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The Crossroad Of Yes-If & No-Because


To strengthen the culture of innovation and set a higher standard for the moat around your business niche, you want to move from a “No-because” to a “Yes-if” mentality.


You must successfully navigate this yes-if/no-because crossroad if your business is to reach its potential.


As you do business, visionaries will bring creative ideas to you. If the idea involves your customer and product niche, the idea deserves a yes-if answer.


An upscale regional retailer approaches us to deliver a premium product we have never produced before. It is in our product niche. Diligently, we begin developing a possible product line. Excited, we commit our product development team, source the packaging and ingredients, do many test runs, and even put it into production as a final test.


We agree to develop the product line with one caveat. The regional retailer will have to buy it from us at a scale large enough for us to make a profit. They will have to buy the product by the truckload.


Unable to commit to that kind of volume, they turn us down. We have made a massive investment and received no return.


We didn’t get the contract, but our antennae are up, and we are prepared for opportunity.


Seneca said that luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity. One year later, a national retailer asks for the same product and we get “lucky!”


Because of our preparation, we get the contract to serve a national retailer on a scale that catapults us into a new realm. Fifteen years later, that product line amounted to over 50% of our business.


Successfully navigating the yes-if/no-because crossroad involves moving from a no-because to a yes-if mentality.


When the regional retailer asked us to produce a new product for them, our reply was “yes-if.” We would make the product if they would buy it from us by the truckload, a scale profitable for us.


Approaching opportunities with a yes-if mentality can prepare you to fully appreciate those opportunities with other clients down the road. A no-because approach can leave you unprepared for what could have been lucrative.


A culture change happens when your business moves from a no-because to a yes-if mentality. In a culture of innovation and growth, the most powerful word is “if” when preceded by the word “yes.”

A yes-if culture focuses on reasons to do something rather than focusing on why they shouldn’t be done. This is true, especially if the opportunity involves your core product or service.


Optimally, 90% of your business resources should focus on your current niche and 10% on a future niche. Yes-if ideas today can be a golden goose for your business tomorrow.


The crossroad of yes-if and no-because navigated successfully is a culture changer for your business. You can lead it there.



Harry T. Jones




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