Nothing hurts your business more than not keeping your word. As a business owner and entrepreneur, people count on you to deliver, particularly when a time frame is established. Whether it’s a service or to make a payment, not keeping your word sets off a vicious cycle of empty promises and makes you seem untrustworthy.

But we know that ‘life happens’ and while you may be willing, the powers that be may seem to conspire against you, but here are some tips to help you beat that and still stay in integrity.

  • Do not make promises that you don’t intend to keep. This may seem simple but you will be amazed at how many persons walk into an agreement with absolutely no intention of keeping up their end of the bargain. If you are guilty of this, just stop.
  • Speak up and have a conversation with the person. Nothing is wrong with negotiating. If the timing is wrong or if it seems like it can’t be done, then let the party know and have a discussion to reach a mutually beneficial solution.
  • Learn to say ‘NO’ if it doesn’t suit you or your purpose. Do not feel obligated to a person or tied to a particular thing. The opportunity might seem great but if you cannot accommodate based on the given time frame, workload or whatever might be going on in your personal life at the time, then it is best to say ‘no thanks’ rather than to risk ruining your reputation and hurting your brand.
  • Make contractual agreements. This manages expectations because you let the other person know that if something comes up you may not be able to fulfill your duties. Lay your cards on the table and let all parties know what might keep you from holding up your end. Make sure that you stay in constant contact and keep them abreast of the situation.
  • Renegotiate at the earliest possible time. This one is crucial. Unexpected things happen……such is the life we live, but this needs to be communicated. From the moment you realize that there’s no way you will be able to keep your word, inform all the relevant parties and honestly let them know when the earliest you can deliver.

Always remember that when you make a commitment to someone, they are not the only ones affected, the people they‘ve made promises to based on your word are also affected and the cycle continues from there.  Don’t fall into the trap; your business depends on it.

If you loved this or have been affected by persons who have failed to keep their word, let me know in the comments below.

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