As a service-based business, client calls and appointments are a huge part of day-to-day operations. And while they are critical to your revenue, they can also wreak havoc on your schedule… if you let them.
If you want to stay sane and profitable, it’s important to balance your client appointments with your other business activities.
That balance starts by setting specific times aside for client appointments and stick with only those times as much as possible.
Start by identifying your ideal work hours. (One nice thing about running your own business is that you get to control your own hours, so take advantage of it!) Consider what time of day you’re most productive as well as any outside factors, like your children’s daycare or school hours.
Once you’ve identified your ideal work hours, it’s time to think through how you want your days and weeks to flow. As tempting as it can be to take client appointments any time, that may not lead to productive days.
So ask yourself whether you want to restrict appointment times to only certain days of the week or to only certain times of day.
Once you’ve identified your preferred hours for calls, consider things like how many calls or appointments can you reasonably do in a day or within a block of time? How many can you do in a row without a substantial break? And, what buffer do you want between back to back calls?
Also, think about how you want to handle call follow-ups. Your follow-up system may impact your answers to the above. Do you want to do your follow up immediately after the call? Or would you prefer to do it all at once at the end of the day or at the start of the next day?
PROTIP: If you haven’t already, this is also a good place to consider what parts of the follow-up you can delegate.
But, but, what about exceptions?…
Here’s the thing about systems, they aren’t meant to be inflexible little prisons. Even a type-A gal like me knows there are exceptions to every rule, so spend time considering what you’re willing to bend on. For example, will you take a call from a potential dream client who can only talk on your “no appointment” days?
Likewise, you’ll want to identify your deal breakers. Working in Germany, I sometimes have to flexible on when I have client calls but, I’ve established a hard rule of no calls after 10 pm. Establishing both of these ahead of time makes it easier to apply when they come up.
If you have all these details documented, it’s that much easier to delegate or outsource managing your client appointments now or in the future.
Take it from me, having a solid scheduling system will save not only your productivity but also your sanity.
If you want my schedule planner worksheet to help you stay sane and on schedule, download it below!