Hello, hello Boss Babes! We’re back with another helpful small business tips post. Put your hair in a top knot, fill up your mug, & let’s do this! The topic is how & when to say ‘no’ for your business. This is something you don’t think about when you get started because you spend so much time trying to find people who will say ‘Yes!’, but once you get the ball rolling you won’t have the time & resources for everything that hits your inbox. We asked 10 Boss Babes how they decide if something is right for their business and here’s what they had to say about it.
It’s okay to say ‘no’ and they share how you can do it with grace towards others while practicing self care for yourself. Your time & mental state are important and knowing what to take on vs. what not to take on will be such a good tool to have in your kit. Enjoy the amazing advice from these ladies & stay boss. xx
“I say no when it’s not a portfolio builder for me, because I feel like I’m still curating and building the right portfolio that will help me get more work. So when it’s ongoing work, or something that is only part of a project utilizing the existing brand, etc, I usually say no.”
Los Angeles, CA
“What's really helped me is to give myself a narrow focus for a predetermined length of time. Right now, I'm in a 90-day focus and I am saying no to anything that doesn't fit within my focus (which is getting ready for my first tradeshow and amping up my wholesale presence). It's a win-win because it keeps me focused AND it gives me an "out" for saying no to people - "I'm so sorry, but I just can't right now. I'm really doing a deep dive into getting ready for NSS right now. Can I check back with you in a couple of months?"" And I vet ideas based on whether or not they will propel me forward in my main focus. If they're a good idea, but just not right now, I add them to my Trello boards to revisit later. “
St. Petersburg, FL
“I see this as two separate questions. The best way to be ok with saying 'no' is to know your ideal client and your personal goals. If a client comes your way that can’t add to either of these, let it go. They aren’t a good match and will have more warm and fuzzies towards you if you point them in the right direction to someone else than if you take them as a client and it doesn’t go well!
How to know if an idea is right for your business… TRY IT! You never know unless you try! Most ideas won’t stick, but out of trying you may discover knew ways of doing the same thing! Experimentation is good! No matter what happens you will walk away with some insight into your business.”
St. Petersburg, FL
"I recently said 'no' because I realized it would probably just be way too stressful. I’ve just finished months of intense work and this fun offer came in, but with a deadline that meant the short two week break I so badly need right now was gonna go out the window. I was about to say yes when I realized it wouldn’t be fun given the timing and my lack of energy and it would have an impact on my family and my kids. It wasn’t worth it. Need to listen to our bodies and minds and realize our limits."
"No is a word I have been using a lot lately! I think in the beginning you're tempted to say 'yes' to everything to make money... and depending on what your business is, that can be smart. But in the long run, in order for your business to be successful, you HAVE to clearly define what you do and what you don’t do. Saying 'yes' to things that are all over the place, and don’t really align with what you are trying to accomplish will spread you too thin. You will also waste time on things that A) aren’t a part of your long term goals B) take up time you could be spending on things you ACTUALLY want to be doing (making it not worth the money) and C) burning you out. Ultimately, don’t say 'yes' to things that don’t serve you or your business! Eventually, your audience will be just as defined as your business and you’ll stop getting irrelevant inquiries and START getting your dream clients and opportunities. That’s not to say of course if you are feeling you need a change up, or maybe aren’t sure what path to take that you shouldn’t say 'yes'. Saying 'yes' in the beginning is what helped me define what I did and didn’t want to do."
St. Petersburg, FL
“You need to be able to confidently and consistently say no to anything that doesn’t align with your business’ values and mission, even if that means saying no to customer requests. At Valhalla, we’ve had several suggestions to source our clothing from newly manufactured clothing but that decision does not align with our circular model for sustainability. It also doesn’t align with our commitment to not support slave labor or socially unjust labor practices.”
"I use a brief questionnaire to screen clients and generally follow my gut. I have found that when I don't follow my gut or screen that I can end up in a situation that does not bring out my best work. It's hard for me to say 'no thank you', especially now as I'm still establishing here in Florida but I remind myself that if it doesn't feel right, it probably won't turn out in a way I am proud of or be portfolio building. And the whole reason I started working for myself was to have time flexibility and if I'm sacrificing my time for clients I don't vibe with, it's just not worth it."
St. Petersburg, FL
“This one is so hard! Especially in the beginning, you’re so excited to have work to do that you want to say yes to every opportunity. Everything goes back to your demand of time. If you’re fully busy and are not earning what you want to be earning, then you have to start saying “no,” raise your prices and be okay with aiming for a new clientele.”
"You get to a point in your life and business where you have to say No to someone or some situations. It's not to be difficult, mean or stingy. You may not just have the time or resources that you can give your all at that moment. No is not permanent. It's situational."