How to Run Your Business So Your Business Doesn’t Run You.

So who runs your business anyway?

I was taught from my first day in retail at 14 years old that the customer is always right. No matter the situation, I was taught to make sure the client is happy regardless of how much I had to give up to make that happen. There were times that it felt like I might just be willing to give them the shirt off my back if it meant that they would leave satisfied.

Flash forward MANY years and over 15 years of business ownership later, and I was still living by this rule. People-pleasing was ingrained in me early and it is still so hard to shake. I will tell you that it was prevalent in my business in absolutely every nook and cranny. Tell me if you can relate to this…

  • Opening an hour here and an hour there to accommodate just one more client, and another, and another.
  • Avoiding price increases so I didn’t upset the clients despite the never-ending increases of literally every expense year after year…and not taking a paycheck!
  • Discounting any client that says “That seems like a lot, can’t I get a special rate? I’ve been with you since you opened.”

The other day, I heard another business owner lamenting the challenge of managing client expectations and the constant demands placed on her to keep them coming back. Ugh, I felt every ounce of her pain. I have been there so many times.

Not too long ago, I finally realized that you teach people how to treat you, and I took a long hard look at what I was doing to make it easy for people to push my boundaries and ask for more of me than they would EVER ask of anyone else.

When a business owner asks me how they should address someone who is asking for a discount, I respond by asking: “Would this person ask their massage therapist, hair stylist, chiropractor, doctor, or physical therapist for a discount???”, and you know what? I ask myself the same thing every time I am faced with the same request. So WHY is this expected of us?

Of course, that doesn’t mean that we should be saying NO to every request at every turn, but it does mean that we need to put well-defined processes in place that clearly sets the expectations of our clients (uh-hem, and staff) and communicates our unshakable boundaries.

Prevention (and process) is key, People!

Let me share a little secret…
A year ago, I sat down with my Studio Manager and said “We need to set some rules around here”. Now, we had always been considered a “process-heavy” studio, and for a long time, I took that comment as a criticism. Today, it is the best compliment you can give me, and clients appreciate and remark daily that our business is so well-organized and managed. [insert pat on the back here]

This reaffirms that we are clear, focused, and consistent in our operations from client management to employee relations, but there is always more to do, especially now, so we crafted the most glorious Standard Operating Procedures manual that sits high atop a golden pedestal at the peak of the highest mountain with angels singing all around…

You get the point. It’s pretty amazing!

And it reminds us daily of the vision we have created, the values we uphold, and of course, how our business WILL run for all…no special deals, no little favors that sap our valuable time and energy, just a stellar AND predictable high standard of life-changing service!

Imagine what that would feel like for you.

For me, it feels like Ahhhhhh…and more time, less stress, less conflict, predictability (which I LOVE), happy clients, happy team, and everyone is our dream person because they are 100% on board with what we have created to best serve them.

I help women entrepreneurs face their money fears, build self-confidence, and see new possibilities in themselves so they can rediscover the love for their business and joy in their lives knowing they are financially independent and secure. Click the link below to learn more and book your FREE Coaching Consultation Call…

Written by
Holly Wallis, Founder & CoActive Coach
© 2021. All rights reserved.

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