As A New Business Owner, How Available Should You Be To Customers?

Posted on: 26 January 2018

If you're just starting out with your small business, it can be hard to set up boundaries to protect family time. You want to get your business off the ground, but you don't want to neglect other responsibilities. If you're questioning how available you should be to your customers, here are a few things to consider.

The Business Will Be There When You Get Back

Unless you're dealing with a real emergency, you need to appreciate that your business will be there when you get back. The ability to take an afternoon or evening off is probably part of the reason why you started your own small business. Don't forget that part of your dream! Get out of the office and focus on your private life for a few hours. When you're ready to jump back into the business, you're likely going to find that you've got increased focus and can tackle those harder problems that were stalling you out.

Unreasonable Customers Will Always Be Unreasonable

Drawing boundaries and protecting your time is critical if you plan on defending the value of your services and goods. An unreasonable customer who expects you to provide constant changes, service during off-hours or for you to work outside of the scope of your agreement not only devalues your efforts, it also steals your personal time and forces you to stay in the office longer than you wanted. Avoid this situation by including your working hours on your invoices and billing for off-hour support.

Support Staff Can Help

You also need to enlist the help of a good support team to help with your public relations and marketing. Although you might feel like you want to be the one to form a relationship with customers at every turn, good marketing and public relations can help you automate this a bit. You'll be constantly putting your company in a better light and engaging with customers, while at the same time managing your reputation against angry customers. Choose a start up consulting group, such as MU-OP LLC, that can help you distribute responsibilities to multiple people and make sure you're doing the right things without having to do it all yourself.

There may be occasional times when round-the-clock customer service is not only expected from a customer, it's required to ensure that they have a positive experience. Working through those tough times is fine, but you shouldn't find yourself in a position where you are being exploited by customers who disregard your personal needs. Set up boundaries and only take calls on your business line when you're willing to work. Establishing a wall that separates you from your business for a few hours a day will keep you energetic and firing on all cylinders!