Setting boundaries in your business is so important. By being intentional about the boundaries that you set in your business you will be more like to avoid burnout and also provide your customers with a better experience. I briefly talked about boundaries in my blog post last week, but today we’re going to dive right in. We’ll talk about the importance of setting boundaries and how exactly you should do that.
What You'll Learn:
1. Why You Should Set Boundaries
2. How to Prevent Burnout
3. Scheduling Weekly Time Off
4. When to Set Boundaries
5. Business Boundaries You Can Set Today
6.Set Working Hours
7. Create a Schedule that Works
8. Set Time Off
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Why You Should Set Boundaries
When we think of boundaries, we often think of them as being a negative thing. However, setting boundaries in your business lets your customers know what they can expect from you. Having boundaries set up front will help customers respect you and your time. Another perk of setting boundaries is that it helps to clearly communicate your business needs and rules with family and friends.
Setting Boundaries to Prevent Burnout
Setting the boundaries for your business will help you define negotiables and non-negotiables, which will help you avoid burnout. For example, if you are letting everyone who wants to have a paint party pick any day, then you will work yourself to burn out. You can let customers pick what day they would like to have a paint party from days you already have set aside for paint parties. If you have a day blacked out they can choose another day and you don’t have the guilt of saying no.
If you let your customers pick their own dates you could have many paint parties scheduled back to back and you will get burnout very quickly. I had to learn this lesson the hard way. At one point, I had a month where I was doing paint parties almost every other day and the days between were spent prepping. This lead to burnout very quickly and forced me to set boundaries to prevent it in the future.
Scheduling Weekly Time Off
You want customers that respect you, your business, and your time. If you get an order on a Friday night and the customer asks for it on Monday, you can say, “I’m sorry, I don’t work on the weekends. Your order will be ready on Friday.” If they choose to go somewhere else then they were never really your customer to begin with.
This leads us into scheduling time off, is it really necessary? YES!! You need to be scheduling time off in your business. Not only will your family thank you, but you will thank you. Scheduling time off allows you take time off without the guilt of saying to yourself, “I need to finish this door hanger”, or “I need to drop off this order.” By scheduling time off, you know when you will out of office and you can plan your week accordingly.
When to Set Boundaries
Whether you have been in business for a while or you are just getting started, the time to set boundaries is right now. Setting boundaries gives you the energy to grow your business. These boundaries will change your life and give it back to you!
Business Boundaries You Can Set Today
Let’s talk about how you can go ahead and get started with setting boundaries in your own business. Three business boundaries that I recommend setting today would be to set working hours, create a schedule that works for you and your family, and to set time off.
Set Working Hours
Setting working hours allows you to be most productive. These working hours can include painting, cutting, answering emails and messages, and scheduling your social media posts. I highly recommend setting up an autoresponder on your social media messages to let your customer know when they can expect to hear from you. A response in 24- 48 hours during the week is a great time frame. I would always try to respond within 24 hours. If they emailed or messaged on the weekends I tried to respond on the following Monday.
Try to be intentional about not answering emails and messages outside of working hours. This is hard, I get it, but when you need off you need to be off and not worried about work. Just as you would do if you are working a 9-5 for someone else.
Create a Schedule that Works
Each family is different, for me personally I love to work while my kids are at school so that I can spend time with them in the evenings and on the weekends. Keep in mind what you want your schedule to look like, and if your schedule isn’t working for you then change it!
I recommend scheduling out your days so that you cut orders on one day and paint bulk orders on another. Painting in bulk will help your paint orders to go faster. Set aside some time in your schedule each day to respond to emails and messages. Take one day a week to schedule out your social media content for the week, so that you can set it and then just login to monitor comments at the same time you respond to emails and messages.
You don’t have to be super strict with your schedule, as some days due to bad weather or sick kids something may change. However, having an overview of how your week will go will help you to accomplish more.
Set Time Off
Everyone needs time to recover from the work that they do as you can’t pour from an empty cup. Be sure to take time off to fill your cup so that you can run your business as efficiently and effectively as you can. You don’t have to hang an open 24/7 sign on your business, and by setting time off customers know what to expect of you.
You will find that over time boundaries need to be changed or even removed as your business grows or your season of life changes. Don’t be afraid to adjust your boundaries to what fits your lifestyle!