There comes a stage of business where you just can’t anymore.
Can’t work late to finish projects that only you can do.
Can’t bend your pricing structure one more time for the client who does not want to pay your current speaking fee.
Can’t search through 12 folders on three different drives to find the right set of documents to send to a new client.
If you want to grow your business to be a strong and stable generator of predictable and profitable revenue, you must set and stick to these three boundaries:
3 Boundaries to Hold for a More Profitable, Effective Business
When you get into a growth stage of business, you often have to adjust your pricing. This is to account for the additional support required to deliver a scaled service, the depth of transformation your work achieves the more you perfect it, and the value it drives in the businesses of your ideal customers.
When increasing prices, it is easy to feel scared that no one will pay them. But if you are thoughtful and conduct analysis before raising your prices (Here is a handy workbook I created to help you set your pricing), you need not stay scared.
Once you make your fee change, be sure to set clear policy around how your fees work, if and exactly when you allow limited exceptions, and exactly how fees are paid and collected. You may get more people saying no in the sales process, but if you keep practicing Tiny Marketing Actions to generate the right new leads, you will start to get enthusiastic yeses.
Here is what it sounds like to hold a boundary around pricing:
“I appreciate that you have budget considerations for these services. If you are not able to invest at this time, I would love to work with you in the future when more funds are available.”
It can feel exciting to be working on a number of different creative projects, especially if you identify as a multipotentialite.
In a stage of business growth, the danger of many projects is not focusing the appropriate energy on the critical priority at the time, and just giving a little bit of energy to a lot of projects in small bursts.
When you have many big things to work on, ensure that you allocate priorities according to these strategic questions:
1) What is likely to drive the most revenue to my business in the next 12-24 months?
2) What work is moving toward the future of my body of work — the things I am most excited about building, with the people I am most excited to build it for?
3) Of all the work in my business, what of this work must I as the founder do personally, as opposed to delegate to a team member or assistant?
4) What work is most likely to blow up and create big problems later if I don’t take care of it now? (Especially important in the legal or financial parts of your business)
Here is what it sounds like to hold a boundary around your priority projects:
“This sounds like an amazing opportunity. Right now, I am working on some critical-path projects, so I don’t have time for anything new. Thanks for asking!”
Resist adding “Come back to me in a month to ask about it again,” unless you really, truly feel like it is a strategic project for you.
(Also know you are often saying this phrase to yourself as you get excited to add one more thing to your list!)
You may have started to build out processes in your business to make doing the work easier for you and your clients. This is often a painstaking and frustrating process, as you write standard operating procedures, simplify your use of tools, and even build out new automations.
As these processes are being built, it is easy to revert back to the “orange juice can and string” version of doing things because it may feel more fun and easy.
Over the long run, if you keep subverting the processes you are setting up, you will erode their effectiveness and create even more work and confusion in the long run.
Here is what it looks like to hold a boundary around your processes:
-Take the time to finish building out a complete process before starting a new one.
-Hold yourself back from doing a step in the process you have delegated to a team member, even if it is “quicker just to do it yourself” (it will not be quicker in the future, and you will erode the trust of your team if you keep it up).
-Establish a central organized source for new documents, and discard old versions or folders that you don’t need.
Scaling is not easy, but it is so worth it in the end. Do your part to hold good boundaries and watch your energy and confidence grow.