Header image for article Setting Professional Boundaries with Your Clients

Setting Professional Boundaries with Your Clients

May 25, 2020 by Sally Pau

As your beauty business starts to take off, you will build personable relationships with your clientele. Each appointment is more than the service itself–it’s an experience you’re offering. Each is unique and customized to suit your client’s wants as you get to know their personalities and hear their stories. Some of them may even become your friends or maybe they have always been a loyal friend supporting your business from the start. This is where setting professional boundaries with your clients will come in handy.

Setting professional boundaries is important within any profession and workplace. As a business owner, you will need to set strong and clear boundaries from the start. Doing so will protect your business, personal life, and well-being. They can be applied to how you work with clients and your own work habits. This is particularly important when running a home-based studio where lines can get blurry when trying to separate work from your personal life.

You may find yourself in a sticky situation where clients, friends, or family members feel comfortable asking for favors. This can be anything from asking for free service to working outside of your usual hours. If you’re someone who has trouble saying no to those close to you, you will need policies in place that everyone will have to follow. Regardless of if they are family or not, everyone will need to follow your business policies and respect your boundaries as a business owner.

Picture of Taylor
Lash Artist and Owner of LAX Lounge, Taylor Broad

We spoke with Lash Artist and Owner of LAX Lounge, Taylor Broad. She had originally gone to school to pursue a career as a child and youth worker when she was told she would likely never be able to have children. Taylor wanted to become a positive influence and be able to help children and youth in any way she could. Soon after she finished school and much to her surprise, she found out she was pregnant. That’s when everything changed and she decided to make her way into the beauty industry to build a business for her growing family.

“I decided to take my first lash course while pregnant, which I do not suggest. I was huge,” Taylor said. “My first set took me five hours because of how many breaks I had to take. Once I had my son, I took two months with him as I created my brand.” This is when she created her lash bar, previously known as Taylor’s Lash Bar. It was the best decision she had ever made.

At the time, Taylor was living at her mother-in-law’s and doing lashes in the basement apartment. While they felt smushed in that space, she will never forget her little lash spot. “I decided to start lashing so I could be home with my son, as well as apply the skills learned in school to positively influence my clients,” she says. “So many of my clients talk to me about life, personal, and work–I love being a positive influence in their lives. I also love making people feel better by enhancing their natural beauty and seeing the smiles on their faces.”

Knowing Your Worth

You need to know your worth right from the beginning. It will be acceptable to offer your services for free or at a discounted price when you first start to build your portfolio and clientele. However, you will need to soon raise your prices and start setting professional boundaries with your clients. You have invested your time, money, and energy to start a business and grow as a beauty professional. When you’re offering your services, you are offering your expertise at a price to grow your career and be able to financially support yourself. Your business is part of your livelihood.

Picture of Taylor's work
Image credit: @_laxlounge_

When Taylor first started lashing, she gave her services away for free to friends and family. She has two sisters, three sisters-in-law, and three moms, so there are plenty of people who were quite happy about her newfound skills. Once she felt like her skills have advanced, she started offering a referral discount instead. “Luckily there are three small businesses within my family, so they were the first people to show me support when asking for my services,” she says.

“Your family and friends should be the first people to support you without a discount because they want to see you succeed.”

For Taylor, dealing with friends was difficult at first. “I can be a little too nice and let people take advantage of me. One day when I was raising my prices, I decided I had to have this conversation with my friends,” she says. “To be honest, there were not many friends I had to speak with about this. The few I spoke to quickly understood that I wanted them to value my business as they would with any other small business.”

Healthy Work-Life Balance

Without professional boundaries with clients, you could be setting yourself up for burnout. Business owners have a higher chance of experiencing burnout as they try to juggle all aspects of their business on their shoulders. Running a business usually means long hours and investing your emotional-self into your work. Preventing burnout is important as it impacts both your well-being and business success.

If you have inquiries from potential clients that want to push you outside of your boundaries or what you’re comfortable with, you will need to learn to say no. Set your policies and rules right from the start because it will become easier for you to turn away clients that you don’t want to work with. This includes having a proper cancellation and rescheduling policy, setting deposits to secure appointments, and having a booking website to show your prices upfront.

Online booking will professionally present your beauty business. Clients will know that you take your business seriously. By having a booking system to show your prices upfront, you won’t waste your time with potential clients that don’t want to pay for your value. For clients that want to proceed with bookings, they will see your availability ahead of time. This means you won’t have to deal with back and forth communication or clients asking for appointments outside of your working hours. It will help you maintain boundaries between your personal and professional life, thus help you achieve proper work-life balance.

If you have a home-based studio, you will need to draw a line between your business and your personal life. As business owners, it’s so easy to get lost in work and the hustle. Start making an effort to set time aside for your personal life and be present with those around you. This means no more taking appointments or answering messages after business hours.

You are in control of your life and it’s perfectly fine to take a step back to re-organize and find balance. When you achieve a healthy work-life balance, you will feel more control with your life, experience less burnout, have increased productivity, and have more time for things and the people you love.

Take Control of Your Clientele

There will be times when clients will ask if you can accommodate their schedules. As a new beauty technician, it will be difficult turning away clients. Every client will make a difference to help you grow your business. However, you will need to take control of your clientele by only servicing the clients you want to serve. If you undervalue your business, you will attract the wrong clients that will treat your business the same way.

Start taking control of your clientele by determining who your ideal clients are. Your ideal client is someone who will receive the perfect solution to their needs through your services. This person will love what you do, continue to book with you, and will refer your services to their friends and family. Most importantly, they will value your services and be willing to pay for your expertise and experience.

Screenshot of scheduling in Jupiter

Jupiter gives you full control of your schedule and who can book with you. You can set it so only clients in your files can book with you. This allows you to pre-approve your clients ahead of time. Another key feature is setting the max reschedules and cancellations allowed. For example, if you set the max to three, then Jupiter will block your clients from booking if they have had three reschedules or cancellations. You will then be given the option to turn away frequent no-shows. They’ll still be able to book, though they will need to reach out to you first. This gives you full control of your business and helps to save time. You will not longer have to deal with clients you don’t want to work with.

Taylor’s Tips for Upcoming Beauty Professionals

Taylor has three points she wishes she had known before starting a business. Here they are in her words:

Pay for the training which inspires you. It’s not always about the price as I strongly believe that you get what you pay for. I wish I knew that going to someone that inspired me would truly give me 100% satisfaction–I would have been able to learn the way I wanted to.

Don’t judge yourself based on other artists’ work. This is so important as we are constantly comparing ourselves. I really did this at the beginning of my lash career. When I stopped caring about others, I found that my work got so much better. You are your own person. We all do things our own way and you will find your way, so rock it! Practice, educate, and let your artistic juices flow!

Take breaks. You can’t learn overnight. If this was easy then everyone would do it. Let yourself learn at your own pace–this is not a race. Burning out is real and will happen if this is your mindset. Take care of your body, do not forget to eat, and drink plenty of water. No amount of money is worth your mental and physical health!

Taylor’s business is quickly growing as she will be moving to a larger space to accommodate her growing clientele and services. She is working towards making all her clients feel comfortable, confident, and beautiful in their own skin. If you are a beauty professional and would like to be featured in future blog posts, let’s connect!

If you need help getting your business organized, try Jupiter out free for 14 days. Not sure if Jupiter is right for you? Speak to a member of our team and we’ll be happy to walk you through the feature ourselves.

Picture of Sally Pau

Sally Pau

Sally is a Product Marketer at Jupiter. She enjoys the art of storytelling through content creation to build relationships within the online community.