Hi there! 

My name is Paula from Beyond the Maze.  We run a Virtual Assistant Business here in Australia, servicing everybody all over the world. 

Today, I’m going to be talking to you about setting boundaries in business.  Setting boundaries in business is an essential part of business to maintain that professionalism, respect, and balance.   

The boundaries serve as guidelines that help you as a business owner and your employees or your Virtual Assistants to define their roles and their responsibilities and both of your expectations. 

By setting these boundaries, you can create a healthy work environment that promotes productivity and growth. 

So why wouldn’t you set boundaries, right? 

Here are some tips on how to set those boundaries in business. 

1.Establish clear expectations.

Regardless of who you are working with, whether it’s a Virtual Assistant or whether it’s one of your clients or anything in business, having those clear expectations will give the other person the knowledge of exactly what you expect from them. 

This creates a really nice working environment because you’re not guessing and you’re not being a mind reader.  You’re not wondering if that’s what the other person wants.  Setting those clear expectations will help you and that relationship, with whoever it is, work better together. 

2. Define your work hours

This is really important both as a Virtual Assistant and also as a Business Owner.   

You don’t want clients contacting you on weekends when you’re with your family, if that’s not your working hours so putting those boundaries in place. 

For example, I don’t work Fridays, and I’ve been struggling to keep to that and not working Fridays. 

I have put an automatic email responder in that says, I don’t work Fridays, and it also says that it will take 24 to 48 hours to get an email message from me.  I made it fun and hopefully a little bit funny and basically that sets my boundaries and sets my working hours so people know that they may not get an instant email back from me. 

Generally, my emails are kept pretty much up to date, so you’ll get an email back from me within less than 24 hours or definitely less than 48 hours.  But it’s good if I do have that Friday off or when I have that Friday off and I’ve set those hours for people who email me on a Friday.  People know that they are not going to hear back from me till Monday. It’s set those boundaries. 

It sets those clear working hours for somebody who wants to contact me. 

I also don’t respond to clients on a weekend either, because that’s not our working hours, right?  We do offer some Saturday services, but my team do that.  So, unless it’s an absolute dire emergency, nobody will hear from me on a weekend  

3.Learning to say no

This is something that, especially if you’re a female business owner, we really struggle with sometimes.  We want to make everybody happy; we want to make sure everybody’s looked after.  We want to nurture people. 

We get into this trap of saying, “Yes, I can do that” or “No problem”, and it really does become a bit of a problem.  Learning to say no is an interesting skill set to develop, I guess. I’m still learning how to say no, but I’m getting better at it, and I’m respecting my boundaries so that I am able to say no. 

If it doesn’t feel right or I don’t have a team member who can do that or has the capacity to do that, then the answer for me is no.  And I’m OK with that. 

Same as if there’s a client that we might be working with, or you as a client, might not be comfortable with working with a certain VA. That’s a boundary you need to put in place and recognise when that’s not working for you.  Reach out to someone else or reach out to the manager of that business and let them know that it’s just not gelling your you to work with this person.  Is there somebody else you can work with? 

It’s putting those boundaries in place to make you feel OK and what’s doing the best for your business. 

4.Setting the boundaries for communication

How do you want to be communicated with? 

Do you only want email? 

Do you want phone calls? 

Do you want a messenger service, or how do you want those boundaries. 

How do you want that communication to be put in place? 

That’s really important. 

It’s back to establishing those clear expectations on how somebody communicates with you. 

If it’s a client, on how to communicate with a client, then you’re telling your client the only way to get in contact with you is via email or via phone call and leave a message.  If it’s a dire emergency, then this is what number you can ring. 

It depends on the structure of your business and how you want clients to contact you. 

5. Be consistent

It’s important to be consistent with those boundaries. 

Don’t bend the rules too much or people will think that it won’t really matter.  They will think “Yes, she’s had that rule in place, but she’ll bend that rule because she’s done it before”.  It’s really, really important to be consistent with that. 

If you set up those specific expectations, be sure to follow through with them. 

If you’re expecting something from someone else, then you need to be doing that as well. 

What this does is it helps establish that trust, and that respect amongst your team members and amongst your clients. 

In conclusion, setting those boundaries is an essential part of any business. 

It establishes clear expectations. 

It promotes productivity, and it creates a healthy working environment. 

By following the tips above, you can set those boundaries that work for you and your team and help you achieve your business goals.   

Let us know how you’re going with setting your boundaries.  Jump into my Business with Diversity group and let us know. 

If you’re looking at putting on a VA who respects your boundaries, then jump in and click on the link below.  Book an appointment with us and have a chat to us about how we can help you in your business here: https://beyondthemaze.com.au/contact/book-a-free-consultation/

It’s Paula from Beyond the Maze. 

Bye for now! 

Paula Burgess - Keynote Speaker QLD Australia


Paula Burgess is the founder and director of Beyond the Maze, a virtual assistant, coach, author, keynote speaker, mum of a special needs child and a Brisbane based girl who loves fast cars!

She also provides courses and membership to support other business owners working around children with special needs.