Business growth and opportunities are exciting! During the planning stage of starting a business, that’s one of the biggest things that occupies your mind – success. However, with that growth comes a lot of questions and concerns. For example, how do you avoid getting into a bad business deal?
Some clients fail to pay you for your products or services. Others will consistently send their payments late. Clients go out of business, and some do not show any respect for the terms of the agreement. Unfortunately, plans do fall through and clients do not live up to your expectations.
Not every business opportunity will be a dream come true, but if you can follow certain precautions, you can ensure you aren’t taken advantage of. Before you share your brightest ideas and plans, make sure you’ve used the best approach to your negotiation. These tips will help you make the right moves from day one – and save you stress and frustration down the road.
- Listen to Your Gut Feeling
Yes, listening to your gut and first impression walking into a business deal is indeed important. Your gut may be screaming something about a situation or an individual is simply not right. Of course, while your gut is not foolproof, paying attention to your initial thoughts and feelings after your first encounter and doing your homework can in fact save you from walking into something you shouldn’t.
- Pay Attention to Immediate Friction
If there is friction from the very beginning, it’s best to walk away and wait for a different opportunity to come your way. When there’s problems from day one, it’s a good indicator that it’s only going to get harder with time when challenges arise and hard decisions must be made.
- Understand What Your Client Wants
Instead of assuming you know what your client wants and what their greatest challenges are, listen and understand what the client is really asking or needs. Even if the solution (product or service) is the same, every customer is different. Rather than pushing your product or service on anyone, guide the discussion to gain better insight and discover the best path forward.
- Always Use Written Agreements
Putting things down in writing is very important, regardless of your business type or how large or small your business is. Always be as detailed as possible in negotiating the agreement – even things that seem essential should be confirmed. Before moving forward with any project, make sure all parties involved have a detailed contract.
All in all, whether you’re making an agreement with a financial lender, another company or a client, it’s important to pay attention to all the tiny details. Make sure you understand what is expected, listen to your gut feeling before diving in and get everything in writing. Following these simple steps will help you avoid entering a business deal you’ll regret.
Michael Hollis is a Detroit native who has helped hundreds of business owners with their alternative small business loans solutions. He’s experimented with various occupations: computer programming, dog-training, accounting… But his favorite is the one he’s now doing — providing business funding for hard-working business owners across the country.