Setting Boundaries In Your Pet Biz
Boundaries are really important in your business. Defining your work hours and letting your customer know when you are available and respond only to emails, texts and calls during your defined working hours.
However, I understand that you don’t want to risk that client going elsewhere because you need them. But do you feel like you have no work/life balance? Building and running your own business is really hard but feeling overwhelmed and burnt out is not going to help your clients or you for that matter.
Why do we need boundaries in business?
When I first started my pet services business I had no boundaries whatsoever in place. Clients thought it was fine to text me at 11pm or even at 6am. They also thought it was ok to call me at those times too. Why did they think it was ok to call or text me at those unsociable times? Because I answered. Yes, I answered those early morning calls and I replied to those texts at 11pm at night. Looking back that was one of my biggest mistakes in business. I remember struggling to switch off, saying no to clients requests and not wanting to disappoint people. I had ZERO work/life balance.
After many months of this, I put boundaries in place. I put my working hours on my website and on my Facebook page. I stopped answering calls, text and emails outside of those hours. After a while, people stopped thinking it was ok to call or text me outside of working hours. I also learnt to say no to clients.
Setting boundaries in your business should not be seen as a negative. They should be there to help you and your customers.
What you need to do in order to set boundaries:
1. Write down your new business boundaries and stick to them.
2. Communicate your new boundaries to those who will need to know them. Be clear and concise.
e.g Email or write to your current clients (If it’s appropriate)
Dear [ ]
Thank you for being a valued customer of [ ].
I am writing to you today to let you know of some upcoming changes to when I will be available.
Currently, I have been answering emails, call and texts outside of working hours. Sometimes I have replied to call and texts whilst being at family events. Moving forward from today, I will only be answering calls, emails and texts within working hours.
My working hours are:
Thank you so much for understanding and supporting me with this. I know that the down time will allow me to do a better job.
3. Put in systems
Why do you clients frequently contact you?
If they want to book an appointment with you, look at an online booking system that would allow your clients to do this without contacting you.
Perhaps they need to cancel an appointment? Many online booking systems have the options for your clients to cancel. Put your cancellation policy on the booking system and on your website, welcome pack so that they know how much notice they need to give without incurring a fee.
Questions, do you get emails or call where potential new clients are asking the same questions over and over again? Save time by having a frequency asked questions page on your website and be sure to put an FAQ link on your contact page.
By putting boundaries in place it will allow you to focus on your business, have a work/life balance and hopefully work less and make more money.
Let me know if you are going to put boundaries in place into your business by leaving a comment below. Perhaps you already do have boundaries in place. If you do, let me know what a difference they have made to you and your business.