Dec 27, 2021

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3 Must-Have Ways To Set Client Boundaries For Your Business


Dawn stands wearing a leather jacket, grey t-shirt and jeans, she's got a frustrated look on her face and is gripping her hair. The text overlay reads "New Blog: setting client boundaries for your business"

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If you don’t respect your boundaries first, no one else can.

Do you struggle setting boundaries in your business?

I’m dishing out an important topic that’s going to walk you through the 3 must-have boundaries in your business

Keep reading and you’ll walk away with knowing how to set boundaries for your:

  1. Time

  2. Pricing

  3. Energy

You’ll feel confident setting these boundaries to protect and preserve your time, business and energy!

One of my absolute favourite topics to chat about is boundaries. In fact, my most-listened-to episode is the one all about boundaries

If I’m being honest though, boundaries used to stress me out… well, I guess they didn’t really stress me out because I didn’t have any! 

So if you’re in the same place I used to be, where you’re feeling frustrated and overwhelmed and you’re frankly tired of being walked all over, you’re gonna wanna keep reading as I dive into… 

The 3 Must-Have Boundaries in Your Business

Some tough love with Dawn here, you can’t expect others to respect your boundaries if you don’t communicate or respect them yourself. 

Yup. I’ll give you a moment to read that again. 

If you’re not respecting your own boundaries, how can you expect anyone else to respect them? 

Time Boundaries

I hear it all the time from stylists:

  • My clients expect me to work on my days off

  • My clients want me to come in early or work late

  • My clients are always asking to be squeezed in

But do they even know what your schedule is? Are you putting expectations on yourself and feeling “obligated”? Or are you scared to say no?

If you don’t have good time boundaries in your business (or even in your life) how can anyone respect it? 

Are you sticking to your schedule? Are you coming in on your days off and your time off? How much time are you spending on your phone with clients? How much time are you working that you’re not even considering “work”?

I used to only think I was working if I was at the salon directly with a client. I never tracked the time of fitting people in, answering emails, ordering products, stocking shelves or cleaning. 

An important part of boundaries is communicating it in a way that shows your clients you’re doing it for them, in a way that they understand that this boundary is going to improve their experience. 

Take a look at those clients that you feel take advantage of you, if you don’t communicate your boundaries, how will they know? 

Communicating your time boundary starts with honouring and respecting yourself and your own time. 

I used to have a weird mentality where I would see my time off on my calendar as “unbooked time”, and when a client asked to be fit in during that “unbooked time” I would think ‘well… I don’t have anything… I’m just going home…’ and I’d think that I owed it to my clients. 

So I started doing a “reverse booking” in my calendar. I booked off my downtime and instead kept my working hours as the free time. 

This way when I stopped work at 7 pm, my calendar was booked from then until midnight as “not free”. It helped me stop feeling guilty about having my downtime. 

I want you to remember that at the end of the day, if you can walk away proud of how you communicated your boundaries, it’s going to make it easier to move forward. 

Price Boundaries

I want you to ask yourself the following questions, how often are you:

  • Giving out emotional discounts?

  • Undercharging out of fear?

  • Winging your prices?

Do you even know how and where all your money is going? 

A price boundary is so important when it comes to business and it means respecting your prices yourself. And that starts with understanding where your money is going and how it all breaks down. 

I remember I wanted to be self-employed because I loved the service I provided. I loved my clients and I wanted to be in control (cough cough, recovering control freak). So I simply kept the prices as I had as an employee. I had absolutely no system and because of that I had no clue where my prices came from. I was giving out emotional discounts left, right and center, I would undercharge, and the moment someone’s bill went over $200 I felt uneasy. 

I didn’t know what my price boundaries were until I fully understood where my prices were coming from.

Learning how much money from each service was going towards paying my bills and how much I was taking home was mind-blowing. When I started really breaking things down I realized I wasn’t actually taking home as much as I thought I was. 

When you have a healthy price boundary and you understand where your prices are coming from, you start to realize you can’t afford to give out emotional discounts willy-nilly. 

I want you to stop the narrative that you’re “not a numbers person”, while you continue to turn a blind eye. Instead, I want you to start saying “I’m a responsible business owner and I’m going to learn in a way that works for me.” 

Energy Boundaries

This is something that isn’t talked about a lot, it’s so important. How are you protecting your energy?

I want you to ask yourself: are you taking on problem clients or are you taking on your clients’ problems?

I know you’re a very empathetic person and you got into this industry because you love caring for other people and being there for them. 

I used to pride myself for taking on the difficult clients, as though it were a challenge that I would win a blue ribbon for if I could just win them over. Only to end up burnt out and overwhelmed when I couldn’t. 

I needed to recognize the red flags when a client wasn’t for me. And I want to make it clear that a red flag doesn’t necessarily mean they’re a bad person. And your red flags are going to be different than someone else’s. 

Be careful of those people whose energy puts you on edge. It’s important to protect your energy. 

On the other side of the coin, I want you to ask yourself if you’re taking on your client’s problems when you don’t need to be. 

Believe me, I get it, we wanna be there for people, we wanna help them through the hard times. It’s a beautiful thing that we get to be there with people through all stages of their life, but there are times when we do take on people’s stuff, unknowingly. 

I remember having a client I absolutely loved and adored but every time, like clockwork, after her appointments, I would feel exhausted. So much so that I actually needed to go lie down after spending time with her. I was so confused as to how I could enjoy her company so much while also feeling drained by it at the same time. 

I realized I needed to be more mindful about protecting myself from my batteries being drained. 

You can still be present and you can still be caring without allowing others to take your charge from you.

I hope this has helped you see boundaries in a different way. Oftentimes when we talk about boundaries, it’s all about not letting your clients take advantage of you, but I want you to see this in a different frame of mind with a bit more compassion towards yourself. 

Learning that first and foremost you need to figure out what your boundaries are and then move into a place of honouring and respecting them yourself. If you don’t respect your boundaries first, no one else can.

I want you to start asking yourself: “how can I kindly, compassionately and with empathy show my clients that these boundaries that I’m putting in place are not to restrict them or push them away, but to actually give them a better experience.”

If you’ve had any ahas or you’re working on implementing boundaries, shoot me a DM over on Instagram @dawnbradleyhair and let me know. I’d love to do a happy dance for ya.

Let’s be besties?

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I am just a small-town, Canadian gal from the prairies who teaches thousands of creatives around the globe how to earn 6-figures stress-free!

Hey, I’m Dawn!

“Rock Your Business” Course Creator, Host of “The Anxious Creative” Podcast. Named by Salon Magazine as Canada’s #1 women of influence.

Get to know me! :-)

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