The sitter decided to go to Cancun for a week, and you're running a home business (while dealing with needy clients tugging at your skirt day and night). Where do you draw the line and how do you do it without loosing the customer? The balancing act between the family, the business and your sanity may be one of the hardest things to manage.
Handle Yourself First
First thing a home business owner needs to do is to establish boundaries. The easiest way to do this is to separate your business life from your personal life. There is a time for business, a time for family and most importantly a time for yourself. You need to give yourself a time out, if not a couple, throughout the day. Find time to blow of some steam: go to the gym, take a yoga class or simply meet a friend for lunch. Do something good for yourself, and you will be able to pass it on.
How To Handle A Needy Client
Follow the below steps to satisfy a needy client without losing your cool:
- Separate your home life from your business; we all idolize the idea of working from home, yet we would never think of living at work.
- Have a designated area for your home business, a place where you meet with clients and avoid having them roam freely through the rest of your home. This will begin the process of setting limits that clearly defines a business relationship.
- Have a business cell phone and a business land-line; do not give out your personal number to a client until you feel comfortable doing so. This will insure that a needy client can not get a hold of you at all hours of the day and night.
- Establish clear hours of operation from the moment you begin a business relationship with a client. By doing so, your client will know when you are available and will not take offence if you do not take their calls or answer their email on certain days or at certain time.
- Create the proper relationship, and stick to it. If you become their friend, right from the start, a client may not be able to distinguish your friendship from your actual business responsibility.
- When possible, give the needy client a little more attention than you normally would--just make sure you keep control of the situation.
- As soon as you identify the needy personality trait, only engage in business matters. Often times you will find that this type of client is asking more of you than your job requires.
Unless you're running a daycare, you probably never expected to have to mother your client, but sometimes it comes with the territory. WAHM's are particularly vulnerable to this type of situation, and sometimes we bring it on ourselves. Our instinct is to nurture and handle everything, yet this is one of those times that you have to take a good look at what you're getting out of it. If it doesn't fall within your job description, you're probably better of not doing it, or you may just create a monster.