In business, you will have to deal with negotiating contracts for all manner of products and services. You may have started your enterprise with a dream of working for yourself and imagined the freedom that would go along with it, but all too quickly reality set in as you had to deal with the day-to-day reality of working in the business. Check out these 5 negotiation tips for start up owners to help you develop this necessary skill for survival in the entrepreneurial jungle.
1. Write down your bottom line figure and stick to it.
When you are negotiating with another person or a company for something you want, whether it is a preferred price on virtual office space, equipment, or a service for your business; it’s important to have a plan before you even start the conversation. Decide what your bottom line is, as far as how much you are prepared to spend, or the quantity you wish to purchase, or whatever is appropriate to the situation, and write it down. Having a clear number in mind will make it easier to stick to this amount as the conversation progresses.
2. Keep your emotions in check
Strong emotions have their place, but the negotiating table is not one of them. If you feel yourself becoming frustrated, angry, or even excited by the process of the negotiations, it’s a sign that you need to step away from the situation to take a break. There is nothing wrong with saying you need to step away and take a few deep breaths to get yourself centered and back on track.
3. You can always walk away
No matter how long you have been negotiating with someone, until the deal is signed, you can choose to get up and walk away. Don’t feel that you have dug-in to the point where you have to continue because you have invested a significant amount of time already. If you come up against something that really is a deal breaker for you, treat it that way.
4. Try to have more than one option available
You will find it easier to negotiate in business if you have a competitive environment. If you are trying to find the best deal on virtual office space rental, knowing that you have other options if you can’t come to terms with the first provider you speak with will make you feel more relaxed when you discuss pricing and terms.
5. Get advice from an experienced attorney
Just because you are in business for yourself doesn’t mean you have to try to do everything by yourself. It pays to get expert help when you need it, including retaining a lawyer to look over any contract before you pull out a pen to sign. He or she can look over the document and confirm that the paperwork matches your understanding of the agreement, and that you won’t get any surprises after the deal has been signed.
Research Analyst, Pacific Business Centers (rebranded as Pacific Workplaces)
Courtney’s research focuses on tracking emerging business trends and best practices – with an emphasis on how they affect business operations, technology, and virtual office trends.