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18
July
Setting boundaries in business
While Israel and Palestine bomb themselves into smithereens it feels strange writing a blog about business without a mention of this war
After all this conflict was primarily based on boundaries and integration or clearly lack of integration.
In war, as well as in business, boundaries are essential for a healthy business and a strong professional relationship with your clients. So how do we set and maintain these professional boundaries?

For one, transparency and authenticity need to be at the forefront of setting boundaries. It is essential to be authentic and transparent while setting those golden rules like pricing, deadlines, communication times and paying deadlines.

Ask yourself:

  • Do your clients have unreasonable expectations from you and/or your business?
  • Are clients disputing your invoices and/or not paying their bills on time?
  • Are they failing to respond to your attempts to communicate?
  • Are you totally drained by one client that you have no energy for the others?
"You teach people how to treat you…"
Take a long look in the mirror – what sort of example are you setting? Apply your policies to yourself – if you don’t want to reply to emails or take calls on weekends – don’t send your clients emails or call them on weekends either.

Post your policies right up front, and repeat them often in your standard communication. Having standards helps you spot prospects who are likely to be non-compliant BEFORE you engage with them, and will often cause them not to inquire about your services in the first place.

When you start a business, most of the time you’re so damn happy to even HAVE clients that you tend to bend over backwards to do anything they ask of you. Since there are only the three of them, you have plenty of time to do this.

If you’re fortunate, those first clients refer, you build momentum, and suddenly find yourself in a state of overwhelm. You’re working ALL the time, and yet don’t seem to have any money left over at the end of the month.

By setting boundaries you also are creating a strong foundation and structure to your business. You too have to abide by your 'rules'. I have found this to be invaluable discipline!

It is also advisable to have a legal team or solicitor write your contracts or protect your IP, this is probably your strongest tangible boundary in business.

Setting boundaries and maintaining them will allow you to not only be protected legally but also give you more energy to give to all your clients and have some left for you!

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