Let’s talk about controlling your schedule in your business, because this is something I see all-too-often. Massage therapists that let clients dictate their schedule, or take advantage of their time. Well, to put it bluntly…screw that.
You know, you have those clients that think they can dictate when they get in, regardless of what your business hours are, or what other clients you have on the books? Or those that think if you don’t respond to a call immediately, that they’re going to act like an insolent 3 year old? Or those that show up late and expect their full time or a discount if you have to cut it short, because…you know…they’re just oh-so-special, and obviously, their time is more important than yours? Can you tell I’ve had my fair share of those over the years?
You’re the boss of your business, right? So your schedule shouldn’t be controlled by anyone but you! I’ve talked with several therapists who have a resentment about their schedule. Coming in early, staying later than they’d like, missing their kids’ events, working weekends, and generally working when they didn’t want to. But it wasn’t that they HAVE to work those hours. It came down to them allowing clients to dictate their schedule. Whether because of direct, pushy clients, or just the therapists’ need to please. But again, who’s the boss of your business? I don’t complain to a manager when a business is closed when I want to go in. It doesn’t revolve around me. That’s not the way it works.
Why as small business owners do we feel so obligated to accommodate every request, like working when we normally wouldn’t? Even to the point of resenting clients who book during those times? Usually out of fear. Fear that we’ll lose that client. But if you hate working Saturdays, do you really want to build a business full of clients who only book on Saturdays. Probably not! If you can’t stay awake well to give a great massage before 10am, why would you want a regular client who wants an 8am appointment every week? You’ll be miserable, and you’re probably not doing your best work.
Your client is NOT the boss.
YOU are the boss.
Your client does NOT set your hours.
YOU set the hours.
Your client does NOT control your schedule.
YOU control your schedule.
Stop acting like your clients are ‘making’ you do something you don’t want to do, and resenting them for it. You know who that resentment needs to be aimed at? You! YOU are the one LETTING them dictate YOUR schedule. Just because you’re a small business owner or sole proprietor, or whatever, does not mean that you aren’t a business, and have business hours like any other business in this world. It does not mean that you can somehow create more time in the day to squeeze someone in. It does not mean that all your other clients need to take a backseat and get pushed around to accommodate someone who has no forethought to plan. When you’ve made an appointment somewhere, do you get a discount when you show up late or have your time or service extended? No. So why the heck would you do that in your own business? I mean, I completely understand that life ensues and sometimes people are late, or stuff just happens. But that doesn’t mean you need to kowtow to every scheduling request or demand. An entitled client is no one’s ideal client. Period.
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