Our business is a 24/7/365 business that can never take a minute off. Our clients depend on us to be there for them all of the time, no matter what day of the year it is or what is happening out there.
This reality for a small business or a sole proprietor, we help them to project a professional image and provide customer service without answering their business phone 24/7.
As a business person, many of us are constantly ‘on’ and thinking about our business all of the time. Many entrepreneurs even forward their business phone to their cell or use the cell number as the business number. This is not helpful to our relationships with family and friends! It is sometimes very easy to drift off into our ‘work world’ instead of being present with the people in our lives. This can be especially problematic when we are interrupted with business calls, texts or emails 24/7. It can create an environment in which our friends and family feel less important than that phone call from Joe that really could have waited until tomorrow.
I know many people are in the mode of building your businesses but – think about it – do you want to build your business at the expense of family and friends? Here are a few ideas to help you manage your business and still provide the service you want to provide:
- Hire an answering service to process your calls before and after business hours. This will show your clients that you care about their business but, at the same time, will also help to ‘train’ them to call during the business day for routine matters. They should never expect to talk to the owner every time they call.
- Instruct the answering service to only reach you with urgent matters; the other things can wait and can be emailed to you whenever you want to receive them. (Make sure you hire one that is willing to be flexible enough to meet your needs.)This will allow your clients to receive the service you have promised them but will also allow your friends and family to have more uninterrupted time with you.
- Do not give any clients your cell phone number… or think very seriously about it before doing so. This could become your worst nightmare!
- Take a day off or take a vacation! You can do it even if you are the only person in your business! If you are using an answering service to screen your calls and if they are dealing with the day-to-day ‘junk’ calls that constantly happen or the customer who insists on calling every day, you will be free to get that home project finished or spend the day at the beach. Remember, you will still be available for urgent needs on your cell phone. Your clients will still be helped!
- If you take a day or a week to refresh and re-energize it will help you to be in the race for the long haul.
Can you say V-A-C-A-T-I-O-N?