Previously we talked about knowing how to say “No” to your customers. It is equally important to know when to say “No”. While it’s great that your business is flourishing with a lot of orders coming in, there is a threshold to the number of orders you can handle at once. To maintain the quality of your work, you need to decide which orders to take and which to reject. You can keep these 5 tips in mind to help you decide better.
1. Gathering information about the order
To assess an order, obtain as many details as you can, such as the due date, payment method, the turnaround time etc. You can do this by asking the right questions, thinking about the order, and writing down what you need. You might uncover a few snags that could affect your workflow or ability to produce the order on time. Once you have the information you need, you reduce the number of hidden surprises as you work.
2. Having the right skills
When the job falls outside of your skill scope, you have 2 options: subcontract the job, or simply reject it. While it may be tempting to learn on the job, the consequences can be detrimental. When you don’t have the right equipment and the skills, not only will you make mistakes and delay your order, it will negatively affect your business.
3. Estimating the exact cost
This is important because we all want to accept jobs that are profitable for our business. In the process of completing an order, there may be hidden costs involved, such as hiring an extra hand to complete the job on time or contracting the job. Knowing how much it costs to complete the order from the start until it’s shipped out is essential so that you won’t be surprised by hidden costs. Build a work schedule and pricing matrix that is based on your business data and stick with it.
4. Working with your production schedule
If you’re about to accept a rush order or a complicated job, would you be able to fit it in your production schedule without compromising the other orders? Coordinating jobs and managing your timeline require a bit of planning. This is where having a production schedule helps. When you have one to refer to, you increase productivity and keep your employees happy as well.
5. Knowing your customer
Unfortunately, you will come across a few shifty customers that will give you a hard time. They may have a reputation of continually adding more work or changing the order details, forcing you to restart from square one. Or worse, they could be scammers claiming to need a “favor.” Identifying bad customers will save you time and effort that is better spent on your business. If there is something about the job that doesn’t feel right to you, listen to your gut and politely decline them.
Once you can confidently decide that it is better not to accept a customer’s order, you shouldn’t feel guilty about saying “No.” It is better to be safe than sorry.