Have I ever mentioned that I own a barbershop? No, not the old man daggy kind- it’s a hip, vintage 1950s style. Shockingly popular and hectic, it consumes more of my time than any job ever has. Booked out days in advance, we currently turn away more customers than we can serve.
When I first opened it in August 2013, I allowed customers to call, email, twitter facebook message me, all in a bid to be accessible as possible to them. Sure the online booking system was easy for them to use, took absolutely none of my time and fed straight into our daily calendar so we could see our whole day. Didn’t matter! I wanted to be completely accessible to the customers, in whatever way they preferred.
Cue 8 months later.
Believe it or not, I’ve been woken at 3am from a customer wanting to book in a message. I respond at all hours of the day- needing to be constantly vigilant to customer needs. I relentlessly have to scan my email, the business twitter and facebook page because customers use all of those avenues to book. Days off? Yep, still have to scan them endlessly, because, you know, a customer might want to book in. I’ve taken my daughters to the movies and taken bookings over email as the lights in the theatre turn off, only to resume with other bookings as soon as the lights turn back on. What this basically means is that I (and my body and mind) are NEVER switched off. We are always at work. This Easter long weekend- I’ve had enough! I’m realizing the cost to me, emotionally and physically. And even more shockingly, to my poor family.
Rather than take the bookings myself. I’m going to direct them to book online or call during shop hours. Nicely of course. I’ve turned off push notifications so that I’m in control and will check it only when I’m ready.
Yep, its time to set boundaries with my business.
If you only do 3 things:
1.Decide how and when you want to be contacted. Script a nice way of saying this and consistently give that message to your customers.
2.Turn off push notifications on your email and social media
3.Have social media switch-offs. I switch off every Sunday- read more about how this works here
Yours during business hours,