How to Dodge Time Wasters
I recently asked the question in my tribe, of how as business owners, do you set boundaries?
Boundaries are vital in business and most of us, learn the hard way, just how important they are.
We learn quickly that answering the phone on a weekend, or replying to emails late at night, or not displaying opening hours, all becomes a huge burden and a source of stress and anxiety. The biggest culprits are online and service-based businesses. How many times do you see a shop open, when the hours on the door say closed? You don’t! If a store states it is closed at 5, the door will be shut, the lights off and the closed sign displayed. So why don’t we do that online?
I am not saying that you can’t work on your business after hours – many of us need to write proposals, package items to ship, draft invoices or deal with a stack of emails, but it doesn’t mean that we have to let our clients know that we are working. And as tempting as it may be to reply to emails, FB PM’s, LI connection requests or phone calls, I urge you to resist!
One tribe member Tiffany, shared her boundary setting tips;
I have a dedicated landline for office and don’t give my mobile number out. I don’t answer phone or emails out of hours, I don’t have emails on my phone. I have out of office auto replies on social media and have my office hours stated on my email tag, website and any auto replies! If I do work after hours, I leave all emails in draft and send the next morning
As for family, I decline all invites during work hours and take a hard stance. Just because my office is at home, does not mean I am not at work.
And Steve said:
I try and give priority to family. I get up at 4.30am and do work before 6.30am. On non-networking days, I do school run. I cook dinner most nights. I spent too long in my CEO career meeting corporate needs and not those of my family. I missed out on a lot. As a business owner now, I am able to determine my own destiny.
But boundary setting has several hidden advantages that we may not realise. Although reducing our stress is a huge advantage, what it also does is support our bottom line, and here is how:
Clients are reassured and sense a more professional outfit, if you have boundaries which don’t involve being online 24/7 and jumping to their every whim. They are far more likely to do business with one which states their opening hours, has a clear process for the service you are delivering, has terms which lay out the service and expectations, all stated from the outset.
You are less likely to attract time-wasters. And timewasters are often those disorganised enough and lacking respect for working hours, to contact you at 7pm on a Sat and demand a response.
Lose the time wasters; save time and money.
Lose the time wasters and you make more room for quality clients.
Lose the time wasters and gain head space to be more creative and efficient with those that matter.
You instantly create a healthy work/life balance and can step away from your business when you choose, rather than when a demanding client dictates it. We all need downtime!
Save the working day for clients with after work for admin, thinking time, or planning and marketing….
If you want to build a team, you will need to respect their time and not be calling them after hours, so why not apply that discipline to yourself and respect your own time?
What is your favourite boundary setting tip? Jump into the tribe and share it or if you are struggling to set boundaries, use the tribe for support and encouragement and let’s get you on your way to increasing your profit margin, making more time and allowing you to enjoy some downtime! You will be amazed at the impact in your business, family, health and creativity.