On a bright sunny afternoon in July, 2003 a very dear friend phoned with exciting news (news that immediately sent my mind churning like a busted garbage disposal)… he had just bought a pizza shop. Since the deal was done, I wished him luck and told him to call anytime.

What follows is the sad story of a bright man who said “no” to success…

Not long after getting the keys to his new pizzeria… my friend gets a bounced check. So, what does he do? He stops accepting checks. Yep, “they can pay cash – that never bounces.” Flop.

Funny, it’s cheaper to take checks (bounced checks and all) than to take credit cards. Credit card fees are usually around 2%. So – $1,000 in sales from credit cards costs you about $20 in processing fees. Now, statistically, 2% of all checks written to pizzerias bounce, so that’s $20 for every $1,000 in checks. Same cost as credit cards. But, a good check collection company will collect on at least 70% of your bad checks. So, what that really means is that – you’ll be out about $6.00 for every $1,000 worth of checks you receive. Much cheaper than credit cards.

Speaking of credit cards… my friend gets a $50 charge-back. So, what does he do? You got it… he quits taking credit cards. Flop.

I don’t care what the fees are or even if you get an occasional charge-back. If you do not take credit cards you are saying no to an enormous pile of business. And, business you want. People spend more money when paying by check or credit card than they do when using cash.

Speaking of cash… my friend gets tired of having to dig up change to deal with $100 dollar bills – you guessed it - he quits accepting them too. Flop.

He would never take an order 5 minutes before opening time “We open at 11 o’clock.” Flop. And many a time – refused to take an order 20 minutes before closing because he was cleaning up and just wanted to leave and go home. Flop. He quit delivering to a hot neighborhood because it took a little longer to get there during rush hour. Flop. Stopped marketing because it was too expensive. Flop. (I’m not making this stuff up).

Finally, on the brink of financial ruin and mental disintegration – a sale was cobbled together and my friend packed up his shattered dreams and went home.

I’m not trying to bum you out – I just want you to know that saying “yes” allows something to happen. Saying “no” prevents it.

Next time you’re tempted to say no… remember my friend.

TAGS: Marketing

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