In order to consistently deliver an amazing high-touch experience for your clients, you need to set boundaries.
Obviously, if your business makes custom products for customers, your turnaround time will be longer than a company that sells off the shelf.
If your business sells personalized or one-of-a-kind items, your guarantees are likely going to be customized to the client’s need.
And you definitely need boundaries if you are the product—the relied-upon consultant, the copywriter who “is the voice” of your customer, or the guitar teacher who knows how to inspire the kid who is easily distracted.
You can’t be working around the clock or you will be depleted and unable to perform with passion. By establishing boundaries your customers must follow the rules of your schedule.
Although all of these rules might initially seem like you’re providing a lesser service, they may actually be creating a deeper relationship and a higher demand for your boutique business.
Consider Gordy’s Hi-Hat, a boutique burger joint in Cloquet, Minnesota. The restaurant has been open for more than half a century. The restaurant sits on the edge of a small town on the way to even smaller towns, Gordy’s Hi-Hat continues to be a destination for travelers.
What is Gordy’s biggest rule? The restaurant is only open during the summer months. In fact, ask anyone who lives or travels through Northern Minnesota about the local signs of summer’s arrival.
Everyone needs to establish rules in their business regardless of what they are.
So how do you establish rules for your small business?
1. Align with your big picture. You’re boutique and you are in business because you are passionate about your craft and you offer something unique. Your rules have to align with your big picture.
2. Manage customer expectations. Yes, you’re going to give your clients over-the-top treatment. But when you establish rules, it’s a must to communicate those rules. Tell your customers that you don’t accept calls during family time. Managing your customers’ expectations allows you to develop a relationship of understanding with your customers. Let them know why you have certain rules. Customers will most often respect your rules when they understand the reasons for those rules.
To get more tips on pricing, marketing and branding a small business that can charge what you’re worth, download a free chapter of my New York Times Best Selling book, Worth Every Penny: Build a Business that Thrills Your Clients and Still Charge What You’re Worth at: http://www.wortheverypennybook.com/tryachapter/