It’s virtually impossible for an entrepreneur to refuse a client or customer demand; as their primary objective is to expand the business and grow organic sales, so saying ‘no’ to new business seems counterintuitive. The reality of developing a start-up, and being an effective entrepreneur, however, is knowing when to turn away clients and opportunities. In this article, we share with you the occasions when taking on new business can be detrimental to your business growth, helping you develop the skills to say no when the timing isn’t right.
Trust your instinct about bad deals
There are always clients that rub us the wrong way from the first interaction; sometimes we can articulate why the client isn’t for us, especially those who come across offensive and disagreeable, and other times we can’t put our finger on the issue. Don’t ignore your instincts, especially unnerving personal interactions, body gestures and the language they use with you. Usually, our initial sense ends up being right or affecting the client experience, and the decision may end up costing us financially and emotionally down the track.
Say no when you lose out
Aside from charity work, don’t fall into the trap of offering your services for free or heavily discounted, especially when your bottom line suffers. A client that doesn’t value your worth won’t become a loyal customer, nor will they ever appreciate your value. Though it’s tempting to take the deal to get your foot in the door, it’s these clients that you will end up resenting, as they generally don’t lower their expectations of you just because you dropped your price.
Avoid work that you can’t physically complete
When you don’t have the skills, resources or knowledge to complete a client’s request, it’s ill-advised to take on the job, no matter how much you stand to make. While it’s unfair to your business to undertake work you can’t perform, it’s more unfair to the client; likely you will make mistakes, lengthen the process, and cause more considerable headaches in solving issues due to the lack of skills. Creating a positive customer reputation will also be challenging with this approach, as you will likely deter customer retention and referrals.
Remember your overall objective and stick to it
There will always be new clients and job offers that don’t fit your overall business objective, nor will they add to the end goal of the business. Just like every other business decision we make, taking on new business needs to fall into line with our ethos, aims and overall direction. Though turning down the work will feel incorrect, it can become easy to deviate from where we want our business to progress towards, and grow in a direction that doesn’t meet our long term objectives.