If you run your own event business, it’s generally your primary goal to ensure that you have a steady stream of clients so that you can pay your bills and take home a paycheck at the end of the month. But believe it or not, there are sometimes when you should say no to taking on an event job.
Saying no isn’t something that you just have to do sometimes – you should want to do it. Saying no to certain jobs can help you maintain your sanity, increase the demand for your services, and can even protect your reputation.
This is not to say that you should just say no any time an opportunity comes along that you simply don’t feel like taking or that you think may be too difficult, it means that you should be open to saying no when the situation calls for it. Too often, event service providers feel that they have to say yes to anything that is presented to them for fear of missing out. What if the opportunities start to dry up? What if I miss out on a great event that would lead to additional clients? What if I end up needing the money?
These are all valid questions you’ll have to ask yourself during the vetting process, but it’s key that you actually ask these questions and be honest with the responses. If you have a hard time imagining when you would ever say no to a job, then I’ve got a list for you below.
Some Reasons You May Need to Say No
You’re schedule is booked and taking the job would make things tight and stressful.
You’ve been working non-stop for weeks and the job is for the only few days you allowed yourself to take off.
The client has been especially needy and demanding. No matter what you do, they never seem to be happy.
You want to change or expand your offerings but need time to put your plans in place and execute.
The client has been haggling you on price since the beginning. They want the world but don’t want to pay for it.
The return on your time, energy, and financial investment won’t be much if anything. You don’t anticipate getting any additional clients from it either.
Some of these reasons probably seem straightforward, while others may be a stretch for you. The main point is that there are times when you absolutely should say no, and if you don’t, you’ll end up more stressed out and no better off with your business.
How to Say No
Though you may be ready to say no to certain opportunities, how exactly do you go about doing that without burning bridges or closing doors on future opportunities?
When you say ‘no’, be sure that you’re clear with the person making the offer as to why you are saying no.
Let them know if you’d be open to other opportunities in the future. Only do this if you are truly interested in working with them.
Offer to make an introduction to someone else who may be able to do the job.
Maintain a strong relationship with the client if they are someone you truly want to work with at some point.
If you recommended someone to them, be sure to follow up before and after the event to see how things went. After all, your reputation is at stake, too.
No matter your reason for saying no, it should be done with tact and professionalism. As a small business owner, you want to ensure that your reputation stays intact and if you handle the situation poorly or are rude or unresponsive, you could jeopardize future work – not just with them, but with anyone they tell.