Burnout is a problem for many coaching business owners. Setting healthy boundaries is essential to running a coaching business that supports your well-being and growth.
Have you found yourself in a situation with a client who drained your energy or felt like you weren’t giving all your clients an equal amount of effort? Neither of these situations is an excellent way to sustain your coaching business. Fortunately, boundaries can help you avoid these kinds of situations and help you maintain positive client relationships.
This article explores the significance of setting boundaries in coaching businesses. It covers the definition and types of business boundaries and the consequences of not setting them. It also shares five reasons for setting boundaries and ways to ensure these ethical practices in your coaching.
Read on and learn more about setting boundaries in your coaching business to provide an ethical service and discover ways to ensure healthy client relationships!
What Are Business Boundaries?
Business boundaries are the framework you establish to run your business effectively and maintain personal well-being. They help you run your business ethically and maintain a fair balance, so you treat each client equally.
First, you must view each of your clients as a professional relationship first and foremost. Even if you know them outside of your business or have mutual friends, it is vital to have a client relationship that maintains a clear scope of work and healthy boundaries.
Clear expectations will protect your working relationship and set the stage up front so new clients know what you are about as a business owner and a professional.
In the long run, setting boundaries will help you and your clients mutually because you can provide your service more efficiently and avoid dreaded burnout.
Some examples of healthy client boundaries include the following:
- Establish clear hours of operation and make your hours visible on your website.
- Use a productivity app to manage your workload.
- Tell your client what you need from them to complete your service.
- Stay on top of your organization and communicate deadlines.
- Prioritize your mental health and self-care, and say “NO” whenever a request infringes on your health and well-being.
- Determine your pricing and set expectations for invoice payments.
5 Reasons to Set Boundaries in Your Coaching Business
Boundaries are an essential part of running a successful coaching business. Some of the biggest reasons to start setting client boundaries are as follows:
1. It will help you maintain a healthy work-life balance
You want to keep working hours and your personal time separate from one another. Having clear separation allows you the time you need to recharge and rest. This is part of self-care and the key to preventing burnout.
You got into your coaching business because you love helping others. However, you can’t help others while running on an empty tank. Take extra care to honor your boundaries so you can continue to love what you do and provide the best service.
2. You will better address all of your client's needs
You do a better job when you feel rested. As hard as it may be to shut off at the end of the day, a healthy, happy individual better addresses your client’s needs.
When it comes to your coaching clients, the squeaky wheel shouldn’t be the only one getting the grease. Equitable boundaries ensure that each client receives equal attention and care. With clear boundaries that are applied consistently, you’ll ensure every client gets the care they deserve.
3. Your onboarding process will go much smoother
With concise, professional boundaries outlined from the onset of your professional relationship, your client will have a much better onboarding experience. Your client will find comfort in knowing what to expect, and you will present yourself as a competent professional.
4. Your deliverables and services will be of higher quality
A service is only as good as the person behind it. Client boundaries keep you in top shape so you can always provide your best service.
Establish your scope of work and client expectations so you can plan accordingly. When a client makes a request that is outside the range you previously discussed, point it out immediately and address it. This will keep you from getting buried under excessive demands and help you maintain your level of quality.
5. You and your clients will benefit from a healthy relationship
When you are consistent with your business boundaries, you will have a stronger working relationship with your clients. They will know exactly what they can expect from you and how to communicate effectively with you. This creates a healthy relationship that is balanced and ethical.
Most importantly, each client will feel like they are equally valued.
What Happens When You Don’t Set Boundaries in Business
Without appropriate boundaries in place, you may suffer both professionally and personally. Especially if you have difficulty focusing on non-work related tasks outside your working hours.
If you haven’t implemented clear boundaries in your coaching business, you may experience the following:
- Loss of passion and burnout
- Disappointed clients
- Poor work-life balance
- Slow response time due to overwhelm
- Resentment towards clients with poor boundaries
- Persistent after-hours text messages and phone calls
- Trouble in your personal relationships
How to Set Healthy Boundaries for Ethical Coaching Practices
It all starts with clear communication and consistent follow-through.
Your boundaries should be visible and easy to refer back to. That way, you have something on record, making it easier to remain consistent.
To maintain clear, consistent boundaries, follow the checklist below:
- Set your expectations in writing and discuss them upfront with your clients
- Discuss your best channels of communication (professional email, office phone, etc.)
- Be clear on your working hours and hold yourself to it
- Have a system in place to maintain boundaries (auto-response email plugin, separate Smart phone profiles, CRM software, spreadsheets, and templates)
- Walk away when it’s appropriate, and never burn a bridge
Remember, we all make mistakes, so be kind in reminding your clients when they have crossed a boundary and do so promptly to avoid confusion or miscommunication. The goal is for these boundaries to benefit you and your clients, not to punish anyone.
Setting healthy boundaries with clients will increase your longevity and provide customers with a more satisfying experience overall. Here are some key takeaways to help you establish and maintain boundaries in your own business.
- Communication and follow-through are critical when setting boundaries with clients.
- You can’t do everything all at once. Boundaries will help you maintain quality and efficiency.
- CRMs and other tools can help you set up a system to maintain boundaries and client relationships.
- Addressing issues within the moment prevents a bigger mess further down the road.
- You can only do your best when you feel your best. Self-care is a priority!
- Healthy boundaries make your business better.
Implement healthy boundaries with your clients today and see how it positively impacts your business! Many business owners like you have found the CRM tool created by Practice to be a helpful one-stop shop for everything from scheduling and contracts to invoicing and payments. You can try it out for free with a 7-day trial.