Learning the art of accepting that not all business is potentially good business

You know that feeling as a startup, when you are prepared to accept any business that is on offer, regardless of whether it is the right type of client or the right type of project. The immediate reaction is to say “if it pays, then it’s good business”. But the fact is, not all business really is good business. The important questions have to be asked - if I accept this business opportunity, is it going to move my company forward, is it going to be a good use of my time, is it going to take my eye off the real ball, are these clients I want to work with or are they going to be a real headache and end up hurting my business and brand? This was a topic being discussed on the sidelines of the Lioness Lean In Breakfast event in Cape Town yesterday and it made for really interesting conversation. Many of the women startups chatted about how when times are tough, you take any business on offer, but often there is a negative impact that comes with not being discerning and there can be fall-out further down the line for not choosing projects and clients carefully. Learning the art of accepting that not all business is good business, and that it’s okay to say no to the business you don’t want may seem counterintuitive to an entrepreneur. But it’s important to focus, keep your eye on the main purpose and goals of the business, and choose clients and projects that will help to grow your business and brand in line with your vision.