I was talking to a fellow entrepreneur the other day and she mentioned how her clients were kind of taking advantage of her and she didn't really know what to do. As she described the scene, I found out that she schedules appointments with clients in her home after many email exchanges. They pay her when they get there, and even though their appointment is scheduled for 30 minutes, they are often late, creating havoc for the next client or they stick around to chat, long after their appointment is over. And many times, they forget to bring money so she ends up having to chase them down (not literally) to collect.
OH, so many of us have been there! The first thing I would like to say is, we teach our clients/customers how to treat us. The client/customer isn't doing anything wrong, they are just following the guidelines she set up to begin with. And I understand! As an entrepreneur, it is common to start out trying to do something nice, be accommodating and flexible, and especially if we are trying to build our business! But...., by not setting up parameters and best business practices in the first place, we are setting ourselves up for disaster or to be taken advantage of!
I suggested she make it easy for her clients to respect her boundaries and to actually make it much easier on herself by putting a calendar in place so cliens can schedule their own appointment. This way she can eliminate the constant back and forth with email exchanges. Using this method allows the client to know immediately what times are available, and they can possibly also pay in advance. This eliminates her having to chase people down for payment. I use www.calendly.com and it works great! She can create a website or perhaps use the same app to explain appointments must be on time and anyone later than five minutes will result in a cancellation without refund. Additionally, she can add that while she loves to chat with you, other people are waiting so she must limit social time for another date.
These are simple solutions and help us to set boundaries that our clients can appreciate and respect. In the end, we will be happier too!
Soon you will be able to hear the Entrepreneurial Voice of today's most innovative and creative entrepreneurs with conversations that cover their lifestyles, journeys, resources, advice, challenges, and triumphs on my upcoming Radio Show "Entrepreneurial Voice" that airs as a podcast on iTunes! Sign up for my newsletter at www.janmccarthy.com to receive notification as soon as it launches the first week in OCT!