How to Say No as a Small Business Owner

April 5, 2022

Did you read my last post on why you should (sometimes) say no as a small business owner? Have you been waiting anxiously for this post, looking more at how to say no? If you answered yes to the first question, you can find that post here. If you answered yes to the second, wait no longer! Here it is!

First off, before you even say no, remember that people want to feel heard and feel as if they – and their business – are important to you. So rather than saying no immediately, even if you know that is what you will ultimately do, consider asking for time to look into their request. That way, when you do eventually need to say no, they will feel as if they have been given the utmost consideration by you and your company.

Second, consider saying no by saying yes. That is, offering an alternative solution. If the services they are requesting are not something that you provide, perhaps you have something else that might work for them. Or if you simply cannot meet their needs, maybe you know someone who can. This not only is great customer service, but it also strengthens your connections within your network.

Finally, if you do absolutely have to say no, be honest. If you simply do not have the time, resources, or skills to provide what the customer needs, say so. This also lets people know that you are saying no to their request and not to them, which will make them more likely to come back to you down the road when they do need the services that you can provide.

Now before you get started practicing these skills, take a minute and say yes to following me on Facebook or Instagram. That’s where you can go to discuss this and other small business topics. I won’t take no for an answer!

1. The information above does not constitute legal advice, nor does it create an attorney-client relationship. Please consult your attorney with specific questions.
2. As this situation is constantly changing, we will make every effort to stay current on this topic, however this information is provided as general guidance and may not apply to your situation, nor should it be relied upon exclusively. Please consult and confirm with your attorney if you have questions about these updates or their applicability.  
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