You have heard of the phrase “the more, the merrier”, right? It means when you have more people, or in this case, more opportunities, things get better for everyone. Unfortunately, that’s not always true, especially in business.

It can be challenging to say no. Saying yes and pursuing opportunities relentlessly is much simpler. However, saying “yes” to everything is not always advisable. In fact, it might hurt your business. Here are seven pointers to help you decide if a business opportunity is right or wrong for you. 

  1. When You are Overextending Yourself

You may not always have the resources to say “yes” to a new opportunity because the timing is unsuitable. Say someone approaches you to form a partnership after purchasing new equipment to increase production.

Although the temptation may be strong, you know your tight budget and inability to free up any employees for the new project. Don’t push yourself too far. Just say “no.”

  1. When Long-Term Costs Exceed Short-Term Benefits

A position with a suitable title or an investor who offers to save your cash-strapped company in exchange for a 50% ownership stake are examples of opportunities that occasionally present an apparent short-term benefit. 

The long-term costs, however, will be significant, as you are well aware. The opportunity with better benefits might have fewer options for career advancement and force you to concentrate on a subject you don’t particularly like. Alternatively, you value independence and control and believe that having a co-owner will only lead to future issues.

  1. When You Don’t Have the Capacity

Knowing how much work your team can take on is essential as a business owner. Opportunities will probably present themselves that you won’t want to miss, but before entrusting your team with more responsibility, carefully assess each member’s capacity for the work they are already doing. To impress your new client, you want to ensure everyone can fulfil new commitments.

  1. When the Numbers Don’t Support the Decision

Even though you might be thrilled and enthusiastic about a business opportunity, you should probably pass if the numbers don’t look promising. Extending an employment offer for a new position or taking on a new cost at the expense of another opportunity are common examples. 

Run the best and worst-case calculations to see what would happen to the business in each scenario before saying “yes” or “no” to an opportunity.

  1. When a Toxic Customer Wants to Do Business 

The chances are that 20% or fewer of your customers are responsible for 80% or more of the external friction your business experiences. Consider letting go of problematic customers so your team can focus its physical and emotional resources on attracting and serving more ideal customers. 

Saying “no” to continuing toxic business relationships can significantly help your business’s success. Passing on toxic clients can lower turnover, improve productivity, and free up your time to concentrate on growing your company.

  1. When a Different Option Could Lead to Better Returns

You must take many risks to run a successful business. Risks are good; it’s hard to succeed without risking failure, and you learn a lot from them. With that said, it is essential to understand the scope of the risk you are facing when presented with an opportunity.

Risks don’t always just involve the possibility of failure. They also pertain to how much you might win. The forgone benefit of an option not chosen is just as significant to consider. In other words, you must consider whether the opportunity in front of you is the best possible. 

Before allocating time, money, and internal resources, be sure to thoroughly assess the range of your options to see if a different decision could result in better returns.

  1. When there’s no chemistry

Collaboration with individuals with similar values, objectives, and philosophies is the only effective way to work together. Never agree to work with someone you don’t know or fundamentally disagree with. You shouldn’t trust someone just because they have a track record of success, look good on paper, or can attract funding. 

In conclusion, business success is a result of a series of decisions. Being mindful of when you say “yes” and “no” is a fundamental step you can take to carve out meaningful entrepreneurial success.

About Dukka

Dukka is a leading bookkeeping and payments app. We provide solutions for bookkeeping, payments, cash flow management, and access to finance for small businesses in Africa. We are building an OS for commerce for African merchants. 

To learn more about what Dukka is doing or to have a general chat, visit


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