Everything is Negotiable in Business

Negotiating Terms

Read the Fine Print  and Negotiate.

In business, there is never a shortage of things to negotiate. The key thing to remember is that  EVERYTING is negotiable. This includes:

  • Pricing;
  • Contract terms;
  • Liability clauses;
  • Start dates;
  • Delivery dates;
  • Termination clauses;
  • Etc.

When a vendor asks you to sign their agreement they are starting with the upper hand. The person who supplies the agreement has initial control of the negotiation after all,  the terms and conditions of the agreement have been written with their best interests in mind.

As a business executive, you need to carefully read through any such agreement with your best interests in mind. Frequently, there will be differences in expectations. It is your responsibility as the person planning to sign the agreement to ensure you are comfortable with and fully understand all of the terms and conditions. If not, you need to take steps to understand the agreement and then negotiate the terms and conditions.

Let me ask you a question: If you were going to buy a new car would you consider walking into a dealer, finding the car you liked, and offer to buy it for the MSRP or initial asking price? No way. Well this is exactly what you are doing if you just sign an agreement without  reading through it, understanding it, and pushing back where necessary.

Don’t be swayed by a  sales rep’s response of, “It’s standard industry practice.”  Sometimes standard industry practices are just plain crazy and if you don’t challenge them then by default, you are accepting them.

If you don’t take the time to read and negotiate you may find that:

  • You’ve locked yourself into a 5 year agreement that can’t be changed even if your business needs change;
  • You’ve agreed to unlimited price increases as the vendor sees fit;
  • You’ve agreed to never hire a staffing agency employee directly without paying a substantial fee;
  • You can’t sell certain products/services that compete with a nearby tenant.
  • Your profitability is affected.

The above are just a few select examples of potential ramifications.  There are countless more.

Now whether a vendor wants to negotiate with you or not is up to them but whether you want to accept the deal or not is up to you.  As the saying goes, it takes two to tango.  When it comes to negotiation though, the question is, “Do you want to lead?”

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Graham Acreman
President, Stellacon Solutions
graham.acreman@stellacon.com

Priorities – If You Want to You Can

accomplish your goals and make things happen

 

Last week we talked about priorities from the point of view of a business owner in, “I’m Too Busy” – The Biggest Obstacle to Success. This week we’ll take a different view on priorities.

This version is often expressed in terms of “I don’t have time….” or “I wish I could…”

  • I don’t have time to go to the gym.
  • I wish I could spend more time with my kids.
  • I don’t have time to make a healthy meal.
  • I wish I had time to learn to play an instrument.
  • I wish I could stick to a healthier eating plan.

When it comes down to it, it’s all about priorities and determination. When you truly want to do something it will move up your priority list all on it’s own and you’ll find a way to do it. The key word is “Truly”.

Dieters and smokers are two great examples: they frequently say they want to lose weight or want to quit smoking but they don’t actually do it. Don’t get me wrong, they frequently try but they often don’t have the resolve – they don’t want it bad enough. They want to lose weight but they want to eat out with their friends more. They want to quit smoking but they need to placate their addiction more. On a positive note, it’s the act of failing multiple times that helps build the resolve to actually get it done. This is often why people have to try multiple times in order to be successful.
Resolve and determination also comes into play with people who want to get in shape, learn to play an instrument, or run a marathon. Most people who want to do any of these can – if they are willing to put in the time and effort and make it a priority.

Do you realize that one hour equals just 4% of a day?

It brings to mind one of my favourite quotes by Confucius – “One who wants to do something will find a way. One who doesn’t will find an excuse.”

One more thing to consider – do you realize that the most successful person you know gets the same number of hours each day as you? We all get 24 hours. It’s how you allocate your time and choose your priorities that makes all the difference.

Next Week: Priorities in Your Personal Life

Be in the Know – Get My Latest Content First 

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Graham Acreman
President, Stellacon Solutions
graham.acreman@stellaconsolutions.com

“I’m too busy!!” – The Biggest Obstacle to Success

busy business owner

I’m so busy.”  I hear this all the time.  Another version is, ‘I’m too busy“. Both versions are frequently expressed as an excuse for not achieving a desired goal or for not dealing with an issue that requires attention.  As a business coach, I have two different thought processes around this. This week’s article will examine the first one; as it applies to a business owner.

In business, you are not paid to be busy. You are paid for results. It doesn’t matter whether you’re the owner, an executive, a manager, or a front-line employee. Your overall success depends on results.

Being, “Too busy” is often reflective of poor planning or failure to delegate. I meet many busy business owners who feel they need to do everything themselves. The reality is that when a business is small, an owner is often the go-to person for everything. That said, as your business matures and continues to grow, an owner can’t be involved in everything to the same level of detail. You have to lead and manage at a higher level. If you don’t, you will become the bottleneck to progress and continued success. Ironically, these owners/managers often have employees who are looking for something to do.  Use your team.

Being too busy” is also is often a sign of avoidance – putting off a necessary but perhaps undesirable action. The thing is, whatever you are trying to avoid isn’t going to go away or get any better in time.  In fact, it will usually get worse and it will consume mental energy. All this to say, if something important needs be done it’s essential that you take action. It’s your job. Either deal with it right away or schedule a time when you will do it.

If you’re, ‘Too busy” then you probably haven’t taken the time to determine what your key goals really are and how you’re going to achieve them. “Success” means different things to different people but if you want to be successful on any level then it’s essential that you take the time to establish your goals and priorities.

Next Week: Priorities in Your Personal Life

Be in the Know – Get My Latest Content First 

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Graham Acreman
President, Stellacon Solutions
graham.acreman@stellaconsolutions.com