Setting Boundaries with Clients

Setting Boundaries with Clients

As your business grows and your client roster increases you can guarantee that you will start running into issues with your clients. It is likely that the issues could be fixed with a few key policies and boundaries. So, how do you set new boundaries with current clients? It can feel awkward, but you can do it in a way that feels natural and professional. 

Figure out What Boundaries are Needed

Before you start announcing new policies get a clear picture of what issues need to be addressed. Are you getting phone calls late at night, are deadlines being missed? Figure out all the places that you have frustration with your clients and write it all out. Once you have a comprehensive list creating wording around these issues addressing what your policy is and what the consequence of breaking the policy is for the client. 

Put Them In Print

Once you have your boundaries written output them in print everywhere that makes sense. They should be stated clearly in your contract, in your welcome letter and if you provide any onboarding information make sure it is stated clearly there. For clients, you are already working with sending them the new policies with the offer to chat about the changes and what that means doe their contract. 

Enforce, Enforce, Enforce

 Finally, and probably the hardest part; enforce your new boundaries. Make no exceptions. If you start excusing behavior it is a slippery slope until you are right back into your frustration point. Even if you get some pushback initially, clients will treat you in the way you teach them too. So, stick to your new policies and clients will respect you. If they do not abide by your new policies then you really need to think if you want to continue to work with them in the future. 

Setting boundaries and creating policies can feel really uncomfortable at first, but in the long run, it will allow you to enjoy your work. When you are constantly aggravated by clients you become resentful of them and their projects, so think of your new protocols as a way to give better service to those who hire you. 

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4 Ways to Increase Referrals in Your Business

4 Ways to Increase Referrals in Your Business

Referrals to your business is the easiest way to get a new client. The potential client comes to you with some trust because they have been referred by someone they know or do business with. Usually, referrals take a shorter amount of time to book and are a fairly easy sale. So, how do you get more of these amazing referral clients into your business?

Celebrate Milestones With Your Customers

Pay attention to big events happening with your clients. In addition to birthdays and holidays keep an eye out for other events you can celebrate. New store openings, new products, etc. Whether you send a gift or simply call to congratulate, your recognition keeps you top of mind to your clients.

Give referrals to others

One of the best ways to build referrals is to refer others. People like to reciprocate and by referring business it can start a chain reaction that can lead to lots of new business coming through your door.

Treat the Referral Well

This may be obvious, but when someone sends you a referral make sure you treat the potential new clients really well. Follow-up quickly and make sure that they feel like a VIP. Your referrals will dry up quickly if the referrer finds out that you do not follow-up, or the experience is bad. They will not want to send you knew business if it reflects poorly on them. People what to refer someone who makes them look smart, so take that into consideration when

Always Say Thank-You

When someone goes out of their way to send you a potential client make sure it is acknowledged and at the very least say thank you. People who feel appreciated will feel good about continuing to send business your way. I am a big fan of sending a hand-written note or small gift to thank my referral sources. No matter what you do, just make sure those relationships maintained and gratitude is shown.

Having a constant stream of referral business is a game changer for business growth. It is a surefire way to gain new clients that are similar to the ones you currently enjoy working with and grow your business with the clients you love. Make sure to tend to your referral engine and take care of those who send you potential business.

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Three Jobs to Outsource in Your Business

Three Jobs to Outsource in Your Business

Once you have made the decision to outsource in your business the next step is to decide what tasks you take off your plate. I recommend that you start by jotting down all the tasks you have in your business. Take a close look at where you are spending your time and what are the things that you do not NEED to be doing. Not only should you think about outsourcing the jobs that are easy but could be done by someone else, also think about the tasks that are challenging and take a lot more time than they should. There are three areas I recommend looking at first when outsourcing are marketing, sales and bookkeeping. 

Marketing 

Unless you are a marketing expert I always recommend outsourcing this to a professional. Marketing is what gets eyes on your business and ultimately fills your sales funnel. It is one of the most important roles in your business but is often put on the back burner. Marketing has so many different areas that you could start by outsourcing a small piece like social media, content writing or graphic design. Determine where you are struggling in your marketing strategy and find people who can take on your marketing activities. 

Sales

As the CEO of a small business you are probably also in the sales director position. When your business is growing you will have more leads than you can follow-up with and that is a great time to add another person to a sales role. If you love sales and have a talent for closing new clients, you might still be in a sales role with your new salesperson. If you hate sales or feel that someone else could be closing more clients then it is a good idea to find someone who excels in this important area. 

Web Design

Your website is a part of your marketing, but it is so important that it deserves its own section. There are many free or cheap options to build a website available, but usually those are not good long-term options. Having a professionally designed website is essential to a business. Whether you have a site built for you and then maintain it yourself, or you outsource the whole thing it is an area of your business that will need a lot of attention and should be done by someone with a lot of knowledge. 

As the CEO of your business it is important to avoid being bogged down by tasks that you can give to someone else. Your job is to be the visionary of your company, outsourcing will allow you to free up bandwidth to do that job. 

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When to Outsource in Your Business

When to Outsource in Your Business

When you own a business there comes a point when you need to have more help. Sometimes you have enough extra work to hire an employee, but often entrepreneurs get to the point that they need to outsource to another person or business. So, when do you know it is time? Here are the top three indicators that you need to outsource. 

You Are Bogged Down with Day to Day Tasks

Do you find you spend your days in your email inbox, posting on social media, fielding inquiries and doing more client work than you can keep up with? If you answered yes, then it is time to look at outsourcing. As the CEO of your business, you are the visionary. You are the one who plans for the future and takes your company in the direction it needs to go. If you have zero time for CEO activities then you are at a point you need more help. 

Your Website and Blog Are Never Updated

Has your website and/or blog been the same for years? Do you struggle to find any time to update images, testimonials and even the products and services you offer? These are good indications that you need some help. Your website is often going to be the first point of contact with a potential client and if they see your last blog post was 2015 they could draw the conclusion that the entire site is out of date and move on to your competitor. 

Growth Has Slowed

Are you finding that your flow of new business has dried up? Are new clients few and far between? This is a great indicator that you are spending too much of your time on the little non-revenue building tasks and not enough time in your sales role. The options you have here are to outsource the day to day as we mentioned above. Or bring on a salesperson. Either way, you need someone in your business working to bring more revenue into the business. 

Outsourcing can be scary. You are bringing a new person in to learn your business and there is no guarantee they will be amazing. If you are at a point that you know you need more help it is time to take a leap of faith and look for someone. Even though they may not be perfect, there are people out there who will be great team members and will propel your business forward if you give them the chance. 

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10 Ways to Simplify Your Life

10 Ways to Simplify Your Life

Women are always looking for ways to simplify their lives, reduce their stress and have more time. How do you actually accomplish this when you have so many people and tasks in your daily life that need your attention NOW? Here is our list of 10 simple ways to simplify your life. 

 Say No More

Say No. This is the simplest and quickest way to add simplicity to your life. We all want to be available and helpful, but by saying yes to everything we are focused on other people’s priorities instead of our own. So, when someone asks you for your time really think about it before giving your yes. 

Start a Capsule Wardrobe

Standing in your closet every morning thinking about what to wear can be frustrating. The simple way to make this decision easy is to have a capsule wardrobe. A capsule wardrobe is a mini wardrobe made up of versatile pieces. Each season (spring, summer, fall, and winter), you clear your closet except for a set number of pieces to be in your capsule wardrobe. Having this type of clothing means everything goes together and it is easy to put an outfit together. 

Unsubscribe from Emails

It is overwhelming to open your inbox to hundreds of unread emails. It can take a long time to comb through them all and often the majority are junk from email lists that you don’t care about anymore. Get off those lists! Spend some time unsubscribing to the things that no longer apply so that you are not hit with hundreds of emails every day. 

 Write Your To-Do List Before Bed

Write your to-do list and goals for the next day before you go to sleep. This allows you to think about the next day in a quiet space instead of trying to figure out what you need to do in the midst of a hectic morning. 

 Choose a Top 3 Everyday

Instead of working from a never-ending to-do list every day choose three things that you want to accomplish. You can always add more if you want, but if you accomplish those three it will be a good day. It is a lot more manageable to look at a list of three instead of a list of 100. 

Meal Planning

How many times do you have a hard day and then when you get home you have to make more decisions about what to make for dinner. By the end of the day your brain is tired of decisions and often you end up scrambling to throw something together or ordering food. If you plan your meals out in advance and make sure you have everything you need on hand there is no decision to be made. You can make it even easier on yourself by prepping food in advance so it is either ready to eat or you just have to cook. 

Limit Your Communication Methods 

 There are a million ways that people get in touch. From cell phones, social media platforms, and millions of app options. You can drive yourself crazy keeping up with all the communication methods. You don’t actually have to be available on all of these. Choose where you want to communicate with people and leave the rest. If someone asks if they can find you on an app you have never heard of, say no but you can find me at__________. Make it easy on yourself! 

Stop Multitasking

 Remember when being able to multitask was worn as a badge of honor? Well, throw that badge out. It has been long proven that multitasking is actually less efficient and slows down productivity. It also adds stress to your day. Focus on one task at a time with laser focus and you will be more productive and avoid the feeling of overwhelm. 

 Watch Less TV

 TV is the ultimate time waster. I am not saying to throw your TV out the window, but think about how much time it is on and what you are spending your time watching. Are their programs that you don’t really care about? Do you have the news on all the time and it is bringing you down? Turn that tv off and see how it feels. 

Spend More Time Doing Things You Love

 Prioritize your time to include the people and activities you love. Life goes by fast and we can all waste our time and the things we view as priorities or necessary. If we take a critical look at how we spend our time there is always places to simplify and create space for what we love. 

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