The art of negotiation in the entrepreneurial world

Running a business entails interaction and engagement with different people and various players in the industry. One major component in the entrepreneurial journey is negotiating for your business. You do it when hiring or retaining a staff member, purchasing materials, contracting suppliers, getting into a partnership or marketing and selling your product or services.


As the business owner, you have a major role in representing your venture as its voice and face when you negotiate with another party. The outcome lies heavily on your shoulders, particularly in the early stages when you are still doing things by yourself or leading a very small team.

Negotiation is key to the success of your business. You want the best interest for your venture to move forward, but you also prefer things to be done in a just and fair manner. The sad truth is that not everyone may look after your interest, so you have to approach things cautiously and meticulously. That is why it is important to note a few pertinent things when you are entering into a transaction.

Scan the landscape

Before you go into a negotiation, you have to scan your landscape and evaluate your internal and external environment. Do a SWOT (strength, weakness, opportunity, threat) analysis so that you have an idea of what you can bring to the discussion and what you need to get out of it. Know your worth and be mindful of it throughout the various stages of negotiation.

It is to your advantage to know the background of the other players in the deal. Research about them and see the potential for success for all parties. Preparation is vital before you even begin transacting with others.

Identify your objectives

Focus on the result you want to achieve out of the transaction. Negotiating is a process, and you might get side-tracked along the way. When you have your eyes on your goal, you become more conscious of the type of deal you get into and more discerning of the decisions you have to make.

Build positive relationships

Deals may sound cold and devoid of emotions. Although you should keep your emotions and ego in check while transacting with others, don’t forget to forge relations with the people involved in the negotiations. Create a friendly atmosphere without overdoing it. Take verbal and non-verbal hints while engaging with the other party. Listen intently to what they want to convey and clearly express your stand in the offers.

Plot your strategy and methods

If you already have identified your goals, looked into the big picture and the details, and prepared for the transaction to take place, you can define your strategy and methods. Know your limits and up to which point you can compromise and make concessions. Review possible scenarios and draw alternative plans for each.

Go for a win-win solution

While you are putting your venture’s position first in this deal, also look at things from the perspective of the other party. Have a fair agreement and always aim for a win-win solution. Look at options that are for the good of all those involved, if possible.

Finish the transaction harmoniously

Complete the negotiation by closing the transaction, whether it’s signing a contract or making a sale. Some negotiations may not end up with all parties in accord with the offer. You may arrive at a consensus or not, but maintain a polite disposition at most times. If you cannot reach an agreement, walk away from the negotiation table and settle things amicably.

If you are new to the art of negotiation, do not hesitate to ask entrepreneurs who have been on the journey ahead of you. Being part of a group like EO Melbourne allows you to hear their stories and bring their lessons with you for your personal development and business growth.