Boundaries with Clients in your Business – how you set them!

Oct 27, 2020

Are you struggling to know how to set boundaries with clients in your business?

This blog will give you some questions to ask yourself when setting your boundaries with clients.

Having your boundaries compromised is a very real thing running a business – you are not alone! That doesn’t mean it’s right or acceptable.

It’s every business owners right of passage to experience their boundaries being pushed with a client at some point. It’s a regular pattern I see with my clients and I’ve experienced it myself too.

Which is why it’s so important to have them in place if you haven’t. If you have them and they need brushing up, read on!

I’ll share below some questions that have helped me set boundaries with clients.

What are boundaries?

Let’s start with talking about what your boundaries are.

They’re your personal limits, like a fence is a physical boundary, I like to think of these as an emotional boundary. And when you’re pushed too far and give away your time, energy and wisdom in business, it’s an infringement on your boundary.

You need boundaries in all aspects of your life, but for the purpose of this blog, I’m talking about having and enforcing boundaries with clients in your business.

Women business owners

As women business owners, we’re quite often people pleasers and put everyone else before ourselves and our own needs. We have a more caring and emotional nature than men. If you look back to caveman times; men were out hunting animals to feed the family, and the women were home nurturing the family.

There are many experiences women business owners go through. If you don’t want to be alone working from home feeling miserable, join us so you can talk through your experiences.

Let us help you find the solutions so you can move forward and grow your business with your boundaries in place! Join Creative Women’s Mastermind Membership and feel happier!

Read how a Mastermind works here and a Coworking session here!

Exceptions to the rule!

There are of course, exceptions to the rule, and you will know your own scenarios. However, make sure that when your boundaries are compromised, that it happens occasionally. Make sure it’s the exception, rather than the rule.

We’re human at the end of the day and life happens! Awareness and flexibility is key when you’re working with a new client. For example when you’re onboarding them and getting used to each other’s way of working, including each other’s boundaries; there is likely to be a bedding in period.

It takes courage to enforce a boundary and you are emotionally invested in your clients success. You want to help them succeed in the transformation you offer them.

Know your own exceptions to the rule. Make your own boundary clear around that.

Who’s responsibility?

It’s on you as a business owner to let your clients know what your boundaries with clients are. 

If you’ve tried enforcing a boundary with a client and they’ve not taken it well, that is not on you. It is their responsibility. And depending on the scenario, it will be painful for them because you’re having to retrain them from what they’re used to.

With the 101 different communication channels, and our phones being our work and personal main tool of communication, it can be tough separating the two.

You have to flex that discipline muscle or keep your phone out of sight after office hours, depending on what tools you use! And that may not great for your personal life sometimes.

It’s your responsibility to find the courage to put yourself and your needs first. Practice being emotionally strong, looking after yourself and disciplined, so you can enforce those boundaries with ease. 

Ask yourself these questions to install some boundaries with clients

What times are your core office hours?

When is it ok for a client to contact you? When is it not ok? What days do you want to work and what hours on those specific days? When are your days off? What about weekends and holidays?

When are you going to reply to clients?

Some business owners only go into email/message morning, lunchtime and evening, sometimes not even that! Let your client know when and how soon they can expect a reply. I.e. within 24-48 hours. 

What platforms are you going to use for your client?

Whatsapp for business, messenger, a dedicated client area in a digital system like Asana? Think about how your clients work too and what platforms the majority of them are on. You need to consider the learning curve for them too.

Communicate it to your client

Make sure your clients understand when you and how you work. I recommend you put it in your contract. It’s important to manage your clients’ expectations.

How can you practice saying no and not reacting straight away?

Everytime you break a boundary, you are reinforcing in your clients mind that it is ok. Practice saying no! You need to practice self care and if you’re spent looking after everyone else, you will have nothing of you left! Conserve your energy, nurture yourself so you can grow your business the right way.

What tools, resources, or help do you need in place to make sure you enforce your boundaries?

What is going to be easy for you to manage? Remember this is your business, it has to light you up and be easy for you to enforce your boundaries too.

What are your boundaries around your social media, your goals, and the opportunities you receive?

I haven’t met anyone yet who says they want to spend more time on social media, have you?! Know your limits around social, when you’re working on your goals to achieve the level of success you’re heading towards.

Want to talk more about putting boundaries with clients in place or brush up on your existing boundaries?

Written by Amanda Kerin

Amanda Kerin is the founder of Creative Women’s Mastermind, an online Mastermind & Co-working Community. "It’s my mission to connect women in business working from home to alleviate isolation. We accelerate our businesses, learn from experts and each other, and get stuff done. Think of us as your board of savvy business women who have fun too!"

Welcome to the blog

I’m Amanda Kerin. Founder of Creative Women’s Mastermind.

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