Learning to say “no”

Posted on January 17, 2012


This already looks like a controversial post to many of you and do listen to your inquisitive mind and continue reading…

When you run your own business it can be very difficult to say “no” to anything. You will find yourself accepting any and every job you think you can do. After a while you may start to realise that saying yes to everything may have been a bad move, I did.

When you say “yes” to every job you are offered you will find yourself stressed, busy and being unable to complete the jobs at your usual high standard. Learning to say “no” to the jobs you cannot or do not want to do is key to making sure you are a happy entrepreneur. A great way to feel better about saying “no” is to have associates that you are happy and comfortable to refer to.

I have been lucky enough to have been in BNI until recently. BNI is a weekly business networking group that meets to help give referrals to each other as well as getting to know each other more and  learning how to refer them to others. From the ages of 17 to 20 I was a member of my Teddington BNI chapter and in these 3 years I was able to make fantastic relationships with local business owners and see, first hand (or from clients I referred to them) how great they were at what they do. I now, with my current business, am able to refer these fantastic businesses to clients who need those jobs that I would have said yes to so as not to miss out on a new client.

The great thing about referring a potential client to someone who is great at what the client needs is that the client will be so happy with you for referring them to a fantastic business person, they will want to work with you more and will find work that you are great at. If they don’t, you will still know that the person you referred them to will be more likely to listen out for work for you.

You can also ask these business owners if they would like to be “white-label” – this is where you can offer their service under your business name, with a price that you offer. For example, you could have a web designer that you highly recommend. You could offer their services on your business website at £299 when they do the service for £250. A bit of money in your pocket because your business got your web designer the work, money in their pocket and a happy client – 3 very happy people!

Have you said “no” to someone recently? How did it feel? Did you notice that another, better client came along soon after?

Posted in: business