• Cheri Corfey

Be More Effective By Saying No More Often


It’s amazing how much you’d accomplish if you only learned to say the word, “No,” more often. Or, to be fair, three words, “No, thank you…” work even better. Small business owners are doers, diligent, multitaskers and brainstormers. That admirable, “I can conquer the world,” attitude will also bog you down if you aren’t careful.

Before you know it, you’re saying yes, to so much, all the time – there’s no space for getting your actual work done anymore. That, our go-getters, is a recipe for business disaster OR business owner burnout.

Tips For Balancing Your Yeses with Nos

There are a range of different, “yes’s” we say throughout a business day - and each one is weighted differently. Let’s take a look at some of the broader categories where shifting some yes’s into no’s will make a positive difference.

The demanding customer

Your business was founded on the premise of amazing customer service – going above and beyond the call of duty to make customers happy, right? There’s nothing wrong with that – as long as the customers you’re bending over backwards for are:

  1. The kind that either pay so much that revenue makes up for the fact that working with them is a pain in your backside, OR

  2. The kind of customer who generates so much business, or who’s personal referrals do, that your revenue stream and sales funnel would suffer without them, OR

  3. Not taking your valuable time away from multiple customers, who would occupy the A and B slots if they had a chance, but can’t because you’re spending too much time and/or energy satisfying the high-maintenance customer.

If you’re just trying to make one customer happy, in a sea of happy customers, step back and ask if it’s truly worth it in terms of time, energy and net revenue. If not, politely let them know that you aren’t the right company for them, and refer them to another company or two you feel will be a better fit.

Your business thrives when clients are aligned with you, your company culture, and your company’s values. If that isn’t the case, saying, “No,” now will make room for all the customers you can wait to say, “Yes,” to.

Doing your own payroll and taxes

In the beginning, doing your own payroll and taxes was a smart and savvy way to save money. Perhaps you started out at home, in which case a mild adjustment to TurboTax and a beginner lesson in QuickBooks was all you needed. Now, however, you’re buried.

So, in addition to wasting precious time, your reluctance to say, “Yes,” to a professional CPA is costing you extra because – inevitably – you missing out on valuable tax breaks, incentives, deductions, or credits.

Say, “No,” to doing everything yourself and, “Yes,” to letting professionals take over where it makes the most sense. You’ll never regret it. Hiring someone to take over your payroll and taxes frees you up in ways you never considered. Plus, you’ll gain valuable insight about ways to save money, compensate better, and make sure you’re complying with local, state and federal laws (does that cause you to breathe a sigh of relief or what?).

Too many industry events

Networking is important, but it doesn’t require multiple engagements a week. Instead of saying, “yes,” to every networking opportunity that presents itself, only say, “yes,” when an even - like we mentioned above – is directly aligned with your company, its culture and its values. These are the contacts that keep the good juju flowing. No amount of free food is worth schmoozing with lousy prospects.

Your desire to micromanage and control everything

We see over and over again how small business owners know they have to grow their business, but can’t let go of the reins enough to let others do the work. If you can’t delegate, or won’t hire the people qualified and worthy enough to begin taking over the heavier burdens for you, you will be stuck in a perpetual over-worked cycle, with a business that can’t take off the way it is trying to.

Consider working with a company who specializes in HR for small and medium-sized businesses. These companies are available for small consultations or you can contract with them for a portion of time/duties each month that makes sense for your company and where it’s headed. HR services can help you find the right employees so you can begin training others to take over the “smaller stuff,” allowing you to get on with running your business.

Are you running around like your hair is on fire? Odds are you have a problem saying, “no, thank you” as often as you should. The day you begin saying, “no,” is the day you’ll start being more effective.

Contact us here at Zap Payroll and schedule a consultation. We can do a comprehensive review of your company, staffing, and your day-to-day m.o. and make recommendations that will allow your company to grow in all the right directions.


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