How do I make an initial offer, and negotiate to buy a business?
Whether you’re comfortable with it or not, negotiating is part of buying a small business. The conversations can be tough, but understanding the fundamentals will make it that much easier to get the price you want.
Here are my seven tips to negotiate your way to the best deal.
1. Before any kind of negotiation, you need know the business inside and out. Make sure you understand the price out in the current market, as well as what the seller wants to get out of the deal.
2. Understanding your body language can give you a great advantage during negotiations. By being open, honest and confident, you’re showing the seller that you’re not hiding anything.
3. Choosing the right place to negotiate is important and removes the chance of a power imbalance, ensuring everyone is as comfortable as possible. Try to find some neutral ground where you can have an open discussion without risk of interference or disruption.
4. Like poker, you don’t want to lay all your cards on the table too soon. Make sure your first offer isn’t your final one. This gives you more wiggle room to negotiate back to the outcome you want.
5. Negotiations are a process and may take some time. Rushing a sale probably won’t result in you getting the best offer, and neither will walking away from a deal prematurely.
6. Anything is possible, so don’t be afraid to ask for what you want. The earlier you make additional requests, the better. You don’t want to throw in extra demands when nearing a final agreement.
7. Be prepared to walk away from a deal if you are unable to come to a reasonable outcome. Every negotiation will be different, so keep your wits about you and make an informed decision based on what you know.
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