Saying "No" to customers can help a small business grow Domino’s Pizza recently announced the launch of its advertising campaign that will tell customers “No!” if they ask to add or remove toppings...


Written by elainerogers
2234 days ago

Hi Ashley,

This article made me smile - like reprimanding a child and saying their behaviour is unacceptable, while respecting the child at the same time. It's important to separate the request from the client/customer, so they understand that it's more about your business model than them as a client.

Quality over quantity - something I need to remind myself of too often - trying to be all things to all possible clients - it wears us out.

Very timely article for me - thank you

Written by SmallBizDiamonds
2233 days ago

Hi Elaine,

I'm so glad this article is effective for you. As small business owners we sometimes try to please more than we actually can instead of standing firm about our offerings and turning client/customer request down when necessary. I love your analogy that it's "like reprimanding a child and saying their behaviour is unacceptable, while respecting the child at the same time" this is so true. I hadn't thought about it in those terms but you are absolutely right! Thank you for reading and I again, glad that the article was a timely piece for you.

Written by denisefay
2236 days ago

I really liked this article. I think new businesses fear saying no because the revenue from the client ultimately pays the bills. And sometimes I think that business owners learn this valuable lesson for themselves.

However, that being said, I think your point Ashley about focus is a great one. When a business starts with a focus in mind - vision and mission of where it wants to go - it does make it easier to say no.

So the key is to start focused on what you want to achieve as a new business and saying no is easier.

Really thoughtful piece.

Take care,


Written by SmallBizDiamonds
2233 days ago

Hi Denise,

I agree with you that having a focus makes saying 'no' so much easier because again you are positioning yourself as THE expert at what you do. A true expert says 'no' to the requests that are beyond the scope of what they do. Thank you for you comment.

Written by bembridge
2236 days ago

Thanks for sharing these thoughts. I agree that knowing when you should say "no" and why you should say "no" are key to being a success. If you have a clear strategy, know what your business and offer is about - and is not about, and what you can and cannot do is key to success over time. It is really hard though - especially when starting out as you keep fretting that any business is better than none. One of my biggest learnings when I set up my small agency years ago was exactly the point of this article - it was something that someone who had set up business told me when I was setting up. Be confident and clear enough when you should say "no". In my case it was the risk of taking on projects at too low a cost when the time could have been better spent looking for better value projects.

Written by SmallBizDiamonds
2233 days ago

Thanks for you comment Gary :) I think you are not the only entrepreneur that struggled with this the problem of taking on too many low cost projects. A lot of times when we are trying to get our name out their (and pay bills as I mentioned in the article) we want to stay in business so we may 'bite off more than we can chew' not realizing that this behavior is more damaging than it is a help for us. The key is be very good at what you do or have to offer and only take on projects or customers that are your ideal clients. The business owner is the expert and should treat their business accordingly even if it means 'no'.

Written by HeatherStone
2238 days ago

SmallBizDiamonds, you said:

"You can't be all things for everyone."

This is one of the best reasons to sometimes say no to customers. It helps you define your brand and the kind of business you are in.

Written by SmallBizDiamonds
2237 days ago

I agree Heather! And all to often I hear small business owners wanting to attempt to please everyone instead of sticking to what they are really good at and turning down requests that are unrealistic for them to achieve. Thanks for reading!

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