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Learning to say, 'No' Featured

8:00pm EDT July 21, 2002

About a year ago, Dave Bianconi did something many business owners wouldn't even consider. He turned down what could have been a huge corporate account for his 12-year-old pharmaceutical, electromedical and durable medical equipment supply firm.

"Nationwide [Insurance] approached us to work with them as a provider, but their requirements did not fit our true capabilities and strengths," says Bianconi, president of Progressive Medical Inc. in Westerville. "So rather than trying to take on business for the sake of taking on business, we declined."

Bianconi's decision was not as easy as he makes it sound. After all, Progressive's sales grew from $1 million in 1994 to more than $10 million this year, thanks in part to new business.

"It was difficult from the standpoint that you never want to turn away business," Bianconi admits. "But it was not difficult from the standpoint that we weren't a good match."

Progressive's expertise lies in serving workers' compensation claimants, he explains, not general health care clients. Maintaining that niche, he adds, is what makes his company successful.

"To maintain quality, sometimes you have to turn away business," he says. "There's an opportunity out there for someone. It just wasn't for us."