6 reasons to say ‘no’ to make more profit

When you start your own trade business, you take every job that comes your way. You should. In those first few months or years, you can’t be too picky. But as time goes by, you’ve got a growing list of customers and a constant stream of work. You’re not worried about your business failing anymore. It’s now okay to start knocking people back. There are 6 reasons why you must say ‘no’ to make more profit.

1. When the price is wrong

Set your rates and stick to them. No exceptions. When you take less money than you feel you deserve, you’ll end up resenting both the job and the customer. Plus, you will probably find that customers who have haggled down a price are the ones that turn out to be a bit of a pain down the road. (I see you nodding… We’ve all had them).

On top of that, they’ll expect their next job with you for the same meagre rate, and even worse, recommend you to their friends and tell them what you charged.

Do yourself a favour and work with customers who are willing to pay you what you’re worth from the start.

2. When it’s a rush job

We’ve all had those inquiries.

Why should you bust your butt and work around the clock to finish a job based on your customers demands when the result is potentially additional stress on you, increased anxiety, lack of sleep and hence put you on the edge to fall sick that will require you to take time off in the long run. No, no, no…

It’s up to you to educate the customer on a reasonable time frame, and to turn the work down if they’re unwilling to budge.

3. When you’re strapped for time and the profit margin is low

You’re already super busy, working long hours but yet another customer is asking you to do a job. ‘How am I going to fit this in?’ you say to yourself.

The first thing to ask yourself is ‘what profit margin does this service provide to the business?’. If the job falls in the ‘low margin’ category, and you are already pushed for time, then this is a great one to recommend to another tradie. Be okay to let it go so you can focus on the higher margin jobs only.

4. When the work doesn’t fit your niche

This is probably the trickiest of all. We all know what kind of work we’re best at – the kind that makes us excited to go to work on a Monday morning. The kind where we feel like we know our stuff – inside and out.

As soon as the talk begins to head in a direction where you’re not comfortable completing the scope of work, or there is a specialist in this area that is better doing that work than you, you need be true to yourself and say no. You have to focus on your true expertise and forget the rest.

5. When it’s just not interesting 

When you’re just getting your feet wet, you’re going to have to take on some jobs that don’t make your eyes glisten. It’s part of the gig. Once you’ve established yourself, there’s no reason to say ‘yes’ to a project that you simply find boring. It’s work you no doubt drag your feet to complete and that isn’t good for your bottom line.

6. When you get that icky feeling

Ever had that customer that sets off your ick-factor? You need to trust your gut on these ones!

As long as you have explained the terms of using your business, such as the call out fee and payment on completion of the works, it us up to the customer to accept these. If they attempt to negotiate these or fight you on them, then they are not the customer for you…Trust your gut from the beginning and you will not find yourself in a compromising situation!

When you take the leap and start saying ‘no’ to work that’s not a good fit and that clearly will affect the result of your bottom line, you open the door (and your calendar) for your next perfect opportunity!

What’s next?

  1. Join our Kick-Ass Tradies Facebook Group, for access to trade business specific conversations, tips and resources, plus a like-minded community of tradies.
  2. Book a 15-minute Game Plan Call with Andy, owner of Dr. DRiP plumbing and co-founder of Lifestyle Tradie, to clarify your priorities and get clear action steps.