How Saying No Can Lead To You Getting More Done
Entrepreneurs can feel as though they have to do everything, all of the time, otherwise they won't succeed in what they're doing. But what happens when you take on too much and rather than crushing your goals, you end up getting crushed?
When you're first starting out, you might not always get a say in the work that comes your way. But you do get a say in how to manage other people's expectations.
So what should you do when you're asked to complete a job but you've not got the time to dedicate to it? It may sound simple but just say no. You may find that your clients are happy with your honesty and may still consider using your services in the future. So how do you say no in the right way?
Br gracious for the opportunity
Thank them for the opportunity and explain that even though it sounds like an amazing opportunity, it's just the wrong time for you at the moment. Explain that you already have multiple large projects on at the moment that will require a large amount of your time and effort to get right.
You're letting them down gently while still saying that you're not able to complete the project at the moment.
Sometimes saying no can lead to better time management.
Offer a partial solution
If you have a client who wants to work with you on, for example, reworking their entire branding across multiple platforms, but you just don't have the time, one partial solution could be to provide them with a new brand guidelines document. This could then be used by the client themselves (or give to a different agency) to update their branding. While this document may be time-consuming to make, it's still less time-consuming than working out what needs to be changed and where before making the changes.
While this partial solution doesn't give exactly what the client wants, they are now able to go out and help themselves rather than adding to your workload.
Negotiate an achievable deadline
If the client from above still wants you and only you to work on their branding then you're going to have to do a bit of negotiating. Explain to them that you understand that they want the work to be completed at a high standard so you'll have to spend some time working on it. Ask if they have a deadline for the work to be completed and explain that given your workload that might be a bit of a push but would x-date be acceptable. Go back and forth in this way until you have a deadline that you're both happy with.
This way you're still getting the work but the time-scale is on your terms.
Keep the door open for future opportunities
Thank the client for offering you this project and remind them to keep you in mind for any future work that they have.
This is a gracious way of negotiating with someone and asking to be kept in the loop. It can go a long way to ensuring that you're not overlooked the next time they want some work from you.
Set some boundaries
If you don't set yourself any boundaries, you may end up being taken advantage of by some of your clients who want you to work on trivial things that could actually be carried out without your input. Once you've set yourself these boundaries it's essential that you stick to them so you can get more done in the long-run.