Business Resources

Setting Office Hours

  1. Steph says:

    Loved this site! It is just what I needed as I am being burnt out as we speak. I have a client who texts me all hours of the day…ALLL DAY…NONSTOP…At the consultation meeting, I stressed respect for quiet hours. She said she’d never be the type to contact me at 2am…welll that was short lived because it has been nonstop 1am…2am…one time even 3am where multiple voicemails and messages were left for an “emergency.” I have explained that I have other clients, and it has made me even consider closing up shop because I want my life back :-/ I will do more research on what the best methods of office hours is best suitable for me because me pleasing everyone has me losing myself, and I do not like it at all. Thanks again for the info! It is just what I needed to hear at the right time.

    • So glad this was helpful Steph. It is very important that you set office hours and acceptable times and methods of contact for your clients. Establishing these as business policies to set your client’s expectations will help you get your sanity back.

  2. Jenny says:

    I do my absolute best to ensure that my clients understand that the nature of the event planning business, means that even during office hours, I am often in and out for client meeting and venue visits. I set office hours, and do not offer “UNLIMITED” anything. I tell my clients what a reasonable amount of email communication and phone call communication is appropriate for each step of their process. I know it may seem a little intense, but leveling with your clients, explaining to them that you have to protect all of your clients right to the time they have paid for, sets a tone from the very beginning. Also, when you do go above and beyond, they will know you are going above and beyond, and be more likely to be grateful vs. learning to expect that all of the time, and feel let down when you aren’t going above and beyond. Setting expectations is so vital to maintaining your mental health and keeping clients happy.

  3. […] When I started, I had no idea that my clients would be just fine if I set boundaries such as office hours and took most weekends off from client work. Once I set these rules for myself and set the […]

  4. Kelly SNyder says:

    I have office hours set and do stray from them at times. I only do consultations in the afternoon since my morning is spent replying to emails, texts and calling people back, I don’t answer my phone on the weekend due to family time, but I will answer an email or text just so they don’t pile up.

  5. This is an incredible site to get some advice from. I have been planning for five years and have come to a point where I am physically ill and exhausted from being on call all the time. Unfortunately my children bare the brunt of this. Just recently i have begun implementing office hours. Clients tend to think that because I run my business from home it shouldn’t be difficult for me to just open my computer and work. I love what I do, but have come to a point where if I don’t implement office hours, I will end up hating what used to make my creative bones shake me out of bed early in the morning. Thank you for your post, I am reassured.

    • Candace, thank you for your comment. Sometimes we forget that we need to be in control and running our business so that it works for us INSTEAD of letting our clients and business run our lives. Good for your for making changes. Burnout is never a good thing.

  6. […] Set the expectations about your workload and response times. If you haven’t established office hours and have been responding to high maintenance clients at all hours of the night, this has to stop […]

  7. Lorna says:

    Setting hours is on my to do list. Its hard though when the kids are back in school because I have to leave at 2:30pm to pick them up. So I allow two days for evening appt and will only keep them if they confirm the day before. Plus as a planner we work off site as well going to venues with and without clients. Maybe I will set my email/voice mail that says I am in and out of the office today…. when I am not just in the office working.

    • Debbie says:

      Lorna, I think that is a great idea. My daughter is in school for the first time this year and my office hours are now much shorter since she is done at 3:30. As long as we set the expectations with clients, it will be just fine. Thank you for the comment!

  8. Lilieth says:

    I set no hours. my website not up on running but,I know what my hours are.
    thank for the tips

  9. I love having office hours. Most of my clients don’t know the difference or expect differently, so I haven’t run into any issues where it is a problem for them. I use Google Apps for my email program, and there is an app I used to allows me to schedule emails to be sent out. So I can type them up at 6 or 7 in the evening and schedule it to be sent when my hours start the next day. Helps maintain that routine for clients.

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