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Negotiating: Tips of the trade

9/19/2011

While many small business owners have a background in sales, and are therefore somewhat comfortable negotiating with clients or vendors, others may feel less secure in that situation. In a post for the California Small Business Development Center, consultant Rieva Lesonsky has some advice for those entrepreneurs.

First of all, she says business owners should go into each negotiation knowing precisely what their goals are, so they know what is or is not negotiable before getting to the bargaining table.

After determining those goals, Lesonsky says those negotiating software contracts should aim high. By starting high, they are left with room to adjust and compromise if needed.

Lesonsky also says business owners shouldn't be afraid to ask for help if they truly need it. While attorneys and other experts do come with an additional cost, they may be less expensive than the future consequences of agreeing to terms of use that eventually cause problems.

Finally, she adds that small business owners should take whatever lessons they learn from the experience and use them moving forward. The more negotiations a business owner goes through, the more experienced and confident they'll become.