Setting boundaries are so important in our business but we can often ignore setting and sticking to them. We see our never-ending to-do list never-ending to-do list and want to get “just one more thing” off the list. We see an email come in that we could answer really quickly and before we know it we are in our inbox for an hour.
Boundaries For Ourselves.
Work Hours: If you are able to set certain work hours for yourself that is the best way to help control the urge to do “just one more thing”. Once that time is up you have to let the to-do’s go until the next day. This is not easy at first but trust me your business will not fall apart because you let that one thing go until the next day.
If life is uncertain from day to day then try setting your top three tasks for the day and put everything down when you get those three done. Read this post for more on setting a purposeful to-do list.
Boundaries For Your Customers
If you only get one thing from this post this is the section I want you to pay attention to. You need to set boundaries for your customers. This is one of the main areas that will make or break you in business, not because of lack of income. Rather you start to hate the business that you worked so hard to build and your customers are running your life.
While there can be so many different things we could talk about, timing and communication about when to expect responses and product is crucial to having a successful business. Here is an example below.
Communicating About Your Office Hours
You want to be clear about the times you will be “in your office” even if your office is a laptop on the couch. This will help them know when to expect responses from you and keep them from getting upset if they email you on a Friday night at 6:30 and you don’t respond until Monday morning.
In that same instance, you my friend, need to hold off responding after hours if those are the expectations you have set. If life is crazy and you sneak in emails when you have the time you can go in and respond to an email but schedule it to go out during your normal hours. Something like boomerang (Gmail extension) so your customers don’t see that your respond at 8 pm while you should be “off the clock” so to speak.
If they see that you are willing to answer emails during your off hours they will start to expect that. However, if they know that they won’t see a response till the next business day then they are far less likely to get upset when you don’t get back to them right away.
Boundaries With Your Finances
This could go so many ways here but #1 I want to reference keeping track of expenses and making sure they are separate from your personal accounts. This will save you so much stress and heartache I promise. Excel works but if you have a lot of transactions WAVE is the next best option and it’s free.
Be careful of wanting all the things.
When we start to get into the online world you will see so many different tools, software, courses and all the things. It can be tempting to want to buy everything that claims to be helpful. While those things are great it can be easy to pick up a $10 subscription here and a $15 subscription there. Then before you know it you have $100 coming out every month.
Be careful where you spend your money. If money gets tight and you feel the need to cut back you do not want your customers to feel it. Always give them the best service possible without spending the high price tag. Take a look at software and other products carefully before you spend the money. There may be a cheaper or even free option.
Keep in mind that setting boundaries and sticking to them does not happen overnight. You can do this! Want to be a part of the community? Head on over to the facebook group From Hobby To Thriving Business.