It’s 2 pm on a Saturday, I’m just about to tuck into a little lunch and watch a film, and one of my high-value clients sent me a message, ‘Mort, you around for a quick 5?’ I read the message twice and thought, hmmm, what should I do?

I reflected quickly on the relationship we have, and It’s a good one. We work well together and have had tremendous results, and the contract we agreed to – access to me 24*7 – has never been abused.

I called them. By 2:20, it was all resolved, and we could return to our respective Saturdays.

I don’t do this for every client, as it is dependent on the relationship and option they selected from my packages before we started working together.

If boundaries are not clear at the beginning of any relationship, misunderstandings and frustrations can set in because you could give more time to a contract than you are comfortable with and end up losing money.

I recall an interior design client in this situation because her client made her feel guilty that the project had overrun, and that it was all her fault. She had to complete the designs in her own time. Due to this, she was forfeiting other clients, losing money and becoming increasingly resentful.

It’s essential to set clear boundaries at the beginning of any relationship, and one way to do this is to create a set of options for your client to choose from and be disciplined enough to stick to it. At times this may call for some degree of flexibility, but that is a judgement call.