Business boundaries benefit both you and your clients
If you run a service-based business with a main goal of helping others, you know how important it is to be functioning at your best. (I’m looking at you, coaches, healers, and empaths!)
When you’re in a “helping” profession, you’re your greatest asset. You rely on your special skillset to show up and do your work.
Using your intuition, listening skills, and ability to guide others through difficult life transitions all require that you show up centered and present..
In order to function at your best and have the greatest impact on your clients, strong business boundaries are a must.
What are business boundaries?
Simply put, business boundaries are guidelines that you put in place so that you can do your best work, serve your clients powerfully, and still feel rested and energized.
These guidelines help you protect your time and energy and manage your client relationships.
When you’re proactive about setting boundaries, you avoid things like burnout, miscommunication, and upset clients.
What happens when you don’t have boundaries in your business
Some signs that you don’t have strong enough boundaries include:
- You try to do it all, all the time.
- Your energy suffers.
- You get resentful of clients and others who put demands on your time.
- You get burned out or break down.
- You know you’re not serving clients as well as you could.
- Your sleep, health, and other parts of your life are suffering.
Many well-intentioned plans go south fairly quickly without strong boundaries. And if you’re not careful, you can end up suffering.
The benefits of boundaries in business
When you’re a business owner, it’s your responsibility to protect your own resources and manage your relationships with your clients. When you do:
- You manage and protect your intuitive, empathic, and spiritual gifts and use them to the best of your ability.
- You better manage your own your time and energy — and your productivity increases.
- You strengthen your client relationships and build trust by being transparent.
Setting boundaries with yourself
It’s no secret: The better you take care of yourself, the better you can serve.
This means paying attention to yourself and your needs, including:
- Tuning into what you really need. You have the intuitive mind. Remember to pay as much attention to yourself as much as you do your clients. Every day, ask yourself, What do I need right now?
- Prioritizing quality over quantity. The ideal amount of clients is the number of clients you can serve powerfully while allowing plenty of time to tend to yourself. (Same with social media!) Find your sweet spot and stay there.
- Stop comparing and “shoulding” all over yourself. Just because another business owner can go live on Facebook all day and pull 10 hour workdays doesn’t mean you should. You do you.
- Do more by doing less. Focus on the few key important things and don’t worry about the rest. Save your energy for your most important work.
Examples of setting boundaries with yourself include:
- Setting a work schedule and sticking to it (not overworking)
- Saying “no” to things that aren’t on your priority list
- Not taking on more client work when you’re at your max
- Not overscheduling yourself with calls and meetings
- Not constantly giving free advice or showing up anytime you are asked
Setting boundaries with clients
We all know we need to set clear guidelines with clients, but we usually do so reactively, meaning after something has gone wrong.
Unfortunately, that puts us in a position of needing to ask forgiveness for not completing work or fulfilling their request at our own risk of burnout.
The key is to set expectations ahead of time, clearly communicate them, and most importantly, enforce them.
Examples of setting boundaries with clients include:
- Communicating clear expectations, in your contracts and verbally. Spell out things like when to expect a response to an email, what happens if they’re late or don’t show up, and what is expected of your client throughout your work together.
- Letting clients know when a request is outside your initial scope of work and saying no if it’s something you can’t or don’t want to do.
- Not taking on more clients than you can powerfully serve. Until you find your sweet spot of clients, actively underschedule yourself. Don’t take on another client until you know you have the capacity and want to serve them.
- Keeping things in perspective. Remind yourself this isn’t heart surgery! When a client has an emergency, it is rarely a true emergency. Keep your wits about you and remember you have the power to say no or not now.
Remember, you weren’t put on this earth to serve all your clients needs, but to do only what you do best. Anything other than that is a disservice to you and to your clients.
When you show up as your highest self, you and your clients benefit
You can make a bigger difference in the lives of your clients and in the world when you show up as your most powerful self. And boundaries can help you do that.
As your own boss, it’s up to you to ensure you’re taking care of yourself and that you’re serving clients from a place of energy and power, not a place of burnout and resentment.
When you communicate clear guidelines with clients, you manage expectations, create clarity and trust in the relationship, and build stronger relationships.
What boundaries can you put in place so that you can do your best work and serve your clients to the best of your ability?