Entrepreneurs need to take care when it comes to what they agree to and why. As a startup it’s tempting to say yes to everyone and everything because you need the work. This is even more relevant during an era where the millennial shift in spending is moving towards the experience over simply providing a good deal.
But saying yes isn’t necessarily a quality you should be proud of. It can put your business in a difficult position. You need to learn to say no more often. But why is no such a powerful statement?
Avoid Being Taken Advantage Of
Startups that are incapable of saying no usually find themselves in a situation where their clients will come to them with absolutely everything. Project creep is a real problem that can leave you completing thankless tasks you neither want to do nor normally offer.
Saying no establishes your red lines and will leave you with more of the work that you want to do and are qualified to do.
But Won’t Clients Hate Your Refusal?
This is the real fear that many startups have. One of the dumbest office policies CEOs come up with is to agree to everything because they don’t want to upset their clients. But clients aren’t going to go somewhere else because you refuse to bow to their every whim.
Entrepreneurs will find that they gain more respect because they value their time and they stick to their guns. The odd client who does leave in a huff isn’t worth the time and effort spent on doing the things that your business doesn’t want to associate itself with.
Spend Your Time Wisely
Startups never seem to have enough hours in the day. But by saying no you can start to claim back some of that time. Entrepreneurs that focus their time on the tasks that matter are putting themselves in a situation where they’re making the most of the limited hours they have.
Saying no will allow you to better delegate projects, leaving you with more time available. Don’t underestimate the power of gaining back these spare hours.
Learn to Manage Better
Do you know why many entrepreneurs won’t do things like take out a registered office address?
They think they can do absolutely everything without any help from anywhere. That ‘can do’ attitude that so many traditionally-minded businesses crave is not something to be proud of. It means that entrepreneurs are trying to take on more than they can realistically manage by themselves.
You can manage your business better by saying no. That doesn’t mean you simply won’t do something, it means you’ll pass those tasks to someone else. They may be better qualified or they may simply have more time to spare. Adopt this mind-set and you’ll become a better manager and a better entrepreneur.
Make Smarter Business Decisions
Entrepreneurs may get a warm glow from all the work they’re doing, but never saying no often leads to making bad business decisions. Smarter business decisions always result because you can say no. When you abandon that fear of disappointing someone you’re better able to ignore the emotional side of decision making and focus on what’s going to benefit your business.
Smarter business decisions will increase your chances of survival.
So How Do You Train Yourself to Say No?
Training yourself to say no is a relatively simple process. Just stop and think before you make a decision. Decide whether it’s in your best interests to say yes. Are you making a decision that’s going to benefit you more or the other party? If it’s the latter, you know that’s a decision to say no to.
Write down the tasks that are your priority and refuse to take anything else on until those tasks have been completed.
Conclusion – The Power of No
Saying no isn’t the equivalent of being mean and hard-hearted. It’s about putting your best interests first. Those who say no tend to be more authentic, more productive, and they make better business decisions.
How about you try saying no more often and see what it can do for you and your company?