Every ambitious entrepreneurial leader will fall temptation to get drunk on opportunity.  An optimistic visionary believes anything is possible, and confidence can fool you to pursue anything.  As a team business coaches we often help our clients turn down opportunities in order to focus on their greatest opportunities.  Here are three tips to help you know when “no” is the best answer.

The top 3 reasons a business should just say “No”

1.      The opportunity will damage your brand:  It does not matter if your business is big or small, your business has a reputation and brand identity.  So much of your brand identity is connected to the products and services you offer, as well as the way customers and clients speak about you.  It is wise to say no to opportunities that will cause brand confusion, or inferior work, or damage to your reputation.  Bigger businesses can survive and sometime capitalize on these mistakes, but small businesses may die.

2.      The opportunity will produce sludge in the system:  Every business is the byproduct of the talent of the team and quality of its systems.  In any system greater efficiency leads to greater profits.  Nothing can kill a system more than sludge.  The number one cause for sludge in any business if saying “yes” to opportunities you should have turned down.

3.      The opportunity is birthed prematurely:  Sometimes the best breaks in business happen when you say “yes” to an opportunity that will take you in a whole new direction.  Saying “no”, just because you have never said “yes” to this idea will keep your business static and filled with missed opportunities.  However, when you say “yes” to an opportunity that could take you in a whole new direction you must think through the intended consequences and unintended.  You should say “no” if you are not going to take the time to think purposefully, intentionally and strategically.