I’m certain every CEO or entrepreneur has pondered this very topic many times over until they truly figured out what makes sense. But it’s not always that cut and dry. There are many other factors to be considered besides producing revenue.
- Philanthropy: Each year, I choose a charity for my company to contribute pro bono work to, which could mean everything from my staff and I volunteering to professional services that we offer to make projects more successful. But I ensure that my decision is very strategic on the targeted charity, because once we are engaged, we are all in and not inclined to stretch ourselves to thin with multiple commitments.
- Will my participation in this project make a significant difference? Whether it be a philanthropic endeavor, or the daily choice of who to confirm as a client or not, our main goal is measurable results. We play to win, so if there are too many moving pieces that aren’t coming together cohesively, or if someone seems to be a “problem child” right away, it just doesn’t make sense.
- Are there unrealistic expectations? Going back to the “problem child” issue, although it took a few years and coming out of the green phase to realize that you can’t sell people cotton candy dreams (big & fluffy on the outside, but they disintegrate to nothing once in your mouth) just because they want you to, and just because you feel that you may be able to fulfill the mission, I am now very blunt and honest about meeting and exceeding expectations. Our company seeks to under sell and over deliver with each client. However, no matter how big or small the check, if there are challenges that a potential client presents that will keep us from delivering on their requirements (budget, platform, controversy, etc.), then we give it to them straight from the beginning and continue to manage realistic goals throughout the engagement.
- Will this adversely effect the brand I have worked to establish? Sometimes, it’s just not worth it. There are some accounts, no matter how lucrative, that will never be a fit for our brand. I truly believe in redemption, and we have helped a lot of clients that consumers and the public may see in a negative light. However, as long as they were willing to do what it takes to turn over a new leaf, I am willing to offer the same grace as I would hope to receive myself. But the moment their actions shift in a manner that is no longer feasible, we’re exiting stage left.