Signs Your Business Needs Boundaries

3 Signs Your Business Needs Better Boundaries (And Tips to Create them!)

Written by Dorothy Zevenbergen – Owner of Cultivate Consulting

Businesses who have not been able to pivot the way they produce income, have closed their doors with no hope of reopening. My heart goes out to you! It truly does!  Losing your livelihood whether, you own a business, or you were laid off due to a business closure is devastating. For those of you still standing, separating your emotions from your business and personal life can be a real problem. You struggle to stay solvent and provide the necessary income to your family.

As a communication consultant, I help many business client’s sort through the emotional struggles associated with owning their own business. I partner with them to create clear communication, and work through the establishment and maintenance of healthy boundaries.

Below, are three quite common signs that your business may need better boundaries, and tips on how to create them.

Sign #1 You give the client more than their money’s worth

Everyone wants something extra. Many cultures even bicker to get a better deal. If you can honestly say, what you are offering the client is at a fair price, then you stick to delivering what you promised. YOU MIGHT FEEL obligated to give them more because they are “your client” and you want them to buy from you again.  Or YOU MIGHT FEEL disrespected, but give them more and then they paid for, because you doubt the value/ price point of the product. So, after the service is rendered, you never contact them again for any follow – up.

 This is no way to do business, it disrespects you and the client. Instead here are three tips that you can use right away to set clear boundaries with your clients.

Tip 1: Set clear expectation of the service/ payment exchange.

Tip 2: Take a pause and say, “let me get back to you.”

Tip 3: Be willing to not take the client.

Problem: I cannot tell where my business and personal life begins and ends

Compartmentalizing business and personal issues are difficult at best.  Right now, in 2020 and into 2021, this is especially true.  You are running your business, school, and household from home.

Even if you are physically going into work each day, it is easy to take your work home and let it interfere with your personal life. When you are stressed at work you are stressed at home and vice versa.

YOU MIGHT BE FELLING anxious because of your added expectations, and guilty for not giving them your best.  YOU MIGHT BE FEELING stress at work can lead to depression and other illnesses.

Business / life balance is necessary to prevent long term health consequences. Here are three tips you can use right away to separate your business and personal life

TIP 1: Identify your HOT BUTTONS (things that upset you). Investigate why ____ can take advantage of you, upset you, or control you.

TIP 2: Put limits on your time and energy dedicated to your business.

TIP 3: If you commute, make that time a transition opportunity to prep for going to work or coming home. In other words, leave work at work and home at home. If you work from home set up a routine to transition from home to work and work to home.

Problem: Priorities are creating crisis

Identifying priorities can be easy but executing them can be harder than you think. It is easy to complete the “low hanging fruit” that is less important, but bigger priorities producing bigger and riper fruit get left to the last minute. We do not give it our best. People in business count on us to deliver our best every time. YOU MIGHT FEEL you are doing “the best you can”, but the people who count on you are upset, because you have not delivered. YOU MIGHT FEEL overwhelmed and decided not to complete anything at all.

Getting clear and realistic with yourself and your abilities is extremely important in prioritizing your work in your business.

 Here are some tips that can help you prioritize your work and get your “bigger and riper fruit” picked, packaged and out to your clients.

TIP 1: If the request is not important say “No”. Say “Yes” to doing your best on the bigger priority.

TIP 2:  Create fences around your work, create realistic time, and energy limits.

TIP 3: Every project, appointment, and correspondence have a purpose. Define It Plan It and Work it for Your Success!

Come join me for a deep dive into boundaries for business.


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