Often, the word ‘boundary’ has negative connotations, but in the business world, setting boundaries can make a big difference. In this article, NLP Master Trainer Ewan Mochrie discusses the importance of boundaries in business.
Why is limit-setting important for business growth?
A new business needs to be nurtured to maturity like a new-born baby or a small child. If you over-feed or over stimulate it without enough rest time or vice versa, you will create a problem for the success of your business in the future.
A balanced approach will more likely lead to success, but few people know that is what they are aiming for or even how to create a balanced approach. You need to have patience and perseverance. Attention needs to be given to marketing and sales as well as delivery. If administration, accounting and after sales are ignored, then disproportionate time is wasted later on.
You need to look after yourself mentally and physically, because a significant proportion of what happens in your business will be done by you.
Goal setting is also vitally important so that you can assess progress and keep a keen eye on the all-important finances and other key performance indicators.
What are the primary reasons people struggle to set boundaries or enforce them in their small businesses?
If you are working in a small business either by yourself or with a small team then you have to either do everything yourself or have a means of accessing all essential business services; from marketing, business development, selling, delivery of service, accounting and administration, to cleaning. Initially there is little room for delegation. Also you have to balance your work commitments with your home life. If your home environment is less than supportive, then this can become a major problem.
Initially, in any new business there will be a period where you are only building up your business and as a result there will be negative cash outflow to being with. Fear will often drive someone to overstretch themselves to start with to mitigate this.
If resources aren’t invested in marketing, then an initial rush of clients may not be sustained in the long term. Also, if too many clients are booked initially then the service level may not match what the client needs. As businesses are often built by referrals, this could be a terminal danger.
When it comes to boundaries on time, what would you say to a client who thinks they have to book as many clients as possible in order to get ahead/grow their business?
Be clear about your goals and where you want to get to in the long term. Trust yourself and take things one step at a time. If you do too much, you may burn brightly for a short while but may soon burn out. Book in clients, but plant seeds today too because you will need to harvest them in the future. As you build your reputation, quality clients will wait for you.
About this post: Ewan Mochrie – BEng (Hons) ACA – is a Master Trainer of NLP, one of only 12 ABNLP Master Trainers in the World. He runs regular personal development and coach trainings with Inspire 360 throughout Europe and the UK. Ewan also undertakes Executive Coaching with individuals and businesses. He has been working full time in the personal development field for 8 years and prior to that worked as a Chartered Accountant in a global business. He also has personal experience of establishing and running small and medium sized service businesses.