The best time-saving advice – Say no

| August 28, 2015

The best time-saving advice – Say no

Most people find it difficult to say no. As an entrepreneur, you’re especially wary of that word. More often than not, you end up saying yes and regretting the decision later on. You’ll find that this happens all too often in your entrepreneurial career. Most entrepreneurs eventually learn how to say no, even if it means refusing clients or potential customers. Here are some situations in which that word becomes very useful.

Two Overlapping Projects

This happens often when you’re running a small business with a limited staff. People who run a solo business are more prone to this problem as well. You’ll find yourself accepting a project that you simply have no time to do. Most entrepreneurs won’t say no and make time. They’ll sacrifice a night’s sleep, give up their weekend or rush through the project, doing a lacklustre job.

In such situations, saying no actually makes sense. You can tell your clients that you’re already engaged with another project. You can ask them if they can wait until you’re finished before taking on a new one.

A meeting with a friend

 Even mildly successful entrepreneurs face this problem. You’ll suddenly meet a friend at a bar or restaurant and they’ll have a business proposal for you, or they’ll want to introduce you to a friend who might interest you. To be fair, this can be a genuine effort on your friend’s part and lead to a mutually beneficial business deal.

However, such instances are rare. Do them the courtesy of hearing their piece during a short, ten-minute phone call or a brief email. Agree to meet and send your time only if you think that the idea is viable. Otherwise, you need to politely and firmly refuse.

Potential Clients

 Every entrepreneur encounters a nitpicky client or customer who’ll insist on speaking with you before engaging your services. In some cases, there’s a genuine problem or query that need your attention. In most cases, it’s just a client who feels that he has the right to demand your time and expect you to wait on him.

Most entrepreneurs learn to identify such customers quickly. They’re the ones who’ll waste your time asking questions, request several meetings, and still not buy your product or engage your services. You need to learn to say no to such clients after you’ve established that they’re just wasting your time.

Cancelled Meetings 

Entrepreneurs are exceptionally busy and even 30 minutes of your time is valuable. If someone cancels a meeting with you at the last moment, those 30 minutes are wasted. There are times that there’s a real emergency and the cancellation is unavoidable. However, if the person cancels again, you need to stop wasting your time with him and say no if he asks for a meeting again. If the person has a habit of cancelling commitments, he’s not a good business connection to nurture.

These are just few examples in which saying no are important. You’ll encounter several such situations in your career as an entrepreneur. Eventually, you’ll realise that it’s a good habit to cultivate.