Set Clear Boundaries in Your Health Coaching Business: How Tech Can Help

You’re a coach and a healer and it’s your natural tendency to want to give. In the beginning of your health coaching business, you feel good about the extra time you give your clients and the exceptions you make to get them into your schedule.

Keep up these habits over time, though, and you end up frustrated, exhausted and even resentful of your clients. If you continue to bend to your clients’ preferences, without considering your own, you are giving up control of your business to your clients.

Remember why you wanted to be in business for yourself in the first place? You wanted the freedom to create the lifestyle you’ve always craved, and have more time for the things you love.

So if you’re working all weekend, scheduling sessions at all hours of the day and night and getting paid late or not at all, it’s not your clients’ fault. It’s yours.

You must set clear boundaries to have a business you love, more energy for your clients, and the full life you deserve.

Get clear about your policies (like your office hours and payment procedures) and let your tech help you enforce them. Make these decisions based on the business you wish to have (many clients), not necessarily what it looks like now (a handful of clients).

3 Simple Ways Tech Can Help

• Use an “out of office” auto-responder to let your clients – and prospective clients – know your business hours and when you’re off enjoying your life. With Gmail or Google Apps, go to Mail Settings and scroll down to Vacation Responder to set yours up.

• Take advantage of “Schedule” features which allows you to be in touch with your tribe anytime. Write blog posts, newsletters and social media updates during office hours and schedule them to post at times convenient to your tribe (even if they’re not for you). You can do this easily with your email marketing/newsletter service (like MailChimp, Constant Contact or Aweber). Your WordPress blog allows you to set a date and time for when you want to Publish a new post, and with Hootsuite you can schedule social media posts to Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn too.

• Set up a merchant credit card processing account with recurring billing service so you always get paid on time. At the time of enrollment, let your client know their card will be charged on a certain day each month for x number of months, and you never have to talk money with them again during their program. I use Practice Pay Solutions. PayPal also offers recurring billing service in their business accounts.

With these simple tools at work for you, you can take a week’s vacation and totally unplug. Meanwhile, back in cyberspace, your clients know when to expect to hear from you gain, your tribe is still engaged with new content from you and your income is still flowing in consistently.

Now, that’s my kind of vacation!

To your awesome biz,

About the author: My name is Heather Cottrell and I show health coaches, wellness pros and other creative entrepreneurs how the right tech can grow your business and simplify your life. Start moving your business forward today with an Awesome Tech Breakthrough Session.

Heather Cottrell

Heather Cottrell shows coaches, bloggers, wellness pros and other mompreneurs how to grow your business online. Get expert support and coaching around content creation, social media strategies and digital marketing specially designed for creative professionals with a mindset for success. Find Heather Cottrell Business Services at and on Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | LinkedIn.

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seung oh - June 6, 2012

Hi Heather,

Thank you for the great article. I have a quick question. Why do you use Practice Pay Solution instead of Paypal? Isn’t paypal more recognizable by clients and easier to use? What are some advantages of using practice pay solution services?

Heather Cottrell - June 6, 2012

HI Seung, thanks for your question. The short answer is: I’ve used PPS for over 7 years because they gave me a better rate than other merchant services and I’ve been happy with them. The long answer depends on what you’re selling. I use a Virtual Terminal and when a client enrolls with me during a Breakthrough Session I get their credit card info and process their payment myself. You don’t want to rely on sending invoices to collect payment. PayPal is perfectly fine to use (business or pro account) as well and I recommend you get their Virtual Terminal feature. Now, if you’re also selling products, program enrollments and more on your website, you’ll need a shopping cart account. PPS and others, will integrate with all different kinds of shopping carts. PayPal offers a shopping cart option. Most health coaches don’t need a shopping cart in the beginning. Since I run sales myself, my clients don’t interact with the system I use – except upon purchase of a Breakthrough Session. If you’re using a shopping cart, they still have the option to use their own credit card, so they generally won’t even notice what kind of shopping cart you’re using, PayPal or otherwise. Lastly, many shopping cart services will integrate with PayPal in addition to any other merchant account you have. There is a myriad of options for this stuff. Depending on where you are in building your business, the most important thing is to have a merchant account with a virtual terminal. The rest you’ll add on. Also, take a look at Karen Brunet’s post on this topic at

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