Learning to say no

Learning to say no - Bartercard Australia

Determining what is and is not okay when dealing with your employees, your customers, and your vendors can make or break your long-term success.

As we find ourselves in unprecedented times, it can be difficult to know which way to turn and what to prioritise.

Every business owner has his or her own comfort levels, but knowing how to set limits, saying no when the time is appropriate, and managing expectations is a skill many entrepreneurs learn the hard way.

When the day-to-day workings of your enterprise start to obscure the big picture, it may be time to take a step back. Here are some ideas to help you develop the habits you need to succeed, like setting boundaries and standing by your principles when establishing your company.


Drawing boundaries is an important part of business

There is a difference between a good decision based on your values and one that comes with guilt, coercion, or confusion. The most successful leaders are those who understand the difference.

The road to a successful business is full of potholes, and one of the largest, especially for business owners still gaining confidence, is the unwanted influence of friends and acquaintances. Some people, especially those with prior personal or professional ties to you, expect special treatment.

Avoiding the slippery slope of giving mates’ rates is an important step for any business owner, especially if you are in the process of trying to rebuild your business during COVID-19. When it comes to your company, business is only ever business; friends and family members are not entitled to anything from you that you do not feel comfortable giving. Outside perspectives, from non-professionals, from friendly advice to asking for freebies, should be firmly and politely resisted.


When listening matters

Those who do not know you will be unbiased when offering you feedback and advice. You may not realise this, but your local customer base is more often than not, one of your most trusted professional resources, giving you the tools to grow your brand awareness and support you to succeed.

Drawing from your geographical area and reaching out to those in your community – from sponsoring sports teams to getting involved in local fundraisers – can be a great way to support your local economy while gaining insights from those who only wish you well. Your company identity is based on what your company sells, what services it performs, and your target audience.

Once set, these are fundamentals from which you should not waiver or without a sound strategic reason, despite the appeal of ‘selling out’ in return for a quick payout.


Keep saying yes!

When you learn to say no it actually makes it easier to say yes. Saying no can free up more time to focus on the important work of managing and growing your business. Learn more ways to attract new customers while keeping the ones you already have, whether you have to say yes or no to them!




12th May 2020

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