I had to learn the hard way....
Starting to see your business grow is amazing. When you're getting paid for what you do. But what happens when people are complimenting you on your prowess in your niche but they aren't paying you, or worse, you're giving them your time and your knowledge and then you never hear from them again?
People consistently contact you for business, and existing clients want to work with you, but you're chasing them down to give you a hard yes, sign a contract and pay you for your services. Is this happening to you?
When you first establish your business, you want to be ingratiating so that you don't come off like a b*tch, you want that people like you and say nice things about you, and you’re likely to move heaven and earth to fulfill your clients’ requests. You work about 18 hours a day, every day, weekdays, nights, and weekends, answering phones and messages, not wanting to miss out on any opportunities, because you're afraid you'll not get the gig and then you'll be back where you started: broke.
Sound familiar? Believe me, I know how you feel! The trick is to set communication boundaries BEFORE you fall into the trap of working until midnight on Saturday nights. I've had more people contact me for "oh, let's talk" and it turns into a marketing lesson and then I never hear from them again. Take the guy the other day who I pieced a very good proposal together for, spent the time and the energy, and he WASTES my time talking about how he doesn't want to do the work but he wants an ROI.
Or the woman who wants to grow her non-profit religious membership program to $100k a year so that she can pay her mortgage but only wanted to invest $100 a month to do it. Or the guy who wants to make $500k a year in his e-commerce business and has $2600 to invest and has nothing to start with, just an idea and doesn't want to take the time to do anything, he wants someone else to run the entire thing so he can make money.
These are the people you attract when you don't set your boundaries. It’s easy to think you should be available 24/7 to your potential clients and current clients. Deep down you may fear that if you don’t answer clients or prospects straight away, your business will fail. I can promise you now, it won’t!
Is your bank or GP available 24/7? Not unless they have a dedicated support team. Does this mean you won’t do business with them? No. Why? Because you know exactly when they will be available. Don't you have to fill out forms, questionnaires and information about yourself BEFORE you even get to see these people? I once had to fill out a 5 page questionnaire before I got to see this chiropractor, was it worth it? YES. Did I have to take 30 mins filling out paperwork? Yes. Did I have to pay for it? Yes, handsomely.
BEFORE your business starts to grow, you need to put boundaries in place in order to manage the expectations of yourself FIRST and your clients second. What do you want them to do? Because if you don't have a significant call to action for each of your clients, then you're going to be at their beck and call all day every day. Take for example the guy who wanted all of my information for my skin care company, SkinByRadiance. He said, "There's a great opportunity for you here. You can make money on every sale when it goes live." Operative word..."when". So here are a few of the preliminary questions to answer for your business especially if you're working for yourself. What are your business hours? How should your clients get in touch with you? Will you use Messenger, Whatsapp, Gmail, or text? What is the most effective way to manage communication? What’s your response time?
These boundary setting techniques and implementation ideas will be talked about in more depth on The Be Socially Smashing Podcast where you can learn to set your boundaries and yourself up for success! Stay tuned!
Nicole Jolie is the founder of SkinByRadiance a trademarked anti aging skin care for athletes and Women who love to workout. She also started a 100% recycled plastic bag company that made all of their totes and bags out of recycled plastic bottles. In addition, she has helped many different types of companies and personal brands with their online presence using social media marketing and helping them with their websites. Nicole believes small business owners deserve an opportunity to create abundance, wealth and prosperity because most of them didn't start their business to work for someone else. "I truly believe I can make a difference in people's businesses by helping them with their online presence."