, to maintain her systems, to remind her when she needed to pay bills so she wouldn’t accrue late fees… and so on…
Needless to say, my client and I had a conversation about boundaries… and when she broke the boundaries again and again over the next couple months, I finally had to fire her.
It was no longer a good working relationship because she was taking advantage of me and my kindness.
I was heartbroken to be honest with you, but also a little bit relieved!
But this was also a FANTASTIC learning experience for me!
I needed to learn how to run my business without my clients running me!
This is one of the topics that will inevitably pop up during our Q+A calls with my Concierge Academy students. There’s much more to setting and creating boundaries in your concierge business, but today I will give you 5 ways you can “kindly” set boundaries with clients even when you are a service based business!!
5 Ways to (Kindly) Set Boundaries in a Service Based Business
- Never offer discounts on your services. (You can offer an incentive as a reward or marketing strategy, but discounts tend to attract non ideal clients)
- Discuss “normal operating hours” up front
- Educate clients as to the “best way” to communicate with you. Remember, this is YOUR business and you need to set up your standards NOW – not later!
- If you allow text messaging from clients, be sure to set the expectation up front that you only respond during “normal business hours”
- Put your Policies and Procedures in your “Welcome Packet” and make sure they SIGN it!
** If you DON’T have these things in place – I have a resource for you at the bottom <3
As I mentioned, this is just 5 ways to set up a GREAT working relationship that will not only support your clients, but support YOU as a business owner…
And here’s the thing!! Many people start their businesses verrrry wishy washy and “flexible” for their clients. I tooootally get that! But as you grow and hire team – I GAURANTEE you that your team will NOT be willing to bend all the rules the way you do! You will quickly learn how to set boundaries with clients because your team will force you to if you haven’t done so already! It’s a blessing, believe it or not ?
So instead of starting off with bad boundary habits – start then NOW!
Until next time!!
OH!! And before I forget!! If you haven’t gotten all your policies and procedures and documents in place yet – We made it SUPER easy for you! We pulled together the Concierge Contract Collection.
In our Contract Collection you get immediate access to: (it’s a downloadable file)
HERE’S WHAT’S INCLUDED:
- Business Policies
- Confidentiality Agreement
- Credit Card Authorization Form
- Garage Door Opener Waiver
- Key Release Form
- Simple Contract
- Individual Membership Agreement
- Organizational Services Agreement
You’ll save HOURRRRS of your life putting these together on your own…
You’ll also: up-level your image, protect yourself, and minimize difficult situations …
PLUS – In this collection I have also provided you with a VIDEO training on WHEN, HOW and WHY you will use these resources in your own business XO