Have Your Defined Your Non-Negotiable Boundaries

One of the most important things you can do as a business owner is to create boundaries. Boundaries that define clearly who you are available to, when your available and exactly what you are available for. These become the foundation of your business and once in place should be non-negotiable boundaries.

The struggle as a new business owner is that our boundary lines tend to be a bit blurry. When we are just setting up shop, we are still in the process of defining our services, clarifying the products we want to offer, and zoning in on the target market we are selling too. As business owners, we have a deep desire to help everyone. We want to be available whenever someone needs us. We want to always have what our potential customers are looking for. And this is the trap that can quickly lead to burnout and resentment.

The Trap…

When we give ourselves so completely, always trying to help everyone, and always provide everything potential customers are looking for, we quickly become overwhelmed and seriously over worked. We are also more likely to forget the reason “why” we started our business in the first place. We may even lose site of the driving passion behind creating our business.

The good news is that it is pretty easy to avoid this trap. It just takes a little time and thought into defining the aspects of your business that are non-negotiable. In doing so you set yourself up to stop stressors before they happen, as well as strengthen the foundation of your business and ultimate goals.

Defining your Non-Negotiables …

This is a big one for me, both personally and with my clients. Which is why over the past few months we have spent a lot of time focusing on where we can all use a little help on non-negotiables. Take a look at these highlights below.

Non-Negotiable #1 ~ Products/Services

Regardless of what you offer, there are always related products/services that could be added. Sometimes adding these related products/services make sense, but not always. Adding new products and/or services on the fly because someone requested it is a step in the wrong direction, although it is often a tempting step to take. Take the time early on to clearly define the products and/or services you 100% certain you wish to offer.

If this is an area you are struggling with, check out these posts to take things even deeper!
Determining Your Products and Services
Stop Negotiating Your Products/Services

Non-Negotiable #2 ~ Available Hours

The appeal to be an “always available,” is a powerful one for those used to getting things done. And it is an appeal that quickly leads to burn out.

Balance is the key to running a successful business and life, and you need time for work, time family and friends, and time for you. So, take a few minutes and think about when you really are available and when you are not. List out your specific days and hours and share them with those you are working with to keep these non-negotiable boundary lines clear.

If this is your struggle, check out these articles to take things to the next level
Stop Negotiating When You Are Available
From To-Do to Ta-Da 
Be Intentional Avoid the Busy Work Trap 

Non-negotiable #3 ~ Communication

Whether you own a brick and mortar store, are in direct sales, have an online business or are the neighborhood volunteer queen it is important to be clear how you will connect others.

Think about what methods of communication you will provide? This could be phone, email, website inquiries and/or social media? You don’t have to make each one available, and all of these should be separate from your personal accounts for all business dealings. Outline the process of each of these and set clear expectations of how quickly you will follow up.

If you are find yourself struggling to keep up with communicating across multiple platforms, check out these posts to take things to the next level
Stop Negotiating How You Communicate
Increase Productivity and Delete Digital Declutter

Non-Negotiable #4 ~ Inside Advantage

There is no doubt that you will have family and friends who are excited about your new business and who will want to support you. This is great, and something to be grateful for. But we can run into issue when we let them use their “inside advantage.”  We can easily find ourselves always on call and never truly off duty.

This can quickly get out of control and make you crazy even when their intentions are to support you. Take some time right now to decide exactly how you are going to handle these situations.

If this is a struggle for you, take a look at Just Say NO to the “Inside Advantage.”

Non-Negotiable #5 ~ Family Friends Discount

Almost every entrepreneur I have talked to has a story illustrating how offering a family and friends discount blew up on them. Stories of profit loss, resentment, unrealistic expectations are common and these are only a few of the issues that can arise by offering a family and friends discount.

Before you offer up a discount take a little carefully considering how this discount will help your business grow. If it doesn’t then now may not be the time to offer that discount.

If you are looking for a little help and inspiration on how to handle this best, check out Stop Negotiating the Family & Friends Discount