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Negotiation Tips for Small Business Owners

Negotiation is a skill that is essential for small business owners. Whether you are negotiating with suppliers, customers, or employees, being able to negotiate effectively can help you get the best possible deal for your business.

Here are some tips for small business owners who want to improve their negotiation skills:


1 – Do your research:

Before you start negotiating, it is important to do your research and understand the other party’s position. This includes knowing their needs, their budget, and their BATNA (best alternative to a negotiated agreement).

2 – Set clear goals:

What do you want to achieve in the negotiation? Are you looking for a lower price, a better contract, or something else? Having clear goals will help you stay focused during the negotiation.

3 – Be prepared to walk away:

If you are not happy with the terms of the negotiation, be prepared to walk away. This will show the other party that you are serious about getting what you want.

4 – Be confident:

Confidence is key in any negotiation. If you believe in yourself and your business, the other party will be more likely to believe in you too. You want to be firm in your negotiations, but you don’t want to come across as rude or pushy.

5 – Be a good listener:

One of the most important skills in negotiation is listening. This means paying attention to what the other party is saying, asking clarifying questions, and summarizing their points back to them. Pay attention to what the other party is saying and ask questions to clarify their position. This will help you understand their needs and build rapport.


6 – Be creative:

Don’t be afraid to think outside the box and come up with creative solutions that meet the needs of both parties. This could involve trading something of value, such as services or products, or finding a win-win solution that benefits everyone involved.

7 – Be professional:

Even if the negotiation gets heated, it is important to stay professional. This means being respectful of the other party and avoiding personal attacks.

8 – Be prepared to compromise:

No negotiation will ever be perfect, so be prepared to give a little in order to get what you want.

9 – End the negotiation on a positive note:

Even if you don’t reach an agreement, try to leave the negotiation on a positive note. This will help you build rapport with the other party and make it more likely that you will be able to negotiate with them in the future.



Negotiation is a complex skill, but it is one that can be learned and improved with practice. By following these tips, you can improve your negotiation skills and get the best possible deals for your small business.

Here are some additional resources for small business owners who want to learn more about negotiation:

  • The Harvard Business Review Guide to Negotiating Effectively
  • Negotiating for Dummies by Michael C. Wheeler
  • Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In by Roger Fisher and William Ury
  • Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It by Chris Voss

I hope these tips help you improve your negotiation skills and get the best possible deals for your small business.

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