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SETTING BOUNDARIES FOR YOUR CLIENTS

By Business Coach Lynsey Hanratty

· Top Stories,Inform-Investigate

"A Lack Of Boundaries Invites A Lack Of Respect"​

SETTING BOUNDARIES FOR YOUR CLIENTS

Being an entrepreneur has lots of advantages – one being that you can work and serve the people you resonate with the most. Sometimes the lines can get blurred if you don’t set clear boundaries with clients to ensure that both parties get the most from the business relationship. It’s important to remember that your clients are not your friends, they’re your clients. You’re there to provide a service, to move them to a new level in their business, not to know the ins and outs of their private life.
Developing and setting boundaries for your clients can be a learning curve at the beginning of the relationship, so start as you mean to go on with clear intentions for the outcomes of the project. Remember what skill set you bring to your clients’ business, this is the reason they hired you. Keep it professional and stick to the contract.

Setting professional boundaries can be quite a challenge at the early stages of your business. Keep it simple and focused from the outset - set your business hours, the scope of the contract, the expectations of both parties, and how your clients treat you throughout. As you grow in your business, you will be more streamlined in how you approach this initial setting of the boundaries. It gets easier with time, and a few hard-earned lessons!

Setting boundaries with your customers is hard, but vital. Lynsey Hanratty writes for Self Starter Magazine.

Boundaries aren’t just about when clients can call;
they’re what determine the entire nature of your relationship.

1. Set your business hours.

Work the hours that suit you best, and when the cut-off point arrives, your life is your own. Your phone doesn’t have to be checked, nor text messages answered.
Make sure you cut off each day around the same time – and be sure your clients know this too. If you immediately reply at 10pm to a client’s email or text you’re making yourself too available. Unless it’s an emergency, it can wait until the morning.

2. Set expectations early.

From the initial consult, be sure to set the structure and conditions of working together and make them clear. If you’re meeting twice a month with work to do in between, make sure the action plan is made available to the client immediately after the meeting so they know exactly what they and you are working on in between meetings. If you are providing a product for them (art, jewellery etc.) be sure they realise the man hours and the process that goes into making such a piece.

3. Terms and Conditions.

Make sure all the terms and conditions of your contract are laid out clearly – set expectations as per project on both sides – what is expected of you and what is expected of the client. Ensure all payment details are clearly defined and when and how payments will be taken, you are not a charity, and your work is to be valued. If your clients add extra work, then that costs extra. Stick to the terms of the contract.

4. Your client is not your friend.

In a lot of cases your work with your clients is collaborative, the client has to do a lot of the work themselves, especially if they are being coached or mentored in the process to attain a specific result. You are there to help them in a process, you do not need to know aspects of their private life to do this, nor should you divulge your own woes either!

5. Always trust your gut.

Early in our businesses, we may work with people who aren’t good fit for us because we need the money or we haven’t had enough exposure to ideal clients. When a client is a bad fit, it makes working with them more difficult because we’re not right for them either. Go with your initial instinct, if the little voice is telling you not to work with them, or you have a feeling that you just can’t put your finger on, it’s best to let them go. There will be a better fit to replace them soon enough. A ‘bad fit’ client will be more demanding, more confused and may not want to take responsibility for their part of the process.

6. Be aware of how clients treat you.

As a coach, I get a lot of clients confiding personal aspects of their lives during our sessions. While I’m sympathetic and empathise with issues they might be currently facing, I’m not there to be a therapist, and I’m not there to hear their excuses for not doing the work we agreed on. I’m there to help them work towards a more profitable business. It’s a fine line to tread, but at the end of the day I’m being paid to help them build a better business.

Lynsey Hanratty worked in the wellness arena as a neuromuscular and physical therapist for over 4 years before moving into coaching to fulfill her ambition of helping wellness practitioners realize their potential, create more profit, and have the business and life they want.

She does this by way of one to one business coaching as well as speaking
at various events.

If you would like to avail of Lynsey’s
30 minute complimentary Profit Road Map Session to explore what you want to achieve and create
in your wellness business, you can contact her at hello@lynseyhanratty.com or call her on
086 3569689.

https://www.lynseyhanratty.com/

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