Grabbing Your Very First Business Deal: A new enterprise’s success depends on its ability to scour opportunities, present a plan, negotiate and sealing the deal.
Entrepreneurs and small business owners have one crucial thing in common. They’re both looking for some kind of early business deal, that they can use as a vine. A deal with a larger business can be used to climb up in the industry circles and thus in higher importance.
It’s fantastic for marketing purposes because the more exposure you have got at such an early stage, the higher the chance of netting some investors. At the very least, your name shall spread throughout the country and social media.
It goes without saying that the deal will also increase your sales, more profit, and forever how long the deal is set to be active in your business shall continue to live.
So many small businesses die in the first 2-3 years because it’s just so hard to grow and compete. A helping hand that can dump some fuel in your engines, and allow you to light the afterburners of expansion, sales and growth is like a lifeline. But the overwhelming amount of business owners who don’t know how to get their first business deal, struggle in this endeavor. A lack of experience can only hold you back so long, you have to actively seek a deal and learn as you go along. Here is some advice on how you can do this.
Seeking for prospects
A go-getter hard-charging business cannot rely on other businesses coming to it. You have to make the first move and that all begins by ordering a search for prospects. Prospecting is the act a business does, which entails searching for the right kind of client that would most likely be needing your services or product. For example, if you were a jeans or denim product maker like Levi, then you would go and speak to online retailers like House of Fraser and store brands like ASOS.
You might also want to speak with fashion shows and designers to see if your products could be showcased in their shows. However you have to commit to a dutiful study to research all the prospective brands around the world that you will reach out to and the kinds of deals you hope to set up.
The act of prospecting should be something your sales department does. If you don’t have a sales department because you’re running a startup for example, then it can be a joint effort among the leading ranked employees.
When the information you need is gathered, you will then ask the sales teams to make initial contact with the businesses as an introduction as to who you are and the reason for your interest. If all goes well, the next thing to do is to set up a formal appointment so your salesperson and their salesperson can discuss this further. Usually this is the responsibility of the higher ranking employees such as managers and c-suite. From the meeting the salesperson needs to find out what the budget of the customer could be and how many units they would require.
The golden hour
Upon a successful meeting and reception from the client, the discussion phase is then passed onto the presentation phase. This shall be the moment when the sale is either sealed or lost. It’s an important part of a business deal as this is the part where you bring out all the guns and fire on all cylinders.
The responsibility of making sure the presentation goes well is with the marketing department. Although the research and development and sales departments will both have speaking roles, the marketing department develops the presentation. This can be done using the standard Microsoft PowerPoint software or other presentation software choices.
After your presentation or during, you must also have a product demo. Showing how the products or services work, using real-world examples both in general and targeted toward the needs of the client are standard practice.
Don’t get into too much detail regarding figures as this will be done in the latter phases of the deal. Give the client time to reflect on what they have seen by having a break after the presentation is done. After a 20 minute break, then you can continue on with the final part of the presentation where you answer all questions and perhaps talk more in depth about any future improvements you plan on making to the product.
Going to the table
Your first business negotiation is going to be nerve-racking. It should be, because you ought to be anxious about something you love doing. It’s always a bit strange when you’re the least experienced in a room, but they all began somewhere also. This is the kind of attitude you can take for the culture or etiquette of negotiations.
However, just because it’s your first time doesn’t mean you can’t fight your corner and make sure the deal you sign up to is not against your interests. The trouble is, many small business owners and entrepreneurs with startups just haven’t had the opportunity to learn or train themselves how to negotiate. Thus, simple mistakes are made. The negotiating team opposite will spot an amateur straight away and chances are they will subtly try to take advantage of your lack of experience.
There are lots of sources you can turn to for negotiation tips and the general stages of the meeting that you’ll be going through. However, the talk will boil down to numbers and the scale that you can achieve. The negotiations might last a few days but eventually the ultimate decision-maker will be involved in saying yes or no.
Upon the conclusion of these meetings, you will then be given a verbal confirmation to go ahead and formulate the contract. Both sides will need to agree with the contract but only one side will be wording it.
Finalizing and sending the contract
The contract shall be created by your legal team. All departments will be involved but only the leading staff will be privy to what is in the contract. This is to keep prying eyes away and leaks from occurring to the press or to the other party.
At this point you should really be focussing on minimizing liabilities not just for your business but for the other side. It really does help to speed things up when you do this. It’s mutually expected as well as the other side will immediately reject a wording structure that puts their business in fault’s way.
It’s vital that you also send the contract via secured lines. This could be a multi-million dollar deal and at this critical stage you do not want relations soured by having the email you send the contract in, hacked or stolen.
Using a fax online system, you can turn digital documents of almost any kind into an online fax. It’s a secure connection so your contract won’t be floating around the Google or Microsoft servers. It can also save you money by no longer having to buy toner cartridges, printers or paper.
What businesses like about faxing is that it’s a safe but also exclusive line. It’s not like your faxes with important or even secret information will be delivered to a company email which every employee has access to. It’s a one-way in and one-way out style connection which makes things straight-forward. This is why it’s the preferred method of communication when it comes to sending and receiving contracts.
On the dotted line
Hopefully, everything checked out smoothly in the contract and it was well received. Now it comes down to the final in-person signing. This will occur between the most senior ranking employees of each business. The CEOs will be meeting with only their most trusted and respected employees.
Again, the C-suite ranks will be in attendance. This is not only something you should do for the purposes of having the best minds close by, but it’s also customary. There are a lot of cultural aspects to business deals and this is one of them that should not be overlooked.
Therefore you should be formally dressed and your C-suite employees should follow your lead. The two CEOs must meet each other first, then the others can greet each other. It’s a sign of respect that the order is adhered to. There can be one final glance over the contracts if needed but otherwise you will commence signing. There also needs to be legal witnesses such as your own lawyers and the other party’s as well. After the signing is done you can have a toast if you would like to. The contract will come into effect per the agreed date and you will then be obligated to it as a priority.
Your very first business deal is going to be something you’ll remember forever. It’s truly a milestone in any professional’s career. It’s a moment for you to really learn about the B2B world and see how your business is perceived by others in the same or different industry. However this doesn’t mean you have to sit and wait for it to come to you. By ordering a prospective search, you can find businesses that are going to be needing your products and or services.