Good people! I’m still on fire about this Welcome Packet thing that I was all hot on last week. That flame is still burning high. ☺
As promised I want to share my own process of articulating the RULES for new clients, which is such a genius way to be sure I actually have rules and know them myself. And since, honestly, I think RULES about WHEN, i.e., your Work Hours, are the most crucial, I’m starting there.
Why are RULES about time the most crucial, in my opinion? Two things, really:
- First, without RULES about your time, especially if you run your own business, it is verrrrrry easy to lose sight of What You Really Want and spend all your time – and I mean, ALL your time – just responding. Remember: busy is not the same as boss-y.
- Second, and this REALLY is my favorite part, talking about time means we get to talk a little about my sweetheart → Pricing. Articulating rules about your work-time means you get to consider how your Schedule bone is connected to your Pricing bone. ‘Cause it absolutely is.
HINT: If your schedule is insane, like totally unmanageable, you’re running yourself ragged, um, sister/brother, your prices are too low. And, once you figure out your rules about when and how you work, then that gives you a key to fixing your pricing so that your Hustle-to-Chill Ratio is just-right.
For Welcome Packet purposes, here are the questions I’m asking and answering for myself about Work Hours, so that I can lay it all out helpfully for new clients at the start of our engagement. Enter your name and email address below if you want to download a worksheet version of this to walk through on your own, weeeee!
Questions toward defining Work Hours:
1. Are there specific days of the week I am available to talk to people, i.e., when are my “office hours”? For me, that’s Tuesday – Thursday. What about you? You can also ask this another way:
2. Are there days of the week I am not available to talk to people? Some people take a Fun Friday. I block a Creative Monday and a Farm Friday into every week, so that I have time to write and refresh myself and do the Work ON My Business.
3. On those designated client-days, what hours do I take calls? Me: 10am – 4pm PT. The start-time allows me to do my Morning Routine, the end-time to have roughly an hour at the end of the day to write up my notes, think about what I heard, follow-up by email, look at the next day’s commitments and make sure I’ve got everything I need lined up.
4. What about weekends, evening, holidays? Do you have sacred time that cannot be occupied by work? Uh, is there a surcharge you’re willing to impose on work during those hours?
5. What about “emergencies?” And yes, I put emergency in quotes. Is there (see above, under Sacred Time) a surcharge for that?
6. How do people schedule with me? Dudes, once you have these rules figured out, you NEED to get yourself a calendaring app that holds those boundaries FOR you. ‘Cause that calendaring app won’t waver or cave anywhere near as often as you me. Try never. I use Calendly, which is integrated with my Google calendar. Other people use Acuity Scheduling. There’re lots! NOTE: another benefit of these scheduling apps besides eliminating the back-n-forth via email? Automatic reminders to your clients!
7. What about cancellations? Somebody asked me about this the other day, right after they cancelled. Unlike my dentist, I don’t have a cancellation fee that I impose in these cases. But I could say more about where the onus lies for re-scheduling and how difficult that might be, given how booked my time gets. What about you?
The answers to those 7 questions will comprise the Work Hours section of your Welcome Packet. Yay!
The greatest thing, and also one of the hardest, is that this business thing you have gives you the chance to make your own rules, starting from your time. Make your rules, then marshall the right tools to help you. Stay tuned for the next installment of my Welcome Packet mania: Communication and Tools, yay!