As a small business owner, you’ve probably done your share of negotiating as both a buyer and a seller. In fact, negotiation skills are likely one of the most important tools in your box? whether they’re used to get the best deal on office equipment, to attract the most talented team members, or to land a big sales deal. And, with today’s precarious economy it is more important than ever to get the most for your money, and to get the most money for your efforts.
Inc magazine has several resources that can help you hone your negotiation skills. Start with their main Negotiating page which lists a large catalog of articles that may be of interest. The latest article, 5 Things You Should Never Say While Negotiating, covers 5 negotiation pitfalls and how (and why) you should avoid them. Pay attention to the “Dig Deeper” links in the article, which send you to additional useful resources. Don’t miss Take It Or Leave It: The Only Guide to Negotiating You Will Ever Need, a long and in-depth 2003 article that claims to tell you everything about negotiating you need to know.
For negotiation advice specific to small business, check out the crowdSPRING blog post Negotiation Tips for Small Businesses, Entrepreneurs and Freelancers. The article provides 10 tips with examples of how to put them to use.
Once you’re confident in your negotiation skills, it’s time to use them. The Forbes slide show, 19 things you didn’t know you could negotiate, provides tips for negotiating price breaks on everything from web design to your morning coffee. (Not every example applies to business negotiations, but many do.)