Set Boundaries With Clients

by Beth Rifkin

1 min read

Your clients drive your business, so it’s tempting to give in to their demands to keep them happy, especially as a startup. That old saying about the customer always being right doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your own time and sanity for demanding or even downright rude clients. Setting boundaries is necessary to run your business efficiently, maintain your sanity, and fill your schedule with clients who value your work.Large corporations set boundaries in their policies and procedures when dealing with clients. You may be a small business, but you need those same types of boundaries to keep your clients from taking advantage of you. Setting boundaries from the start sets the tone for the business relationship. Try to create written policies that describe your scope of work and standard procedures. Communicate these policies clearly with clients, and avoid the temptation to constantly make exceptions.Boundaries are good for both you and your clients. By spelling out procedures for interacting with one another, both parties get the services and respect they want. You save time because you already have procedures established when you take on new clients. You don’t have to figure it out each time. If a client shows up with an unreasonable request, you already have those policies and procedures in place that set boundaries for the situation.Despite setting boundaries and clearly communicating them, some clients may still push you to bend the boundaries. You don’t want to compromise your standards, even if it means possibly losing a client. When the client insists you go well beyond your established parameters and causes more headaches than they’re worth, you may need to fire that client. If the thought of losing the money scares you, remember how much time and energy you’re wasting on the client. Put those efforts toward finding new clients who respect your boundaries; you’ll be much better off financially and professionally.Setting boundaries is a necessity when running your own business. Established procedures save you time, reduce stress, and let you know when to say good-bye to a difficult client.

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