Why is Negotiation the Essence of a Small Business?



Negotiation is said to be derived from the French and Latin meaning i.e. “doing business” with the focus on “reaching an agreement”.

Often negotiation follows a period of confrontation however this is definitely not a recommended business plan!

Often the word negotiation is immediately seen as an interaction only with others.

Of course this is correct.  However I would like to take a different tack on how you could think about negotiation initially.

So, who do you negotiate with as a small business owner?

Leigh Powell, Business Mentor,  thinks yourself mostly.

Here are the key considerations you as a small business owner need to “reach agreement” on to confidently make a compelling offer to your market. They all involve additional effort, trade-offs and compromise and apply equally, whether you are starting out or an established small business:

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  • what sacrifices am I prepared to make, what risks am I prepared to take and what resources am I prepared to invest…and for how long to make my business a success?
  • which clients are my target and which are those I will not serve?
  • what price do I charge to ensure the value I bring to the table is rewarded? And I exceed my breakeven costs.
  • how do I continuously focus on my proposition so it is solving a problem, is values based and crystal clear, compelling and targeted…not just a recitation of what I do
  • what will be my markers for success?
  • what framework will I use to keep myself accountable to my vision, plan and goals?
  • how do I create a plan so my priorities and objectives are focused on my vision for success?
  • how do I test my business is scale-able and therefore viable?
  • how will I pre-empt the tipping points in my business so I am prepared and take informed decisions before they happen?
  • What help do I need from whom, to set my business up for success?

These are the key things  you should consider in first reaching agreement with yourself. It will require some confrontation, debate, compromise and then agreement of what to do and what not to do in starting, building and sustaining your business.

Invest this time, get this right and your business will be in great shape to confidently articulate its problem solving value proposition so you can “reach agreement with”/convert existing clients (new business, higher retention or exit), new clients (grow your business with the right clients) and collaborators (who with a clear understanding of your proposition will refer and advocate for you).

 "How to Be a Better Negotiator" was  the theme for one of the YTM Learn Grow Achieve Events in 2018, because whether it’s funding a new initiative, allocating project resources, hiring staff or dealing with a dispute, negotiation is inevitably at the heart of any business.  But few people have ever been taught the fundamentals of how to prepare for or run a negotiation for the best outcomes.

Kerryn called on  one of her network , Nicole Davidson, Mediator | Facilitator | Coach to share her expertise. 

Nicole Davidson is a specialist in negotiation and alternative dispute resolution.  She blends years of legal and commercial experience with a deep understanding of negotiation to deliver practical solutions to her clients. As well is working with clients to develop their own skills in negotiation and conflict resolution, Nicole offers coaching services to assist in live deals. She is also an accredited mediator who can help clients resolve disputes without lengthy, costly legal processes.

The sesssion certainly had  participants thinking about their next negotiation and how they could do it better.

At YTM we transform businesses, by starting conversations between  likeminded others who willingly share their knowledge and expertise and realise that no one achieves anything alone. Check out our coming sessions and make the most of the time you invest in your networking to also leqarn, grow and achieve. 




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Leigh Powell is a Business Strategist and Mentor with Your Time Matters.  He knows that often his clients have vision, expertise and ambitious goals, even if they are just starting out. They don’t need to be told what to do, they need someone who will listen to them respectfully, ask pertinent questions that help to explore the details and implications of their strategy and challenge so that they can identify  and strengthen potential weaknesses in their business. 

His job is to help them lean into what they know they  should do, take responsibility for it, and  turn it into a profitable strategy. 

See other posts from Leigh HERE

Kerryn PowellComment