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When to say ‘NO’ to business opportunities

When you have decided on a business strategy make sure that you have the discipline to create space for it to succeed. This can mean saying ‘No’ to business that is not part of your core offering.

If you find yourself ‘hedging your bets’ you need to question your commitment to the strategy, or maybe you need to reflect further on the strategy.It is easy for small businesses to succumb to a mindset of ‘business is hard to come by’ and to be inclined to accept every new business opportunity.

This is a particular temptation for growing businesses with spare capacity. But before taking on ‘opportunities’ that are outside your core market positioning you need to ask:

– how does this impact on your operational model? Say ‘No’ if it will put strain on your ability to meet the needs of your core customer base. Introducing complications into your service and delivery model, can lead to problems down the line.

– how will the opportunity impact on your pricing strategy ? Say ‘No’ if it cheapens your offering or compromises your overall pricing strategy.

– how will it impact on market perception of the business? You may have worked hard to differentiate yourself and create a unique selling proposition. You don’t want to undo this good work by confusing the market as to what you stand for.

So unless your strategy is build around being ‘all things to all men’ have the courage to say ‘No’, when an opportunity does not fit with your market positioning.

Likewise, when considering the introduction of a new product or service it is important to reflect on how it will ‘sit’ with the existing range. Should an existing similar product or service be retired to make way for the new, in the interests of keeping your offering simple and focused?

If some of the above feels like putting ‘all your eggs in one basket’ maybe that’s what’s required if the ‘one basket’ requires all your energy, resources and focus to be successful.


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