Top 10 challenges faced by sole traders


7. Negotiation



If you are fresh from paid employment, there’s a good chance that you’ve never had to tackle the cut and thrust of negotiations.


Once you’re a sole operator, you’ll find that negotiating is part of your daily routine. Can you get a better price from your supplier? What services can you provide your client and at what price? Is there a better deal you can hammer out from an affiliate partner?


Negotiating can take time. Even the sharpest business brains can find the deal-making process a drawn out one. This can be frustrating.


Worse still, some entrepreneurs actively shy away from the confrontation, allowing other parties to get their own way.


The solution?


McGee advises: “Negotiating is about both parties getting a deal that they perceive serves their best interest. It’s kind of like a value proposition – the outcome is the reason that people put their hand in their pocket and make a transaction.”


“If you enter a negotiation from the perspective of what best serves the other party, then you can think about what it is you are offering them, that makes a compelling prospect for them to agree to your request.”


McGee’s top tips:

  • Know what you want AND ask for it – don’t ask, don’t get style, forget the poker face and try the transparent honest broker face.
  • Anticipate what the person you are negotiating with sees as the value proposition in the deal for them – meet their needs to have yours met.
  • Know that this is not your only option – even if it seems like it, there will always be another deal or opportunity, be clear where your line in the sand is and don’t cross it.
  • Go into the negotiation expecting and wanting the best from the conversation – this intention will keep your body language and mind in check.
  • If the conversation appears to be moving into an adversarial space, reframe it and remember previous points – you can be firm and friendly, and so can they.