There is a saying that goes something like: "Good fences make for good neighbors." Why? Because any of us who live anywhere near someone else, know that sometimes property boundaries need a fence. Not always. But most of the timie.
We have a neighbor who lives right behind us on a hill. When he is in a bit of a -- shall we say, "cranky" mood -- he comes and stands right in his backyard to stare and see if my kids are playing on his property.
Now, my kids know not to cross pass those two boundary markers that are out there. Believe me, they know we don't want to cross into Mr. Neighbor's yard. But, oh how I kind of wish there was a little white picket fence stretched across that boundary. Maybe then he could see clearly that we have NOT invaded his space and he would stop staring at us.
A good fence would quite possibly make for a better neighbor.
The same is true for your business, Piano Teacher. Good fences include strong policies, established lesson hours, boundaries for when you will and won't take phone calls. The more clear the fence line, the better off you will be.
Here's why: when your clients aren't clear on where the fence is, they certainly can't respect it. Even more importantly, when YOU don't know where the fence is, you can't respect your own boundaries and meet your own needs.
My "fences" are up for two reasons: to protect my family and to protect my clients. I protect my family by having very clear boundaries of when I will and when I won't give lessons.
That parent that called me the other day and wanted me to give lessons at a totally random time? Nope, can't do it. That's my family time.
And I protect my client when they know what their expectations are as well. They can expect that one of my fences is that, short of a massive unexpected flu bug, I will be there for lessons when I say I will be there. They know what the tuition is and can be confident I won't try to bill them for more, for some random reason.
Keep in mind, though, what I said about the literal fence I wanted for my backyard? Simple, pretty -- a "little white picket fence." That's a fence that blesses both of us, that we can stand at and see each other over. That make us both more comfortable but doesn't shut one another out.
Your piano lesson business fences should be the same way. Simple, pleasant -- to create BETTER communication between you and your clients. To make you both more comfortable without being heavy handed.
So, Piano Teacher Friend. How are your fences? Any fence areas that you need to go back and tidy up a bit?
Give attention to your fences. Trust me, you will be glad you did.
For some excellent clear guidance in setting up "friendly fences" with your clients, check out our resource Crafting Your Piano Lesson Policies: A Step by Step Guide.