Saying no is empowering, but often ignored by businesses
While in our personal lives we have been taught that saying no is empowering, when it comes to business, “yes, we can,” seems to be the go to phrase. There are some times, however, that saying no is the boost your business needs.
Saying no in the following four situations is good for business no matter what your conscience may be telling you:
- Say no if you mean no. If a client or business has a proposal that you cannot accept, say it. Don’t say that you wish you could or that you’ll see what you can do. Say what you mean. In the business world, the only thing that means no is no. Leaving any room for interpretation is a waste of everyone’s time. The client will likely follow up with you repeatedly until you give a firm “no.” Taking these phone calls and checking and responding to these e-mails is a song and dance that takes time and focus away from your “yes” projects, and ultimately, it is a sign of respect for the other person’s time to just say no.
- If you can accept the project, just not in the projected time frame, be honest about it. Everyone has experienced being “worked in “to the schedule. A client or project sitting idly because you couldn’t say no isn’t good business.
- When you were getting your business started, you may have done some favors for friends for the purpose of networking or advertising. That was good for start up, but it is time to start saying no to such favors. You can do favors for clients who bring in a lot of work, or you can give discounts for referrals, you can even barter, but you must say “no” to friends asking for free favors.
- As the boss, try implanting a weekly “no” day. No overtime, no working late, no taking work home. Being able to consciously separate work and home is something your employees must be able to do in order to do quality work, and showing that you value them and respect their needs can only increase morale.
Sometimes the things we say no to can add value to the things we say yes to. When saying yes will take away from the quality and integrity of your work, it’s time to say no.