negotiation en-US Tips From a Hostage Negotiator That Anyone Can Use <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/tips-from-a-hostage-negotiator-that-anyone-can-use" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="hostage" title="hostage" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you've ever pondered the ins and outs of hostage negotiation, today's your lucky day, punk. Michael E. Witzgall &mdash; tactical consultant,<a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=0615938906&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=RQJG5ELJP2CFESLW"> author</a>, and teacher at the<a href=""> Charlie Mike Enterprises</a>, a hostage rescue and SWAT school &mdash; offers his expert knowledge, divulges a few dos and don'ts of negotiating, and details some of the finer points to remember when somebody's life is on the line. (See also: <a href="">5 Phrases to Avoid While Negotiating</a>)</p> <p>We can all agree that hostage negotiation is a terrible situation for everyone involved, including the actual negotiator. He or she is directly responsible for the survival of those being held hostage. Which is why it's first important to understand why hostage negotiators are so critical in these types of situations. As Witzgall explains it, &quot;If negotiations are allowed to start, 95% of all hostage or barricaded situations are successfully negotiated out.&quot; Compare that to chemical (gas) tactics (a 40% failure rate), sniper attack (80% suspect mortality rate), and a team assault (92% probability that an officer, hostage, or suspect will be injured or die), and you can start to understand why negotiations are favored.</p> <p>But what exactly is the goal of the negotiator? Obviously it's to defuse the situation and get the hostages out alive, but there's more to it.</p> <p>According to Witzgall, there are five main objectives:</p> <ol> <li>Establish a rapport with the suspect(s), thus gaining their trust.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Help calm the situation by creating an atmosphere of stabilization (bad guys and officers).<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Gather intelligence about the suspect(s) and/or hostages.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Gain time.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Keep the suspect from dehumanizing the hostages or committing suicide.</li> </ol> <h2>Types of Hostage Negotiations</h2> <p><span style="font-size: 13px;">Just as there are many objectives of a negotiator, there are different types of negotiators for different types of situations, too.</span></p> <h3>First Responder</h3> <p>As the name indicates, this type of &quot;negotiator&quot; is generally a patrol officer or the point man on a SWAT team. First Responder negotiations, according to Witzgall, are:</p> <ul> <li>Usually done talking through a door or from behind a position of cover.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Difficult at best.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Ad-libbed (often making it up as you go along).<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Very dangerous (a mistake can cause serious problems).<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Done to stall for time until the suspect surrenders or a better plan is developed (or a real negotiator arrives).</li> </ul> <h3>Standard (Team)</h3> <p>This type of negotiation is based on the team concept. Team members are generally highly trained professionals.</p> <ul> <li>Team Leader: Manages the team.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Primary Negotiator: Maintains contact with the suspect.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Secondary Negotiator: Makes recommendations to the primary negotiator on subjects to speak on.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Intelligence Negotiator: Gathers intelligence.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Coach (Psychologist): Listens in.</li> </ul> <h3>Face-to-Face/Close Contact</h3> <p>Like First Responder negotiations, Face-to-Face/Close Contact negotiations are done in very close proximity to the suspect location. &quot;Remember, this is not TV. We do not go sit down next to the suspect and 'chat',&quot; says Witzgall. &quot;The difference between the two concepts is that Close Contact negotiations are done intentionally &mdash; by a member of a negotiations team &mdash; rather than by chance.&quot;</p> <p>In hostage negotiations, there are many invariables, which means that anything can go wrong at any time. Keeping that in mind, Witzgall provides a few dos of negotiating that help facilitate a positive outcome followed by a list of don'ts that can cause the situation to go badly wrong.</p> <h2>&quot;Do's&quot; When Negotiating</h2> <p>Not all of these do's will be relevant to the sort of negotiations most of will enter in our daily lives, but several certainly are.</p> <ul> <li>Be empathetic, reassuring, and credible.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Control your own emotions, stress, and voice.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Keep the suspect(s) talking.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Keep the suspect(s) in decision-making mode.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Encourage a positive outcome.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Understand any demands.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Talk on the suspect(s) level.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Keep any hostages &quot;human.&quot;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Listen (follow the 90/10 Rule &mdash; listen 90% of the time, speak 10%).<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Gather information.</li> </ul> <h2>&quot;Don'ts&quot; When Negotiating</h2> <p>As with the do's, not all of these are applicable in non-hostage contexts, but most are, especially the advice to control our own emotional responses.</p> <ul> <li>Talk too much.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Ask off-the-wall questions.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Be argumentative.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Be pushy.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Use trigger words.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Be defensive.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Get angry.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Make promises.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Get caught in a lie.</li> </ul> <h2>Running the Negotiation</h2> <p>Now that we've established do's and don'ts, let's get to the matter at hand &mdash; the actual negotiation.</p> <p>The suspect has taken hostages for a reason&hellip; because he or she wants or needs something. The goal of the negotiator is to tow the line of the suspect's demands long enough to save those inside, however that may happen. Some things are negotiable, Witzgall says, while others are completely off the table. What things fall into these two categories?</p> <h3>What Can Be Offered</h3> <ul> <li>Food and water. Never more than requested.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Money. This is a good delaying tool.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Cigarettes or other minor comfort Items.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Room or building climate control.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Alcoholic beverage (ONLY after serious consideration).<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Clothing.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Religious material (ONLY after serious consideration).<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Bullet resistant vest/helmet.</li> </ul> <h3>What CANNOT Be Offered</h3> <ul> <li>People.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Weapons.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Ammunition.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Medications / drugs. (Prescription medications may be subject to consideration.)<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Media attention. (Unless it can use it as a tool.)<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Vehicles without a kill-wwitch system.</li> </ul> <h2>What You Should Do If You're Ever in a Hostage Negotiation</h2> <p>Now that we know the basics of hostage negotiation, let's all keep our fingers crossed that we never have to use these skills. If we do have to pull a real-life Kevin Spacey, however, Witzgall offers a few of the finer points to remember.</p> <ul> <li>NEVER trade places with a hostage.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Do not allow third party negotiating (wife, clergy, friends).<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Do not allow it to go mobile.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Take your time.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Obtain something in exchange for demands.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Always work through deadlines.</li> </ul> <p>All in a day's work.</p> <p><em>Few of us will ever need this advice in an actual hostage negotiation, but what about when negotiating a big pruchase like a house or a car? Please share your most intense negotiation in comments!</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="Tips From a Hostage Negotiator That Anyone Can Use" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Mikey Rox</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Life Hacks haggling negotiation stress Mon, 19 May 2014 08:24:23 +0000 Mikey Rox 1139533 at How to Pay Less for Your Next Vacation <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-pay-less-for-your-next-vacation" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="hotel" title="hotel" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You can find really great travel deals online. With numerous price comparison websites for flights, hotels, and car rentals, it's easy to identify the cheapest online options. (See also: <a href="">Get the Lowest Rates From Travel Websites</a>)</p> <p>But the prices you see on the Internet may not be the best deals available. If you're willing to spend some time and effort, you may be able to haggle prices down even more. The downside? You'll have to speak to an actual person and charm your way into lower prices.</p> <p>Not every company will negotiate its prices, but it's worth a try. At best, you get to enjoy lower rates and perhaps some freebies. At worst, you just pay the regular rates. (See also: <a href="">Always Negotiate These Costs</a>)</p> <h2>Hotels</h2> <p>After you check the online rate, make a phone call directly to the hotel. Be careful with the timing of your call. Avoid busy times like during meals or close to the hotel's check-in time.</p> <h3>Speak to a Manager</h3> <p>If the first person who answers the phone won't negotiate, try asking for the sales manager or the front office manager. Explain that you really want to stay there, but the price is too high for you, then ask nicely for a better deal. If you have to, mention that your other option, the hotel's competitor, offers a lower rate.</p> <h3>Ask About Discounts or Perks</h3> <p>Check if the hotel has any special discounts that you can take advantage of. For example, there may be lower rates for members of certain groups or for corporate travelers. The hotel may also have unadvertised packages that could include parking or bar tabs.</p> <p>In some cases, hotels that won't lower their rates may offer complimentary upgrades or throw in freebies like breakfast, parking, Wi-Fi, or spa treatments.</p> <h3>Book Last Minute</h3> <p>As a last resort, call the hotel again the day before your trip. Hotels are more willing to negotiate at the last minute because they don't want the room to be empty. However, if you do this, make sure you have a back up accommodation option with a good cancellation policy in case the hotel is full.</p> <h2>Flights</h2> <p>When it comes to flights, your haggling skills don't come into play as much. However, you still have options. (See also: <a href="">Top Travel Reward Credit Cards</a>)</p> <h3>Book by Phone</h3> <p>You may be able to score a better deal over the phone just because the airline's phone agent has access to more inventory than is available online. For example, you may be able to get a seat on a positioning flight, which happens when the plane flies not strictly to earn ticket revenue, but to get to another airport in time for its next flight.</p> <h3>Ask for a Credit After a Price Drop</h3> <p>You can also call to get a refund or airline credit if the price drops after you make a reservation. Check your ticket conditions; you may have to buy the ticket directly from the airline to take advantage of this price-drop protection.</p> <h3>Ask for Discounts</h3> <p>When you speak to the airline representative on the phone, ask whether they offer any discounts that apply to you, such as student discounts or military discounts. And if you don't mind traveling at ungodly hours or from isolated airports, let the representative know. Both are often offered at discounts.</p> <h2>Cruises</h2> <p>Just like with hotels and airlines, after you get the cruise price online, call the cruise line directly to get another quote. When you call, check for any special discounts and extra fees.</p> <h3>Call a Travel Agent</h3> <p>With these prices as base rates, contact a travel agent and find out what his best price is. A good travel agent who has built close relationships with cruise lines can get you big discounts. Be honest and let him know that you are shopping around for the lowest prices. (See also: <a href="">Hidden Travel Fees</a>)</p> <p>Some travel agents may refuse to work with you, and that's OK. Other travel agents may charge a non-refundable deposit for a consultation; you'll have to decide for yourself if the fee is worth the potential savings of working with that particular travel agent.</p> <p><em>Have you haggled to drive down travel costs? What worked for you?</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="How to Pay Less for Your Next Vacation" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Deia B</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Travel haggling negotiation travel costs Fri, 25 Apr 2014 09:36:19 +0000 Deia B 1136720 at You Should Always Negotiate a Raise: Here Are 10 Reasons Why <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/you-should-always-negotiate-a-raise-here-are-10-reasons-why" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="business man" title="business man" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The idea of negotiation may send you into a tailspin, but recent research indicates you may want to overcome your fear. For many people, the &quot;ask&quot; is a high barrier, one that helps companies across the country keep salaries and, consequently, costs low. According to the experts, salary negotiations offer many benefits to an employee. Surprisingly, they aren't all about the money. (See also: <a href="">How to Win Salary Negotiations</a>)</p> <h2>1. For New Hires, the Money Is on the Table...</h2> <p>Lewis Schiff explains in his book <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=0062253506&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20">Business Brilliant</a> that three out of four new hires accept the first salary they're offered, without negotiation. Meanwhile, he found, nine out of ten HR managers admit being willing to offer a higher starting salary, if only the candidate asks. That means there's a huge potential payoff for just a short conversation.</p> <h2>2. ...And It's Worth a Million Dollars</h2> <p>Over a career lifetime, a 20-minute annual salary negotiation can add almost one million dollars to your bottom line. Let's take a look at fictitious friends Adam and Anna to illustrate. The friends begin their careers at the same company at age 22 with a $50,000 per year annual salary. At each annual performance review, Adam happily accepts the 2% pay increase he's offered. Anna, meanwhile, negotiates an extra 1%, getting herself a 3% annual raise per year. At the end of their careers at age 65, Anna's salary tops out at $178,226 while Adam's reaches just $117,159. Over the course of their careers, Anna earns $977,287.60 more than Adam. (See also: <a href="">Ways to Boost your Take-Home Pay</a>)</p> <h2>3. Negotiating Earns Respect</h2> <p>According to a survey on job negotiation, 84% of bosses have <a href="">more respect for a candidate who negotiates</a> than for one that does not. It doesn't always mean you'll get a salary bump in the current year, but the act of negotiation increases your odds for the future.</p> <h2>4. It Helps Close the Gender Gap</h2> <p>Men are four times as likely to negotiate salary than women, according to Linda Babcock and Sara Laschever, authors of &quot;<a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=0553383876&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20">Women Don't Ask: The High Price of Avoiding Negotiation</a>.&quot; Over the course of a career, lifetime earnings become increasingly disparate as men negotiate more often with each performance review, promotion, or new job. The gender gap, says Babcock in her research, can often more accurately be defined as a <em>negotiation gap</em>. The easiest way to decrease the gulf, for women, is to learn the art of the ask. (See also: <a href="">Why Women Don't Negotiate</a>)</p> <h2>5. It Allows an Early Retirement</h2> <p>According to David Larson, professional negotiator and owner of <a href=""></a>, someone who negotiates an extra 1% increase per year can retire seven years earlier. Negotiate an extra 2% and you can retire 11 years earlier.</p> <h2>6. Even With a Raise, You're Cheaper Than a New Employee</h2> <p>Employee turnover is expensive. In a recent interview Larson said that it costs an employer approximately 150%-250% of an annual salary to hire and train a new worker. Many managers would rather avoid the time and cost of getting someone new up to speed. Your job as a negotiator is to convince your manager (and probably her manager as well) that your pay bump offers the company more benefits than would bringing in a new hire.</p> <h2>7. You Can Ask for Perks Instead of Dollars</h2> <p>Not every employer can offer more money in every situation, no matter how skilled a negotiator you are. You may, however, be able to negotiate for other flexible job perks like more vacation time, a signing bonus, or an altered work schedule.</p> <h2>8. The Odds Are in Your Favor</h2> <p>According to a recent survey, four out of five people who <a href="">asked for a higher salary</a> last year received it. An additional 8% didn't get the raise but did receive additional benefits or incentives. Those are awfully good odds.</p> <h2>9. Life Isn't Fair</h2> <p>Turns out pay raises aren't always awarded to those most deserving, industrious, or ingenious. Larson, who has negotiated more than 700 salaries, admits that pay raises &quot;are never even. Most people get nothing. Some people get more. The ones who get more are the ones who know how to convince their bosses to give them more.&quot; (See also: <a href="">Convincing Your Boss to Let You Work From Home</a>)</p> <h2>10. Your Fears Are Unfounded</h2> <p>Most people don't negotiate salary because they're afraid a new job offer will be rescinded or they'll offend a current boss. According to the professionals, neither is likely to happen, so long as you ask well. When I asked Lori Marcus, executive recruiter and Principal at <a href="">QUAD656</a>, an employee recruitment form, if she's ever seen a hiring manager rescind a job offer, she said, &quot;No. Not for asking for more money.&quot; However, she conceded, &quot;It's all in the approach.&quot; In short, it's important to always be respectful and to frame the conversation in terms of how your pay bump benefits your employer.</p> <p>Of course, knowing why to negotiate is only the first half of the battle. Knowing <a href="">how to negotiate</a> is equally, if not more, important.</p> <p><em>Have you negotiated a salary increase? Did you get it? Please share your experience in comments!</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="You Should Always Negotiate a Raise: Here Are 10 Reasons Why" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Alaina Tweddale</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Career Building negotiation raise salary Mon, 21 Apr 2014 08:36:16 +0000 Alaina Tweddale 1136127 at How to Negotiate Higher Pay at Your Next New Job <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-negotiate-higher-pay-at-your-next-new-job" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="handshake" title="handshake" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Nearly everyone wants to make more money. One of the best ways to get paid more is to ask for more when you are interviewing for a new job.</p> <p>After considering what employment candidates and hiring managers have told me about salary negotiations plus research on this topic, I&#39;ve put together a list of the negotiating tactics that work at key stages of the new hire process. (See also: <a href="">How to Win Every Salary Negotiation</a>)</p> <h2>Develop Your Negotiating Position Before You Interview</h2> <p>Figure out what you want in a job, including the pay, before you start talking to potential employers. Consider all aspects of compensation, including salary, commission, bonus structure, and benefits, which may include healthcare insurance, vacation time, and 401(k) matches.</p> <h3>Determine Your Value</h3> <p><a href="">Consult the professional associations in your field</a> and websites such as <a href=""></a> and <a href=""></a> to determine average salaries based on credentials, years of experience, responsibility levels, and geography.</p> <h3>Research Targeted Employers</h3> <p>Find out how compensation is structured using sites like <a href=""></a>; for example, one company may emphasize performance bonuses while another focuses on outstanding benefits. If possible, talk with current and former employees about how they negotiated pay with these companies. (See also: <a href="">What You Should Learn About the Company Before Your Interview</a>)</p> <h3>Evaluate the Financial Health of Potential Employers</h3> <p>You are more likely to <a href="">negotiate higher pay with a profitable, growing business with a constant demand for talented people</a> than with a struggling one.</p> <p>After gathering information, establish your priorities. Decide what is firm and what is negotiable in terms of salary and other forms of compensation.</p> <h2>Be Ready to Talk About Money, but Focus on Non-Money Issues</h2> <p>Avoid discussions of money during your first interview so that you and the employer can focus on company needs and job requirements. (See also: <a href="">4 Questions You Should Ask at Your Job Interview</a>)</p> <h3>Emphasize Your Capabilities</h3> <p>During screening and interviewing sessions, show how you are a good fit with the company&#39;s culture and how your qualifications exceed requirements.</p> <h3>Be Clear That Salary Requirements Depend on Job Requirements</h3> <p>If a potential employer asks about your expectations for annual salary, say the amount depends on the position, work content, level of responsibility, etc. <a href="">Have a number in mind if pressed</a> but avoid pay discussions until you have developed a good understanding of the job duties and have proven you are a desirable candidate.</p> <h3>Be Ready to Answer the Current Salary Question</h3> <p>Be prepared to answer questions such as <a href="">&quot;what is your current salary?&quot;</a> or &quot;do you have another offer?&quot; Show confidence in your abilities, even if you are not currently compensated well for your expertise. For example, explain that your current or most recent salary was average in the industry because you received an equity stake in a startup as alternate compensation, earned high levels of per-diem pay for a job that required extensive travel, or had a generous benefits plan that included a pension.</p> <p>Above all, make sure you are truly the candidate the hiring manager wants for the job. As the top-rated candidate, you are worth more than others and can command higher-than-average pay.</p> <h2>Negotiate Politely When You Receive an Offer</h2> <p>Wait until you have an offer in hand before you begin negotiations. After receiving an offer via telephone or a face-to-face meeting, ask for a few days to think about your response. Ideally, wait until you receive an official offer letter that details the salary and other forms of compensation before you develop a counteroffer strategy. When you are ready, open pay discussions politely.</p> <h3>Make Your Counteroffer Pleasantly</h3> <p>Show genuine interest in the position and the near guarantee that if the hiring manager upped the offer, you&#39;d most certainly accept. <a href="">For example, you might say &quot;If you were able to do $X, I&#39;d be thrilled to accept</a>.&quot; Stop talking after you make a counteroffer. Let the other party consider your request and respond.</p> <h3>Justify Your Request for More Money</h3> <p>For example, explain that you have ranked as a top-performing sales representative, outshone your peers academically, or improved quality at operations much larger and <a href="">more complex than the one for which you are being considered</a>.</p> <h3>Assure Higher Management of Your Qualifications and Commitment</h3> <p>She may need to get salary approvals from her boss or a committee, so specific reasons why you are worth more are critical. Again, confirm your desire to join the company. The hiring manager needs to know <a href="">that you will accept the job if given higher pay</a> as she doesn&#39;t want to advocate for someone who won&#39;t ultimately accept the position</p> <h3>Be Professional Throughout the Process</h3> <p>If you use questionable tactics, landing the job at the price you want is unlikely. Hiring managers want people who are assertive and articulate about their value, not employees who are rude and demanding. (See also: <a href="">5 Phrases to Avoid When Negotiating</a>)</p> <h3>Make All Your Requests at the Same Time</h3> <p>Don&#39;t ask for (and receive) a higher salary and then push for a better bonus structure at a later date. Say what you want, once. Hiring managers won&#39;t keep advocating for you again and again.</p> <p>Know that many employers expect negotiations. So, when you receive an offer that is below your desired amount, don&#39;t ask &quot;is this offer negotiable?&quot; You don&#39;t need permission to negotiate. Just remember to be respectful in your communications.</p> <h2>Don&#39;t Quit Negotiating If You&#39;ve Been Turned Down</h2> <p>If the employer is unable to give you the pay you want at the moment you ask, but you decide to accept the job anyway, don&#39;t stop trying to get more money. (See also: <a href="">How to Boost Your Take-Home Pay</a>)</p> <h3>Ask for a Review After the Employment Trial Period</h3> <p>In this way, <a href="">you can prove your worth to the hiring manager during the first months on the job</a>. By getting a bump in pay early, you can build on a higher base rate for future merit increases.</p> <h3>Find Out Why You Were Denied</h3> <p>Discover reasons why the company may not be able to extend a higher offer initially. Later, when circumstances change (perhaps the firm receives equity funding or you earn a new professional designation), you can ask for more money based on these updates.</p> <p>Understand that you may not get what you want in a salary negotiation. You can only make a compelling case for higher pay; you can&#39;t force a company to pay the rate you desire. But to earn an amount that is fair to both you and the employer, research market rates, determine and explain why you are an outstanding candidate, make a reasonable counter offer, and keep proving and improving your value after you&#39;ve been hired.</p> <p><em>Have you negotiated for a salary at a new job? What worked for you?</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="How to Negotiate Higher Pay at Your Next New Job" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Julie Rains</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Career and Income negotiation pay raise salary Mon, 02 Dec 2013 10:30:53 +0000 Julie Rains 1098853 at Save Time, Money, and Hassle by Bundling Your Home Repairs <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/save-time-money-and-hassle-by-bundling-your-home-repairs" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="man holding drill" title="man holding drill" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>My family spent most of this year with work crews roaming around our house. The month of March began with the construction of a family room and August concluded with a repaired and refurbished basement. In between, we had a number of smaller repair jobs taken care of. It was stressful and expensive, but we're certain we saved hundreds of dollars in the long run by getting multiple projects done at once. (See also: <a href="">Home Maintenance to Do ASAP</a>)</p> <p>We love our contractor, Steve. He and his cronies have built or repaired things all around our house for years, and we almost always find that he'll discount the price of his work if we ask him to do several jobs during each visit. I suppose it's possible that Steve is just a nice guy and appreciates the business we give him. But my sense is that combining jobs also allows him to buy more materials at a lower bulk price and lets him to coordinate jobs in an efficient way, thus saving costs in the long run.</p> <h2>Never Do One Job at a Time</h2> <p>Everyone has a list of things they need done around the house, but aren't sure where to begin. I would suggest hiring a contractor to handle the biggest job, but also asking if he or she will do some smaller jobs while they're there. Looking to build a backyard deck? Ask about power washing your siding, too. Getting new windows installed? See if crews will replace the gutters while they are on site. (See also: <a href="">Top DIY Jobs Homeowners Should Avoid</a>)</p> <p>Our contractor is usually so pleased to be working on the big and expensive job that he'll consider doing the small jobs for little or no charge. When he built our family room, for instance, he installed motion-detector lights and extra electrical outlets for free. When he refurbished our basement, he patched up a large piece of damaged drywall and put in new light bulbs, and that work never showed up in the final invoice.</p> <p>Combining jobs also allows contractors to keep working if there is bad weather. A rainy day might prevent workers from installing a roof, but they can always come inside and fix your closet door.</p> <h2>Everything in Your House Has a Lifespan</h2> <p>A typical roof will last about 20 to 25 years before it starts to wear out. Carpeting can go about seven years before it starts to get shabby. If you know when something was first installed, you can effectively plan when it might need to be replaced, and possibly combine the project with other jobs on your list. (See also: <a href="">Costly Things New Homeowners Don't Prepare For</a>)</p> <p>When our basement recently flooded, it required us to get new downstairs carpeting. But we also knew the carpet on the upper story was getting old, so we went ahead and asked Steve to arrange for that to be replaced as well. By combining the jobs into a single project, we saved time and some money on a square-foot basis. Steve also agreed to paint our large basement stairwell at a 25% discount while he was there and replaced some light bulbs for free.</p> <h2>Where Do You Find A Good Contractor?</h2> <p>Hiring a contractor can feel like a leap of faith, but there are easy ways you can check on their quality of work and what they charge. We found our contractor through the website of the <a href="">Better Business Bureau</a> (look for a business with no complaints). <a href="" target="_blank">Angie's List</a> is a good way to get customer reviews, but it costs $3.50 per month or $8.99 per year. Community news sites and message boards may also be a great place to look.</p> <p>Perhaps the best resource may be your friends and neighbors. Look on your street for contractors at work and ask the homeowner their opinion, or even ask to see the finished work. Generally speaking, once people find a contractor they like, they are not shy about touting their services.</p> <h2>Find a Contractor Who Can Do It All (Or Knows Someone Who Can)</h2> <p>It's tempting to simply call a plumber when you have a leaky faucet or to just call an electrician when you have a faulty switch. But you will find it easier to combine jobs by instead working directly with a residential contractor with his or her own network of tradesmen.</p> <p>Our contractor does a lot of building construction himself but has relationships with folks ranging from roofers to carpet installers to HVAC experts and even tree removal specialists. He stands behind the quality and speed of their work and ensures we get a fair price. We pay him directly, and he's the only person we ever have to call. This makes it easy for us to bundle jobs together, because he'll coordinate to make sure everyone's working at the same time.</p> <h2>Where Else Can You &quot;Bundle&quot; Services?</h2> <p>Home contractors aren't the only ones who will offer discounts if you ask for more than one job or service. Auto mechanics may also do this. Telecom companies are experts at bundling phone, internet, and television services for less than if you paid separately (just read the fine print). Caterers might offer a discount if you able to book more than one job at a time. Day care centers offer &quot;multi-child&quot; discounts, and you may be able to get similar breaks on babysitting services. It never hurts to ask. And even if you don't get a break on price, combining jobs will at least save time and spare you some hassle. (See also: <a href="">Save Money By Bundling</a>)</p> <p><em>Have you bundled services for a discount with a home repair contractor &mdash; or any other contractor? How much did you save?</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="Save Time, Money, and Hassle by Bundling Your Home Repairs" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Tim Lemke</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Home contractors Home repair negotiation Fri, 13 Sep 2013 10:00:04 +0000 Tim Lemke 982668 at 6 Ways to Haggle Your Way to Cheaper Rent <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-ways-to-haggle-your-way-to-cheaper-rent" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="man at apartment door" title="man at apartment door" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="186" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Don't think that housing negotiations only benefit those who purchase a home. Just about everything is negotiable, and if you fall in love with a rental that's slightly outside your housing budget, there are ways to haggle yourself to a cheaper rate. (See also: <a href="">What's the Right Ratio Between Salary and Rent?</a>)</p> <p>This approach isn't likely to work if you're checking out rentals owned by large management companies. There's usually a set price across the board for all tenants, and some managers aren't going to budge &mdash; not even a little. There is, however, a bit more leeway when renting from a private landlord.</p> <p>You might not be able to negotiate dirt cheap rent, as private landlords have to charge enough rent to cover their costs. But if the monthly rent is more than their expenses, there's some wiggle room.</p> <p>Of course, there's no way to really know how much wiggle room you have. Just go with it, ask for cheaper rent, and then see if the landlord will take your offer.</p> <h2>1. Know the Market</h2> <p>Educate yourself and learn about similar properties in the area. If the landlord's already letting the place go at a price below current market rental rates, you probably won't get the house or apartment for much cheaper. Asking for anything cheaper might offend the landlord. (See also: <a href="">Checking Out a Neighborhood Before You Move In</a>)</p> <p>Drive around local neighborhoods, look through the newspaper, and contact other landlords for pricing information. This can be your bargaining chip. If a rental you're eyeing comes with a high price tag, let the landlord know that you found a similar place for such-and-such price. Learning about cheaper rentals in the area might move the landlord to reduce his rate.</p> <h2>2. Ask Questions</h2> <p>Don't be afraid to ask questions. This not only helps you assess whether the property is right for you and your family, it's also an excellent way to feel out the landlord and gauge whether he's open to negotiations. It all really depends on his motivation.</p> <p>For example, if the property is newly vacant and the landlord doesn't appear to be in a hurry to sign a new tenant, lowering the rent might be the farthest thing from his mind. Not that you can't ask, but if he isn't motivated he might hold out for another tenant. Then again, if an apartment or house has been vacant for several weeks or months, and eagerness is written all over the landlord's face, the ball is in your court.</p> <h2>3. Sell Yourself</h2> <p>The landlord doesn't know you from Adam, and if others are interested in the property, there's really no incentive to choose you. This is really where your negotiation skills come into play.</p> <p>If you go into the situation with the intent of asking for cheaper rent, be ready to sell yourself. Ask yourself, what makes me different from other applicants?</p> <p>Factors that can push your rental application to the top include a good credit history and a solid rental history. Landlords might find this appealing as other applicants may have a few credit problems. A high standard of cleanliness might also help you win points with the landlord, as does stable employment and sufficient income.</p> <h2>4. Get Creative With the Rental Terms</h2> <p>Don't just come out and offer a lower rent price &mdash; have a game plan. For this to work, you've got to offer something in return. Signing a longer lease is one way to sweeten the deal. Most landlords lock tenants into a one-year lease agreement. If you agree to a two-year or a three-year lease in exchange for lower rent, this might be the thing that gets your foot in the door.</p> <p>Yes, the landlord takes a loss each month. But on the flip side, he doesn't have to deal with an empty property next year. (See also: <a href="">What Renting Is Like From the Landlord's POV</a>)</p> <p>Additionally, you can offer to pay one year's rent in advance in return for a discount. The landlord gets his money upfront, thus alleviating any worries that you'll break the lease early.</p> <h2>5. Offer to Handle Certain Repairs or Maintenance</h2> <p>This doesn't mean that you're expected to go in your pocket for every type of repair. If a house needs a new roof or if another major issue occurs, that's totally on the landlord. But for little things that happen around an apartment or house, such as a broken toilet or a broken thermostat, you can take care of these expenses in return for cheaper rent.</p> <p>Now, this can get a bit tricky, as your landlord may try to push all minor repairs on you. For this to work, make it clear that you'll only repair items that break after you've moved into the house, and only up to a certain amount, perhaps $200 per repair.</p> <p>Do a walkthrough of the property before signing the lease and document anything that's damaged or broken to avoid being liable for these repairs. Get the landlord's signature and include this document with your lease paperwork.</p> <p>Another creative approach for cheaper rent: Offer to assist your landlord with maintenance beyond your home. Is there a commons area or park in the community? Perhaps you can mow or tidy the area a few times a week. Is there a rental office? Maybe you can clean the office from time to time. Don't forget to get these agreements in writing.</p> <h2>6. Pay a Higher Security Deposit</h2> <p>Money talks, and if you're trying to haggle your way to cheaper rent, offer a higher security deposit. It doesn't have to be much. If the landlord requires one month's rent as security, maybe you can afford to offer double this amount. (See also: <a href="">Get Your Security Deposit Back When You Move Out</a>)</p> <p><em>Have you negotiated cheaper rent? How?</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="6 Ways to Haggle Your Way to Cheaper Rent" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Mikey Rox</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Real Estate and Housing negotiation rent rental maintenance rental terms Wed, 04 Sep 2013 09:48:29 +0000 Mikey Rox 981552 at Countering: What To Consider Before An Employee Gets Another Offer <div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">Link:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="" target="_blank"></a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/small-business/countering-what-to-consider-before-an-employee-gets-another-offer" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="Countering: What To Consider Before An Employee Gets Another Offer" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><p>If you have any truly great employees on your staff, there will come a day when one of them comes in and tells you that she&rsquo;s received a better offer. But that doesn&rsquo;t mean you&rsquo;ve already lost one of your stars. While an employee may be coming in with the intent to give notice, she&rsquo;ll certainly listen to an offer to match whatever makes that new job so great.</p> <p>That means the next move is yours and you may not have a lot of time to make it. You can ask for a little time to see if you can put together a decent counter-offer, but most of the time, your employees will want to be able to give notice and accept the new gig as soon as possible. You need to know what moves you&rsquo;re willing to make before the topic ever comes up in discussion.</p> <p><strong>Do You Even Want to Make a Counter-Offer?</strong></p> <p>For many of us, the immediate reaction is definitely &ldquo;yes&rdquo; because of the expense and hassle of a change up. You&rsquo;ll have to find a replacement and train him &ndash; and you may be shorthanded in the meanwhile.</p> <p>But unless an employee really is something special, the price of keeping him may actually be too much. Hiring and training a new hire is a one-time expense while a raise gets more expensive over time. Worse, an employee that has gotten a counter-offer once may use an on-going job hunt as a way to guarantee regular salary increases down the line.</p> <p>Weigh the actual costs &ndash; in advance &ndash; and decide whether you&rsquo;re comfortable replacing a given employee or if you&rsquo;d really prefer to keep her on.</p> <p><strong>Find Out Why Your Employee Went Looking</strong></p> <p>The reason one of your employees has a new job offer in hand may not be because of the money. If it&rsquo;s even partly due to the work environment or a personality conflict or perceptions of company health, a raise or better benefits isn&rsquo;t going to satisfy most workers for long. You may discover issues that need to be overcome to keep the rest of your staff satisfied. Those solutions may not involve pay raises or enhanced benefits. They may even help your company propser in the long run.</p> <p>There&rsquo;s another reason to keep truly excellent counter-offers in reserve. If you offer raises to every employee who announces they intend to leave, you&rsquo;ll build a reputation among your staff as a pushover. But if you only rarely make such moves, you will reinforce the value you place on the employees who really do stand out in your company.</p> <p><strong>Decide What Your Upper Limit Is</strong></p> <p>When you consider the cost of hiring a new employee to replace someone who is leaving, it becomes critical to determine exactly how far you&rsquo;re willing to go to keep even the best employees around. Putting a dollar amount in writing long before it becomes a question means that you&rsquo;ll be better equipped in a negotiation. And make no mistake: a counter-offer can be a situation that requires <a target="_blank" href="">great negotiation skills</a>.</p> <p>When you have an upper limit in place, you have more certainty during negotiation, and you&rsquo;ll be better equipped to recognize <a target="_blank" href="">fair outcomes</a>.</p> <p><strong>Everything Needs to Be In Writing</strong></p> <p>Once you know what move you want to make, it&rsquo;s important to put it in writing.</p> <p>If an employee comes to you and you need to make a counter-offer quickly, it may not seem necessary to write down what you have in mind. Just the same, ask for the fifteen minutes necessary to write up your thoughts. It doesn&rsquo;t take much time and it will keep negotiations manageable and impress upon your employees that there is a policy in place.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Thursday Bram</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Small Business Resource Center counter-offer employee retention employees hiring negotiation new hires small business training Wed, 31 Aug 2011 23:27:23 +0000 Thursday Bram 677377 at 8 Bad Financial Habits You Should Drop <div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">Link:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="" target="_blank"></a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/small-business/8-bad-financial-habits-you-should-drop" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="8 Bad Financial Habits You Should Drop" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><p>Bad habits, you may have heard, are just as much work as the good ones.</p> <p>Once you establish a good habit, it's a matter of routine. Imagine having <a href="" target="_blank">routines in place</a> that keep your finances on course. Sounds great, right? To get those good habits in place, you first must face the bad financial habits you have now. Face them, and then drop them like the hot potatoes they are.</p> <p><strong>1. Being Disorganized</strong></p> <p>Disorganization costs money. Lots of money. Money spent on late fees, interest charges, memberships with groups you no longer associate, subscriptions to journals you no longer read, customer invoices that go unpaid, and warranties that never get filed.</p> <p>Guess what the default system for everything is? Disorganization. Without intervention, the world tends toward chaos. This is especially true of desks.</p> <p>That means that if you haven't consciously put systems in place, all the paperwork and upkeep of business finances will morph into a hideous beast of chronic disorder.&nbsp;Don't let your papers stack up, your invoices fall behind, or your payments arrive late.</p> <p><strong>2. Doing Your Own Taxes</strong></p> <p>Unless you <i>are</i> an accountant, it's good business practice to hire one to make sure your taxes are done properly. It isn't that the system is so complicated you could never handle it. It's more that your time is better spent doing what you already know how to do.</p> <p>Doing your own taxes may not get you in trouble with the IRS, but it will probably cost you in taxes you didn't actually have to pay.</p> <p><strong>3. Being Afraid to Get a Loan</strong></p> <p>There are plenty of bad reasons to get a loan. There are also plenty of good reasons.</p> <ul> <li>You might get a low-interest loan and avoid high interest charges on inventory.</li> <li>You might get a loan in order to relocate your business to a bigger and or better location, with a resulting increase in profit.</li> <li>You might need a loan to purchase equipment that will automate some part of your business process, speeding up production and freeing up your employees for more important work.</li> </ul> <p>A good loan is one that will result in your business being able to make more money. Don't let fear keep you from building your business.</p> <p><strong>4. Undervaluing Your Products or Services</strong></p> <p>I recently purchased some handmade baby care items from a friend who is much more craftily inclined than I am. Every piece is high quality, hand-sewn, and detailed.</p> <p>And the amount she charged me? Ridiculously low.</p> <p>I'm no expert in handmade baby gear, but I know a good thing when I see one, and I'm willing to pay a decent amount of money for it. So are your customers, unless you tell them they don't have to.&nbsp;If your products and services are meeting a demand, allow your prices to rise to that demand. Value what you produce as much as your customers do.</p> <p><strong>5. Letting Small Leaks Sink Your Big Ship</strong></p> <p>Two examples: overdraft fees and warranties.</p> <p>Overdraft fees, late fees, and the like, can suck your bank account dry and can mar your financial reputation with potential lenders and investors. It's money spent on nothing but your own disorganization. Don't do that.</p> <p>If you perform any type of warranty work but fail to submit a warranty on time or according to proper procedure, you're doing work for free. Is this your intention? I'm guessing not. Don't do that anymore.</p> <p>Look for the small leaks, because small leaks have a way of becoming big leaks.</p> <p><strong>6. Ignoring Investments That Boost Productivity</strong></p> <p>It may be a new piece of equipment, a new hire, or a new system that will take some time and money to implement. If you know you can increase the overall productivity of your business, you shouldn't ignore the opportunity to do so.</p> <p>There are smart investments that can help your business be a leaner, meaner, profit-producing machine. Or you can stick that money in your pocket and keep chugging along at your current pace.</p> <p><strong>7. Trusting That You are Getting the Best Value</strong></p> <p>Your customers do comparison shopping, and you should as well.</p> <p>Two years ago when you got that new software or signed that phone contract or joined that big box store for better deals on office supplies, it was the best value. Is it still the best value?</p> <p>By doing a little homework every six months or so on your standard operating costs, you can be sure you're not missing out on a better value. And the best part is that you don't always have to switch services or providers. Keep reading...</p> <p><strong>8. Failing to Negotiate</strong></p> <p>Say you do some research on Internet providers and discover that there's a great deal from another source. Don't call your current provider to cancel; call to negotiate.</p> <p>In order to keep your business, your provider might quickly match the competitor's offer, and you're saved both the hassle of switching and the extra money you were paying.</p> <p>Don't be afraid to negotiate. It's not bad manners to negotiate; it's good business.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Annie Mueller</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Small Business Resource Center business investment negotiation office cleanliness organizational skills pricing strategy small business Wed, 24 Aug 2011 21:38:38 +0000 Annie Mueller 667157 at Best Money Tips: How to Negotiate Your Salary <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-how-to-negotiate-your-salary" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="How to Negotiate Your Salary" title="How to Negotiate Your Salary" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some great articles on how to negotiate your salary, what you need to know about down payments, and eating healthy on the road for less.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="">How to Negotiate Your Salary</a> &mdash; When negotiating your salary, be sure to do your homework. [Five Cent Nickel]</p> <p><a href="">Down Payments: What You Need to Know</a> &mdash; If you are making a down payment, be sure you know under what circumstances you would be able to get your money back. [LearnVest]</p> <p><a href="">Eating Healthy on the Road For Less</a> &mdash; Eat healthy on the road by raiding your hotel breakfast bar. [MintLife Blog]</p> <p><a href="">How to Set-Up Financial Goals</a> &mdash; When setting up a financial goal, make sure to plan how you will meet your goal. [Green Panda Treehouse]</p> <p><a href="">Being Frugal: Wacky but Useful Tips</a> &mdash; Be frugal by reusing everyday items in your home. [Moola Days]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="">The Cheapest Airlines to Fly Your Pet On</a> &mdash; If you are flying with your pet, consider using Southwest or JetBlue. [SavvySugar]</p> <p><a href="">Cystic Fibrosis: Do You Know the Symptoms?</a> &mdash; Does your child have a persistent cough? He or she may have cystic fibrosis. [Parenting Squad]</p> <p><a href="">What Makes A Good Savings Account For Short Term Savings</a> &mdash; A good savings account does not require a minimum deposit. [The Digerati Life]</p> <p><a href="">20 Ways to Get Cheap Professional Wedding Photographers &amp; Videographers on a Budget</a> &mdash; Get cheap professional photographers or videographers by hiring a student photographer. [Money Crashers]</p> <p><a href="">Make a DIY Laptop Sleeve Out of a Pillowcase</a> &mdash; Don't spend money on a laptop case. Instead, use a pillowcase to make a sleeve for your laptop! [Lifehacker]</p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="Best Money Tips: How to Negotiate Your Salary" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Ashley Jacobs</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="">Career and Income articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Career and Income best money tips negotiation salary Tue, 31 May 2011 09:48:23 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 553817 at 4 Ways To Negotiate Your Debt When Cash Flow Is Slow <div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">Link:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="" target="_blank"></a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/small-business/4-ways-to-negotiate-your-debt-when-cash-flow-is-slow" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="4 Ways To Negotiate Your Debt When Cash Flow Is Slow" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><p>So, you&rsquo;ve committed the cardinal sin of owning a business: Poor cash flow management. In this challenging economic environment, your debt-saddled customers are taking their sweet time paying their bills (when they pay at all), which translates into you falling behind on paying yours. You&rsquo;re over-leveraged. There&rsquo;s no more wiggle room.</p> <p>Ignoring the problem and simply withholding payment can lead to a barrage of nasty phone calls and letters from a collection agency, since businesses aren&rsquo;t protected from threats and harassment under the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Not to mention the seven-year ding to your credit report.</p> <p>To avoid all of the above, get ahead of the problem and actively negotiate with your creditors to preserve vendor relationships and, ultimately, your business.</p> <h3>Confront the Numbers</h3> <p>Calculate your total business debt amount and analyze the bills to determine how much you can realistically pay. Make a list of your creditors by order of importance. (Which vendor would hurt your business the most by cutting you off? Which account is most past due and in danger of being reported to collections?) Start calling. Note: Settling debt is often not an option with secured debt, which is associated with a tangible piece of equipment or property that can be repossessed. By contrast, there is nothing attached to unsecured debt except a borrower's promise to repay.</p> <h3>Limit the Players Involved</h3> <p>A tete-a-tete only has room for two. Adding a debt settlement firm to the mix tacks on hefty fees while distancing your business from the supplier(s) owed payment. Direct communication is vital, especially if you want these people to work with you in the future. You want to make sure you're in constant communication to let the vendor know you are aware of the situation, and you're actively working on resolving it. Sometimes that is enough to delay turning your account over.</p> <h3>Make a Reasonable Offer</h3> <p>As with everything, timing is key. A vendor or creditor is unlikely to accept a reduced payment if an account does not yet appear as delinquent. Accounts in arrears for 90 to 120 days, however, can be turned over to collections. If paying in full is not achievable, request a &ldquo;workout,&rdquo; under which both parties agree to a reduced debt amount. Most vendors prefer lump sum payments. Some may be willing to agree to a lesser amount (as much as a 30% to 60% reduction off the original debt) repaid over a period of several months, particularly if they think the business is on the verge of declaring bankruptcy. Consider providing a promissory note, personal guaranty or collateral such as a lien against equipment. Explain your situation honestly (in person, rather than a quick email). Give specific dates on when you will make payments and honor them.</p> <h3>Create a Paper Trail</h3> <p>Always request documentation of the debt in question to verify that it belongs to the business. Keep careful notes of conversations with any vendor representatives. Finally, once you reach an agreement and before making payment, request a written copy of the terms, including a statement that the payment(s) to be made will completely fulfill the debt. If that is not feasible, record the conversation if you are in a state that only requires one party (you) to be aware of the recording.</p> <p>By taking a proactive approach and communicating with vendors openly and honestly, you stack the odds in your favor for resolving the debt and engendering vendor loyalty.</p> <p><i><br /> </i></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Margie Fishman</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Small Business Resource Center cash flow management debt collection negotiation small business vendor relations Thu, 19 May 2011 23:43:20 +0000 Margie Fishman 541085 at Negotiating a Lease with Your Potential New Landlord <div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">Link:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="" target="_blank"></a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/small-business/negotiating-a-lease-with-your-potential-new-landlord" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="Stairwell in new office space" title="Stairwell in new office space" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="Negotiating a Lease with Your Potential New Landlord" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><p>Finding the right space for your business is an exercise in negotiation: assuming you're not ready to purchase a commercial property, you're probably looking at renting an office or a work space. Not only do you have to find a space that will provide you with the location and tools to grow your business, but you also have to convince the landlord to give it to you at a price you can afford.</p> <h2>Room to negotiate</h2> <p>On the surface, it may not seem that renting office space offers a lot of room for negotiation. You look for rentals in your price range, tour the property with the landlord or manager, and sign a lease for the amount advertised.</p> <p>The truth, though, is that even if you're talking to a management company that can't negotiate on price, there are many opportunities to make your lease a more equitable contract. From exactly what <a href=";218396076;41475586;v?;lpid=298&amp;openeep=17460&amp;ccsgeep=17460">expenses</a> your rent covers to how far the landlord will go to prepare the unit for you, you have an opportunity to negotiate each step of the lease.</p> <p>If you find that you're dealing with a landlord who tells you upfront that you must take or leave a deal, it's often better to leave it, suggests Stanley Bronstein, a real estate attorney from Scottsdale, Arizona. Bronstein, who has negotiated leases for both landlords and tenants, says:</p> <blockquote> If your landlord is so strong that they are telling you to take it or leave it (even in this market), my inclination would under most circumstances to tell them to take it or leave it. It is only when a prospective tenant is willing to walk away from a deal that they (the tenant) can negotiate from a position of strength. </blockquote> <p>Negotiating on price is often the hardest part of coming to terms on a lease. Because a landlord typically must turn around and pay bills for the property as a whole with a certain percentage of all incoming rents &mdash; taxes, insurance and, in some cases, utilities &mdash; many landlords will stand firm on the rent, no matter how hard you try to negotiate.</p> <p>It's even harder if you're dealing with a management company, rather than an individual landlord. Management companies often have little say in setting rents: you can either pay what they ask or look for rental space elsewhere. If you look at the prices of comparable buildings in the area, however, and you see a significant difference between the space you're looking at and other properties, you may have some wiggle room.</p> <p>If the rent is truly an issue, you may be able to negotiate a lower monthly price if you're willing to sign a longer lease. It does depend on the landlord and it can be a difficult choice. Choosing a longer lease can work against you in some cases: what if your business outgrows the space before the end of the lease?</p> <h2>Negotiate the build-out</h2> <p>As long as the rent itself is not at issue, though, many landlords and even management companies are willing to work with you to ensure that you'll be successful in the space you're renting. Many are even willing to negotiate customizing the space you want to rent to your needs.</p> <p>Many retail and office buildings do not have spaces that will immediately meet your needs; instead landlords work on the assumption that you'll have to improve or, in the case of a new building, finish the space so that it meets your needs. This process, known as "build-out," can be as cosmetic as adding new display cases or as in-depth as rewiring the space to meet specific data needs.</p> <p>When it comes to negotiating, the key question is who will pay for the improvements needed for the space you want to rent. Some landlords will simply write an allotment meant to cover build-out expenses into the lease. Others will handle getting the work done themselves. You can negotiate how much work will be done to the space or how much money your landlord sets aside for the process. You can negotiate every step of the process down to who will get the fixtures when you move out of the space. It's worth remembering, though, that it can be a subjective process: for instance, if the property manager works with a large number of rental units, he may already have the necessary carpenters or other craftsmen available, at prices lower than you can get on your own. Any allotments are also made with the assumption that whoever does the build-out work is a professional &mdash; even if you took wood shop, you probably won't be doing this work yourself.</p> <h2>Potential negotiation points</h2> <p>Other opportunities for negotiation can include every clause in the lease. Bronstein points to the indemnity clause as an example:</p> <blockquote> Often, leases contain clauses where the tenant is expected to indemnify the landlord if the tenant causes a problem. The leases typically do not contain similar language when the landlord causes a problem. Through negotiation, tenants can often get the landlords to put in similar language that protects the tenant under the appropriate circumstances. </blockquote> <p>Other items you can negotiate include up front fees and security deposits, signage, insurance provisions, the repairs the landlord will do, and options for expansion space.</p> <p>It can be difficult to know if you've negotiated the best possible deal, although if it is affordable for your business and gets you the space you need to grow, it's likely a good deal from your prospective. Bronstein says:</p> <blockquote> While it is unfortunate, we live in a world where you typically won't get something unless you ask for it. The bottom line is that the best deals I've seen from a tenant's point of view come when they've "pushed" the landlord to the point where the deal almost died. You can pretty much bet that if your landlord just about killed the deal (or killed it and then revived it) you've gotten about as good of a deal as you're going to get from that landlord on that particular property. </blockquote> <h2>Talk to your attorney</h2> <p>If you're unsure about any part of a lease, it's worth consulting a lawyer before you sign it. Leases are binding contracts, after all, and it's important to be sure that you've gotten a fair deal before you sign. An attorney specializing in real estate can review a lease, as well as negotiate on your behalf.</p> <script type="text/javascript"> federated_media_section = "gold"; </script><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Thursday Bram</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="">Small Business Resource Center articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Entrepreneurship Real Estate and Housing Small Business Resource Center landlord negotiation small business Sat, 13 Feb 2010 20:08:36 +0000 Thursday Bram 4536 at The Advocate's Approach Versus The Creative Approach: Negotiation Techniques For Creative Solutions <div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">Link:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="" target="_blank"></a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/small-business/the-advocates-approach-versus-the-creative-approach-negotiation-techniques-for-creative-solutions" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="Thumbs up" title="Thumbs up" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="The Advocate&#039;s Approach Versus The Creative Approach: Negotiation Techniques For Creative Solutions" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><p>When you start a negotiation, you're looking for a solution to a problem. Whether you're talking to a client, a vendor, or someone else, a negotiation is meant to find a compromise. In many cases, those compromises are simply splitting the difference between what you need and what the other party needs. That approach doesn't necessarily provide an answer that either of you are happy with, though.</p> <p>But what if you could find a solution that provided <a href=";218396076;41475586;v?;lpid=298&amp;openeep=17460&amp;ccsgeep=17460">benefits</a> for everyone involved? What if you could finish a negotiation with a win-win solution? If you start with the goal of a mutually beneficial solution in mind and use an approach meant to get you to that point, it is possible for a negotiation to end with both parties happy.</p> <h2>The Advocate's Approach</h2> <p>The traditional approach to negotiation is sometimes referred to as the advocate's approach: one negotiator advocates for an interested party and tries to get the best possible deal for that party. For an advocate, a successful negotiation is one where the negotiator was able to drive the other party to the edge of walking away from the table, without quite pushing them over.</p> <p>Only one side can win in a negotiation like this. Furthermore, if you take the role of the advocate and you push too hard, you run the risk of winding up with no deal at all. Starting in the 1960s with the Harvard Negotiation Project, it has become increasingly important to find negotiation strategies that were more effective, such as the creative approach.</p> <h2>The Creative Approach</h2> <p>Rather than starting from the idea that there could only be one winner in a negotiation, the creative approach begins with a goal of finding a mutually beneficial solution through negotiation.</p> <p>Mitchell Goozé is the former president of four different divisions of Teledyne, the author of three business books, and has been training buyers and sellers on how to negotiate for over fifteen years. He points to the importance of taking the creative approach.</p> <blockquote>In win-win negotiation you have to try to understand what is important to the other side. If they do not value things you value and vice-versa, it is tough to find a good solution. Most people think compromise is a good solution. However, compromise is really lose-lose. It asks each side to give up something they want in exchange for the other side doing likewise. This is lose-lose. Win-win comes from each side getting something they want. That can only work if you truly understand what the other side really wants, and it is not mutually exclusive from what you want. And it is unlikely that they will tell you what you need to know, so you have hard work to figure it out.</blockquote> <h2>Laying the Groundwork for a Creative Solution</h2> <p>Preparing for a negotiation in which you take the advocate's stance can be as simple as knowing what the best case scenario for your company is when you walk into the negotiation. When you're looking for a creative solution, however, it's important to lay a foundation that will help you find the best possible result for both parties. Goozé says:</p> <p><blockquote>The most important aspect of any negotiation is in the preparation. Most people are not prepared and think they can "wing it." Do not plan to "wing it." Take notes so you know and remember what has been going on. Work on small things first and save the bigger items for later when you are more comfortable that you know the other side. Recognize that there are many, many negotiating tactics that can be used and learn to see them for what they are. Lastly, if the other side is not focused on win-win, make sure you protect yourself.</blockquote> <p>Throughout the negotiation process, it's crucial to keep communication open. While neither you nor the people you're negotiating with may be able to share every last detail of why you feel a particular point is important, the more you can discuss what works and doesn't work about the different options on the table, the more likely you are to wind up with a set of final terms that is worthwhile for both businesses.</p> <p>Explaining as much of your reasoning for preferring one option over another can help both sides work together to find other solutions that meet the same criteria, as well as giving you the opportunity to prioritize that point in the negotiations in exchange for flexibility on one of the points the other party has made a priority.</p> <h2>Keeping the Negotiation Even</h2> <p>If you're working to find a creative solution to your negotiation, you're in big trouble if the other party chooses to take the advocate's approach. If only one side is working towards an equitable answer, it's too easy for the other side to push through terms that aren't exactly mutually beneficial.</p> <p>Goozé advises negotiators to keep a close eye on how the negotiation proceeds and take steps to protect yourself in the event of a problem.</p> <blockquote>You must not lose track of whose side you are on. You must maintain a focus on making sure you get what you need. That does not suggest you have to destroy the other side, but if you focus only on their needs, who is going to watch out for yours?</blockquote> <p>It can be very difficult to reach a creative solution if the other parties involved in the negotiation are focused on getting what they see as the best deal, without considering your side of the matter. It may not be possible to put a creative solution into place, although it's still worth a try: if you can convince them of the benefits of a more equitable solution that you present, you may be able to win them over. Otherwise, you may be forced into a position where you have to take on the advocate's role yourself.</p> <script type="text/javascript"> federated_media_section = "gold"; </script><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Thursday Bram</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="">Small Business Resource Center articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Education & Training Personal Development Small Business Resource Center negotiation small business Wed, 10 Feb 2010 23:00:03 +0000 Thursday Bram 4703 at Negotiating Your Next Sale: Finding the Best Compromise <div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">Link:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="" target="_blank"></a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/small-business/negotiating-your-next-sale-finding-the-best-compromise" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="Business negotiation" title="Business negotiation" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="Negotiating Your Next Sale: Finding the Best Compromise" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><p>Negotiation has been described as the art of compromise: if two people, or businesses, are negotiating, it's very rare that they can both walk away with everything they want. Instead, it's a matter of coming to a compromise that hopefully gives both parties at least something of what they wanted. When you're negotiating a sale, the situation can require even more compromise. Your business likely relies on sales, putting you in the mindset that you'll do anything to win over your <a href=";218395891;41475468;y?;lpid=300&amp;openeep=17460&amp;ccsgeep=17460">customers</a>, but you have to make sure that each sale still offers you enough margin to turn a profit.</p> <p>To come to a compromise, you have to know your priorities going in. When dealing with clients or customers, it's easy to assume that your first priority is making the sale. Depending on the situation, however, your priorities may be more specific than that.</p> <h2>Setting Your Priorities in Negotiating</h2> <p>David Zahn has taught negotiation skills to both consumer packaged goods manufacturers and retailers for more than twenty years. When he trains a new negotiator, Zahn focuses on prioritizing important issues.</p> <blockquote>I emphasize what the goal or objective of the negotiation is &mdash; what one must have versus what would be nice to have. Rather than focus on the mechanics of how to negotiate when face to face and what you expect to receive (price discount, more service, faster delivery, etc.), the negotiation is based on aligning one&rsquo;s needs with what the other party has available to offer.</blockquote> <p>If you absolutely must sell your product for no less than a certain amount in order to turn a profit, that point must be balanced with the needs of your customer, who may only be able to afford to work with you at a certain price point. Zahn says:</p> <blockquote>Compromises are determined by what one wants, but does not necessarily need to have for the successful outcome. Prioritization is based on recognizing the <strong>value</strong> of the points to be negotiated (what is it <strong>worth</strong> to one party may be inversely proportional to what it is worth to someone else).</blockquote> <p>In addition to recognizing the difference between what you need to walk away from the negotiation with and what you want to have in the end, there are other factors that you need to recognize, in order to help you keep your priorities straight, according to the training Zahn offers.</p> <blockquote>I help [new negotiators] distinguish between what is urgent (time sensitive) and what is critical (must have). Often, negotiators will confuse what has a tight deadline with what is essential. The time pressure to get things done <em>now</em> can often distract negotiators into working on things that must be decided <em>now</em> versus what is vital to success. Urgent is not always critical.</blockquote> <h2>Creating a Win-Win Situation</h2> <p>A compromise doesn't have to be a situation where one side loses. If you can bring your needs into alignment with what your fellow negotiator can offer, as Zahn suggests, it is possible to create a win-win compromise. That approach can require thinking out the techniques you use to come to an agreement on price, as well as the other factors in your negotiations with clients.</p> <p><strong>1. Explain your position.</strong> If you've laid out options that you feel will benefit both your business and the business you're negotiating with, you may need to explain the benefits you see. The folks on the other side of the table may not immediately see the benefits you recognize.</p> <p><strong>2. Offer a variety of options.</strong> &quot;Take it or leave it&quot; deals can end with someone walking away from the negotiation fairly quickly. If you can offer a few different options, as well as encourage your fellow negotiator to suggest some solutions, you can keep the negotiation going &mdash; and you may find a better deal than the one you started with.</p> <p><strong>3. Find comparable situations.</strong> It's crucial to have some background on what's considered equitable in your industry. You may be negotiating with a customer or vendor who is unfamiliar with the realities of your industry and why you do things the way you do. Offer them more information to help them understand your negotiations.</p> <p>Additionally, it's important to go in with a mindset that you're looking for a balanced solution, rather than to find a way to &quot;beat&quot; your customer. If you can find a way to benefit both sides with your compromise, you'll more than satisfy your clients &mdash; you likely will convince them to keep bringing their business to your company.</p> <p>It's worth taking a look at what your client needs and wants, besides a lower price. You may be able to negotiate other points of your sale in order to make it a win for both sides. Price isn't always the chief consideration after all: your client may simply need delivery by a specific date or longer payment terms in order to make a lower price a want, rather than a need. If you take a more confrontational approach to working with clients and customers, you may have difficulty learning about their needs and wants, and what you can do to satisfy them.</p> <h2>Recognizing a Good Compromise</h2> <p>When you finalize a negotiation, you'll want to evaluate it and determine if you've really worked out the best compromise you could have gotten. But second-guessing isn't necessary. As Zahn says, you can recognize a good compromise by whether you're pleased with the results.</p> <blockquote>There is no outside arbiter of what is a good outcome or compromise. No one keeps score. If the negotiator feels they achieved what they set out to do, it is a good compromise.</blockquote> <p>There is one indicator, beyond your own satisfaction, that is worth watching for when you're negotiating with clients and customers. If you're receiving repeat business from a company or an individual, they likely feel good about the compromise, as well. That shows that not only have you negotiated a good deal for your own business, but you've come to the best compromise for both you and your customers.</p> <script type="text/javascript"> federated_media_section = "platinum"; </script><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Thursday Bram</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="">Small Business Resource Center articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Small Business Resource Center negotiation small business Mon, 08 Feb 2010 17:22:28 +0000 Thursday Bram 4702 at The Negotiation Comfort Zone: How to Improve Your Negotiation Skills <div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">Link:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="" target="_blank"></a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/small-business/the-negotiation-comfort-zone-how-to-improve-your-negotiation-skills" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="man and woman shaking hands" title="man and woman shaking hands" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="173" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="The Negotiation Comfort Zone: How to Improve Your Negotiation Skills" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><p>Negotiation is not a business tactic that everyone is going to be comfortable with. Reasons vary: It can be intimidating to tell a client or a vendor something that he doesn't want to hear. It can be a matter of cultural comfort zones &mdash; while some cultures encourage negotiations, others view the negotiation process as not much better than an argument. To be a successful business owner, however, it is crucial to be comfortable negotiating, both in casual and formal situations.</p> <p>The situations where you will encounter negotiations can range from the every day, like making a sale to a new client, to the less common, like hiring a new employee. If you're not comfortable negotiating, each of these situations can be stressful and you stand a chance of winding up with terms that don't benefit you.</p> <h2>Getting Used to Negotiation</h2> <p>With negotiations, one of the simplest ways to become more comfortable with the process is practice. The more you negotiate, the less stressful you'll find coming to an agreement. But since, it may not be possible to find a negotiation every time you want to practice your skills, there are several ways to become more comfortable with negotiations before you ever start talking about terms.</p> <p>Saideh Browne, the founder and owner of Impact Speakers Bureau, suggests doing some research to be more comfortable with business negotiations</p> <blockquote>A quick tip on making business negotiations easier is doing background research (due diligence) on the other side; it's really important to know what they want and what you're willing to give.</blockquote> <p>One of the biggest concerns for someone starting a negotiation is the ability to know when the other side is making a reasonable offer. While you may have an ideal end in mind, it's also crucial to know what the best deal is for the person or company your negotiating, and where there's a comfortable balance in the middle. Those details may not just be a matter of money: knowing what a client needs in terms of a delivery schedule or being able to offer a new employee a benefits package can tip the balance just as much as a lower amount of money can.</p> <p>Knowing more about how the people you're planning to talk to negotiate can also be important. Negotiations don't have to be adversarial, but some people do choose tactics that can make a discussion of terms sound more like an argument. It can take some emotional preparation to handle those difficult discussions. To be comfortable in such situations, it is crucial to understand that these negotiations are a question of business, rather than a personal matter.</p> <p>Take that understanding one step beyond and you'll be able to expand your comfort zone for negotiations. While you have a stake in the end result, those results can't be a personal matter, either. Browne also notes:</p> <blockquote>Everybody gets used in a deal &mdash; what matters is the degree to which you allow yourself to be used.</blockquote> <p>It can be a question of attitude, as well. While Browne's assessment that, in every negotiation, each side is going to have to give in to an extent is accurate, author Shel Horowitz offers a positive interpretation.</p> <blockquote>The best advice I have is to approach from a win-win attitude.</blockquote> <h2>Improving Your Negotiation Skills</h2> <p>When you're comfortable with negotiation in general, you're ready to improve upon your existing negotiation skills. There are a variety of techniques that can work in different situations and certain skills, like the ability to notice when the person you're talking to is comfortable with a deal, can come in handy. First and foremost, however, is developing your own abilities to make sure you know what you need from a negotiation.</p> <p>Determining the concessions you're willing to make ahead of time can help you be more comfortable negotiating, as well as improve your chances of walking away with your needs met. Horowitz suggests:</p> <blockquote>Be willing to make concessions that don't matter so much in order to maintain or expand what you really prize. I use the is approach a lot. One example: my eighth book, Grassroots Marketing for Authors and Publishers, which will be out in a few weeks with a major New York publisher. I agented the book myself, and we negotiated several points on the contract. I actually got them to go up 20 percent on the advance, and I held out for one cause without which I wasn't willing to write the book. In return, I also made a number of concessions, such as paying for the cost of the index and writing my own back cover without charging them.</blockquote> <p>Horowitz walked in with a list of points he cared about when it came to his contract. He also knew exactly what he was willing to give in order to achieve his goals. Even a step as simple as sitting down ahead of time and making a list of your own needs and the points where you can afford to give can be a big boost to your negotiations. Identifying those items you don't care about can be a difficult skill to develop, however.</p> <p>You want to walk away from every negotiation with the best possible deal. However, negotiation is the art of compromise: it's rare that you can get the perfect deal. Instead, since you need to be able to offer your vendor, client or negotiating partner concessions that will convince him to give you those most important factors, you have to be able to identify what's truly important. In a deal with deadlines, payment and a host of other details, picking out what will benefit you most is never simple &mdash; even improving the <a href=";218396076;41475586;v?;lpid=298&amp;openeep=17460&amp;ccsgeep=17460">financial terms</a> may not turn a deal into a big win for you. </p> <p>Once you've become comfortable prioritizing your needs for a negotiation, you'll be better equipped to make a deal and you'll likely be more comfortable with the process, as well. Just knowing that you can afford to give in on some points can make conducting a negotiation much easier.</p> <script type="text/javascript"> federated_media_section = "gold"; </script><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Thursday Bram</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="">Small Business Resource Center articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Education & Training Personal Development Small Business Resource Center negotiation small business Thu, 04 Feb 2010 19:54:39 +0000 Thursday Bram 4399 at Take the Long View When Negotiating with Your Vendors <div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">Link:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="" target="_blank"></a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/small-business/take-the-long-view-when-negotiating-with-your-vendors" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="Take the Long View When Negotiating with Your Vendors" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><p>For many businesses, the prices your vendors ask can make or break you. And even if price is no object, your vendors' abilities to deliver products or services on time, while avoiding errors or damaged products can control the fate of your business. However, if you take care to negotiate contracts with your vendors that protect your business, you can create a long-term relationship that will help your business grow.</p> <p>John Olson founded <a href="">Greystone Industries</a> about ten years ago, doing approximately $40,000 in sales his first year. In 2010, Olson is already on track to break $2 million in sales. He attributes his successes in distributing and retailing fountain, pond, and waterfall supplies to the long-term relationships he built early on with his suppliers. Olson says:</p> <blockquote> A vendor&rsquo;s primary goal is to sell their product and grow their market share. Over the years I have observed many companies like mine fail to <strong>create win-win opportunities</strong> for themselves and their vendors. They either fail to take advantage of offers that are available, fail to create new opportunities, or feel the need to try and &quot;beat up&quot; the vendor for pricing and terms. To truly be successful in negotiations one must understand not only their own business but that of their suppliers as well. </blockquote> <h2>Price may not be the bottom line</h2> <p>As long as you're getting a price from your vendor that is close to market prices, you may not have a lot of room to negotiate on price. While it rarely hurts to ask &mdash; it's hard to negotiate better terms if you never even start a negotiation &mdash; it's worth thinking about what terms would really benefit you.</p> <p>A lower price might not be the best deal. If, for instance, you can negotiate a <a href=";218395199;41474888;e?">trade term</a> with a longer window in which to pay for the products you purchase, the price may not matter as much as if you have only thirty days to turn around payment. Think about what you really need in order to make the most money for your business. Of course, if a vendor offers you a price well above what you could expect to pay to another source for the service or merchandise you need, it makes sense to come back with a counter-offer more in line with market prices.</p> <p>Focus on driving an equitable bargain, though. Getting the absolute best price can have consequences, especially if a vendor must cut corners in order to afford offering that price.</p> <h2>Think about the next few years</h2> <p>It's also important to think in terms of working with a vendor for years. If you're willing to take the focus of your negotiations off of price, your vendor may be more interested in working with you in the long run.</p> <p>Phil Marcus, of <a href=""></a>, has negotiated deals for clients as an attorney for more than 35 years. He offers a simple piece of advice for negotiating with any vendor:</p> <blockquote> Don't try to do what in Yiddish is called &quot;hondling.&quot; That is, try to arrive at a fair price that allows the vendor to pay their bills and make a profit so they stay in business, rather than pressing and pressing for a cheaper price. Don't overpay, of course, based on what prices the commodity sells for elsewhere, but act like you want a long-term relationship and you will build one. </blockquote> <h2>Relationships lead to exclusive opportunities</h2> <p>Because of Olson's relationships with his vendors, he's benefited in ways beyond improving the margin between the prices he buys his merchandise and what he sells them for. One of Olson's vendors offered him a private label option: the vendor manufactures products under its own brand as well as with Olson's brand, allowing Olson to sell two different products to his customers. The products are essentially identical, but Olson's customers are able to buy a product that has his name on it, which creates additional sales for both Olson and the manufacturer.</p> <p>The ability to work together with your vendor allows you to create a team effort that can allow both of you to increase profits, no matter what price you've agreed on. It's worth asking your sales rep what opportunities your vendors can provide, especially as you work with him over time. Many reps will go the extra mile to let long-term customers know about special deals and programs.</p> <p>There are ways to negotiate with vendors that will provide you with a financial incentive beyond a lower price, however. Especially if you're selling merchandise retail, many vendors will do what they can to help you sell products &mdash; and keep coming back to buy more. You'll have to look at what options would best be able to help your business, but many vendors will help if you just ask. Olson advices:</p> <blockquote> Have your vendor find your customers. Most manufacturers do not sell directly to dealers or installers. They are however, frequently approached by these potential customers and if you let them know you are receptive to working with them the manufacturer will often be in a position to send customers to you. If you don&rsquo;t ask they generally will not think of it on their own. Many manufacturers and suppliers are happy to provide a link to your company's web site, list your company as a distributor of their products, pay for half or even all of your advertising for their products. </blockquote> <h2>A few tips for price negotiations</h2> <p>If price remains a major consideration for you, there are some steps you can take to negotiate a lower price.</p> <p>You have to offer something that your vendor finds worthwhile, of course: pre-payment or payment within ten days of delivery, for instance, can be useful in negotiating a price lower by anywhere from one to five percent.</p> <p>Purchasing products in larger quantities can also help you negotiate a better per item cost. Many vendors will offer quantity discounts as a matter of course, but you may be able to negotiate even better terms.</p> <p>However, it's usually easier to negotiate these lower prices if you have a long-standing relationship with your vendor, which just makes building a lasting agreement more important.</p> <script type="text/javascript"> federated_media_section = "gold"; </script><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Thursday Bram</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="">Small Business Resource Center articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Entrepreneurship Small Business Resource Center negotiation small business trade terms Fri, 29 Jan 2010 22:41:57 +0000 Thursday Bram 4535 at