Negotiation Pays

Whether a newbie or seasoned business owner, saving money should be high on your list. One of the best ways to do this is to learn to negotiate.

Here are some suggested approaches to save you money:

Bank Fees

Banks have become ‘fee happy’. There are monthly fees for checking/savings accounts, and fees for not meeting balance minimums. Ask to speak to one of the bank managers at a desk. Tell them you were distressed to see a fee on your account. Can they help by waiving the fee? You might also ask if there is a similar type of account that doesn’t incur fees? Either way, your objective is to put more money in your pocket not theirs.

Office Supplies

When purchasing office supplies, ask the representative if they honor internet prices? These prices tend to be much lower than catalog or business customer pricing. In addition, you can also save on delivery fees. My office supply company just initiated new fees for any delivery under $50. As a small business, my order can frequently come in just below that amount. I asked that the fee be waived and it was.

Hotel Rates

After you have checked available discounts and it’s still too pricey, it’s time to call the hotel directly. Call the phone number for the hotel, and not the 800#. Ask for the name of the sales manager or general manager and ask to speak to one of them. Tell them you are a long term customer or will be now that your business requires more travel. Ask if they can assist with the room rate? Mention you would like to get a rate say, below $100/night. The longer you stay for business or vacation, the better the discount. I just had my rate reduced over 35% for a stay in a high demand hotel in Florida.

Organization Membership Rates

Find out who in the organization is responsible for membership recruitment and talk to them. Ask if they have small business rates or if you can join for a six month membership or reduced rate membership? Think about you or your business providing a service to them to help supplement a reduced rate membership.

So, what are you waiting for? Successfully negotiate and you can be saving money right now!

Jill Youngerman teaches CEO 008: Marketing Techniques for Promoting Your Business.

Integration

And diversity. No, I’m not talking about school busing.  I’m talking about your marketing mix … or lack thereof ….

So many startups and entrepreneurs are trying to do it on the cheap … so they say, “I only need a website” …. Or, “I need to do PR first”.  Wrong.  So here’s some questions to think about in response to your comments:

  • If you are only putting up a website or doing PR, what’s your value proposition?
  • What’s your messaging platform?
  • Have you established a brand?
  • Do you know who your audiences are?
  • Do you have a logo?
  • A name for your company?
  • Are they trademarked?

A PR folder/press kit?

Are you starting to get my point?

No one way of promoting your company is “THE ANSWER”.  In the 90’s the big ad agencies and companies had Branding departments.  Branding was the answer. It’s not. It’s part of the marketing mix.  Then it was PR. Because it’s cheaper than advertising (allegedly).  Also part of the marketing mix.  Now it’s social media.  Also part of the marketing mix.

None of these efforts can produce results if it lives in a vacuum. They must all be part of one integrated marketing plan, no matter how small your company is (even if it’s only you).  And a lot of it can be done at no cost or cheaply … like social media – Linked In, Facebook, Twitter.  And don’t forget keeping your website up to date – it’s your first impression and if it’s old and has out-of-date stuff on it, it’s not good.

So remember, you can create an integrated marketing program for yourself – remember the messaging and branding need to be consistent. And that way you will actually be saving money and getting more impact for the dollars you do spend.

Sandra Holtzman teaches CEO 035: Licensing.

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