The Power of “Yes!” as a Small Business Strategy


Photography Business Institute
Photography Business Institute

I had an experience yesterday at my favorite chain sandwich shop that reminds me of a the #1 small business strategy you have at your disposal.

I requested avocado spread on my sandwich as I have at many chains of this sandwich shop throughout the country. The sandwich maker said, “I can’t put spreads or extras on this sandwich.”

Well the thing is, I know she can. Because other shops of the same brand have before her. I didn’t want to argue, though. There was a line. And it’s not her fault. She’s just following ‘company policy’.

However, if she was an employee of a small business and not a major national chain, what she could have said is, “I can do that for $1.00 more.” I would have said, “Awesome! Thank you.”

When a customer requests something, challenge your engrained rules and conventions. If you can make it happen for them without adding undue costs, pain and frustration to your life, why not do it?

Find a solution to their request.

If the sandwich maker said “I sure can add avocado spread, for $1.00 more” that’s a solution. Then it’s my choice, as a customer, to decide whether it’s worth $1.00 more to me.

Think about what you’re currently saying no to and why. Maybe you say no to weekend sessions. But if they paid double could you say yes? There are lots of times when it’s right to say no, but here are a few times to consider saying yes.

If your clients’ request doesn’t greatly:

  • increase your costs
  • increase the time spent you need to spend on the product or service
  • upset your work / life balance
  • damage your brand or reputation

Stop and consider how you can say yes. Many times we say no without thinking about why. The ability to say yes because you can, because you don’t have any corporate rules you have to follow – that’s your biggest advantage as a small business owner.

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