Running your own business is no mean feat, as there are so many factors to consider and to take care of all the time. The key to succeeding in your business is moderation, meaning that you’ll have to have a certain sense of wisdom to know what to prioritize and how much resource to invest in it.
Doing business in an Asian culture has its own set of challenges, especially since the Asian culture encourages polite communication. This involves being very careful not to offend your clients or customers, or even anyone at all, which often makes honesty and direct speech a little difficult as we’re all so conscious about not hurting the feelings of others.
However, being direct and honest is essential in running a business, as it will save you from committing mistakes that cost time, money and other resources. One way you can be more honest in your business dealings and with yourself is to know when to say ‘no’ to someone. These are some of the instances you should say ‘no’ in order to save yourself and your business:
1. ‘No’ to Unfair Wages or Contracts
It’s always important to charge market rates for your products and services as asking for low rates will not only spoil the market, it will jeopardize your business in the long run. You may gain for the short term from under-selling yourself but in the long term, clients and customers will trust those that provide good products and services for a reasonable price that’s on par with market rates. As long as your quality is good, you have to be confident and strike up a deal that’s worth your time and investments.
2. ‘No’ to Overly Demanding Clients
Always set boundaries early in your relationships with your clients to detail what you can deliver and what you can’t. If they accept the conditions of service, but still insist that you go the extra mile time and again, you may want to say ‘no’ to the business relationship, as it won’t be worth your time and effort. This doesn’t mean that you should be rude or antagonistic. Just turn them down in the best way possible, but make it clear that a business relationship is not possible if they cannot respect the terms and conditions set early on.
3. ‘No’ to People who Manipulate You for Free Products or Services
This is especially true for those who have just started their enterprises and find that, while networking, there are many parties who are more than eager to ask you to provide free products or services as this will ‘increase your exposure’. It’s best not to give into these requests and really consider whether you’ll really get the ‘exposure’ you’re promised, or whether you’re being manipulated into working for free.
4. ‘No’ to Overworking All the Time
Starting a business can consume a lot of your time, but you’ll have to discipline yourself and separate work from personal time. a work-life balance is important while building your business, or else you’ll find that you’ll be suffering from mental and physical burnouts. Know when to stop and take a break. This means that you’ll have to work smart and maximize the hours you invest in your enterprise, while making enough time for yourself to refresh, rest and rejuvenate. Be sure to also allocate time maintain your personal relationships with those close to you, especially those who love and support you.
5. ‘No’ to Toxic People in Your Life
Not everyone in your life will support your business idea, or be encouraging to you all the time. However, you have to make a distinction between those who are genuinely concerned about your happiness and wellbeing, as opposed to those who keep on putting you down for the sake of making themselves look more superior or better than you. You will know exactly what a person’s true intentions are after a while, so its best you make a decision to cut that negativity out of your life. Negativity will slowly eat away at your drive and determination to succeed, so you’ll be better off with less people around you, and only a few who will give you the solid encouragement you need.
6. ‘No’ to a Sudden Changes in Goals
Setting goals and milestones are very important at the beginning of your journey into entrepreneurship, but you’ll often find that you’ll be tempted to change your goals halfway. This temptation often arises when the going gets tough. Try you best not to shift the goal posts and change your objectives no matter how hard the situation is. For example, you may want to change your monthly profit goals if things don’t work out after a few months. This may seem like the easy way to do it, but persevere and you’ll find that you can and you will achieve your goals if you’re willing to learn and explore new strategies for success.
7. ‘No’ to Constant Payments on Credit
When you start out on a business enterprise, you’ll meet all sorts of clients and customers. It’ll be good if you determine early on that payments should be made by a certain date and not allow them to owe you for an extended period of time. If possible, insist on being paid by cash or credit card, and chase for late payments. Delayed payments can really break new businesses and even old businesses as well because cash flow is needed for you to sustain your business and pay overhead costs.
8. ‘No’ to Overly Risky Business Propositions
There’s no denying that your decisions are integral in determining the success of your business. This also means that you should consider each and every decision you make especially if it involves things like embarking on a new venture, new investment, partnerships and the like. Consider what it will cost you and your business if the decision fails, and decide if you’re prepared to lose what you may lose if things don’t work out. If the new proposition sounds too good to be true, or costs you too much, consider saying ‘no’ to it and wait for a better opportunity to come along.
9. ‘No’ to Misguided Priorities
Your priorities in growing your business must be guided by your objectives. Always prioritize the tasks that contribute to fulfilling your short term and long term goals. Don’t be distracted by unnecessary endeavors and requests that do nothing for your business. For example, if someone you know asks you for a favor that will take time away from an important business meeting with a client, learn to reject that request firmly but politely. This does not mean you can’t do good works or perform favors for others. It means that you’ll have to decide whether it will disrupt your commitment to your business.
10. ‘No’ to Shortcuts and Corrupt Practices
All businesses face challenges, and it’s always very tempting to take the easy way out. Perhaps you feel that you don’t want to pay and wait for a specific evaluation to be done on your factory before it can begin operations. It would be unwise to use underhanded tactics to gain approval for your operations, as this will cause more problems for you in the future. You may find yourself having to keep on using underhanded ways to cover up one fault after the next, hurting your own resources in the process.
Saying ’no’ does not make you weak or scared. It does not mean that you are rude or impolite. As long as you let people down nicely but firmly, you can get you message across clearly. In fact, saying ‘no’ will increase your esteem and allow people to respect you for your firm but determined nature.