5 Steps to Contract Negotiations for Your Small Business

by Evan

As a business owner, you probably already know that to make money, you’re going to have to spend money as well. However, where you don’t want to spend a ton of money that isn’t needed is with your vendors and other contract negotiations. 

For example, when it comes to parcel and freight contract negotiations, you might be better off taking advantage of Shipware parcel shipping services, for example, to make sure you get the best deal possible. Short of hiring someone to help with these negotiations, read on below for a few steps to help you in the short term. 

Identify What You Need

Whether you’re looking for help with shipping services, trying to find someone to clean your office building, or repairing your HVAC unit before the winter sets in, you need to identify what you need from the vendor before you make that call. Take the time to educate yourself, so that you can converse with the vendor about what you need.

For example, if you’re looking for someone to deep clean your offices, you should take the time to research different cleaning types, the estimated footage they’ll need to clean, and even whether they’ll bring their cleaning supplies or not. 

Research Your Possible Vendors Carefully 

Once you know exactly what you need from a particular vendor, it’s time to gather the information that will help you make the right choice for your particular needs. It’s best to ask employees, friends, and even family to help you research the vendors in your area. Ask for referrals from other business owners, so that you can find out who they choose and if they would use that same vendor again. 

The internet is also a great resource for finding out the pros and cons of each vendor you’re considering. Make sure to read the reviews on their website and then go to social media sites, such as Facebook, Twitter, and the like for more reviews as well. 

Choose Three Vendors That Look Promising 

Once you’ve completed all the above steps, choose three of the vendors that look promising to you. Now, you want to choose between big-name vendors and small vendors that might just be starting out but are hungry enough for business that they’ll do an excellent job for you. 

Take your time and weigh the pros and cons of going big or small, then call those vendors, tell them what you need, and ask them to draw up and send you a proposal. By going with the top three vendors on your list, it will help you narrow down your choices and not have a ton of proposals show up on your desk to look through. 

Schedule an Interview

After taking the time to evaluate all three proposals, it’s time to call in the vendors for an interview. Ask the vendor to present their proposal to you and your team, then ask the questions you need answered the most. You can tell a lot about a vendor from the interview process alone. 

Check References/Sign Agreement

Once the interview is complete, you need to check the references of each vendor you’re still considering. Once those references come back shiny clean, decide on a vendor, then sign the contract. Never agree with a vendor without getting everything in writing first, so that the agreement is legally binding. 

These are just a few tips for negotiating contracts with vendors. You can always hire someone to do the negotiating for you as well, which is often easier and more cost-effective in the long run. 

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