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My friend Kathleen and I love to play board games…and always have. My childhood was spent with family dinners followed by long hours of playing Monopoly, and RISK. Then came Clue, Trivial Pursuit and Pictionary. My family now plays Taboo and Scattergories, and my cousins are huge fans of Left, Right, Center…for MONEY!

Family Game Night was Great Fun

So when the complex we live in decided to host Game Night one Tuesday a month, I was all IN! Competition, laughter, mental challenges, snacks and cocktails? Yeah baby, throw some good-looking pool-boys in the mix and these are a few of ‘my favorite things.’ (Cue Julie Andrews and kids wearing draperies)

The first night was to be dedicated to BOGGLE, since we had 4 boards of the game and four people could sit at one board. Now I had brought a game board, but I did not know how to play this game. I set up the boards and helped to put out the snacks. But while I was getting a drink, everyone had started, and I am sitting alone on a bench eating my snacks! Laughter, and trash talking other players ensued while I looked around for something that would make my presence less awkward.

Could I have jumped in? Of course. Could I have stopped the game and asked that I be added to a table? No doubt. But I did not know how to play BOGGLE. I didn’t have any understanding of the rules, and no one had stopped to share them because everyone else in the room knew how to play. So my insertion in the game would have demanded a unnecessary statement of the rules and delay of play.

How does this relate to your face painting business? Well it’s all about the rules… read on to learn about the Rules I Will Not Cross and why they are important.

 

In game-playing, you got to have RULES! And to put everyone on a level playing field, you have to
communicate those rules before you begin. (Note to self: do my “rules” research at home before showing up at Game Night.)

It also makes sense that in business you got to have Rules! Rules of engagement, so everyone can participate and there are no hurt feelings, misunderstandings or items left to chance. The rules define the way you like to work, and what clients can expect from you.

You probably have a list of things you will and will not do in your business. They may not be written down, like mine, but they are in your head.

If you don’t, you will find that creation of such a list will keep you from “caving” in a tense business conversation, or being caught in misunderstandings that result from too much flexibility. Our innate desire to “be everything to everyone” just helps to muddy the waters even further…as we have set no boundaries to our work lives. Ever get a prospect asking about your services at 10 p.m. on a Friday night? They don’t call their doctor, lawyer or accountant at those hours!

My rules are Lines I Do Not Cross since they are the boundaries about my business philosophies. They help to manage my relationships with customers and prospects.

With this list, I insure that I am not left out of important decisions, that I am not taken advantage of, and that I have used my skills and experience to define better work relationships. They explain “How I Work” and help my clients to understand that. And since I have them on my desk, or bulletin board for every phone call, I don’t stutter or stammer when asked to cross a line (envision client asking for a discount, just because they can).

I developed ten LINES I DO NOT CROSS:

  1. I will not work for free for a profit-making organization or a profit organization that has set up a non-profit “shell” corporation.
  2. I will not perform at a charity event between June and October, unless I have no other bookings.
  3. I will not work for FREE without sponsorship credit in tangible, printed material (banner, program, ad space) when working for a charity.
  4. I will not travel to Manhattan for a private client without an up front $50 travel fee.
  5. I require a two hour minimum on a job that is more than one hour away.
  6. I will not reduce my rates because the client wants to pay me in cash.
  7. No date is considered a valid booking unless there has been a financial payment provided (like a deposit or payment in advance).
  8. No entertainer will be sent out on a verbal agreement.
  9. If a host schedules me less than a week before the party, they will pay an additional “late booking fee” since that party will be unfocused, disorganized and difficult to work.
  10. I will not change my business strategy of providing beautiful, high quality full face designs to accommodate a client’s party time frame. In other words: I am not a vending machine, I will not switch to cheek art, and I will not sacrifice quality for quantity.

What are the Rules That You Will Not Cross? You may not need ten, or even five, but you need to have some things that are NOT negotiable.

If you need help creating them for your business, don’t hesitate to contact me. This is just one of the topics we will cover in the upcoming Accelerate Your Success Course, a six-month Business Booster Class for party entertainers.

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