Knowing when to say ‘no’ in business is a necessity

It’s a typical human reaction in life, finding it hard to say no, and that is particularly the case in business. There is the feeling that we are going to disappoint someone or lose out on an opportunity if we say we can’t fulfil a last-minute assignment or order, or can’t make that impossible deadline, or can’t fit that unscheduled client appointment into the diary at a moment’s notice. So what happens as entrepreneurs? Well, we often end up saying yes and putting everyone else’s needs ahead of our own, whilst at the same time putting unnecessary and unwanted pressure on ourselves and our businesses. So the lesson to learn is when to say no in business - and let’s be honest, that’s hard when first starting out. Ask yourself these key questions before committing to a response to a request. Firstly, do I have what it takes to meet the request (time, resources, money)? Secondly, is saying yes to this request going to add value to my business? Thirdly, is it a good use of my limited time or could I make a greater difference to my business by doing something else? If the answer to each of these questions is yes, then make the commitment, otherwise you need to be firm and just say no. In the beginning, this will be a hard lesson to learn, but like all lessons it will become easier over time and will become part of your greater mindfulness as an entrepreneur.