Having been a lawyer in a previous life, negotiating is something that comes very naturally to me. A wise man once told me, “Everything is negotiable,” and I took that to heart,. So, I am always happy to see if I can get a better deal, and I find the process rather fun (although it does drive my wife batty).
But, I have also come to see that many small business managers are not of the same disposition; they find negotiating challenging at best and something to avoid at worst. And yet, that said, whether they realize it or not, people in small business management know how to negotiate since they do it all of the time. Whether it is trying to get a vendor to offer better terms or haggling over a sale, negotiating is part and parcel with small business management.
In order to stay in business, especially a small business, you need to run a lean ship and keep your overhead low. There is a better way, but it does mean looking for, and negotiating, the best deal when and where you can.
Here are a few places to look to negotiate – or find – a better deal with your small business management:
Did you know that Starbucks spends more on health insurance for its employees than it does buying coffee? The fact that the cost of healthcare has gotten out of control is not news, but this just might be — shopping for healthcare with the new Obamacare state insurance exchanges, going online on October 1, just may save you some money with your small business management.
According to several recent reports, the cost of buying healthcare on the exchanges may be significantly lower than previously thought. Here is a CNN Money headline: “New Yorkers to see 50% drop in health insurance costs in Obamacare exchange.”
So the deal is, look and see what sort of options will be out there come October.
This is where your inherent negotiation skills will come in handy. Find out what vacancy rates are in your area and use that data to negotiate a better deal with your landlord. Good small business tenants are hard to find. Remember, you don’t have to be a large company to save on expenses. You have choices too.
Now, a few larger travel companies are coming to realize that small businesses are an untapped market opportunity and as such, they are creating products and making offers designed specifically for the small business marketplace. But to take advantage of them, you have to look, shop and compare.
For example, my friends here at Concur have a lot of products that can both save you money and add value to your Travel and Expense budget. It would behoove you to check them out.
Bottom line: Saving on overhead by shopping around, looking for specials, and negotiating a better deal is how smart businesses stay in business.
For even more ways to reduce your small business costs, check out Concur’s new ebook on Expense Reporting in 5 Steps.